How important was the Boer War in changing attitudes in Britain to imperialism? Intro: …
First paragraph: Working Class
They didn’t gain a lot from imperialism. Boer War emphasized this. And it was fought to benefit Britain’s entrepreneurs and elite classes. Second paragraph: Middle Class
Their support derived from jingoistic and racist literature. National interest/heroic. Mainly aimed at MC since more influence and power.
They were shocked by the atrocities of the 2nd Boer War 1899-1902. 110K died. Daily news = 1901 by George Cadbury who was a Quaker/Pacifist so opposed to War. Horrors: Campbell-Bannerman famous speech condemning use of CCs ‘methods of barbarism’ 90% literature so when atrocities were written and read – question their duty to civilize. Question country morals. Death rates fell to 6.9% eventually 2%.
Therefore more support shown by working class
Third paragraph: Upper Class
Still shocked by white deaths but more gains. Elite industrialists. Much like MC trained from young age. Times magazine: steadily supported Boer War. Hamilton sacked for being too sympathetic towards Boers. Dismissed reports of civilian deaths. Daily Mail: fiercely imperialist. Overwhelmingly in favor of Boer conflict. Sold at half penny whilst others a penny. Conclusion:
Since trade and empire was most important principle governing British policy it’s clear that people that benefitted from this the most would show most support. Ultimately, it can be seen that there were varying amounts of support for imperialism from 1880 to 1902. The working class was largely consistent in their lack of support: the atrocities of the war simply confirmed their discontent. The war came as more of a shock of the MC who were up to this point supporters of the benefits of imperialism even if this support was generated by indoctrinated propaganda. The upper class was consistent in their support from start of period since they are essentially the future leaders of the country. Thus,...
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