Did the South African War (1899-1902) Signal a “Crisis” of British Imperialism?

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Did the South African War (1899-1902) signal a “crisis” of British imperialism? The South African War, or Second Boer War, (1899-1902), has been described by some as 'the greatest catastrophe to overtake the Empire since the loss of the American colonies.'[1] Why is this? Due to its recent imperial acquisitions, 'Britain's position in the world became both more imposing and more fragile.'[2] Colonial Secretary Joseph Chamberlain, heavily effected by the teachings of JR Seely, feared Britain would be eclipsed as a great power by the USA and Russia 'unless the resources of the British Isles could be buttressed by those of the British Empire.'[3] Doubts were raised about the continuation of this now precariously placed empire and 'no event was more responsible for raising doubts about the nation's future than the South African War.'[4] The longevity and events of the war signified a crisis of British imperialism and in this essay I will attempt to detail why this was the case. Internationally, in the lead up to the war, there was an 'intensified struggle for markets and spheres of influence...this signalled a significant resructuring in the global economy that carried troubling implications for Britain.'[5] Other countries had undergone rapid development and were now forcing there way onto the world stage. Britain was now liable to economic, and military, threats posed by aggresive rivals like the newly-industrialised United States and the newly-unified Germany.[6] While this fear was present before the war, it was elevated to crisis levels by the inabiltity to easily defeat the Boers as people began to seriously doubt 'Britain's ability to maintain its status should it ever be challenged by a more advanced competitor.'[7] Once British reinforcements arrived the defeat of the Boers was 'enevitable', however, the nature of the war was not.[8] The British had
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