How Important Was the Second Boer War (1899-1902) in Changing Attitudes in Britain to Imperialism During the Period 1880-1902? Essay

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How important was the Second Boer War (1899-1902) in changing attitudes in Britain to imperialism during the period 1880-1902? The Boer War of 1899-1902 was vital in regards to changing attitudes towards British imperialism in the time period of 1880-1902, as despite the early populist view during the war seeming to be pro-imperialist, following notable events such as mafficking (1900) and potentially even the 1900 General Election, there was a real sense of antagonism towards the brutal methods employed by the army and, as a result, towards Imperialism. To measure the levels of public opinion regarding this, phenomena such as music halls, religious instruction and the press will be considered, as well as the views on key events such as the death of Gordon (1885). However to assess fully [split infinitive] the effect of the Second Boer War in changing British attitudes to imperialism, we must first note the attitudes before the War. [Worth starting with the Midlothian campaigns, 1879-80] The First Boer War (1880-81) was a major shock to many in Britain, as, unlike the easy victory many had expected, the British forces were crushed following a series of tactical blunders, notably at Majuba Hill where Sir George Pomeroy Colley led his 405-strong infantry to camp at the top of the hill, and in the night they were stormed by Boer forces, suffering 285 casualties to the Boers 6. This had such a profound effect on the British that the phrase “remember Majuba” was used in battle to motivate troops until the end of the Second Boer War. From the use of this phrase, we can assume that, as the motivated troops were of poorer classes and the motivating generals were of the richer classes, that there was likely a strong sense of pro-imperialism throughout Britain in 1881, especially in the upper classes. In 1884, there was a Sudanese uprising led by the Mahdi, which

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