British Foreign and Imperial Policy, 1865-1919 (Questions by Graham Goodlad

By Graham Goodlad

British overseas and Imperial coverage explores Britains position in foreign Affairs from the age of Gladstone and Disraeli to the tip of the 1st global struggle, exploring such issues as Britain's involvement within the Scramble for Africa, the Anglo-Boer battle, the international coverage of Lord Salisbury and the customers for Britain and the Empire on the finish of the 1st global struggle.

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Additional info for British Foreign and Imperial Policy, 1865-1919 (Questions and Analysis in History)

Sample text

Most historians have seen late Victorian Britain as a defensive power, conducting a rearguard action in the face of growing foreign competition. By contrast, Cain and Hopkins’ perspective leads them to emphasise the continuing vitality of a state at the centre of the international financial system. On this reading of events, the key element in the scramble for Africa was the growing interest of ‘gentlemanly capitalism’ in the continent. This was encouraged by the growth of regular steamship services after 1850 and the rise of large firms in the transactions sector, capable of running ships, financing large mining operations and advancing credit to local traders and producers.

For example, scholars have begun tracing the beginning of their analysis from very different points in time. Marais’ classic work began with the discovery of gold in 1886. Andrew Porter’s study focuses on the diplomatic and political events of 1895–9, the first four years of Joseph Chamberlain’s Colonial Secretaryship. 3 The issue of dating is related to a deeper controversy between holders of opposing ideological positions. Early interpretations, by commentators sympathetic to the British side, saw the Boers as an obstructive force in the path of the imperial power’s ‘civilising mission’.

In the next decade, the completion of the Delagoa Bay railway linked the Transvaal with the port of Lourenço Marques in Portuguese East Africa. This freed Kruger’s regime THE SOUTH AFRICAN WAR 45 from its dependence on British-held Cape Town for access to the sea. The gold rush drew in thousands of mainly British prospectors known as the ‘uitlanders’, who sought to make their fortune around the mining town of Johannesburg. Fearing that they would be outnumbered by the newcomers, the Boers not only retained a monopoly of key materials such as dynamite but denied the uitlanders voting rights until they had been resident for fourteen years.

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