Start of the second Anglo-Boer War

Posted by Tory Historian Monday, October 11, 2010 , ,

Not a war to be proud of and one that might have been avoided with a little more diplomacy on all sides. The second Anglo-Boer War that went on from 1899 to 1902, established Britain's supremacy (more or less) in South Africa, eventually created the Union of South Africa, had enormous impact on domestic politics and blackened Britain's name because of the policy of concentration camps for civilians (later developed to a far higher level by several other countries) began on October 11, 1899 with a Boer offensive into Natal and Cape Colony areas.

In the 1900 "Khaki" election the Conservatives won a majority but opposition to the war grew ever stronger, partly because it turned out to be rather difficult to defeat the Boers (no war is popular if it is seen as a difficult one) and partly because news of those camps came out.

Here is the South African view of the war.


  1. Anonymous Says:
  2. Dear TH, please allow me to go OT for a moment.

    A recent repetition of the annual experience of reading a racist, radical, indigenista diatribe against Columbus, the European discovery of America, and the 500 year history of the societies and states created in the Americas by the subsequent European influx published at an ostensibly liberal - not radical or loony left - venue led me to searching "colonialism" at Amazon.

    Imagine my dismay at finding nothing but the intellectual peers, successors, and clones of Franz Fanon, JP Sartre, and other furious, tiers-mondiste craziness.

    Most of the stuff one finds in the American History section of American bookstores is much more sane than that, the work of Howard Zinn being both about as bad as it gets and exceptionally so.

    But material on the specifics of African colonialism are already a bit dicey, seemingly tending to focus with self-indulgent fury on the slave trade and the horrors of Leopold’s Congo.

    And nothing purporting to offer a general view of the age of European expansion from the time of the 15th Century explorers down to, say, the period of de-colonization in the mid-20th Century, containing the least moral or political comment seems to have been written by a sane person.

    All of it seems infected with pretty scary Marxist radicalism and racist indigenism aimed, apparently, at demonstrating that no white person today has the least right to be anywhere in the world outside Europe and a genocidal rebellion of indigenous peoples everywhere would be entirely deserved and righteous.

    Can you by any chance steer me to materials both respectable as sound history and sensible in terms of moral and political evaluation on the topic?

    I’d be grateful.

  3. Of course, as soon as a question like that is asked one's mind goes blank. Even Tory Historian's. However, there are some extremely knowledgeable blog readers out there. Would you allow me to post that comment up on the main blog (with attribution) and see who piles in with suggestions? I shall also think of some.

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.  
  5. Ave Gaius Sempronius Gracchus, Ave Tory Historian,

    On this specific topic, I found Thomas Pakenham's 'The Anglo-Boer War' to be quite good. Written from a left-wing perspective, but not a diatribe and an interesting balance of the political, social, economic and military aspects of the war in a one-volume popular history.

    Hope this helps somewhat

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