The Boer War

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When did the Boer War start and end?

12th October 1899- May 1902

Why did it start?

Over a dispute surrounding territory in South Africa between the Boers (Dutch settlers) and the British

What was the Jameston Raid?

An ineffective attempt to overthrow President Paul Kruger of the Transvaal Republic in 1895

What was the Siege of Mafeking?

A siege by the Boers against the British that lasted 217 days. It was carried out by 800 Boer soldiers.

When was the Treaty of Vereeniging signed?

May 1902

What did the Boers agree to do under the treaty?

Come under the sovereignty of the British crown

What was the first thing the British government agreed to do in the ToV?

To eventually give the Transvaal and Orange Free State self-government (achieved in 1906 and 1907 respectively)

What was the second thing the British government agreed to do in the ToV?

To avoid discussing the native (black) enfranchisement

What was the third thing the British government agreed to do in the ToV?

To pay the Afrikaners £3,000,000 in reconstruction aid.

What caused a great deal of controversy and shocked many British people, resulting in a decrease in support for the war?

The British army's use of concentration camps to confine and control large numbers of civilians.

How much of the world's population did Britain rule at the start of the 20th century?

A quarter

What was the working class like in Britain during the Boer War?

They lived in extreme poverty, many were hungry and they could not vote.

Who was the Prime Minister of Britain?

Conservative Lord Salisbury

What was Lord Salisbury like?

He was pessimistic and reactionary

How much of the British population could vote and who were they?

Only 25% of the population could vote, all of whom were wealthy upper class men

At the start of the war, why were people more supportive of the Boer War?

At the turn of the century, it was of common belief that it would be Britain's century and many still had an imperialist mentality. Britain wanted to expand their empire in the Transvaal as gold had been discovered there, which would add to their wealth and power.

Why did the Boers have the upper hand?

Britain were in foreign territory with old-fashioned rifles, as opposed to the Boers who knew the terrain well and were equipped with the latest German rifles.

Who was Joseph Chamberlain?

The man in charge of overseeing the war. He was an enthusiastic imperialist and a member of the Conservative party. He was also very swish and had a cool monocle.

What was Black Week?

A disastrous week in 1899 for the British, where they suffered three serious defeats. thousands of men were killed and they realised that it was not going to be an easy victory.

What did Lord Kitchener do?

He created large barbed wire nets to prevent guerilla attacks and built 3000 defensive tower blocks. He also implemented the scorched earth policy.

What was the scorched earth policy?

The British army swept through the countryside, burning the crops and the houses of all who lived there and killing their livestock. 30,000 undefended farmhouses were burnt to the ground and thousands of women and children were left homeless.

What did Kitchener do with the homeless?

He rounded them up (160,000 in total) and transported them in wagons and train carriages to improvised refugee camps, guarded by the army. However due to army impotence they became outdoor prisons and places of 'horror'. The term 'concentration camp' was used.

What were conditions like in the concentration camps.

They lived in unsanitary conditions, where disease and death was common.

Who was Emily Hobhouse?

She delivered aid to the concentration camps and spoke of the wholesale cruelty, murder of children and war of extermination that she saw on her trip.

How many women and children died in concentration camps?

26,000

What percentage of the 26000 dead were under 16?

80

When was the first concentration camp set up?

1900

What was mobilising in Britain during the war and who was leading it?

A powerful anti-war movement, lead by David Lloyd George from the Liberal Party who was pro-Boer.

How much did the war cost?

£200,000,000 and 20,000 British lives.

What impact did it have on Britain's confidence?

A negative one. Britain was the world's largest empire and it had taken them three years to defeat the Boers who were a relatively small and less experienced force. They had also lost 20,000 men.

What impact did it have on Britain's patriotism?

People began to question the morality of the British government for using concentration camps.

What did the war reveal?

The state of the lower classes, two-thirds of the men fighting were deemed unfit for service. This prompted the need for reform etc.

Who was the war most popular amongst?

The wealthy and the higher classes. They were the only ones allowed to vote and the Conservatives were in power (the Conservatives were pro-war)

What did the majority of the working class believe?

It was a 'capitalist adventure' and they questioned British morality.The war turned them against the idea of imperialism.

Who won the 1906 general election?

The Liberal Party, under Henry Campbell-Bannerman

What did the Liberal win suggest?

That people wanted to help people in Britain, as opposed to carrying on expanding the empire.

What did the Liberal Party introduce in 1906?

Free school meals for children.

What did the LP introduce in 1908 for children?

The Children's Charter. This imposed severe punishments for the neglecting or mistreating of children.

What did the LP introduce for the elderly in 1908?

Pensions, which entitled the over 70s to 5 shillings a week. This was very well received.

What did the LP introduce in 1909?

Labour exchanges to help the unemployed find work

What did the LP introduce in 1911?

The National Insurance Act which gave people the right to sick pay and unemployment pay (dole)

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