The South African War of 1899-1902 (it used to be known as the Anglo-Boer War) was not one of Britain's so-called imperial 'small wars'. It was the biggest, costliest and most humiliating war fought by Britain between 1815 and 1914, and the greatest of the wars which accompanied the Scramble for Africa. It was as important in the history of South Africa as the American Civil War in the history of the United States.
Its origins have been the subject of debate and controversy from the very outset. In this welcome contribution to a distinguished series - based on extensive research in British and South African archives - Iain R. Smith has produced a masterly reappraisal of the subject. The book will surely establish itself as the definitive study for scholars and students; but it is also a vivid account of a dramatic and complex story, which will appeal to a far wider readership than specialists alone.
Tracing the roots of the conflict into the first half of the nineteenth century, Dr. Smith shows how the conflict between Britain and the Transvaal republic intensified after the discovery of gold on the Witwatersrand in 1886. The resulting wealth and the influx of foreign, mainly British, Uitlanders transformed what had been a poor land-locked Boer republic into the hub round which the future of South Africa was to turn. The repercussions of this transformation - both within South Africa and on Britain's position there - provide the framework within which the book traces the road to war.
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Iain R. Smith is Lecturer in History at the University of Warwick, where he teaches both South African and British imperial history.Review:
'This is an important, accessible and thoughtfully written text which deserves to attract a wider readership.'
'A significant contribution to historical scholarship'
The Victorian Military Society
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Book Description Longman Publishing Group, 1995. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # M0582277779