Scientific humanitarianism and British ‘tyranny’ in South Africa
in Calculating compassion
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This chapter focuses on how the politics of humanity and relief reverberated in 'progressive' circles in Britain, including those championing political representation for women. L. T. Hobhouse provides an instructive example of one who undertook a serious scholarly attempt to bridge science and ethics. He is of particular interest as leader writer for the anti-war Manchester Guardian during the South African War. Many of those opposed to war in South Africa were veteran campaigners against the Ottoman treatment of Christians, as well as against British conduct in Afghanistan, and many would reunite after the war to protest the plight of the Macedonians. Concern for the freedom of the Boer Republics did not, as a rule, extend to the freedoms of the 'native races' in South Africa. Threat of war in South Africa brought many of the progressives together in a new campaigning organisation, the South African Conciliation Committee (SACC).

Calculating compassion

Humanity and relief in war, Britain 1870–1914

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