African attitudes to Britain and the Empire before and after the South African War
in The South African War reappraised
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More serious scholars, writing on African involvement in the South African War or the making of Union, included useful passages on the attitudes of South African Africans to Britain and the Empire. Much more scholarly attention was directed to the attitudes of Africans in South Africa to America and African-Americans than to their attitudes to Britain and the Empire. This chapter concerns the attitudes of a relatively small western-educated African elite. By the mid-1890s, the distinction between direct imperial rule from London through the High Commission and rule by self-governing colonists was clear to most African rulers and members of the westernised African elite. For the African elite of the late nineteenth century, Britain stood for progress, opportunity, modernisation and, above all, 'civilisation'. The chapter explains why African pro-imperialism continued, from before the South African War and for decades beyond it.

Editor: Donal Lowry


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