Rhodesian Sunset: Factional Politics, War, and the Demise of an Imperial Order in British South Africa
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The pursuit of an unorthodox and revolutionary grand vision of empire by idealistic imperialists such as Cecil Rhodes, Alfred Milner, and Percy FitzPatrick led to the creation of a pro-conflict imperial coalition in South Africa, one that inadvertently caused the South African War. This thesis examines the causes behind the South African War (also known as the Second Anglo-Boer War), sheds light on those culpable for its occurrence, and analyzes its effects on South Africa’s subsequent failure to fulfill the imperial vision for it held by contemporary British imperialists. This thesis addresses the previous historiographical debates on the relative importance of the factions that formed a coalition to promote their interests in South Africa. Some of these interests focused on political and economic matters of concern to the British Empire, while others pertained to Johannesburg settlers, primarily of British extraction, who had their own reasons for joining the pro-imperial coalition. Moreover, this thesis emphasizes the importance of the pro-imperial coalition’s unity in provoking the South African War while also explaining the coalition’s post-war decline and directly correlating this to the decline of British influence in South Africa.
CitationBrunetti, Michael (2019). Rhodesian Sunset: Factional Politics, War, and the Demise of an Imperial Order in British South Africa. Honors thesis, Duke University. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/18330.
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Rights for Collection: Undergraduate Honors Theses and Student papers