British public opinion and the rise of imperialist sentiment in relation to expansion in Africa, 1880-1900
Knight, Patricia (1968) British public opinion and the rise of imperialist sentiment in relation to expansion in Africa, 1880-1900. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.
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Official URL: http://webcat.warwick.ac.uk/record=b1722808~S15
The thesis traces the rise of popular Imperialist
sentiment, which developed via Conservative clubs and
fringe groups such an the Primrose League. Pressure
for expansion reached a peak, in the Sudan campaign of
1884-5 and the mass eulogy of General Gordon. An
uninhibited and aggressive belief in expansion overlapped
with jingoism which reached a height during the Boer
War with violently patriotic displays.
Humanitarian pressure groups such as the Anti-
Slavery Society and the Missions were important in the
development of an Imperialist position. Humanitarians
demanded the annexation of East/Central Africa and
Uganda in order to put an end to the slave trade, to
help the spread of Christianity or to provide benefits
for the native population. The agitation for the
retention of Uganda in 1892, wan largely organised by the
Church Missionary Society.
Commercial arguments for expansion played only
a minor part in public opinion; though a small group
of chartered company promoters and African enthusiasts
were thinking in terms of now markets and raw materials.
But popular Imperialism was best defined as an expreasion of nationalism and hostility to foreigners,
culminating in aggressively militaristic stands over
certain issues, - notable the Sudan campaign of 1884-5,
Fashoda in 1898 and the Boer War 1899-1900.
The strongent opposition to expansion in Africa came
from Nonconformists and Gladstonian Radicals or Socialists.
This did not always imply hostility towards all Empire
however; the Empire of the self-governing colonies and
respectable dependencies was widely accepted by 1900, and
even expansion was not opposed on principle so much as
on the merits of each individual case.
The intervention of the Liberal Government in Egypt
and the Sudan in 1882-5 helped to reconcile a number of
Liberals to interference in Africa. There was a
noticable absence of opposition to the annexation of
Uganda and of the Sudan in 1898, Nonconformists and
Liberals made a strong stand against the impending Boer
war of 1899, but after war broke out the opposition
disintegrated, - Socialists and Gadstonian Nonconformists
had little in common apart from dislike of the war.
The period thus shows an erosion of Liberal anti-
Imperialism. Liberals who started in the full flush of Midlothian opposition to Disraelian Foreign Policy,
began to absorb a Good many imperialist assumptions
by the end of the century.
|Item Type:||Thesis or Dissertation (PhD)|
|Subjects:||D History General and Old World > DA Great Britain|
|Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH):||Imperialism -- History -- 19th century, Chauvinism and jingoism -- Great Britain -- History -- 19th century, Great Britain -- Colonies -- Public opinion -- History -- 19th century, Great Britain -- Politics and government -- 1837-1901|
|Official Date:||November 1968|
|Institution:||University of Warwick|
|Theses Department:||Department of History|
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