Musings from the Manhut

Where the ebb and flow of life creates a cascade of words down the paper's face

Tag: south africa

What a load of hooie!


What a load of hooie! #doyle #boerwars #propaganda #southafrica

The British Government and the British people do not desire any direct
authority in South Africa. Their one supreme interest is that the
various States there should live in concord and prosperity, and that
there should be no need for the presence of a British redcoat within the
whole great peninsula. Our foreign critics, with their misapprehension
of the British colonial system, can never realise that whether
the four-coloured flag of the Transvaal or the Union Jack of a
self-governing colony waved over the gold mines would not make the
difference of one shilling to the revenue of Great Britain. The
Transvaal as a British province would have its own legislature, its
own revenue, its own expenditure, and its own tariff against the mother
country, as well as against the rest of the world, and England be none
the richer for the change. This is so obvious to a Briton that he has
ceased to insist upon it, and it is for that reason perhaps that it is
so universally misunderstood abroad. On the other hand, while she is no
gainer by the change, most of the expense of it in blood and in money
falls upon the home country. On the face of it, therefore, Great Britain
had every reason to avoid so formidable a task as the conquest of the
South African Republic. At the best she had nothing to gain, and at the
worst she had an immense deal to lose. There was no room for ambition or
aggression. It was a case of shirking or fulfilling a most arduous duty.

I guess we need to Pope to beatify them right quick.



OH THE IRONY! #books #doyle #boerwars #southafrica

Doyle quotes one Mr Jeppe, a liberal Afrikaner, on the matter of giving the Uitlanders (an immigrant community in South Africa in the late 19th Century) more rights:

“‘What will become of us or our children on that day when we may find
ourselves in a minority of one in twenty without a single friend among
the other nineteen, among those who will then tell us that they wished
to be brothers, but that we by our own act have made them strangers to
the republic?'”

The best reason for the Boer War?


The Best reason for the Boer War?

And outside and beyond all these definite wrongs imagine to a free born progressive man, an American or a Briton, the constant irritation of being absolutely ruled by a body of twenty-five men, twenty-one ofwhom had in the case of the Selati Railway Company been publicly and circumstantially accused of bribery, with full details of the bribes received, while to their corruption they added such crass ignorance that they argue in the published reports of the Volksraad debates that using dynamite bombs to bring down rain was firing at God, that it is impious to destroy locusts, that the word ‘participate’ should not be used because it is not in the Bible, and that postal pillar boxes are extravagant and effeminate. Such obiter dicta may be amusing at a distance, but they are less entertaining when they come from an autocrat who has complete power over the conditions of your life.

Trash land, big treasure


Trash land, big treasure

Quote from The Great Boer War by Doyle

There might almost seem to be some subtle connection between the barrenness and worthlessness of a surface and the value of the minerals which lie beneath it. The craggy mountains of Western America, the arid plains of West Australia, the ice-bound gorges of the Klondyke, and the bare slopes of the Witwatersrand veld—these are the lids which cover the great treasure chests of the world.

More quotes from The Great Boer War by Doyle More quotes from The Great Boer War by Doyle

Further and further north they pushed, founding little towns here and there, such as Graaf-Reinet and Swellendam, where a Dutch Reformed Church and a store for the sale of the bare necessaries of life formed a nucleus for a few scattered dwellings.

What would Castlereagh or Liverpool have thought could they have seen the items which we were buying for our six million pounds? The inventory would have been a mixed one of good & of evil; nine fierce Kaffir wars, the greatest diamond mines in the world, the wealthiest gold mines, two costly & humiliating campaigns w/ men whom we respected even when we fought w/ them, & now at last, we hope, a South Africa of peace and prosperity, w/ equal rights & equal duties for all men.

The prospect of complete amalgamation between the British and the original settlers would have seemed to be a good one, since they were of much the same stock, and their creeds could only be distinguished by their varying degrees of bigotry and intolerance.

The Government had the historical faults and the historical virtues of British rule. It was mild, clean, honest, tactless, and inconsistent. On the whole, it might have done very well had it been content to leave things as it found them.

The Imperial Government has always taken an honourable and philanthropic view of the rights of the native and the claim which he has to the protection of the law. We hold and rightly, that British justice, if not blind, should at least be colour-blind. The view is irreproachable in theory and incontestable in argument, but it is apt to be irritating when urged by a Boston moralist or a London philanthropist upon men whose whole society has been built upon the assumption that the black is the inferior race. Such a people like to find the higher morality for themselves, not to have it imposed upon them by those who live under entirely different conditions. They feel–and with some reason–that it is a cheap form of virtue which, from the serenity of a well-ordered household in Beacon Street or Belgrave Square, prescribes what the relation shall be between a white employer and his half-savage, half-childish retainers. Both branches of the Anglo-Celtic race have grappled with the question, and in each it has led to trouble.

The British Government in South Africa has always played the unpopular part of the friend and protector of the native servants. It was upon this very point that the first friction appeared between the old settlers and the new administration. A rising with bloodshed followed the arrest of a Dutch farmer who had maltreated his slave. It was suppressed, and five of the participants were hanged. This punishment was unduly severe and exceedingly injudicious. A brave race can forget the victims of the field of battle, but never those of the scaffold. The making of political martyrs is the last insanity of statesmanship. It is true that both the man who arrested and the judge who condemned the prisoners were Dutch, and that the British Governor interfered on the side of mercy; but all this was forgotten afterwards in the desire to make racial capital out of the incident. It is typical of the enduring resentment which was left behind that when, after the Jameson raid, it seemed that the leaders of that ill-fated venture might be hanged, the beam was actually brought from a farmhouse at Cookhouse Drift to Pretoria, that the Englishmen might die as the Dutchmen had died in 1816. Slagter’s Nek marked the dividing of the ways between the British Government and the Afrikaners.

With many a grumble the good British householder drew his purse from his fob, and he paid for what he thought to be right. {emancipation in this case}

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