Tag Archives: British Commonwealth
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Weld Quay, Georgetown, Penang

3 Apr

Weld Quay, Georgetown Penang 032 Weld Quay, Georgetown Penang 033 Weld Quay, Georgetown Penang 028 Weld Quay, Georgetown Penang 004 Weld Quay, Georgetown Penang 021

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EURASIANS at the GRASSROOTS – VOL. 1

1 Jan

eBook Eurasians Grassroots small(Cover Image)

 EURASIANS at the GRASSROOTS – VOL. 1 

(DOWNLOAD eBOOK FOR FREE by visiting the website with the link above)

EURASIANS at the GRASSROOTS – VOL. 1
ISBN: 9781310573545
Description: Eurasians at the Grassroots – Vol.1 is a collection of short stories regarding Eurasians and the memories of Eurasians. Its purpose is to collect and publish stories as a collective work about Eurasians, by Eurasians and for Eurasians. There are stories about Eurasians contributed from Malaysia, Singapore, as well as from Australia, The Netherlands and USA.
Word Count: 15,150 (approx.)

By Nutmeg Publishing
Co. No. SA0057587-D
Malaysia.

**In Support of the Malaysian Dutch Descendents Project (MDDP) ‘The Eurasians at the Grassroots Projects’ under the leadership of Dennis De Witt.**

Street Food: Penang by Al Jezeera English

20 Feb

Street Food: Penang  by Al Jezeera English
Reported by Veronica Pedrosa

Uploaded on June 10, 2008 by Al Jezeera English on You Tube

Description:
The program covers the different food culture and heritage in Penang which is a state in the North-West of Malaysia.

Part One Street Food: Penang

Part Two Street Food: Penang

For more on other places please click Street Food for viewing the series on Al Jezeera English.

Enjoy!

References/Sources

Al Jezeera English on You Tube

Al Jezeera English Website

Street Food Penang Part One

Street Food Penang Part Two

Artists and Images of the Second Boer War: Its Advances, Interpretations, and Implications!

1 Nov

Written By Simon Sundaraj-Keun

Introduction

Art and War became the basic norm as civilizations began to emerge around the known world. The implications of art upon a civilization was far fetching as today’s media has on society. Each evolutionary process was spurred by revolutionary events that effects society’s from its very foundation. War is the ultimate variable that inspire heroism and artistry from a scene that drench in blood and dead.

Does anyone wonder how artistic concepts or methodology evolve from one era into the next? Events like war create technological or social advancements which would change the course of a nation’s history. So how do a nation chronologically keep track of it successes in battle? Images are created through the brush, sculpture, or lens of an artist which is the medium between the soldier and civilian.

The Second Boer War (1899-1902) was a significant era in the evolutionary concept of images which became a tool of public interpretation, social implication, and technological advancement. Images produced from the Second Boer War became sensational news throughout the British Empire. In away the archaic form of mass media took shape out of this conflict. Newspapers, photographs, and artists became a source of information for the public as the war dragged on.

The Second Boer War, commonly referred to as The Boer War and also known as the South African War (outside of South Africa), the Anglo-Boer War (among some South Africans) and in Afrikaners society as the Second War of Independence. It was fought from October 11, 1899 until 31 May 31, 1902 between the British Empire and the two independent Boer republics of the Orange Free State and the South African Republic (Transvaal Republic). After a long-drawn-out war, the two independent Boer republics lost and were absorbed into the British Empire.

One have to wonder what was the process like in receiving news from the front lines? There were the telegraph, and steamers racing back and forth between South Africa and Britain. The growth of newspapers, war correspondents, and photographers were relied on the British populations to report on the war progress in South Africa.

Unfortunately, there were few newspapers or magazines printed by the Afrikaner side. The reaction that this research could analyze was diaries or journals of Boers to get a reaction on the images publish by Britain. Even that would make a hypotheses analysis of what the Boers reacted too. There were abundant materials on the British interpretation of visual information and its implication on society. One has to understand that the media of early 20th century was crude at best but still efficient in relaying its message to the common people.

The Medium and Its Audience

However the communications from the frontlines of South Africa was still primitive in modern standards but it was a fantastic source of information. The power of perception by the general public on the images coming out of the Second Boer War is a potent as today’s streaming of information through the television or internet. In order to understand the implications of the images from the Second Boer War one has to imagine as an individual living in a Victorian Era. Where does one obtain information or let alone illustrations from the far corners of the British Empire? Was there such a thing as a pictorial news outlet?

Take the Illustrated London News, a magazine founded by Herbert Ingram and Mark Lemon (the editor of Punch magazine). The first edition of the Illustrated London News appeared on 14 May 1842. The magazine included pictures of the wars from Afghanistan to South Africa. It covered all known activities occurring around the globe. The decline in subscriptions contributed to the magazine weekly publishes until 1971, when it became a monthly. In 1989, it was published bi-monthly, than quarterly and currently bi-annually. The Illustrated London News exists today as the Illustrated London News Group.

Newspapers and magazines tend to offer its readers a source of information on their nations finest in battle. One’s interpretation of the war would be through the images and artists that contribute to the illustrative articles in Britain. It is also an effective way to spur recruitment due to the ongoing Imperial expansion and the decline of Britain’s industrial revolution. The romantic image of serving for the Crown in a far off outpost in the Empire seem fetching than starving in the slums of London. For others it would bring honor and glory to the family or to established oneself on the social ladder of the British class system. Influences that romanticized war and the British colonial military were art works created by prominent artists that have traveled through out the British Empire.

The Battle of Rorke’s Drift (1879) is a great example of romanticized war which was first dramatized by military painters, notably Elizabeth Butler and Alphonse de Neuville. Lady Butler painted the The Defense of Rorke’s Drift (1881) and Neuville painted his version of the same battle in 1880. Their work was vastly popular in its day among the citizens of the British Empire, but virtually forgotten by the time the film Zulu (1964). Alphonse Marie Adolphe de Neuville (May 31, 1835-May 18, 1885) was a French Academic painter who studied under Eugene Delacroix. His subjects included the Franco-Prussian War, the Crimean War, the Zulu War and portraits of soldiers. Elizabeth Thompson, Lady Butler (3 November 1846-2 October 1933) was a British painter. She was married to Lieutenant General Sir William Butler (31 October 1838-7 June 1910). During this time she also came under the influence of her husband’s “Irish-inclined beliefs” that the colonial imperialism of countries like Great Britain may not be in the best interest of the native people in far off lands.

Military artists career blossom by association with generals or governments. Most artists seized on the moment of a battle and demonstrated their treatment of it that they had found their vocation as a soldier’s artist. The military element for the artist was important to remain intertwines with the British public and army. Artist received from war a new and lively stimulation which drove them to the very heart of the events which they portrayed; but as the army, and its general separated from the people but the artist could be called on to exemplify chapters representative only of the fulfillment of individual aspiration, ceased to find the sustenance essential to their brilliance, and the deficiency of their artistic position became apparent. Most artists in the Second Boer War were trained in the sect of the Classicists, they was bind by their regulations, even whereby their naturalistic treatment of types, and appeal to picturesque consequence in shade and tenor that seemed to run contradict to them.

The Relief of Ladysmith (1900) painted by John Henry Frederick Bacon (1868-1914) illustrates Sir George White welcomes Major Hubert Gough who broke the Boer siege around Ladysmith (30 October 1899-28 February 1900). This painting demonstrates the resiliency of the British Army in the eyes of the public. It is also not an art work that was for public display but it was distributed in magazines and newspapers as an illustration of the ongoing victories of the British Army. It was a slide note on the harsh reality faced by the common soldier. To the general public it is perceived to be true because there is no other type of medium to contradict the basic norm of information. Where there any advances that came to play on the emotions of the populace? Or do the paintings speak volume to the heart of a nation?

A Picture Worth A Thousand Words

Paintings of the Second Boer War revolutionize the direction of paintings and images in general into a more direct role that is in line with the leadership of a nation-state. The paintings of the British Empire during the Boer War were similar to the paintings of 19th century revolutionary France. The idea of a revolution been portrayed in images is to demonstrate the sense of nationalism within a state infrastructure. The paintings by military assigned British artist were to legitimize Britain’s struggle to subdue the Boers in order to secure the British Empire position on the global arena. The popularization of war through images demonstrates the will of a nation in enduring the pestilence of war unmoved, challenging the marvelous instant of victory, and heart-sick with the bitter cost of a hard-won battlefield in order to be immortalized in the annals of world civilization.

One may affiliate the strife of a nation through an image that has no dire implications on a person’s environment. Yet the images of soldiers suffering from defeat or marching in triumph instill a sense of national pride and prestige. People of the British Empire demand more images of their military as a sign of support. Images of victories during the Second Boer Wars instill a sense of strength and defeats inspire the flames of patriotism. Painters learnt from Lady Butler decline in popularity due to her fairness in depicting the suffering and hardship of British soldiers in the face of death. The British person on the street is naive to the inflammability of its military during combat. The truth is most of the battles if not all that were depicted by artists was true to the events that inspired them. So any images demonstrating weakness were regarded as heresy by the British people but what about photographs of the dying Boer children or propaganda of the war?

The controversy that came out of the Second Boer War was the British introduction of concentration camps. These concentration camps housed Boer women and children through out the conflict which by the end of the war saw more caskets than reunited families. One image that came to mind was the photo of “Lizzie van Zyl” . Lizzie was only 9 years old when that picture was taken by an associate of Emily Hobhouse. Women and children were victims of British policy in quelling the Afrikaner guerrillas.

Unfortunately for young Lizzie, she died at Bloemfontein concentration camp but her death added to Emily plight to inform the world on the horrors occurring in South Africa. Those images of British atrocities on Afrikaner civilians were leak out into newspapers and magazines around the world. If those horrible images were painted no one would have believe Emily Hobhouse but the advancement of photography made possible for the world to know what took place in South Africa. Emily Hobhouse (April 9, 1860-June 8, 1926) was a British welfare activist, who is primarily remembered for shedding light on the bad conditions inside the British concentration camps built for Boer women and children during the Second Boer War.

Questioning the Empire

One has to understand that in the Second Boer War there were a number of soldiers that were from other parts of the British Empire. These countries had their own internal disputes over whether they should remain tied to the United Kingdom, or have full independence, which carried over into the debate around the sending of forces to assist the United Kingdom. Though not fully independent on foreign affairs, these countries did have a say over how much support to provide, and the manner in which it would be provided.

Ultimately, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand set men to aid the United Kingdom. Soldiers were also raised to fight with the British from the Cape Colony and India. Some Boers fighters such as Jan Smuts and Louis Botha were technically British subjects as they came from the Cape Province and Colony of Natal respectively. So one could imagine the ripple effects of the photos of women and children dying in concentration camps had on United Kingdom’s dominion.

Images of the dying civilians became a contention point between Britain and the rest of her dominion within the Empire. The Australians, New Zealanders, and Canadians wanted a swift end to this conflict. Plus nations like Netherlands, Germany, and France was placing their moral support on the Boers resistance. The United States who had witness the atrocities in Cuba during the Spanish-American War wanted a peaceful resolution to the conflict. Victorian Britain was divided on the situation that has eroded in South African and fragmentation of their moral image of the caretakers of the civilized world which has been shaken by civilian deaths.

Furthermore, the suffering of innocence struck a nerve within the Boers resistance which wanted to persuade peace with the British. The British for the most part had tight control over the media going in and out of South Africa. Yet there were sympathetic nations or individuals that tend to smuggle out documents or photographs. No one could actually hide paintings and why should they? Most paints were commission by the British government. Images by a camera would be smuggle out and published in newspapers or magazines. The London Times were infamous for defying the British governmental censors in order to publish the truth.

The interpretation of the images on the atrocities within the British controlled concentration camps could be best descried in similarity to the Holocaust. Society of the Victorian Era had some preconception of Spanish cruelty in Cuba’s War of independence and the Spanish-American War. The information black out of America’s brutal tactics and policy in its quelling of guerillas in the Philippines Insurgency was mysterious to the American public and the rest of the world. These events were not well documented into images which only left the Second Boer War as a raw source of carnage and horror in the minds of the general population within the British Empire and the world. The difference between the Boer civilians and other atrocities committed by other powers was the Second Boer War confines itself to Europeans killing Europeans.

The war highlighted the issues of Britain’s policy of non-alignment and deepened her isolation in Europe and the rest of the world. The 1900 British general election, also known as the Khaki election, was called by the Prime Minister, Lord Salisbury, on the back of recent British victories. There was much enthusiasm for the war at this point, resulting in a victory for the Conservative government. However, public support quickly waned as it became apparent that the war would not be easy and it dragged on, partially contributing to the Conservatives’ spectacular defeat in 1906. The power of images describing victories gave politics vigor to expand their sphere of influence but when those victories turned into defeats so does the nations discontent of its politicians.

There was public outrage at the use of scorched earth tactics which resulted the burning of Boer homesteads and the conditions in the concentration camps. It also became apparent that there were serious problems with public health of recruits that were unfit for military service, suffering from medical problems such as rickets and other poverty related illnesses. This came at a time of increasing concern for the state of the poor in Britain. Images of soldiers dying in hospitals became more prominent that those killed by enemy action on the front-lines. The public that were pro-British begun to question its government but other citizenry within the British Empire decided to aid the Boer cause.

Many Irish nationalists sympathized with the Boers, seeing them as a people oppressed by the British, much like themselves. Irish miners already in South Africa at the start of the war formed the core of two Irish commandos. The Second Irish Brigade was headed up by an Australian of Irish parents, Colonel Arthur Lynch. In addition, Irish volunteers went to South Africa to fight with the Boers and despite the fact that there were many Irish troops fighting with the British army. In Britain, the Pro-Boer campaign expanded, with writers like Sir Arthur Conan Doyle who often idealize the Boer society with inspirations deriving from the London Times newspapers and photographs taken of the conditions in South Africa.

Advances in Visualization

The emotions of photos had on the individual been unparalleled in history in contrast to paintings. As stated early an image like Lizzie van Zyl struck the core Victorian society and global response to the horrors of war. Even the camera had been around since the mid 19th century but it was revolutionizing itself over the decades into something compact but not as refine to those in the 1920s. Yet how did photographs got into the papers? Who pioneered this transition from prints into a mass medium? What was the equipment like? As we saw how an image rattle the foundation of society but lets now look how the advancement of visual information is a transcendent from paintings to photo prints.

The use of photographic film was pioneered by George Eastman, who started manufacturing paper film in 1885 before switching to celluloid in 1889. Just imagine with in a decade this roll of film was used in documenting the conditions in South Africa. George Eastman (July 12, 1854 to March 14, 1932) founded the Eastman Kodak Company and invented roll film, which brought photography to the common man. The roll film was also the basis for the invention of the motion picture film in 1888 by world’s first filmmaker, Louis Le Prince, and a decade later by his followers Leon Bouly, Thomas Edison, the Limeira Brothers and Georges Melies.

Eastman first camera, which he named the Kodak, was first offered for sale in 1888. It was a very simple box camera with a fixed-focus lens and single shutter speed, which along with its relatively low price appealed to the average consumer. The Kodak came pre-loaded with enough film for 100 exposures and needed to be sent back to the factory for processing and reloading when the roll was finished. By the end of the 19th century Eastman had expanded his lineup to several models including both box and folding cameras.

In 1900, Eastman took mass-market photography one step further with the Brownie, a simple and very inexpensive box camera that introduced the concept of the snapshot. The Brownie was extremely popular and various models remained on sale until the 1960s.

Despite the advances in low-cost photography made possible by Eastman, plate cameras still offered higher-quality prints and remained popular well into the 20th century. It was with the effort by Eastman and individuals like him that gave the world a new and quicker look on the conditions of war occurring in far corners of the globe.

There was also an evolution for Collodion dry from wet plates that had been available since 1855, thanks to the work of Desire van Monckhoven, but it was not until the invention of the gelatin dry plate in 1871 by Richard Leach Maddox that it began to rivaled wet plates in speed and quality. Desire Charles Emanuel van Monckhoven (1834 to 1882) was a Belgian chemist, physicist, and optician, who wrote several of the earliest books on photography and photographic optics, in French, later translated to English and other languages. Monckhoven invented and developed an enlarger (1864), a dry Collodion process (1871), improvements of the carbon print process (1875–80), and improved silver-bromide gelatin emulsions.
Richard Leach Maddox (August 4, 1816 – May 11, 1902) was an English photographer and physician who invented lightweight gelatin negative plates for photography in 1871.

The wet plate Collodion process had been invented in 1851 by Frederick Scott Archer. As a result, images required only 2 to 3 seconds of light exposure. But the plates had to be sensitized at the time of exposure and processed immediately. While Collodion dry plates had been available since 1855, thanks to Desire van Monckhoven, it was not until Maddox’s idea for the gelatin dry plate was realized that they rivaled wet plates in speed and quality.

When he noticed that his health was being affected by the wet collodion’s ether vapor, he started looking for a substitute. He suggested in an 1871 British Journal of Photography article that sensitizing chemicals cadmium bromide and silver nitrate should be coated on a glass plate in gelatin, a transparent substance used for making candies. Eventually Charles Bennett made the first gelatin dry plates for sale and not before long the emulsion could be coated on celluloid roll film.

The advantages of the dry plate were obvious: photographers could use commercial dry plates off the shelf instead of having to prepare their own emulsions in a mobile darkroom. Also, for the first time, cameras could be made small enough to be hand-held, or even concealed. There was a proliferation of various designs, from single and twin lens reflexes to large and bulky field cameras, handheld cameras, and even cameras disguised as pocket watches, hats, or other objects. The shortened exposure times that made candid photography possible also necessitated another innovation, the mechanical shutter. The very first shutters were separate accessories, though built-in shutters were common by the turn of the century.

In turn, the pictures taken by the camera will become a form of sketch book where by artist use it as blueprints for their art works. The development of photography as a medium was due to the demand of the masses for quick and transparent visuals as a source of information. The Second Boer War was a footnote in the development and perfection of photography before it was fully implemented in World War One and beyond.

Analysis

The Second Boer War was a struggle for Boer freedom and for the British it was to expand an Empire. If one to look between the lines there was a subtle difference between the previous war that was fought by the Crown. This difference was the vast information that hit major newspapers around the globe that were filled with illustrations as first then transforming into a distribution of photo prints till the end of the conflict.

There were some interesting known facts about the Second Boer which is open for debate. Yet instead of the British punishing the Boers for their defiance against the British Empire the Boers were give a considerable amount of financial aid to rebuild their nation. The Boers were allowed to serve government and unite all of South Africa under a single government. The actions of the British could be contributed to the Boers civilian population suffered almost 30,000 dead during the conflict. Plus there was growing popular discontent back in the United Kingdom and its Imperial dominion over the treatment of Boers civilians during the conflict.

Images played a crucial from the romanticized of a conflict by inspiring a nation during victories. But as soon the conflict was prolonged the people began to question its government. United Kingdom is a parliamentary government and as democracy it is prone to the pressure by its people. There were social illnesses in Victorian society which needed fixing but the officials decided to look outside its home island to expand and distract its populace from the troubles plaguing its nation. The advances made in the industrial revolution was spiraling down as other nations on the European continent like Germany seem to be progressing ahead in the industrialize world.

The freedom of the press played a role in the distribution of images and the decline of paintings in the form of illustrations for the general public. Most of Britain’s dominion at this time was literate and the interpretation of images was a key for discontent among its colonial subjects. The Second Boer War reminded the British public of the triumph of their military through art but it was the advancement of photography demonstrated the frailty of the British Empire. One should understand that the people of the British Empire do travel outside of their borders unless they are intellectuals, traders or soldiers. Thus their knowledge of the outside world is limited to what they read or hear or see. It is easy to control and manipulate the emotions and psychology of the British people prior to the Second Boer War.

The depiction in art of their enemies being killed by their triumphant army was replaced by women and children dying in British concentration camps were taking a toll on Britain’s government. The common British citizen began to think of the logic in expanding the Empire and the so-called eliminating the Boer threat to their Empire. Remember the British viewed themselves as civilized and those who were outside of their sphere of influence needed to be save by them.

Photos set the stage for future leaders to prevent the same social divided that plague the British administration during the Second Boer Wars. In order to build greater public support is to glorify one’s own military success by releasing nationalistic theme pictures. The value of photos and to a lesser extend paintings/illustrations is an important tool to for political survivability. This demonstrated to the British government and the rest of the world that the power of the media can sustain or diminish the popularity of politicians. The power of perception is a weapon that would aid a leader in sustaining his/her holds over the masses and rallying their support when a crisis arises.

One would also conclude that the people of United Kingdom did not question the image they saw in paintings hung from the walls of galleries. The objectivity of the evidence that the British were facing continuous defeated and hard earn victories during the Second Boer War never made it into the paintings. Since many men were from the slums of London and other British dominions were of lower classes serve in the South African Conflict were seen through photos in newspapers and magazines began to stir the public lack of support for the British conservative government. The power of images lies in the perceptions of the masses and their impact on a democratic government is crucial by influencing peace or warlike policy by a government.

Conclusion

The advances of photography changed the perception of society and revolutionize the power of media upon its audiences. It was during the Second Boer War that the experimentation of posters begun to take shape in order to increase recruitment in the British Dominion. In way the decline of paintings begun to evolve into an advertisement drive for troops but war poster will take shape in World War One
Art and War during the Second Boer War goes hand in hand with the struggle of Britain to maintain order within its Empire.

In order to maintain stability the British leadership needed a cause to unify its dominion which seems on the verge of disintegration. The Boer conflict was the answer for the early stages but as the war drag on it became a calling card for Britain’s dominions like Canada, New Zealand, and Australia to push for Independence. It was likely that Britain leaders had hope its people to support its army as they did during the Napoleonic Wars. The commission paintings of the glorification of the British military campaigns to reassure the sense of security among the populace would back fire with the introduction of photography.

The Boers took the political unrest back in Britain to legitimize their hold on South Africa by portraying themselves as a victim of British Imperial aggression. For the most part the Boers were right and receive aid from Britain and its foes and allies alike after the war. The Boers immortalize their legacy by collecting the numerous images, construction of sculptures and memorials around South Africa which continued to survive till this present day in age as reminder to the sacrifices made during the Second Boer War. The direct message that the Boers send to their rivals and the people of world was that they were in charge of the political, cultural, and national identity aspect of South Africa.

On a personal note, I do believe that British wanted to touch the emotional aspect of their subjects’ trough art but fail to comprehend that times have change. Photography pioneered the expression of humanity depth or essence which aided to the emotional package when viewed by the audience. Artists and Images of the Second Boer War: Its Advances, Interpretations, and Implications examine a new way in portraying battle art as an inspiration for future leaders to understand importance of visual technology and use it as a tool to unite a nation. It is through the lens of the past that enable one to change the future.

Bibliography

Published Primary Sources

St. Leger, S.E. War Sketches in Color. London: Adam & Charles Black, 1903

Stallman, R. W, and Hagemann, E. R, ed. The War Dispatched of Stephen Crane. New York: New York University Press, 1964.

Secondary Sources

Books

Attridge, Steve. Nationalism, Imperialism and Identity in late Victorian Culture: Civil and Military worlds. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003.

Barthrop, Michael. The Anglo-Boer wars: The British and the Afrikaners from 1815-1902, London: Blandford, 1987

Gooch, John, ed. The Boer War: Direction, Experience, and Image. London: Frank Cass, 2000.

Krebs, Paula M. Gender, Race, and the Writing of Empire: Public discourse and the Boer War. New York Cambridge University Press, 1999.

Meintjes, Johannes. The Anglo-Boer War, 1899-1902: A Pictorial History. Cape Town: Struik Company, 1976.

Internet Sources

Barnard, Hennie. The Concentration Camps 1899-1902, http://www.appiusforum.com/hellkamp.html (Accessed 16 October 2006)

Bio at Spartacus Educational Schoolnet. Lady Butler. http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/Jbutler.htm (Accessed 10 December 2006)

Emily Hobhouse, http://www.anglo-boer.co.za/emily.html (Accessed 21 November 2006)

History of Photography in Brighton, PART 6: ‘Dry Plate’ Photography (Last Updated 23 December 2002) http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/DSphotodry5E1.htm (Accessed 1 December 2006)

Kodak. History of Kodak: George Eastman http://www.kodak.com/US/en/corp/kodakHistory/eastmanTheMan.shtml (Accessed 31 October 2006)

Timeline Krone-Sammlung. Monckhoven, Désiré Charles Emanuel van http://www.knaw.nl/ECPA/sepia/exhibition/iapp/Glossary/M_02.htm (Accessed 28 November 2006)
Media

Zulu (1964). DVD. USA: MGM, 2003.

References

Cederlof, Olle, The Battle Painting as a Historical Source: An Inquiry into the Principles, Revue internationale d’histoire militaire, 7 (1), (1967), 119-144

Hale, John. Artists and Warfare in the Renaissance, New Haven and London, 1990.

Harrington, Peter. British Artists and War. The Face of Battle in Paintings and Prints, 1700-1914, London, Greenhill, 1993.

Kuspit, Donald B., Uncivil War, Artforum, (April 1983), 34-43

Paret, Peter. Imagined Battles. Reflections of War in European Art, Chapel Hill, UNC Press, 1997.

Perlmutter, David D. Visions of War. Picturing warfare from the stone age to the cyber age, New York, St. Martin’s, 1999.

Prendergast, Christopher. Napoleon and History Painting, Cambridge, CUP, 1996.

Silva, Anil de, and Otto von Simson (eds) Man Through His Art. Vol. 1. War and Peace (London, Educational Productions Ltd., 1963)

Further Readings

Attridge, Steve. Nationalism, Imperialism and Identity in late Victorian Culture: Civil and Military worlds. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003.

Crawford, John, and McGibbon, Ian, ed. One flag, One queen, One tongue: New Zealand, the British Empire, and the South African War, 1899-1902. Auckland: Auckland University Press, 2003.

Doyle, Arthur Conan. The Great Boer War. London: Smith & Elder, 1900.

Koss, Stephen E, ed. The Anatomy of an Antiwar Movement: The Pro-Boers. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1973.

Lehmann, Joseph H. The First Boer War. London: Blandford, 1972.

McCracken, Donal P. Forgotten Protest: Ireland and the Anglo-Boer War. Belfast: Ulster Historical Foundation, 2003.

Omissi, David, and Thompson, Andrew S, ed. The Impact of the South African War. New York: Palgrave, 2002.

Pakenham, Thomas. The Boer War. New York: Random House, 1979.

Price, Richard. An Imperial War and the British Working Class: Working Class attitudes and reactions to the Boer War, 1899-1902. London: Routledge & K. Paul, 1972.

Van Wyk Smith, Malvern. Drummer Hodge: The Poetry of the Anglo-Boer War, 1899-1902. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1978.

The Second Boer War: Afrikaners Strive for Freedom (A Historiographical Essay)

23 Oct

BY SIMON S. SUNDARAJ-KEUN

South Africa a land of natural and cultural beauty that is unique to the continent as a whole. Beauty can be deceiving as South Africa was once a place of misery and death. The Boer Wars were fought between the British, Afrikaners (Boers/Afrikaans), and Zulus for domination of South Africa. Ideology of freedom, imperialism, and expansionism was marred in blood in the name of the British Empire, Free United Afrikaner State, and a Zulu Homeland.

The main theme of the Second Boer War was Afrikaners struggle for freedom from British aggression. It placed the Afrikaner society and nation under psychological, economical, diplomatic, intellectual, political, and social stress. Military evolution in the Second Boer War took a turn from conventional to asymmetrical warfare. To understand the Second Boer War one has to look at the reasons behind the First Boer War that eventually led to another war. The influences of culture on the Boer Wars would have significant repercussion on South Africa national identity.

There were a number of books written on the Second Boer War but each of one tailored on a specific issue within the conflict but fewer on the First Boer War. The issue was to find legitimate sources which were kept in the National Archive in London. Other primary sources like journals, diaries, documents and newspapers were published and used by numerous authors. Basically the Second Boer War overshadowed the First Boer War and the immediate period between the two. The prelude to any major conflict is to understand the motivation for war.

Before one could indulge into the First Boer War one have to understand the motivation for the British to invade South Africa. The Anglo-Boer War: Why was it Fought? Who Was Responsible? edited by Theodore C. Caldwell contains multiple essays written by different authors. Theodore C. Caldwell main theme is to investigate the political, economical, and military reasoning behind the British invasion of South Africa. The book analyzes the potential South Africa would bring to the British Empire and solidify Britain’s possessions around the globe.

Caldwell’s book also analyzes the great African game played by England, France, and Germany to control the continent. The British fear was the lost of South Africa as potential colony would severely deteriorate Britain holding in Asia. Caldwell’s The Anglo-Boer War: Why was it Fought? Who Was Responsible? investigated the economical potential of South African minerals and resources would bring to the British Empire. The book has an excellent background story to elaborate on the key events that let to the outbreak of the Boer Wars. Most importantly the book explored the reasons behind British motivation after its defeat at the hands of the Afrikaners after the First Boer War. In turn the Afrikaans were determined to fight against the British in the Second Boer War due to Afrikaners victory in the First Boer War.

The First Boer War book written by Joseph Lehmann was an extensive historical account prior to, during, and after the war. Joseph Lehman thesis was to examine British aggression and the Afrikaners’ subsequent struggle for independence that changed the entire course of South African history. These two factors contributed directly to the outbreak of the Second Boer War and events that followed. Lehman’s study was to analyze the length, scope, and numbers of men involved in the first war which was generally ignored as a minor conflict.

Lehman’s book analyzes the economical value of South Africa as a land filled with untapped resources which led to the British occupation Afrikaans’ lands. The author elaborated on the Afrikaners journey from oppressive Europe to Africa in search of freedom. The First Boer War also discussed the Great Trek taken by the Boers into Zululand in order to escape British oppression. In turned the culture differences between the British and Boers began to take shape into a struggle of national identity.

The book comprehensively examines the British underestimation of the Afrikaner’s military potency. It also offered one of the best detailed descriptions on the Battle of Majuba Hill which sealed Afrikaners victory in the first war. Britain was conventionally superior but the Boers on the other hand very ingenious in battle tactics. Society was also Britain’s enemy because the lack of culture similarities led to distrust of the general populace on the British forces. Lehman analysis of the British failure was its lack of mobility, knowledge of the South Africa’s territory, lack of native population support, Zulus attack, overstretched garrisons, and arrogant leadership.

This book did a superb job in analyzing the First Boer War due to the fact that there were few books written on the war. Lehman’s bibliography with primary sources which contain memoirs, documents, journals, and diaries were very useful in accurately portraying the first war. The importance of this research was to point the main contributing factor to the Second Boer War was the First Boer War. The First Boer War contained the peace between the Boers and British but also set the stage for the Second Boer War. The analysis of the problems that arose after the First Boer War would eventually bring Britain and South Africa to war.

Ethnic identity was a contributing factor that ignited the Second Boer War. The term Afrikaner was a generative category given to identify groups of immigrants from Europe as a singular ethnicity. Afrikaners were primary Dutch and Northern German origin but also included Nordic, Irish, Flemish, Franken, and French immigrants who migrated prior to the Boer Wars. The Afrikaners language know as Afrikaans where primary a mixture of Dutch-German with some Nordic, Celt, Flemish, French and other European words. The Africans primary the Zulu was fighting both the British and Afrikaners for a territory of their own. The British was seen as outsiders and oppressors by both the Zulus and Afrikaans. The British under the notion of Anglo interest came to aid its settlers who were seen prosecuted by the Afrikaans.

The intermediate period between the two Boer Wars was a curial time in South African society which was filled with ethnic violence among British settlers, Boer farmers, and Zulu tribes. The used journals and diaries written by common individuals like Freda and Dr. Kay in Music of the Guns by John Henry May. The two journals in May’s book were of two different individuals from an opposite spectrum of a white society. Freda was a fourteen year old farm girl of Russian decent and Dr. Kay was a British physician living in a British settlement within Boer territory. The other book known as Sol Plaatje’s Mafeking Diary: a Black Man’s View of a White Man’s War edited by John Comaroff was about a black man’s third person perspective on the Second Boer War.

Music of the Guns by Henry John May was to analyzed the Second Boer War through the eyes of two different European individuals, gender, social and economical standing within South African society. The journals were written during the Second Boer War but the writers tend to reminisce on the problems prior to the second war. Freda first hand account on about her family’s survival on the outskirts of a city. Freda’s family was farmers and most general historian would categorize them as Boer sympathizers which were not true. The author wanted to show the reader in Freda words the emotions that plague her during the war. Dr. Kay’s journal in Music of the Guns was about his experience during the war. Dr. Kay mentioned extensively about the living conditions of a Boer’s siege and the emotions that was running high during and after the siege.

May’s book was an excellent work on commoners trying to survive the war. It showed the impact of war had on society from two different cultures and social background of a similar ethnicity. Music of the Guns also demonstrated the cruelty of the British in achieving total victory by the used of concentration camps to break the fighting spirit of the Boers. May did an excellent job in compiling the two journals together in order to paint an unbiased picture of a wartime society. May’s book may have done justice to one color of society but John Comaroff’s book will do justice to another color of society.

Sol Plaatje’s Mafeking Diary: a Black Man’s View of a White Man’s War was a diary written by Sol Plaatje a black man working as a map maker during the Second Boer War. The editor John Comaroff wanted to set history right by using Plaatje diary in retelling the story of the Siege of Mafeking through the eyes of a black man. The Black community in South Africa suffered an equal or worst fate than their Afrikaners counterpart during the two Boer Wars. Plaatje’s diary elaborated on life after the First Boer War in a British administrated territory which was claim with the signing of the peace treaty. The book analyzes that Blacks in South Africa wanted to be free along with their Boers counterpart but were stuck between two worlds that had no interest in Black freedom.

Sol Plaatje’s diary illustrated the community of Mafeking was a mix community of Blacks, Colored, and Boers but were under British administration. The Brits successful defended the siege by galvanizing the population to its side during the siege. It also discuss the British tactics in holding out against the Boers with limited resources and ammo until reinforce arrived. Plaatje’s diary explains a community united under the threat of destruction. The book did an excellent job in portraying a united community that existed during the Second Boer War and emphasizes that war was not black or white as seen by many. Sol Plaatje’s Mafeking Diary: a Black Man’s View of a White Man’s War demonstrated that the British had learned the lessons from the First Boer War and was ready to put an end to the second war.

South African politics were very chaotic due to the division of its lands between British occupied territories, the different Afrikaner fractions, and Zululand in between or around both warring forces. The Afrikaans President was Paul Kruger and he ruled South Africa for a couple of decades. To understand Afrikaners’ politics one should know Paul Kruger’s life because he shaped South Africa’s national identity. The Memoirs of Paul Kruger written by Paul Kruger himself was published in 1902 at the end of the war. The book was about his dedication in achieving a Free Afrikaner State. He portrayed himself as a common leader who was given the difficult task in defending a nation from an Empire.

The book analyzes Kruger’s political difficulty in forming an alliance between the various Afrikaners in order to from a united front. Kruger mentioned the political infighting for power sometimes delayed the Boer’s ineffectiveness to resist the British invasion. The Memoirs of Paul Kruger also extensively discussed the diplomatic challenges in obtaining weapons and support for the Boer’s military. Like Winston Churchill memoirs there were some biases within Kruger memoir because its human nature to talk about one’s greatness rather than one’s arrogance.

However Kruger’s book was excellent in portraying himself as a leader during both Boer Wars. The Memoirs of Paul Kruger also consist speeches made during Kruger’s presidency which reflected the psychological mindset of Afrikaans during wartime. The benefit of Paul Kruger memoirs was to give the inside scoop of Afrikaans’ politics, diplomacy, and military preparedness against a British onslaught. Kruger’s book was a great primary source but it should not be taken in entirety because there was no mention about any opposition to Kruger’s administration.

The Growth of Boer Opposition to Kruger 1890-1895 by C. T. Gordon who analyzes Kruger’s rival Commandant-General P. J. Joubert and the opposition party know as Progressive. C. T. Gordon’s main theme of this book’s investigation was an attempt to trace the emergence of an active opposition among the burghers of the South African Republic towards Kruger’s administration. Gordon analyzed the policies that drew criticism from the general population and the main grounds for the growth of opposition to the regime were.

Gordon analyzed the self-style Progressive party that emerged under the nominal leadership of P. J. Joubert. The book also examines the close election results of 1893 which resulted in Kruger’s victory but many opposition supporters believed that P. J. Joubert was the true victor. It also emphasized on the issues and debates that propelled the Progressive party into South African politics. The author did an excellent job in portraying the ideas, action, and political planning done by the Progressive party to challenge Kruger’s regime. The author mentioned that it all changed with the arrival of British forces which unified the South African political fragmentation. The Growth of Boer Opposition to Kruger 1890-1895 analyzed the possibility of South African politics to be left alone if the British did not invade. This book by Gordon paints a different picture on the political instability in South Africa prior to the Second Boer War. The fact remains that the British invaded Afrikaners’ land and this action resulted into a total war between the opposing forces.

In the Second Boer War the Boers were at a disadvantage in numbers and weapons because the British forces with lessons learn from the First Boer War were ready. The British decided to enforce prison camps for Prisoners of War (POW) and to avoid Boers to regroup once defeated. Letters from a Boer parsonage: Letters of Margret Marquard during the Boer War edited by Leo Marquard that elaborates the harsh life of a POW camp by examining Margret Marquard letters during the war. Margret Marquard letters were instrumental in analyzing the social dilemmas faced during war. Leo Marquard examine the emotional roller-coaster ride of Margret Marquard with her correspondences with her husband during combat and then eventual imprisonment.

The book also touches on battle tactics in which Margret’s husband wrote in his letters and later as a POW on the inefficiency of a British POW camp to accommodate prisoners. Letters from a Boer parsonage: Letters of Margret Marquard during the Boer War also elaborates on letters between Margret and her relatives during the conflict. Margret Marquard expressed in her letters on the impact of the Second Boer War on the lives of Boers similar to her class status. It paints the image of war from a social and psychological perspective. The letters by Margret Marquard elaborated the harsh reality and trauma of war could do love to ones behind the front-lines.

Furthermore the harsh reality of war may impact on the lives on people trap in conflict zones or behind a front-line but none who be heavily affected by than those that fought in it. The British in the Second Boer War were conventionally superior and wipe out all that the Boers could muster on the battlefield. It was the one thing the British did not have and it was the support of the population. The Afrikaners changed tactics by dispersing into the bush and declared guerrilla warfare. Commando: A Boer Journal of the Boer War by Colonel Deneys Reitz and edited by Francis William Reitz. Francis William Reitz main theme was to examine the life of a guerrilla fighter through the eyes of his father, Colonel Reitz.

The book does not discuses extensively on the British and Boers tactics during the first half of Second Boer War. Francis William Reitz’s also wrote on life in South Africa and his relationship with his father prior to the Second Boer War at the beginning of the book. The journal also elaborated on the social background of soldiers similar to Colonel Reitz that fought during the war. Colonel Reitz’s journal elaborated on an individual prerogative when the Boers decided to conduct commando operations against the British. The emphasis on life and survival was an important theme of the book when Boer commandos engaged the British forces in combat.

Commando: A Boer Journal of the Boer War portrayed an accurate account in Colonel Deneys Reitz words on the atrocities committed by both the British and Boers during the war. The books also mentioned about British adaptability to counter Boers’ commando operations and the depletion of supplies that would eventually forced Afrikaans ultimate surrender. This book edited Francis William Rietz was great in understanding the psychological, social, and emotional struggle faced by the Boer commandos during the war.

British successes against the Boer commandos were its ability to cut the Boers support foundation. Introduction of concentration camps within Boer population centers was the key of British victory. The concentration camps in South Africa shaped the war but it reshaped the psyche of South Africa as a nation. The Anglo-Boer Wars by Michael Barthorp main theme was to examine the adaptability of British military tactics in South Africa. Michael Barthrop investigates British failure in the First Boer War and elaborates on the Britain’s ability to learn and overcome in the Second Boer War. The book investigated that failure in the First Boer War was the failure to pacify the civilian population who were aiding the Afrikaners military.

Barthorp’s book analyzes a wide range of tactical change within the British military before the start and during the Second Boer War. The book also mentioned to the development of concentration camps solely for the Afrikaners women and children. It was to break the will of the Boer Commandos and keep the populace from offering aid to the enemy. The effectiveness of the camps played a role in contributing to the surrender of the Boers but it caused the deaths of thousands of civilian. The advancement in tactics that the British brought was a horse riflemen from Australia to counter Boer raids and the installment of fortified gun boxes to entrap enemy forces. The Anglo-Boer Wars contains numerous resources materials that painted a deeper picture on the British methodical strategy in winning the Second Boer War.

There was international involvement in the Second Boer War. The British Empire poured troops from all over the Commonwealth to fight against the Boers but also the Zulus. The Boer War: Direction, Experience, and Image edited by John Gooch written by multiple authors that investigates the war from different perspectives. The essays in the book analyze the war from the political, war journalists, foreign nationals, and even photographers perspectives. The book’s theme was to examine the implication of the Second Boer from a Commonwealth perspective but excluding the English and Boers viewpoints. The book investigates the Irish support for the Boers and the implication of the Irish action. It also mentioned about the Zulus which was very helpful in painting the third player in the Boer War. The social and political implication of the Second Boer had on Commonwealth nations were explored extensively.

The book also analyzes the implication of Australian and Scottish troops involving in the Second Boer War. Those two nation’s military had a different way of engaging the Boers which were very successful. The Boer War: Direction, Experience, and Image was a great book because it expands the Second Boer War as an international conflict that involved many nations within the Commonwealth. It could be considered as a joined Commonwealth military operation in suppressing the Boers resistance.

Basically, Gooch’s book contains a lot of primary and secondary sources from various authors which will be useful in further researching the different nations involve in the conflict. This book also explained the Boers defeat briefly. Why the Boers Lost the War written by Leopold Scholtz explained the defeat in detail that the Boers were outnumbered in manpower and resources. The main theme of this was to investigate comprehensively on the reasons behind the defeat of the Boers in the Second Boer War. Scholtz book was heavy influence by Richard Overy’s Why the Allies Won.
The book analyzes the Boers failure to conceptualize the problems in taking on an Empire. Scholtz basically claimed that the Boers were doom from the start of the Second Boer War. The author begins the book by stating the strategic importance of the Boers Republic to the British Empire. British tactics in the first part of the war was horrible and gave the Boers victory after victory. The book analyzes British resolve by employing new tactics by using flanking maneuvers and pacifying enemy population centers.

Scholtz emphasizes on the logistical ability of the British to used trains and built railway tracks to speed up its forces mobility. The British also dominated the ocean around Africa’s Southern peninsula. The author also elaborates on the tactical changed from conventional to asymmetrical by the Boers during the war which were effective briefly. The reason was the British adopted the box system and through thousands of Boers family into concentration camps. Scholtz’s argues that the British had abundant supply of fresh troops pouring from the Commonwealth and the Boers lost their support base.

Why the Boers Lost the War is an excellent book on the reasons behind the Boers surrender and the importance of using an overwhelming force in quelling a rebellious populace. The research will not base solely on the military aspect of the Second Boer War but a combination of events occurring in South Africa during the war. It is important to note that the numerous authors discuss in this essay had their own unique and insightful notion about the Boer War. As a whole the focus of this research will be using those great ideas to draw a hypothesis on the reasons behind the Second Boer War.

The Second Boer War: Afrikaners Strive for Freedom is an intriguing topic because there are not many books out in the market that concisely analyzes the issue from its infancy till its aftermath. This research will cover the historical background that motivated the British to invade South Africa twice and to examine the impact of war on society. In order to completely a successful research one must look at the political, social, economical, intellectual, and diplomacy prior, during, and after the Second Boer War. The importance of military development from a conventional to unconventional force during this war would change the norm of future military engagement.

Finally, it takes one to press hard questions to get the right answers. South Africa national identity was significantly influenced by the Boer Wars with a firm emphasis on the Second Boer War. The sun may never set on the British Empire but South Africa Republic will never stop bleeding.

Bibliography

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Articles

Corp, Edward T. “Sir Charles Hardinge and the Question of Intervention in the Boer War: An Episode in the Rise of Anti German Feeling in the British Foreign Office.” The Journal of Modern History Vol. 51, No. 2, On Demand Supplement (June 1979): D1071-D1084. (Assessed JSTOR on 5 May 2006)

Cosgrove, Richard A. “The Boer War and the Modernization of British Martial Law.” Military Affairs Vol. 44, No. 3, (Oct 1980): 124-127. (Assessed JSTOR on 5 May 2006)

Dupuy, R. Ernest. “The Nature of Guerilla Warfare.” Pacific Affairs Vol. 12, No. 2, (June 1939): 138-148. (Assessed JSTOR on 5 May 2006)

Nasson, Bill. “Waging Total War in South Africa: Some Centenary Writing on the Anglo Boer War, 1899-1902.” The Journal of Military History 66 (July 2002): 813-828. (Assessed JSTOR on 5 May 2006)

Travers, T.H.E. “Technology, Tactics, and Morale: Jean de Bloch, the Boer War, and British Military Theory, 1900-1914.” The Journal of Modern History Vol.51, No.2, Technology and War (Jun 1979), 264-286. (Assessed JSTOR on 5 May 2006)

Internet Sources

Anglo Boer War Museum. http://www.anglo-boer.co.za/ “Dedicated to the Boer War from the South African perspective” (Last Accessed 5 May 2006)

National UK Archives. http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/pathways/census/events/britain7.htm “Britain in the World: Events in 1901: Methods of Barbarism?” (Last Accessed 5 May 2006)

The Boer War: South Africa (1899-1902). http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Acropolis/8141/boerwar.html. “Dedicated to valuable information and research on the Boer War” (Last Accessed 5 May 2006)

The Canadian Letters and Images Project. http://www.canadianletters.ca/ “Dedicated to collecting letters and images form every Canadian war” (Last Accessed 5 May 2006)

Media

Breaker Morant (1980). DVD, Australia: Fox Lorber, 1997.

Zulu (1964). DVD. USA: MGM, 2003.

Zulu Dawn (1979). DVD, USA: Tango Entertainment, 2005.

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