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|Title:||Teaching Empire: British and Dominions Women Teachers in the South African War Concentration Camps|
|Publisher:||Oxford University Press (OUP)|
|Citation:||English Historical Review, 2005, 120 (489), pp.1316-1347|
|Abstract:||At the height of the South African War (1899-1902) three hundred women teachers from Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand were recruited to work in the concentration camps set up by the British to hold Boer women and children. Existing historiography on the popular response to this imperial war in Britain and the ‘white dominions’ largely ignores women, though the war had a powerful politicising effect on both imperialist and anti-imperialist women. This article explores the attitudes of the thousands of predominantly lower-middle-class women who applied to teach in the camps and finds that, rather than being motivated by ‘pure patriotism’ (in Richard Price's words) they were equally impelled by desire for travel, adventure, and better career prospects and pay. For many these ambitions were realised in the camps, where the success of the schools raised temporary, if delusive, hopes that education could make the former Boer republics ‘British in one generation’. For the dominions teachers their experiences in South Africa both confirmed feelings of ‘Britishness’ and reinforced a growing sense of colonial nationalism. The article concludes by suggesting the value of gender history in considering the impact of the South African War on British and colonial society.|
|Appears in Collections:||Published Articles, School of Historical Studies|
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