Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Title: Teaching Empire: British and Dominions Women Teachers in the South African War Concentration Camps
Authors: Riedi, Eliza
First Published: Dec-2005
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.
DOI Link: 10.1093/ehr/cei333
ISSN: 0013-8266
eISSN: 1477-4534
Type: Article
Appears in Collections:Published Articles, School of Historical Studies

Files in This Item:
There are no files associated with this item.

Items in LRA are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.