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Do You Agree with the Suggestion of Source F That There Was Overwhelming Support for the Boer War from 1899 to 1902?

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As with any war there was both support and opposition during 1899 and 1902. The events that occurred over these three years would have continued to change public opinions, the relief of Mafeking, Ladysmith and Kimberley would have brought with it national pride and support whereas, events like Black Week would have left people wondering what The British Army were doing. The Boer War was the 'First Media War' meaning stories were published in many different newspapers of the times for example, The Times and Daily Mail, these may have influenced people's opinion with sensationalised stories. The media played a huge role in whether people supported or opposed the Boer War combined with social class and geographical location.

Source G says "church bells were rung, flags were flown, school children were given a half day of school" when Mafeking was relived by Buller. Also 'young ladies of Newnham College, Cambridge danced and sang round a Bonfire' this shows the widespread celebrations from young school children to young ladies and stock exchange workers who supported the Boer War. Even well educated working class people took the time to celebrate the success. The overwhelming support shown in Source G was also shown in source I 'by 8 o'clock the hall was jammed full with seven thousand people, the great majority of whom were waving union jacks, blowing trumpets or whistles, bellowing, chanting and singing' the waving of the union jacks and the sheer amount of people who turned up shows the huge amount of pride these people had for their nation. They wanted to fight for what they believed in.

However there are also people and events that challenge the view of overwhelming support. 'finer, godlier men than those we are fighting for' from a speech from David Lloyd George. This shows he opposed The Boer because of who the army were fighting for, Lloyd George was known as Pro-Boer. Going on to say 'We have had to put a hundred thousand men in the field...to crush a hundred thousand men, women and children' This also shows he disapproves of the way the war was being fought and that maybe the women and children shouldn't have been involved and didn't need to die. Source I however, is written about Lloyd George's experience in Birmingham town hall. Birmingham was Joseph Chamberlaim's political base and stronghold, the Boer war as often referred to as 'Joe's war' so the fact that Llloyd George went there shows he was trying to provoke a reaction with his anti-war rally. A reaction to what he was saying good or bad would have helped him get the attention he wanted. He was trying to force his views on others and show that The Boer War was wrong.

It is clear whether the sources support or oppose the war but who wrote them and why they were written needs to be considered in order to understand how fully they can

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