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In the period to 1902, Cecil Rhodes and Joseph Chamberlain did more harm than good to the British Empire. How for do you agree with this statement?

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Introduction

In the period to 1902, Cecil Rhodes and Joseph Chamberlain did more harm than good to the British Empire. How for do you agree with this statement? Joseph Chamberlain was a radically-minded Liberal Party member, and he became leader of the Liberal Unionists and in 1886 he formed an alliance with the Conservative Party. As a result, in 1895, Chamberlain was given the post of Colonial Secretary, in Salisbury's Government. He seized the opportunity to execute his imperial vision. However, now he had a wider canvas, on which he might create a closer union between the colonies and Britain, welding together the occupied territories to create 'an empire greater and more potent for peace than any that history has yet known'. Cecil Rhodes was the prime-minister of the Cape Colony, who created the British South Africa Company that was aimed to enable colonisation and economic exploitation across much of South and Central Africa. Rhodes was a gay figure in pressing for the extension of British control in South Africa with his prime aim being to extend British power from 'Cape to Cairo'. ...read more.

Middle

Therefore, from analysing the factors above, it is clear to say that Joseph Chamberlain did more good than harm to the British Empire. However, there are also factors that suggest Chamberlain did more harm than good to the British Empire. The most prominent factor that suggests this is the Jameson Raid. Chamberlain supported the raid completely as he knew it would be a step further in to the expansion of the British Empire from 'Cape to Cairo'. However, its outcome was far from what Chamberlain had expected. It turned out to be a complete failure and embarrassment for Britain. This ultimately harmed the British Empire as it lost a great amount of prestige from the outcome of the event and halted the process of forming a colony of the whole of South Africa, that inevitably led to the Boer War. Therefore, it is evident that Joseph Chamberlain did more harm than good to the British Empire. ...read more.

Conclusion

Inhumane strategies such as imprisoning the Boers within concentration camps were used by Rhodes' company. This consequently had a significant effect on the British Empire as it was seen as an embarrassment and a disgraceful act by the British military. Therefore, it is evident that Cecil Rhodes did more harm than good to the British Empire. In conclusion, from analysing the factors of both men above, it is clear to say that overall, Joseph Chamberlain and Cecil Rhodes, both as a whole, were more beneficial than harmful to the British Empire. Although the British Empire's prestige was affected badly due to the embarrassment and lack of military skill in the Jameson Raid and the Boer War, both men contributed significantly to increasing the British Empire territory and control in the Southern and Central parts of Africa. With the key aim of the British Empire being to control several parts of Africa to increase British influence and trade, Chamberlain and Rhodes contributed enormously, and pushed the British Empire a step closer to achieving their aim. + ...read more.

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