To what extent did the Boer War mark the decisive change in Britain's control over its empire in the years 1870 to 1980?

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To what extent did the Boer War mark the decisive change in Britain’s control over its empire in the years 1870 to 1980?

The Boer War did mark a change in Britain’s control over its and empire and it could be seen as one of the first signs that the empire was beginning to weaken. however, it did not mark the decisive change in the strength of the empire and in my opinion there were other events, such as the First World War and the Suez Crisis that were equally if not more important. I think the that the even that marked the most decisive and most important change in Britain’s control over its empire was the Second World War, due to the huge changes that came about because of it, most notably its reduction in status from the world superpower to the weakest of the ‘big three’, and the loss of some of its most important colonies such as India.

The Boer War in 1899 produced one of the earliest signs of anti-imperialism from the colonial people. Seeing how hard the Boers were prepared to fight British rule and the appalling treatment of the Boers by the British, some people in England in England because to lost support for the empire and question whether it could be morally justified. In the rest of the world also, Britain’s empire was seen in a new way and its morality as a world power was questioned. Until the war, Britain had shown little trouble defeating any colonial uprisings but the war began to show that they were not as strong as they had appeared – the amount of men, resources and effort that had to be put into the war shows Britain’s weaknesses and suggested that it might one day be possible to defeat the British.

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However, even after the war, Britain’s empire remained strong. While the attitudes of some British people had changed, the majority either still supported or had no strong feelings about the empire. The empire also continued to grow after the war and certainly no colonies were lost as a result. ON the whole, the British empire was somewhat shaken by the Boer War, but in general it remained strong and stable and in no immediate danger of collapse.

The next significant even to an impact on Britain’s control of the empire, was the First World War of 1914-1918. This ...

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