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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Local Imperatives and Imperial Policy: The Sources of Lord Carnarvon's South African Confederation Policy
Author:Cope, R.L.
Periodical:International Journal of African Historical Studies
Geographic terms:South Africa
Great Britain
History and Exploration
Ethnic and Race Relations
Abstract:In the 1870s Lord Carnarvon, the British secretary of state for the colonies, attempted to unite the colonies and republics of South Africa into a 'self-governing' (that is, settler-governed) dominion under the British flag. This article is concerned principally with Carnarvon's motives. The explanation of Carnarvon's confederation policy which is most plausible and best supported by the evidence is that initially it was intended to strengthen white rule and to settle the diamond field dispute, by rendering existing boundaries merely internal. But there were also broader imperial as well as local reasons for confederation. Carnarvon believed the consolidation of the empire was necessary to strengthen Britain's position in the world, and that South African confederation was a step in this direction. More particularly, he believed that a self-governing dominion would be a means of keeping African territory open to British trade and enterprise in a period when foreign intrusion threatened but annexation and direct British rule was still unpopular. Notes, ref.