We must find new lands from which we can easily obtain raw materials and at the same time exploit the cheap slave labor that is available from the natives of the colonies. The colonies would also provide a dumping ground for the surplus goods produced in our factories… Cecil Rhodes


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Fuelling the empire: South Africa’s gold and the road to war Chichester, England; Hoboken, NJ : Wiley, 2003 John J. Stephens Gold mines and mining South Africa History 19th century Hardcover. 1st. ed. xix, 324 p.: ill.; 23 cm. Includes bibliographical references (p. 315-317) and index. Clean, tight and strong binding with clean dust jacket. No highlighting, underlining or marginalia in text. VG/VG  

Big guns of H.M.S. "MONARCH" and "DORIS" - resting on the march to Boenfontein, S.A.

Big guns of H.M.S. “MONARCH” and “DORIS” – resting on the march to Boenfontein, S.A.

What makes a country go to war? At what stage in that sequence of events, of action and reaction, bluff and brinkmanship does war become unavoidable? The South African War was the first large-scale human tragedy of the twentieth century – the prelude to a century that was to be characterised by such large-scale and avoidable tragedy.

Royal Munster Fusiliers fighting from behind the redoubt at Honey Nest Kloof, South Africa. Feb. 16, 1900

Royal Munster Fusiliers fighting from behind the redoubt at Honey Nest Kloof, South Africa. Feb. 16, 1900

The cost in human, environmental and financial terms was colossal. Approximately 60,000 men women and children were killed from countries that not only included Britain and South Africa, but also France, the USA, Australia, New Zealand and Canada. Moreover, the peace terms that allowed for the continuation of discriminatory racial policies set the stage for a century of racial inequality and strife in South Africa.

Where the sick and wounded British soldiers are cared for - interior of the Raadzaal, Bloemfontein, South Africa

Where the sick and wounded British soldiers are cared for – interior of the Raadzaal, Bloemfontein, South Africa

In this work, South African author, John Stephens, considers the slide to a war that nobody wanted. This is a story of the shaping of South Africa. It is also a universal story: one of pride, greed and fear – of humans behaving in a very human way.

A company of Boer soldiers--prisoners of war in Simons Town, South Africa

A company of Boer soldiers–prisoners of war in Simons Town, South Africa

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