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How High Above Frere Does It Go ?
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Crealock, Chelmsford, Frere we know of, but how much higher does Isandlwana go ?

Note - this is not about anyone discussed in detail, but those not talked about.

This is just an attempt to go beyond the 'usual suspects' if there are any.

A talking point or dead end ?

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PS. is there anyone less talked about or untalked about, involved directly or indirectly in Isandlwana or its aftermath, that can get a new topic going ?
Peter Ewart


Joined: 31 Aug 2005
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You mean Hicks Beach or Beaconsfield presumably, Coll?

How about Mnyamana Buthelezi or Ntshingwayo kaMahole?

Causes? Underlying factors? Individuals "higher up" than Frere? How far are you asking us to go back? The governments and "establishments" of Zululand, Natal & GB all had various individuals pulling in this direction or that at different times. It is perfectly possible that had one or more of these been either more or less successful in their persuasive powers, the events leading to Isandlwana may never have developed. But one could play that game with any event in history.

Sihayo kaXongo Ngobese? Hamu kaNzibe? Remember those fierce debates in Cetshwayo's government as to the appropriate response to the ultimatum. Shepstone? Or Bulwer? Pine, Wolseley or Colenso? Carnarvon? Whose idea was it to replace Cunynghame? There's a likely scapegoat, surely! What bred the over confidence? Centane? Must be Glyn's or Upcher's fault then. Then again, if the buck stops higher up, what about the Duke of Cambridge? That would be harsh, surely.

And who on earth decided to send Durnford back to S Africa? He must have rued the decision. Oops!

Peter
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Hello Peter

Any and all.

It'd be great to have those more wise-in-the-knowledge of the lesser known, or at least, less debated areas/people connected with the events of 1879.

Away from all the regular discussions on the well-knowns, incl. D.

Go back as far as deemed important and go as high up the scale way beyond Frere as need be, as a good marathon topic might stem from it, as well as letting us explore these other aspects in-depth through those who have studied them closely, but may have been overlooked by most others.

If anything, it might get some debate going.

Can but try - and God loves a trier ! Wink

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Julian whybra


Joined: 03 Sep 2005
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Carnarvon has much to answer for as does Froude in his own way. Funnily enough, I'm including an article on their involvement in the next Studies in the Zulu War. Are you a mind-reader too, Coll?
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Julian

Mindreader ? - I knew you were going to say that Wink

Carnarvon and Froude ?

Looks like I'll be getting your next Studies In The Zulu War, once I get round to obtaining the first.

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Peter Ewart


Joined: 31 Aug 2005
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It would be interesting to discuss Froude's role (a bull in a china shop?) and how much, if at all, Carnarvon was influenced by his report(s). To me, he seems a remarkable (that is, remarkably inappropriate) choice for the task set him, even though he had just been there when he was sent straight back out, this time officially. Perhaps he was right or perhaps he set things back by putting everyone's back up? Quite apart from Molteno & the Cape, to go about his controversial business at exactly the time of the "responsible government" row in Natal after the Langalibalele affair and the Pine/Shepstone/Colenso row, would always cause additional problems. Disraeli certainly thought both Carnarvon & Froude were hopeless.

Years later he gave us that famous verdict on Durnford, so Isandlwana must have hung heavily with him - or was he referring to Bushman's River Pass? He was certainly a critic of the AZW. Is it known, incidentally, exactly where he met Durnford? I assume in Natal in 1874/5. I once tried to pin down his exact journey through Natal as he may have gone through Estcourt (which is where he presumably met Durnford if it wasn't in PMB) and possibly made the acquaintance of Rev Geo Smith.

Why Froude was chosen - other than because of his personal connections - is the baffling point. One may as well have sent John Richard Green (who, incidentally, did know Smith very well!)

Peter
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Julian whybra


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Peter
Why Froude? Well, historian, biographer, Fraser's Magazine editor, political commentator and moved in the right circles...I suspect because he HAD just been out there and seemed to be the man in the know.
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I pick up another batch of the book this Wednesday - so some will be sent to Bill that day. He should have them by Fri.
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Peter Ewart


Joined: 31 Aug 2005
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Julian

And JRG - historian, Saturday Review journalist, social & educational commentator, fearless critic and - unlike Froude - not a failed clergyman. Moved in some of the right circles. Certainly not qualified to be Carnarvon's expert on SA, even if he had been on a recce - but it helps to highlight Froude's unsuitability for the role, perhaps?

Peter
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Whilst looking in my own amateur way of adding to this topic, I ventured across the term 'Indirect Rule', and though not necessarily directly connected to the Anglo-Zulu War 1879, the name Frederick Lugard, 1st Baron Lugard, cropped up, who later wrote in 1922 'The Dual Mandate In British Tropical Africa'.

Now, as very much a naïve amateur, I don't know if the issues leading up to the AZW and Isandlwana, are somehow connected to the views of this (controversial?) man, but thought I'd put his name and book into the mix.

Additionally, if his views, albeit his own, represented the thinking, by some, if not all at the time of 1879, should his name and ideals be included in this topic ?

Further to the above, if this post, man, book has no connection, even indirectly to the topic subject, I'll understand, as I know nothing of him nor his opinions beyond his name arising during my net search.

However, if he is interesting/controversial enough to be discussed, I'd appreciate any known info by those who have studied him, to be included in the Off Topic section, as now that I'm aware of him, I need to know more details, beyond Wikipedia.

Many thanks in advance

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PS. Peter - JRG ?
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Additionally -

To clarify matters, what is the difference between Indirect Rule and Confederation ? Are some aspects similar or are they entirely different ?

This question is just to prevent the topic becoming confusing, for myself as well as any others.

Thanks

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Note - Please excuse my ignorance on these matters Rolling Eyes
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Not sure if my last two posts were connected, or just killed the topic Confused

I was hoping to encourage at least one additional post per day.

Going back to one every few days, or per week doesn't hold attention. Sad

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Peter Ewart


Joined: 31 Aug 2005
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Location: Near Canterbury, Kent, England.
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It’s simply a matter of finding the time though, Coll. It’s not always possible to come back straight away, or at least to contribute in any form that’s a bit more than a sound bite. Meanwhile, while you’re waiting for someone to come back to follow up on a point, hopefully you are scouring your own collection to see if some work covers the relevant point? Failing that, the internet contains many sites which would help you along the way meanwhile.

JRG – John Richard Green, as per my Trafalgar Day post. What follows will have to be regarded as very general – there are always exceptions to everything, especially in S African history!

Federation, Direct Rule, Responsible Government - all terms you’ll come across regularly in the 19th century history of S Africa, especially with regard to Cape Colony, Natal, the OFS and ZAR. What do they all mean, exactly? Did they – even in those times - know? Or did they all, at least, agree on what they thought the terms meant? No – they didn’t! Depends on which colony, depends on which period. So you’re no more all at sea than many were then and others probably are now. As you’ve already recognised, Coll, one can’t even begin to understand the coming of the AZW (& Isandlwana) without having an understanding – or at least a rough idea – of the history of southern Africa up to that point. I’m assuming you have a modicum of knowledge on all that, but your own collection and your access to the net will take you a long way. Just as interesting, of course, is what effect the AZW (including Isandlwana) had on southern Africa afterwards - the colonies and the African-ruled states, as well as on GB and its Empire, but especially on the Zulu, who were affected most.
While you are reading up on the development & history of all southern Africa, keep a good map by your elbow all the time. Look at the Cape from the time the Dutch arrived; their gradual incursions against the people they found there; the Batavian republic; the coming of the British; the Great Trek into the interior; the huge expansion of Cape Colony; the nine Frontier Wars between the British & the various Xhosa people; the inexorable loss of land and rights of the latter; the eventual absorption of what became known as British Kaffraria, Adam Kok’s Griquas, Pondoland, etc etc. Then remember the sheer scale of that vast area of territory (You could lose Scotland there and never find it again!) Read Keith Smith’s last two or three books for these developments, Coll.

And that’s just Cape Colony, which was run by a Governor sent from GB, depending largely on a few British regiments - when he could get them - and mounted forces of Dutch & British stock. They eventually acquired a parliament and, before the AZW, a PM - and wanted to run their own show just a little bit before London was ready to allow them. Away to the north of the Colony, much of the interior was now occupied by Dutch/Boer farmers – poor, primitive and, even between themselves, difficult to govern or even to organise, but each farm or community needing enormous tracts of land, and most of them not necessarily particularly amenable to either Briton or African! (Remember, I generalise). They’d had plenty of spats with Briton, Zulu, Basuto, Barolong, Pedi & Swazi by the 1870s – much of it over the acquisition of grazing land or the defence of territory they’d already appropriated or negotiated (or thought they’d negotiated). They had rudimentary governments but no money & no seaport and, like Cape Colony, their small white population lived among or adjacent to a much larger African one. You can imagine, Coll, what they thought of the suggestion of Federation under the British flag, direct rule or not. Between these two Boer Republics was an African state created earlier in the century by, probably, the greatest leader in southern Africa of the 19th century – Moshoeshoe’s Basutoland. In that mountain fastness he had kept Briton, Boer and other Africans at arm’s length for decades with a mixture of bloodshed, determination and brilliant diplomacy. The Basutos hoped to keep what they had left – they already had “home rule” and an “understanding” with the Cape Colony. So Federation wasn’t for them either! To their east and well below them under the Drakensberg and all the way to the sea was the British colony of Natal, an area criss-crossed by all races & tribes during the previous few decades, but eventually prised away from the Boer (who had previously prised it away from the Zulu) by the British. A curious arrangement devised by Shepstone (an almost self-appointed Native Affairs overseer who continued “in office” under a succession of governors) administered a system designed to control the huge African majority, many of these different tribes having settled in Natal after flight from other parts, including Zululand, and continuing to live according to traditional customs. Both their land and their potential labour was eyed enviously by the burgeoning white population, already boosted by emigration schemes from GB. The 1870s was a turbulent time for this young colony, with rows between GB and the governor & Shepstone, mostly over native welfare following the crisis arising from Shepstone’ s cynical provocation, hounding & punishment of Langalibalele & the atrocities by the colonists which followed. “Responsible government” & “home rule” was suddenly right off the agenda as far as London was concerned, to the fury of the colonists who – as ever – saw nothing but interference on the part of London (perhaps forgetting this was a colony, like many others in Africa, that GB had never wanted in the first place!) They were to go through the whole farce again in 1906, when further atrocities & their vicious aftermath left London exasperated at a time when “responsible government” would also be on the agenda again. For the colonists’ viewpoint on all this, just see everything in reverse.

To the north-east, the independent kingdom of Zululand intended to keep what it had and watched its Transvaal border carefully, although not always in control of the actions of the more far flung chiefs. Perhaps Shepstone thought his farce of 1873 actually meant something to the Zulu king, perhaps he didn’t. The king had his spies in all neighbouring countries and was usually well informed but no-one asked him if he was in favour of Federation. Ditto the Swazis further north, where land was being parcelled out in concessions to whites, and certainly no-one asked Sekukhuni what he thought either. Into all this wandered (blundered?) Froude, testing the water as he travelled between colonies and often going beyond his remit, thereby unnecessarily putting the backs up of colonists & their leaders, who smelt a rat that may have been there or may not. What was in store for them? Independence? Responsibility? Vulnerablility? Bankruptcy? What would be their relations with GB – and with each other? Which colony or state would gain & which would lose? What had already been decided without their approval? Who could they believe? Carnarvon? Froude? Or Frere, when he arrived? And what about trade? Each colony had its impecunious problems and GB hadn’t really wanted to know for a long time. But now emigrants were pouring into Durban and racing north for gold or diamonds. The Boers would soon be outnumbered in their own lands if this continued & the (British) emigrants would one day want political representation anyway. (Froude actually came up with some radical ideas, including washing our hands of much of S Africa ). Mention of Carnarvon always brings up the topic of Canada but that blueprint could hardly be repeated in S Africa – the conditions were completely different and perhaps everyone saw that. Federation of a different sort was still some way off for Australia and Frere’s experience was entirely in India (and a bit in Zanzibar – so how far north would he be thinking of for this Federation?)

For a while, not much got further than these questions & problems, Coll. There was much that nobody understood or could predict. Arguments galore followed between politicians and between the colonies & GB, not counting between the colonies themselves. Differences emerged or continued between Natal/GB & the Transvaal (leading to annexation); between Transvaal & Zululand; between Frere & Zululand; between Frere & Sekukhuni, etc. Frere & Chelmsford finally finished off the war down south with Sandile & moved against Cetshwayo, leading to Isandlwana, which gave a boost to both Boer and African. After Ulundi, war now followed very rapidly against Basuto, Pedi & Boer - when the urgent problem was meant to be in Afghanistan all along! And before long, war with Bechuana, Zulu (again) & Ndebele would follow too, but for the time being Federation was “dead in the water” as we’d say today and Frere was ditched. Zululand was not annexed, the Transvaal was lost (or given back), the status of Natal, then Zululand, then Natal incorporating Zululand, changed vis-a-vis GB several times before the Union of 1910, the Zulu losing out each time, the Natal government reneging on solemn guarantees regarding land ownership. Less than a generation after Frere’s time, Rhodes and Jameson had their fun, with the conflagration of 1899-1902 and the Union of 1910 following quickly afterwards.

All these tragedies might have been averted if the 1870s had turned out differently. Still, that’s history, as they say. This is only a very general and brief skim through the period, Coll, off the top of my head and as quickly as I can type but with your question on Federation/Direct Rule/Responsible Government in mind, with much left out, obviously. But hopefully fairly balanced. There is much more to it – get reading Coll!

More to the point, is the length of this interminable post a record?

Peter
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Wow, that is some post. Thanks for that. Wink

I do know the gist of these issues, but not enough to discuss/debate, without looking/sounding foolish.

Behind-the-scenes dealings, and the lesser-knowns are beyond myself.

Unfortunately, those present at Isandlwana, being very visible in the public eye, through loss of life, etc., are the ones mostly remembered, and not for the right reasons.

Everything beforehand is confusing to many/most, regarding the politics involved.

Froude is a bit of a mystery.

Lugard's later book is apparently considered the bible of Indirect Rule, albeit written in the 1920s.

Thanks again

Coll

PS. My follow-up posts were just to get a momentum going, in doing so, keep interest from failing.
Peter Ewart


Joined: 31 Aug 2005
Posts: 1797
Location: Near Canterbury, Kent, England.
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Coll

My pleasure, Coll. There is only one way to acquaint yourself with these topics, Coll. Read - and keep on reading. You will undoubtedly be in a position to debate them then. Plenty of advice would come from this forum on the material which would be useful. You would understand the AZW more if you were aware of the history of S Africa before & after 1879, and you'd also be able to put it in its context. By widening your reading you'd not only understand the AZW more clearly but would eventually have a competely different idea of it than the one you might have now - undoubtedly.

It certainly wouldn't be for me to suggest (as if I would!) that you put away all your books on Durnford, Custer, pistols, Zulu Dawn, heroic paintings, adventure films and all the rest - just for a year or two? - but it is certainly the case that wider reading will definitely enable you to extend your horizons and move on. You'll never look back!

Peter

P.S. For Federation, one will just as often see the term Confederation.
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Julian whybra


Joined: 03 Sep 2005
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Two historians of the 1970s - Robinson and Gallagher - published a book called Africa and the Victorians. (Their asssertions were backed up by information specifically from Africa but they applied generally throughout the empire.)
Their argument was that after 1880 Britain ruled (half of) the world in two ways - either directly with a governor, laws which governed all the peoples of a colony, a police force, and all the governmental trappings - like in Natal, or indirectly with a Resident, no introduction of laws, no military presence, no removal of existing governmental (i.e. tribal) structures or rulers - like in Uganda. The British preferred the latter - cheaper, more moral, less intrusive - but were sometimes obliged to adopt the former.
The British mantra in the C19 was, according to Robinson and Gallagher, 'informal rule where possible, formal rule where necessary'.
It's a good read, academic, full of facts and figures to demonstrate their thesis and also highlights the German/French/Portuguese/Italian/Spanish approach, which was the opposite to the British, landing them in all sorts of problems.
It's very much the antithesis to the socialist version of imperialism and so is often shunned at many universities (for reasons I won't go into) but it's never been disproven, is watertight in its conclusions, and is beautifully argued.
Hopefully, someone will disagree with me and there'll be more posts!
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How High Above Frere Does It Go ?
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