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Historia

On-line version ISSN 2309-8392

Historia vol.54 n.2 Durban  2009

 

The Scottish press and the Anglo-Boer War: The Edinburgh Evening News and The Scotsman (1899-1902)

 

Die Skotse perswese en die Anglo-Boereoorlog: Die Edinburgh Evening News en The Scotsman (1899-1902)

 

 

Karen Horn

Karen Horn is Lecturer at the University of Stellenbosch - Education Faculty This article is based on her dissertation, The Scottish press and the Boer War: A comparative study of the Edinburgh Evening News and The Scotsman with specific reference to the pro-Boer debate, for the completion of her MSc degree in Scottish Studies at Edinburgh University, 2005

 

 


ABSTRACT

While the Anglo-Boer War was raging in South Africa, another war was being fought between two newspaper editors in Scotland. The so-called pro-Boer editor of the Edinburgh Evening News and the Unionist editor of The Scotsman faced each other across a battleground littered with sarcasm, misunderstandings, misinterpretations of terms and a stubbornness which prevented the two editors from providing an accurate picture of the war and further confusing the already muddled understandings of terms such as patriotism, imperialism and liberalism. Although both editors confronted important issues such as Black Week and the Scorched Earth Policy, it is clear that these topics were used merely as a cover for matters such as loyalty and patriotism towards the British Empire. When The Scotsman accused the Edinburgh Evening News of being pro-Boer, the editor of the Edinburgh Evening News firmly rejected the allegation as unwarranted; however, the News' continued anti-war stance seemed only to confirm its pro-Boer status among readers and unionist newspapers such as The Scotsman. By comparing the two different editorial approaches, the article attempts to indicate the extent to which a major event such as the Anglo-Boer War emphasized ideas of Scottish national identity, and the role the Scottish press played in this ongoing debate.

Key words: Anglo-Boer War; Charles Alfred Cooper; Conservatism; Edinburgh Evening News; Hector Macpherson; imperialism; Liberalism; patriotism; pro-Boer; Scotland; Scottish press; The Scotsman; Unionist


OPSOMMING

Terwyl die Anglo-Boereoorlog in Suid-Afrika gewoed het, het 'n ander oorlog tussen twee koerantredakteurs in Skotland afgespeel. Die sogenaamde pro-Boer redakteur van die Edinburgh Evening News en die redakteur van The Scotsman, wat 'n Unionistiese benadering ondersteun het, het mekaar die stryd aangesê op 'n slagveld bestrooi met sarkasme, misverstande en misleidende interpretasies van terme. Die hardkoppigheid van beide redakteurs het verder verhoed dat hulle 'n akkurate beeld van die oorlog kon gee, wat weer daartoe bygedra het dat nog misverstande oor terme soos patriotisme, imperialisme en liberalisme ontstaan het. Hoewel beide redakteurs belangrike gebeure soos Swart Week en die Verskroeide Aarde Beleid aangeroer het, is dit duidelik dat die insidente bloot gebruik is om sake soos lojaliteit en patriotisme jeens die Britse Ryk aan te spreek. Die Edinburgh Evening News het The Scotsman se bewering dat eersgenoemde pro-Boer is, op ondubbelsinnige wyse as ongegrond verwerp, maar wel volgehou met uitsprake wat dit duidelik gemaak het dat die Edinburgh Evening News anti-oorlogsgesind was. Koerante soos The Scotsman het dus die redaksionele standpunt van die Edinburgh Evening News as bevestiging van sy pro-Boer status beskou. Deur die benadering van die twee redakteurs aan die hand van hulle hoofartikels te vergelyk, poog hierdie artikel om vas te stel tot watter mate die oorlog in Suid-Afrika idees oor Skotse nasionale identiteit beïnvloed het, asook watter rol die Skotse perswese in dié voortslepende debat gespeel het.

Sleutelwoorde: Anglo-Boereoorlog; Charles Alfred Cooper; Edinburgh Evening News; Hector Macpherson; imperialisme; Konserwatisme; Liberalisme; patriotisme; proBoer; Skotland; Skotse perswese; The Scotsman; Unioniste


 

 

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