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An Imperfect OccupationEnduring the South African War$
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John Boje

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780252039560

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252039560.001.0001

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(p.181) Conclusion
An Imperfect Occupation

John Boje

University of Illinois Press

This book concludes with a discussion of three critical variables that determine the success of any military occupation and whether they were all met in the case of Winsburg after the end of the South African War: the total devastation of a country that compels it to acknowledge its need for help in reconstruction; the perception of a common threat to both parties; and credible guarantees of the occupying power’s intention to withdraw. If an occupying power adds an ideological element to its primary concern of establishing a dispensation that poses no threat to its interests, occupation is prolonged and nationalism is stimulated. This conclusion also shows that blacks continued to suffer after the war, with the Boers and British both blocking any suggestion of advance. Finally, it considers the evolution of a system of racial oppression in South Africa that was to bedevil the country for much of the twentieth century, lending credence to the notion that Britain’s occupation of Winsburg was an imperfect one.

Keywords:   military occupation, South African War, reconstruction, nationalism, blacks, Boers, racial oppression, South Africa, Britain, Winsburg

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