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Last Outpost on the Zulu FrontiersFort Napier and the British Imperial Garrison$
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Graham Dominy

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780252040047

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252040047.001.0001

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Pageantry, Pioneers, Panics and Punitive Expeditions

Pageantry, Pioneers, Panics and Punitive Expeditions

The Pivotal Role of the Garrison in Creating a Colonial State, 1840s–1860s

(p.44) 5 Pageantry, Pioneers, Panics and Punitive Expeditions
Last Outpost on the Zulu Frontiers

Graham Dominy

University of Illinois Press

This chapter examines the role of the garrison in the British Empire's establishment of a colonial state in Natal during the period 1840s–1860s. It first explains how the garrison transformed Pietermaritzburg from a Trekker settlement to a Victorian colonial capital before considering the ways in which the British Crown used pageantry and propaganda to reinforce the prestige of the colonial state while masking the military weakness of the garrison in relation to the colony's potential enemies. It then discusses the garrison's “punitive expeditions”—almost as an extension of the parading on the barrack square of Fort Napier—in response to panic and rumors of invasions. Ironically, those raids provoked “panics” among the African population; such panics fed the almost pathological fear that the settlers had of a “native” rising or “combination.” The chapter also looks at the appointment of British military officers in various civil posts in the colony and concludes with an assessment of the Zulu invasion scare of 1861 and the question that it raised regarding payment for the garrison.

Keywords:   Natal garrison, Natal, pageantry, Pietermaritzburg, British Empire, punitive expeditions, colonial state, military officers, invasion scare, Fort Napier

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