Do You Agree with the View Presented in Source 9 That Critics of the Second Boer War

Do you agree with the view presented in source 9 that critics of the second Boer War ‘were wrong to say that the concentration camps were part of the deliberate use of the “methods of barbarism” Explain your answer, using sources 7, 8 and 9 and your own knowledge. 40 marks The concentration camps during the second Boer War were set up in 1900 after several policies were introduced by Kitchener in response to the Guerrilla warfare, and were not intended as places of punishment.
In fact, they were set up to provide food, water, entertainment and most of all protection for families during this time. Over the years many opinions have risen on the conditions in these concentration camps and although, as stated by Andrew Roberts, they were not deliberately set up as ‘part of the deliberate use of “methods of barbarism”, this theory has been challenged by many.
Robert Ensor, who wrote that the camps ‘were grossly mismanaged’ and Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman who stated that war is unfair ‘when it is carried on by methods of barbarism’, are both prime examples of how there are extremely diverse views on the purpose of the concentration camps during the Second Boer War. It is apparent that concentration camps during the Second Boer War were set up to protect individuals and families rather than punish them. In many ways the concentration camps were places of safety and hope for the Boers affected by this war, and to an extent attendance was not compulsory.

Andrew Roberts, who wrote ‘Salisbury: Victorian Titan’ seems to support this view stating that ‘food, shelter, clothing and above all, protection’ were offered and that ‘attendance was normally voluntary’, and as he was a historian who was specialised, knowledgeable and educated in this subject, it is likely that this information is correct to an extent. Kitchener introduced concentration camps to shelter families, and did not intend them to turn into such a ‘terrible unexpected by-product of guerrilla war’ as stated by the book which was published in 1999.
This suggests that it was written for information purposes rather than morale or propaganda, therefore signifying that the information included would not be exaggerated for this reason, and the fact it was written such a long time after the concentration camps took place, it allowed him time to make a judgement, although this could involve secondary information which he had misinterpreted, therefore making the source less reliable and perhaps quite biased.

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