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Racial Anglo-Saxonism and the American Response to the Boer War

On 11 October 1899, Great Britain’s long quarrel with the Boers in South Africa erupted into open warfare as Boer forces struck southeast into Natal and west into Bechuanaland. For the next several months, the British position was dismal. The ill-prepared and poorly officered British troops in South Africa suffered a series of humiliating defeats. The Boers cut the Cape-Rhodesia rail line, laid siege to the garrisons at Kimberley, Mafeking, and Ladysmith, and invaded Cape Colony. Britain rushed reinforcements to South Africa, but until February 1900, all the fighting was in the territory of the British colonies.