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  • Print publication year: 2019
  • Online publication date: October 2019

1 - Colonial Federationism, Security, and the South African War


Chapter 1 discusses attempts to coordinate colonial military resources for the South African War, and how the war led many to doubt whether the British Empire could be effectively defended, or its people and resources effectively coordinated in moments of crisis. It then shows how these doubts structured ongoing state-building projects in British colonies, specifically the federation of Australian colonies into one Commonwealth in 1901 and the abortive attempt to federate New Zealand with Fiji. The chapter ends by demonstrating that this fashion for large federal projects was an attempt to solve imperial dilemmas of security and population control, and was freighted by racial politics.

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