Skip to main content Accessibility help
  • Print publication year: 2019
  • Online publication date: October 2019

2 - Lessons of South Africa: Security and Political Culture in the British World, 1902–1906


This chapter familiarizes the reader with some of the political and military reforms posed as the “lessons” of South Africa. It focuses on the Government of India, specifically the debate about whether to keep the Commander in Chief of the Indian Army subordinate to the civilian government there. This debate implicated some of the era’s most polarizing figures, such as Viceroy George Curzon and General Herbert Kitchener, as well as the Indian National Congress and the rulers of the subcontinent’s Princely States. The chapter situates India at the center of the empire’s open question on civil-military relations and the British constitution.