Throughout most of the nineteenth century, British imperial policy developed from two antithetical and mutually exclusive concepts. It aimed simultaneously at extending British trade and culture under the paternal authoritarianism of crown-colony rule, and it sought the progressive realization of colonial self-government through the spread and adaptation of British institutions. The first concept sprang from the utilitarian criterion of “the greatest happiness for the greatest number,” and emphasized law rather than liberty as the great instrument of human improvement. The second derived from the utilitarian doctrine of liberty, the claim for a sphere of activity within which the individual was sovereign and free from external interference. In practice, the first was deemed appropriate for the tropical parts of Britain's mercantile empire, the second for colonies of British settlers overseas. With the outbreak of war in South Africa in 1899 these two concepts came into signal opposition, and the Fabians, intellectual heirs of utilitarianism, encountered difficulty in reconciling them. One faction, led by Ramsay MacDonald, held the issue to be one of freedom and maintained that good government was no substitute for self-government. The majority, under the influence of Sidney Webb and George Bernard Shaw, rejected the idea that Britain must educate subject peoples towards self-government and advanced an intellectual justification for autocratic control in the dependent empire. So far as the empire was concerned, Webb and Shaw aimed less at reconstructing political institutions than at making existing institutions work more effectively. In its Fabian metamorphosis, the utilitarian idea of empire thus displayed a zeal for order and centralization, and its dominant theme was greater efficiency.