Chapter

Surrender in Britain’s Small Colonial Wars of the Nineteenth Century

Edward M. Spiers

in How Fighting Ends

Published in print July 2012 | ISBN: 9780199693627
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191741258 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199693627.003.0017
Surrender in Britain’s Small Colonial Wars of the Nineteenth Century

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Spiers proffers a critique of transcultural theory as applied to British colonial warfare. It argues that all rules of warfare were not abandoned in such wars and that the conditions under which the wars were fought had a greater bearing upon their conduct than racial feelings or the desires for revenge. Surrenders even after or during ferocious conflicts did occur (with massacres as at Isandlwana somewhat exceptional events), and the various belligerents took prisoners. Indeed surrenders served a range of political and deterrent purposes, with the payment of a price by the vanquished being understood as part of colonial interaction prior to the resumption of trade or service in British armies.

Keywords: British empire; colonial warfare; surrender in African wars; prisoners

Chapter.  5994 words. 

Subjects: International Relations

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