Date of Award


Degree Type


University or Center

Atlanta University (AU)


School of Arts and Sciences

Degree Name



A nation's policy, whether it be foreign, colonial, or domestic, is determined by the interests of that country with due consideration of existing circumstances. The carrying out of this policy, however, is delegated to one man or to a group of men. The rigor and exactitude with which the policy is executed is dependent upon the political sagacity, natural ability and personal attitude of the man or men to whom this responsibility is intrusted. Herein lies the purpose of this thesis, which is a study of the attitudes of seven British statesmen, Disraeli, Gladstone, Chamberlain, Carnarvon, Kimberly, Shepstone, and Frere, in regard to the colonial policy of England in South Africa from 1875 to 1895. In a general way, England's colonial ambitions are well known. "The sun never sets on English soil", because when treaties are being signed the Britishers make no bid for European territory but are quite content to pick up choice bits of land scattered all over the globe. The sentimentalist would say that England is merely assuming her share of "the white man's burden". The materialist would not deny this entirely, but would quietly realize that England was also deeply interested in the profitable business of feathering her nest with gold. England in her relations with South Africa has been motivated by economic desires and political ambitions. In the case of certain individuals however, this motive was modified by an abhorrence of the brutality and cruelty which was the inevitable result of the unchecked exploitation of the Natives. The question then arises as to what extent the sentiment and action of these individuals influenced the course of events in South Africa While there has been a vast amount of material written about South Africa, none of it deals with the attitudes of the people involved except in an incidental manner. It was on the assumption that men's attitudes determine their actions that this thesis was written.

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