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Abstract

This paper examines the role of the Union of South Africa in the First World War, specifically through the lens of its role as a part of the British Empire in the war. It seeks to demonstrate that South Africa functioned not as a part of the British war effort in the way of other dominions, but rather as a nation state with its own imperial interests. It examines the relationships between native Africans, Boers, and British Colonists and how their interactions changed the war effort in South Africa. This argument challenges historiographies which have been complacent in their placement of South Africa within the British war effort rather than examining it in its function as an independent actor.


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