The Anglo-Boer War as Perceived by Children and Adolescents in the Russian Empire


Boris Gorelik


Peculiarities and factors of shaping of the emotional attitudes of Russian children and adolescents to the Anglo-Boer War of 1899–1902 have not yet attracted the attention of researchers. However, the armed conflict in distant South Africa left a deep impression on children and teenagers in the Russian Empire, which was not been erased decades later. Prerequisites for the interest of young Russians in the Anglo-Boer War were that for many of them the remote South Africa was familiar. Thanks to adventure novels, they had an idea about this region, albeit a romanticized one. For Russian schoolchildren, the increased attention of their adult compatriots to the events in southern Africa testified to the importance of this military conflict. Inspired by the example of adults, they closely followed the course of hostilities and made donations to the Boer cause. Knowing that some of the Boer commandos included teenagers, young inhabitants of the Russian Empire dreamed of going to South Africa to help the defenders of the Transvaal and the Orange Free State. The realities of a large-scale and cruel war did not displace the former romantic ideas in the minds of schoolchildren. The war only led to the emergence of other adventure stories based on South African material, which spread through popular culture, including literature and periodicals for children and adolescents.


Anglo-Boer War of 1899–1902, perceptions of warfare, South Africa, Transvaal, Boers, history of Russian-South African relations




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