This chapter begins by describing Irish nationalists' strong opposition to Britain' war to end the independence of the two Boer republics in South Africa. They were particulary opposed to the of Ireland's men sacrificing their lives on behalf of the Crown. The discussion then turns to local MP Joseph Chamberlain, who acted as Britain's colonial secretary and had been a major driving force towards military deployment. His tactics towards the Boers was only the latest piece in his larger political jigsaw, as by 1900 Chamberlain had become Britain's foremost advocate of empire, and long before his interventions in South Africa he had cut his teeth on the issue of Ireland. During the preceding years, Chamberlain spent much of his political life attempting to strengthen Britain by damaging the prospects of Irish sovereignty, and thus became a hate figure for Irish nationalists at the same time that he proved a hero for English patriots.
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