'Great and lasting service to this country': Sir Leander Starr Jameson, conciliation and the Unionist Party, 1910-1912.
Mouton, F A
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The Jameson Raid of December 1895 estranged the two white groups in South Africa and contributed to the outbreak of the South African War of 1899-1902. With the rise of Afrikaner nationalism in the twentieth century the perception that L.S. Jameson (1853-1917) was the cause of all tension and rivalry between the two white groups became entrenched. And yet, Jameson as leader of the Unionist Party between 1910 and 1912 did his utmost to atone for the damage done by his reckless Raid. He publicly lauded Botha’s ability and integrity and this played a crucial role in diluting the anti-Afrikaner attitude of many English-speakers, convincing them to accept an Afrikaner dominated government. In addition his encouragement of a South African identity within the Empire, and his restraint on the anger and opposition to bilingualism by English-speakers supported Botha’s conciliation and nation building policies. Jameson helped to lay the foundation of a South African nation within the British Empire.