Milner, Alfred, Viscount Milner


Milner, Alfred, Viscount Milner
(1854–1925)
   Governor of the Cape Colony and high commissioner for other British South African colonies during the Boer War of 1899–1902, and subsequently secretary of war during the closing months of World War I. Milner was educated at Balliol College, Oxford, where he fell under the influence of the social reformer Arnold Toynbee. Milner began his political career as a liberal and always had an interest in social reform and a conviction of the power of intelligent leaders to act for good. He served as private secretary to the Liberal Unionist G. J. Goschen while the latter was Chancellor of the Exchequer in the government of Lord Salisbury. In 1889, he went to Egypt to work in a financial capacity under Lord Cromer; this marked the beginning of his career as an imperial proconsul.
   Appointed high commissioner in South Africa in 1897, he negotiated with the Transvaal President Paul Kruger over the contentious issue of the rights of British subjects - most of them miners and entrepreneurs - in the Afrikaner republics.
   Milner’s high-handed manner played a role in the failure of the Bloemfontein negotiations of 1899, and the subsequent Afrikaner ultimatum, which led to war. After the conquest of the Transvaal and the Orange River colony, Milner attempted to organize the political system of the united South Africa created by the war so as to give a predominant role to British and Anglophone settlers, under the guidance of his own Oxbridge-educated elite, sometimes referred in sarcastic allusion to Plato as “guardians.” In this he failed, and by the time of his 1906 recall it was clear that South Africa’s political future would be dominated by the Afrikaners. Opposition to Irish Home Rule led Milner into cooperation with the Tories, and it was with their support that he was brought into David Lloyd George ’s cabinet in 1916. He had much to do with appointment of Marshal Foch as allied generalissimo in the crisis caused by the German offensive of the spring of 1918, and was subsequently appointed to the War Office. After the war, he served briefly as colonial secretary and died in 1925. Milner is remembered, not inaccurately, as the prototype of an overly imperious pro-consul.
   See also <>.
   FURTHER READING:
    Gollin, A. M. Proconsul in Politics: A Study of Lord Milner in Opposition and Power. London: MacMillan, 1963;
    Milner, Alfred. Constructive Imperialism. London: National Review, 1908;
    Packenham, Thomas. The Boer War. New York: Random House, 1979.
   MARK F. PROUDMAN

Encyclopedia of the Age of Imperialism, 1800–1914. 2014.

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  • Alfred Milner, 1. Viscount Milner — KG, GCB, GCMG, PC (* 23. März 1854 in Gießen; † 13. Mai 1925 bei Canterbury) war ein britischer Politiker, Hochkommissar für das Südliche Afrika und Gouverneur d …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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  • Alfred Milner, 1st Viscount Milner — The Right Honourable The Viscount Milner KG GCB GCMG PC Governor of the Cape Colony and High …   Wikipedia

  • Alfred Milner, Viscount Milner — Alfred Milner, 1. Viscount Milner Alfred Milner, 1. Viscount Milner (* 23. März 1854 in Gießen; † 13. Mai 1925 bei Canterbury) war ein britischer Politiker, Hoher Kommissar für Südafrika und Gouverneur der Kapkolonie. Leben Milner wurde als Sohn… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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  • Viscount Milner — was a title created in the Peerage of the United Kingdom on 15 July 1902 for Alfred Milner, who had previously been created Baron Milner on his appointment to the Privy Council in 1901. Both titles became extinct upon his death.External… …   Wikipedia

  • Milner, Alfred — later Viscount Milner (of St. James s and Cape Town) born March 23, 1854, Giessen, Hesse Darmstadt died May 13, 1925, Sturry Court, near Canterbury, Kent, Eng. British high commissioner in South Africa (1897–1905). At the crucial Bloemfontein… …   Universalium

  • Milner, Alfred Milner, Viscount — ▪ British diplomat also called (1901–02)  Baron Milner , or (1895–1901)  Sir Alfred Milner  born March 23, 1854, Giessen, Hesse Darmstadt [Germany] died May 13, 1925, Sturry Court, near Canterbury, Kent, Eng.  able but inflexible British… …   Universalium

  • Alfred Milner — Alfred Milner, 1. Viscount Milner Alfred Milner, 1. Viscount Milner (* 23. März 1854 in Gießen; † 13. Mai 1925 bei Canterbury) war ein britischer Politiker, Hoher Kommissar für Südafrika und Gouverneur der Kapkolonie. Leben Milner wurde als Sohn… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Milner — may refer to: Contents 1 People 2 Places 3 Other uses 4 See also People Alfred Milner, 1st Viscount Milner (1854–1 …   Wikipedia


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