Lords Roberts and Curzon at Manchester, England

Today:

  • General F. Diaz was taken prisoner as Mexican government troops retook Veracruz.
  • First Balkan War: The Battle of Kumanovo between the Serbian and Ottoman armies begins.

Lord Curzon, Delhi, India

Some notes concerning articles from today’s Times of London: The first concerns a speech given by the Lords Roberts and Curzon in Manchester, England, before the National  Service league, a pressure group organized to advocate  a military draft in Britain.  Both Roberts and Curzon were longtime kingpin operators in the British Empire, Roberts having fought in every major imperialist war from the Sepoy Rebellion in India, the Afghan Wars to the still-recent Boer War in South Africa.  Curzon, while Viceroy of India 1899-1905, had overseen a great famine there in which some 6.1 to 9 million people died, in part because Curzon had it that “any government which imperiled the financial position of India in the interests of prodigal philanthropy would be open to serious criticism; but any government which by indiscriminate alms-giving weakened the fibre and demoralized the self-reliance of the population, would be guilty of a public crime.”*
Noteworthy in the Manchester speechifying are the open boasts of world conquest, and a direct appeal to the English working class for support of such policy.

*Davis, Mike. Late Victorian Holocausts. 1. Verso, 2000.

The second note concerns the article “The Corps of Turkish Officers”, where the casual racism displayed was quite the norm at the time.  One will note here and elsewhere references to events in 1908.  These will be covered in next Friday’s post concerning the Young Turk movement.

Turkish fortifications around Adrianople. Click to zoom.

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