Boy Scouts: Militarism

Figure 1.--

The Scouting movement in many ways developed out of the difficulties Britain experienced in fighting the Boer War in southern Africa. Britain's disappointing performance in the early phase of the War caused concern about a possible deterioration of British manhood. Equally disheartening was the number of draftees which could not meet the medical and health standards. It was in the Boer War that Baden-Powell made his name and was widely known to Brish boys. Baden-Powell used as a powerful argument in selling the Scout movement the need to prepare the next generation for any possible future War. The Chief Scout in fact made no secret of this. He plainly states in Scouting for Boys, "Every boy ought to learn how to shoot and obey orders, else he is no more good when war breaks out than an old woman." There were, however, importanr elements in the Scouting movement both in Britain and America that had a very different concept of Boy Scouting.

Christopher Wagner

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August 3, 2002
Last updated: August 3, 2002