American Empire and the Arsenal of Entertainment: Soft Power by Eric M. Fattor (auth.)

By Eric M. Fattor (auth.)

Movies, tv, and American tradition permeates even the main distant reaches of the globe in exceptional degrees. What have an effect on does the unfold of the yankee zeitgeist have on worldwide perceptions of the U.S.? This ebook analyzes the complicated position leisure performs in overseas coverage - weighing its advantages and setbacks to nationwide pursuits abroad.

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In an era when the increasing power of domestic working classes and international imperial rivalry put unprecedented pressure on British power, potent narratives of nationalism dramatized in cheap newspapers and on the stages of music halls ensured that the British Empire kept a leading position in the world. However, the tone of this media output that was doing such a fine job of keeping the masses entertained began to change after the seemingly omnipotent military forces of the British Empire Legitimacy through Popular Entertainment 37 nearly fell to defeat on the veld of South Africa.

After war was declared, the tabloid press assumed its familiar place as a source of both news and entertainment. Ironically, part of the nature of the war in South Africa—consisting of numerous sieges of British-controlled towns by Boer armies—began to blur the distinction between real life and fictionalized entertainment. As Paula Krebs explains, “a siege makes for good long-term drama for a newspaper, almost as good as serial fiction for winning reader loyalty. 95 Such a gigantic audience provided the opportunity for these newspapers to broaden and deepen the jingoistic sentiments that buttressed support for the war during these early defeats and keep the reading public eager for more news.

Having assumed the office of colonial secretary in 1885, Chamberlain sought to bring the two breakaway Boer republics of Transvaal and Orange Free State back under the authority of the British crown in a unified South African colony. Such a union would solidify British control over a crucial region of the world and prevent interference from other colonial Legitimacy through Popular Entertainment 33 powers that were meandering around on the fringes of South Africa. In addition, Chamberlain, being a Liberal and opposed to political disenfranchisement, saw British intervention in South Africa as a means to alleviate unfair constraints on the political power of the Uitlanders (residents of Transvaal of British origin who did not have voting rights).

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