Future War Or Public HealthTo Address Which

Future War Or Public Health-To Address Which Of These Needs Were The British Boys Scouts First Created? Essay, Research Paper Future war or public health – To address which of these needs were the British Boys Scouts first created?This essay discusses the historical context of the British Boy Scouts from 1908 to 1918.

Future War Or Public Health-To Address Which Of These Needs Were The British Boys Scouts First Created? Essay, Research Paper

Future war or public health – To address which of these needs were the British Boys Scouts first created?This essay discusses the historical context of the British Boy Scouts from 1908 to 1918. The essay looks at what inspired and influenced Baden-Powell the founder of the Boy Scouts to create the movement. Including his personal social and emotional needs combined with Edwardian ideals, patriotism and middle class values. It examines Powell’s military career and how this moulded and equipped him with knowledge and experience contributing to the creation of the Boy scouts. The essay looks at why the handbook Scouting for Boys became a powerful source of manipulative discourse instilling patriotism, to fight for King, Queen, Country and Empire using military terminology through the use of semiology. Powell continues to cleverly link public health to military success to secure the British Empire. Also how the working classes were disadvantaged by the movement when they were in most need of public health. The essay explores the impact on other youth groups of the time in terms of support and contest for his movement. Baden-Powell was born in 1880 and died in 1941 he had a successful military career including the famous siege of Mafeking 1899-1900 during the Boar War. Evidence from Appendix 1 lists some biographical details showing how the military shaped his understanding of life. On one hand Baden-Powell was said to be a sadistic executioner although on the other hand a homosexual that had a genuine desire to give boys back their boyhood to give them the opportunity to be themselves through educational outdoor play. It can be said he gained great pleasure from seeing boys play, undress and work together. This may have contributed to his strong desire to head the Scout movement with a view to help boys enjoy a healthier boyhood but with no reservation or conscious to killing for military ends. Furthermore Powell’s educational achievements fell short of his mother’s expectations. However through the Boys Scouts he could now gain her respect through Patriotism to the ‘Mother Country’ while fulfilling his social and emotional needs With this evidence in mind creating the scouts may have been considered an tempting proposition to Powell. (Video.1997. Secret lives). Due to lack of soldiers during the siege of Mafeking, Powell formed the Mafeking cadet corps aged 9 and older. They carried messages between the town defences and they acted as look out to warn the forces when attacks were expected. They also helped with duties in the hospitals. After overwhelming success in the Boar War Powell returned to England in 1901 a national hero. He discovered that his book Aid to scouting 1899 intended for army members had been used as a text book in boys schools which may have helped inspired his desire to create the Boy Scouts. Appendix 2 shows books written by Powell throughout his life (Internet). Many of the books show a strong emphasis toward military tactics which suggests how important this must have been in Powell’s life. This evidence from Mafeking together with his biographical military evidence and his writing style shows his vision of training the rising generation of boys for possible future fighting may have been conceived several years before the origin of the Boy Scouts. Through the Boy Scout’s movement it may be considered that Powell’s motive was carefully calculated and skilfully concealed to secure the success, wealth and power of The British Empire through success in future war. As an imperialist, Baden-Powell saw the key to future success of the empire was through a strong army. He saw that success in war could be gained by educating and conditioning boys at an early age through changing their attitude and behaviour. William Smith (1854-1914) Baden-Powell’s friend and leader of the Boys Brigade suggested he re-write his army manual of Mafeking in a form that could be applied to boys. Baden-Powell’s original intentions were to amalgamate the Boy’s Scouts with the Boy’s Brigades and other youth clubs Although Smith W would not entertain the joining of forces, as he saw the Boy’s Scouts heading in a different direction to the Boys Birgade with a strictly overt military structure supported by religion instruction. Also the Boy Scouts was an unknown initiative with strong idea of patriotism and good citizenship with the intentions of strengthen the Empire and this would have drastically changed the character of his brigade. Similarly Baden-Powell consulted Ernest Thompson Seton the founder of the Woodcraft youth club but soon discovered their visions lacked synergy. Seton E.T only aimed to promote a scheme of out door life through education, naturalism and socialism through his American Woodcraft Indians. Baden- Powell had a greater mission in life, ‘to instil patriotism and national identity’, he had wrongly assumed that the existing youth movements would readily adopt his ethics to their existing programmes. (Springhall J.O. 1977 p40). This did not deter Powell, in 1907 he took a group of boys camping on Brownsea Island in Poole Harbour, Dorset to try out his ideas. The camp was a great success and Brownsea Island became the birthplace of the Scouts. He did not anticipate this overwhelming support for the Scouts, as boys preferred to band themselves together as Scouts, independent of existing organisations.. He sought advice and help from Arthur Pearson the Tory newspaper proprietor of the Daily Express and also received financial assistance from both the Daily telegraph and the Daily Express to launch the revolutionary new youth movement ( Distance learning pack) (Springhall J. 1977). As a result he formed the Boy Scouts movement 1907. This would act as a military insurance policy against future war and secure a patriotic wealthy British EmpireDespite the lack of support from other youth movements Powell’s Scout movement was hugely successful, Appendix 3 shows that in only a few years by 1912 there were 138,715 boy Scouts compared to 61,858 in the Boy’s Brigade where numbers were falling. In January 1908 Baden-Powell brought out his handbook for training, Scouting for boys (see appendix 2) initially intended for boys between 11 years and 18 years old. Powell was influenced by Edwardian ideals such as sobriety, thrift, self help, punctuality and obedience. This can be seen throughout the ‘bible’ handbook in many forms of powerful discourse, which helped shape the future of the Boy Scout’s and society today. The timing of the Scouts evolved at the turn of the century when the world was disturbed by international crisis and the threat of national decline. This may have aided Baden-Powell’s success as the middle class could now ensure that the British Empire and national unity would be protected by hanging on to Edwardian imperialism and patriotism and preserved through the boy Scouts movement (Springhall J. 1977 p64). There were also many references scattered throughout the handbook of the need for military preparation in case of invasion. Baden-Powell is quoted as saying that: The scouts motto is founded on my initials, it is BE PREPARED, which means, you are always to be in a state of readiness in mind and body to do your DUTY (Partington A, 1996 p46).The motto ‘be prepared’ is still a well-known phrase used by the Boy Scouts. There was also much military terminology in the text of the book such as honour, obey, to serve the Queen and Country, self discipline, knights and chivalry but no mention of loyalty to your maternal mother or family. Appendix 4 shows Saint George the Patron St. of the Boy Scouts portraying a powerful message in the form of a visual image of chivalry fighting off everything which is evil and unclean. This appears to give an unconscious psychological message that health and cleanliness are tied to military efficiency and the route to real manhood is to fight with honour to protect Queen, country and the defence of the Empire. Roland Barthes (1915/80) would view this use of manipulative visual language as second order signification, which manipulatively shapes society. Two otherwise arbitrary and unconnected ideas are syntactically linked and thus bleed into each other and each one takes on some meaning of the other. Powell instilled this appropriate and powerful ideology into the rising generation and provided an antidote to the increasing signs of juvenile restlessness. It would first appear that public health was of great concern to scouting. This is supported in Baden Powell’s scouting for boys camp fire yarn No. 18 p195. Baden Powell advocated that without the knowledge and practice of healthy clean living ‘ he might just stay at home for all the good he will be’ (Distance Learning Pack). Ultimately Baden-Powell’s primary motive was ‘to prepare the next generation of British soldiers for war and the defence of the Empire’. (Warren A, 1986 p935). A healthy body and mind was preparation for his final intentions. Evidence from Baden Powell’s handbook suggest he instils fear into every boy at what might happen to him if he smokes, drinks or gives in to the biggest temptation of all, self abuse. He calls ‘beastliness’ which may destroy both body and spirit of a boy and leave him weak without ‘manliness’. However he seems to link past British military failure with sloppy personal hygiene, poor health, lack of personal medical knowledge and personal survival skills to explain why they must keep clean and healthy to live a fulfilling life and able to pass these health habits on to others. Again Powell used suggestive connotations to manipulatively instil patriotism linked to personal survival skills and health. In 1903 the Army medical Service rejected up to 60% of volunteers for the Boer War due to ill health. The Director General suggested that,

if these men are unfit for military service, what are they good for?(Adams R.J.Q.& Poirier P.P. 1987 p6) Powell also knew that self-development through practical outdoor skills such as hiking, camping, stalking and life saving would aid and build character in every potential recruit. The Scouts Edwardian norms and values were that of middle class and did not sit comfortably with working class life and ’street culture’. In addition to this working class boys could not afford the subs nor could they afford to buy the khaki (army style) uniform. On 22nd July 1910, Scout Harrington of the 5th Enfield troop wrote to his Scoutmaster, Nevill, asking to leave the troop.I find it too expensive, as dad is out of work, and all my pocket money goeing towards home (Springhall J. 1977 p91). It appears from evidence that the boys in most need of advice and education towards public health were the ones disadvantaged by the scheme. Appendix 5 shows the census of 1921 with the prosperous South Cambridgeshire county population of over 11,000 boys age 10 to 18 years old, 982 Scouts which is 8% whereas in industrial working class Birmingham with a population of over 85,000 boys age 10 to 18 years there were only 14,969 boys a percentage of 5 % Scouts (Springhall J. 1977 p137). Scoutmasters and commissioners were often ex army personnel so consequently established a hierarchy by rank within the Scouts and also carried out drills and rifle shooting (Springhall J. 1987 p939). Support for Baden-Powell’s movement was not unanimous as there were many politicians who feared he was ‘training the Scouts for war’ by teaching them ‘how to shoot and drill’ (Springhall J.O. 1977 p56). Baden Powell later joined the reserve army, combined with his association with his friend R. Haldane the War Minister who set up the Territorials and who’s intention was to steer the brigades to becoming an integral part of the country’s armed forces, could not help but arouse suspicion as to the direction Powell was leading the Scouts. Pacifists and non-conformist’s saw the Scouts as a feeder camp or pool of potential recruits for the Territorial Army. There were growing fears that due to the absence of compulsory military training for boys in Britain this scheme would act as a vehicle to transport boys to a militaristic end (Springhall J.O. 1977 p29). Furthermore the first Scout commissioner for London in 1909 Sir Francis Fletcher Vane believed that the Scout movement was misdirected towards military ends and a recruiting ground for the Territorials. Sir F.Vane proved to be a thorn in Powell’s side when he broke away from Baden Powell’s Scouts and became the President of the pacifist British Boy Scouts denouncing the recruitment of so many supporters of the National Service League (NSL). (Springhall J. 1987 p935).Despite these concerns about the militaristic ends for the Scouts they were in the minority and for the Scouts support continued to grow. In clear contrast to this Dr A.Warren had no such fears that the Boy Scouts was created to aid future war. He believed that the scheme was a peace-keeping organisation and it would build individual character and contribute to the education of the future citizen. He also emphasises the important role played by the Boys Brigade and the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) in the origin of the scheme, which he did not see as being militaristically orientated. Dr. A.Warren suggested that ‘the lukewarm attitudes towards religion may have contributed to the charges of bias towards militarism within the Scouts’ (Ibid p935). Although Dr. A Warren firmly believed the Scout were a peace making organisation in 1908 Baden-Powell had been directly involved in receiving information from a spy bureau in Belgium and enthusiastically supported their activities. He was also the author of The Adventures of a Spy (1915). Through youth magazines the military accounts of invasion and spies activities were enlarged through the fertile and imaginative minds of authors. Inspired by Baden-Powell’s approval for spying and the impact of youth magazines, Boy Scouts were encouraged through the Scout’s law ‘A scout’s duty is to be useful and to help others’ and he must try his best to do at least one Good turn’ as their good deed for the day. This may have quite often involved (Morris A.J.A. 1984 p157). Reporting perfectly innocent but ’suspicious-looking foreigners’ to the police (Ibid p157). There also appeared to be support for military action from other influential sources such as Charles Repington a military corespondent of the Times who reported in 1908 that: the government ought to subsidise to the tune of a thousand pounds a year, the Legion of Frontieersmen. They together with rifle clubs and Baden-Powell’s boy scouts, could provide ‘ a national army of second line in Great Britain (Morris A.J.A. 1984 p237). With the outbreak of the First World War the timely arrival of the Scouts led to mass volunteering for home front duties such as acting as messengers, guarding reservoirs and giving air raid warnings. One boy Scout writes,I thought only of my country at this time. The feeling of extreme patriotism stifles all my ideals of international fellowship (Springhall J. 1977 p62)Baden Powell formed the Scouts Defence Corps. Its objective was to, Form a trained force of young men who would be immediately available for the defence of the country should their services be required during the war (Springhall J. 1977 p6). In conclusion during the decade from 1908 to 1918 no other youth movement came anywhere near Baden-Powell’s Boy Scouts. His movement was a vehicle travelling to the same destination as traditional overt military cadets. Although he believed this could be achieved with greater effectiveness by a longer lasting covert route through character formation and training in individual good citizenship. These values and standards could be passed down from generation to generation and play a larger part in shaping society today, protecting and preparing us for future war. Powell saw public health as a necessity to achieve maximum effectiveness to defend his Country or home and heighten awareness of the impact of health to individual survival in war. In Baden-Powell’s defence boys were not forced to take up scouting but choose to do so in massive numbers with great enjoyment and pleasure. His moral values were a reflection of his time and were supported by the majority of middle class society. Powell has actively contributed to the shaping of our society today. Finally although Baden-Powell may have us believe his movement was about public health this essay suggests the overriding aim of the Scouts was to carry forward the Edwardian ideals and patriotism through self reliance and good citizenship, to protect Queen, Country and the British Empire in future war. BibliographiesBooks Year Title PublisherAdams,R.J.Q. Poirier, P.P. 1987 The Conscription Controversy in Great Britain 1900/18 MBaden-Powell,R. 1983 Scouting for Boys Fletcher & Son Ltd NorwichMorris, A.J.A. 1984 The Scaremongers. ‘The Advocacy of war and Rearmament 1896-1914 Routledge & Kegan PaulMorris,A.J.A. 1972 Radicalism Against War 1906-1914. ‘The Advocacy of Peace & Retrenchment’ LongmansSpringhalls,J.Springhall,J.O.Cyril, P.VideoInternet 19771987199919971999 Youth, Empire and SocietyBaden-Powell & the Scout Movement before 1920: Citizen training or Solders of the future?Patriotism & National Identity: The Case of the Boy Scouts. Distance Learning PackSecret Lives. Channel 4A Baden-Powell Bibliography.http://wwwpinetreeweb.com/bp-bibliography-htm Croom Helm London. Archon Books, HamdenEnglish Historical Review Vol. 101,1986University College Bretton Hall