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The British Empire

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posted on Jun, 3 2006 @ 09:56 AM
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Some observations on the old 13 Colonies of the New World

The 13 colonies of America - first called the United States of America in the Articles of Confederation written in March, 1781. The Articles were the penultimate in a long series of efforts to establish a single unified government for all 13 colonies dating back to 1641. I don’t attach any significance to the Articles having been adopted in the same year as the Last Battle of the War of Independence.

Which war is also called the Revolutionary War, but which I have decided not to use as there was nothing revolutionary about it. It more nearly resembled a coup d’etat. One upper class was replaced by another upper class. My home state of Kentucky, for example, was carved out of the state of Virginia in 1792. Its first (and subsequent) constitutions contain words to this effect: the law of this commonwealth shall be the law that was in effect in Virginia in 1792, or in England in 1607, unless modified or altered by our legislature. American states except Louisiana are “common law” states. Louisiana is a Napoleonic Code state, but substantially altered by the jury trial and “indictment” provisions of the Federal Constitution. For a true revolution, see France, 1789-1801. But I digress.

Lord Cornwallis had 7,000 men who had been on a long and successful but tiring campaign in the southern colonies. Gen. Sir Henry Clinton, the Crown’s overall commander, was in NYC. Cornwallis was to join him to wait out the coming winter. (Recall this time was the tail-end of the Little Ice Age.) Gen. Washington had about 10,000 men and the Marquis de Lafayette along with French Gen. Count Rochambeau had another 7,000 men. Voltaire’s law meant the British would lose. This was October, 1781.

This “final battle” was over before any serious fighting was done. The real battle took place when British Admiral Graves met the French Admiral de Grasse in the Battle of Chesapeake Bay. The French defeated the British. Thus, Lord Cornwallis was trapped on the banks of the York River. And so he surrendered. The British Parliament had grown weary of the war and took this opportunity to end it. Nearly two years later, the Treaty of Paris was concluded on September 3, 1783.

Could the British have won this war? Yes. Why did they lose it then? I believe it was due to domestic reasons more so than any other. The Seven Years War had ended only 20 years earlier. Undeclared war with France continued. Certainly there were lessons in colonial warfare to be learned by the Red Coats. Accepted tactics used in Europe were not going to work in the colonies.

Two reasons. The British had overwhelming force. The rebels could not assemble a force nearly that large at any safe place to train. Rebels here as everywhere are forced to use asymmetric warfare long before we discovered its name. Second, Gen. Washington did not have to win the war, he needed only not to lose it. In this he proved supremely capable.

Amongst the revolt’s leaders, there were strong emotional attachments to England and likewise, looking to the future, emotions were raised over the prospects the unlimited potential of the colonies offered. Here were men who actually could fantasize they could become as kings, overnight, if they could free themselves of obedience to King George III and the system he symbolized. This rise in status and power could not happen in England. Under English rules neither could it happen in the colonies.

That - improving the lot of the already rich - however, is not a good and sufficient reason to arouse the enthusiastic and unquestioning participation by commoners who must after all, do the grunt work in any war. So what to do? Idea! Promise the would-be soldiers that which they could never have in Europe, but of which here, there was in “infinite” supply in the New World, namely L A N D. Land which the Continental Congress did not own. A minor problem. Gen. George Rogers Clark who founded the city of my birth, Louisville, for Louis XVI, received 15,000 acres for his work in the War of 1775-1783. And so on.


[edit on 6/3/2006 by donwhite]




posted on Jun, 3 2006 @ 12:00 PM
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- Well it is quite obvious that single (or at best) few product economies are the result of Empire and colonialism.
Infrastructure and investment was skewed to a handful of products (usually raw natural materials to be sent off to be worked in the 'mother' country) and as a result entire economies became dependant on the worth of one or two sets of earnings.


Again you are wrong. The problems with Africa's economies has nothing to do with anything that happened there 50 years ago.

Rather the problem is with a lack of ethical investment.

The reason that Africa does not attract more ethical investment is the regions lack of stability, and the absence of the rule of law.

This has nothing to do with colonialism and a great deal to do with Africa's current leaders.


India - only 50yrs after independence is India (an entire sub continent) emerging and they still have enormous problems ranging from a bloated civil service (it is still, for some, the height of achievement to be a CS in India) to crushing and large scale poverty.


Well of course India has problems, what country does not? I would suggest that Indias problems are more to do with the fact that she has an enormous population of wide and diverse cultures, who hate each other.

That is not however my point. My point is do you see Indians blaming us nasty evil Brits for all their problems. Of course not, they are all to busy working hard to improve their lives, and life in their country, and it's working. By the way 50 years is not a long time.


Vietnam - never part of the British Empire anyway but if you think that is a country untouched by the negative side of Empire-building I suggest a lie-down in a darkened room!


Again I reiterate my point. Do you see the Vietnamese blaming the French and the Americans for any of their country's current problems.

What problems? They have one of the fastest growing economies in SE Asia.

As for Australia and NZ I am not even going to go there. That argument is pointless.


Malaysia - racked by civil war before independence and fighting with Indonesia after it.


Now that is a gross exageration. The communist insurgency of the 50s was an attempt by a minority of the population to take over the country. Hardly a "civil war"

It failed and became the only communist insurgency of the cold war to be defeated because the people of Malaysia rejected it. They chose Democracy


Also periodically suffering racial unrest as the Malay population and the large Indian and Chinese minorities quarrel. Still in a land dispute with the Philippines. Only in the last 20yrs has she been sufficiently diversified to stop relying on a handful of products.


We are talking about the same Malaysia here are'nt we?

You know the powerhouse tiger economy of the far east.


South Africa - please be serious.


I am. Check your history, look up how the Cape Colony was run under Sir George Grey.

Can I suggest an author who's not called Noam Chomsky.



posted on Jun, 3 2006 @ 12:30 PM
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From markets simply closed or rigged in Europe or America's favour to leaderships encouraged to take on huge debt to buy weaponry they could not particularly afford... Africa has for decades been shut out of western markets, particularly agricultural markets.
Europe and the USA operate a system of tariffs that have done Africa no favours at all.


I can agree with you on this point, and I am all in favour of an immediate arms embargo and free and fair trade with Africa, apart from having the greatest deposits of mineral wealth in the world Africa has a great deal to offer the world.

I believe that my original points still stand however.

Africa's current problems including the trades deficit have more to do with our so-called "principled" "ethical" and "enlightened" rulers of the USA and the EU than with any imperialists who died over a century ago.

Secondly Africa will not change until Africans change.

In your last post you said that history does not support me on this, but it does look at Africas recent history.

The Rwandan genocide, Africans killing Africans

Mugabe's land clearances Africans killing Africans

The Ethiopean famine of the 80s (not really a famine but a food shortage caused by a failure to harvest following population flight caused by civil war. More Africans killing Africans)

Of course you will say that none of this is their fault, it is the fault of us evil Europeans for colonising them (which is rather like saying "The Interntional Jewish Conspiracy" is to blame for the Holocaust)

As long as you keep saying that. They will keep saying that and nothing will ever change.



posted on Jun, 3 2006 @ 03:26 PM
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Good post Don.

I agree with most of your points, I do have one or two issues.

No offence is meant but us Brits and Americans have a tendancy to polarise on this issue, but here goes.

Firstly, I think that it is correct to call it the American Revolution.

I believe that our views on this subject have been over-narrowly defined by the French and Russian ones, and we expect blood on the cobblestones. A revolution is simply defined as the removal of one power interest groupb by another, by any means not necessarily viloent means.

A case in point is the Industrial Revolution. Here the rulling class of England the landed aristocracy were replaced in power by the industrialist capitalist class. There was not a drop of blood in sight.

This occured because primarily the aristocracy owed their wealth and power form incomes generated by their ownership of the land.

The industrialists had something better. They had profit.

Another factor was the expanding Empire. The aristocracy no longer had the monopoly on land ownership, and vast abundant lands were becoming available in North America, the Indies and India.

My second point revolves around why Great Britain lost the war. You made a good point that Washington dod not have to win it, this is true. A more important factor in my view however is namely the French.

Once the French became involved, the war became a World War, and one that Great Britain did not have the resources to fight alone and without allies. Especially as you have hinted at the war debt form the Seven Years War was still largely unpaid.

After Yorktown the pro-war Tory government collapsed. The Whigs were swept to power on an "end the war" ticket. The end did not come immediately, but it was coming.

I should say that I enjoyed your post on Gunga Din, but you should read the novel.

Kipling the Empire's Bard.

By the way for my money the best film about the Empire is Zulu.



posted on Jun, 3 2006 @ 05:02 PM
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posted by Vox Populi

I do have one or two issues. No offence meant but us Brits and Americans have a tendency to polarize on this issue, but here goes. Firstly, I think that it is correct to call it the American Revolution. [Edited by Don W]



Although I edited out your follow-on explanation, I will address your remarks with this. I have preferred to keep politics and economics as separate topics. You can combine totalitarianism with any form of economics and you can likewise have democratic elections but with regressive economies. So may I avoid the issue of how the English Industrial Revolution is comparable to the American Revolution?

I like the relatively new word (for me) of a sea change. Old timers used ‘order of magnitude’ for any large change. New style is better. If you look at the interior of the nascent United States, there is no change from the lifestyle in 1775 as opposed to the lifestyle in 1781 or 1783. Every state (colony) already had its own legislative body, its own appointed judges and except for replacing the royally appointed governors, each had its own executive. The right to vote remained restricted to white land owners or successful entrepreneurs and I assume those born rich. I offered the 1792 Ky Constitution as my evidence of little or no changes.

Now, for me it is a recently learned fact - not hidden but I only learned of it recently - that in the early 1770s Pennsylvania’s Benjamin Franklin - #2 man in our successful revolt - lobbied the appointment of his son to be Royal Governor of New Jersey. King George III made the appointment. The son remained loyal, the father did not, and the two never spoke again.

Without elaborating, I assert there was a sea change in France with the early Declaration of the Rights of Man which the King acknowledged, and if not then, most assuredly when the Terror went into effect.



My second point revolves around why Great Britain lost the war . . a good point was that Washington did not have to win is true. A more important factor is namely the French. Once the French became involved, the war became a World War, and one that Great Britain did not have the resources to fight alone and without allies. Especially as you have hinted at the war debt from the Seven Years War was still largely unpaid.


That was kind of you to allow as how I had “hinted” the war debt had not been paid. If you were grading my paper, that would raise a “C” to a B-, which is good. And appreciated. Of course, the taxes Britain imposed on the colonies were an effort to recoup the cost of waging the Seven Years War in the New World where we called it the French and Indian War because those two forces collaborated. The colonists objected.

Of course, France was not “going democratic” when it aided the US against Great Britain but as you pointed out, it was using us as “proxies” in a grander struggle. The beginning of the end of that struggle was at Trafalgar and the end of the end came at Waterloo.



By the way for my money the best film about the Empire is Zulu.


Do you refer to the 4 star 1964 flick starring Jack Hawkins and Michael Caine? Yes, I have seen it several times. American tv has a 2 year format, everything is repeated every 2 years. Now, I rank that film a close second to my favorite, 5 star Breaker Morant, 1980, featuring Edward Woodward, and Jack Thompson. (Note: stars ratings are my own.)


[edit on 6/3/2006 by donwhite]



posted on Jun, 3 2006 @ 06:23 PM
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Originally posted by Vox Populi
Of course you will say that none of this is their fault, it is the fault of us evil Europeans for colonising them (which is rather like saying "The Interntional Jewish Conspiracy" is to blame for the Holocaust)

As long as you keep saying that. They will keep saying that and nothing will ever change.


- Well rather than you putting words into my mouth I think you should stop ignoring what I have actually been saying.

Central to my arguement is this
My point isn't that European 'rule' was always and in every instance 'bad' any more than it could be claimed that African leadeships were always and in every instance 'good'; it was that however understandable Empire building might have been in it's day it was on balance a disaster for the people in the Empire-building country and well as the long on-going problems it has bequeathed those colonised.

Empire created some of the most catastrophic and disasterous events ever to befall (all) the Empire-builders (WW1 & WW2) and left the ex-colonised countries with enormous problems, some still on-going.

If you disagree then I suppose that is fair enough, each to their own, but I really do not see how you can dispute these facts.



posted on Jun, 4 2006 @ 06:00 AM
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Empire created some of the most catastrophic and disasterous events ever to befall (all) the Empire-builders (WW1 & WW2) and left the ex-colonised countries with enormous problems, some still on-going.

If you disagree then I suppose that is fair enough, each to their own, but I really do not see how you can dispute these facts.


Then perhaps you ought to read my posts more carefully.

I have read yours very carefully, you have pointed some of the problems these countries faced, exagerated some wildly, and made up some others.

You ought to be in Parliament.

I found your comments on Malaysias racial tensions particularly amusing. You forgot to mention though that Malaysian has been a multicultural country since before that word existed, and we Brits were late arrivals on the scene.

Significantly you have failed to establish any causative link between these countries problems and the fact that they were colonised, nor have you provided any proof that life in these countries would be any better had they not been colonised.

A case in point is Ethiopea.

As I have already pointed out this country (then called Abyssinia) was never colonised.

Yet strangely enough faces the same problems as the rest of Africa.

Defeats your argument somewhat does'nt it.



posted on Jun, 4 2006 @ 06:10 AM
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Do you refer to the 4 star 1964 flick starring Jack Hawkins and Michael Caine? Yes, I have seen it several times. American tv has a 2 year format, everything is repeated every 2 years. Now, I rank that film a close second to my favorite, 5 star Breaker Morant, 1980, featuring Edward Woodward, and Jack Thompson. (Note: stars ratings are my own.)


I think I've seen that, years ago. Is that the one where they get shot in the end? (apologies if I have just spoiled the film for anybody who has not seen it.) If so it seems a good film, best firing squad scene I've ever seen.

To the best of my knowledge it is not repeated often, there appears to be no rhyme or reason as to what gets repeated here in GB. Zulu and The Great Escape seem to be showm every alternate Bank Holiday. Not that I am complaining they are both good films.



posted on Jun, 4 2006 @ 06:35 AM
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posted by Vox Popul

There appears to be no rhyme or reason as to what gets repeated here. Zulu and The Great Escape seem to be shown every alternate Bank Holiday. Not that I am complaining they are both good films.
[Edited by Don W]


Steve McQueen made many good films. As an American it may come as no surprise that I also favor his 1980 Tom Horn flick. McQueen’s character was a dull witted but deadly shot who took employment with Wyoming’s rich cattle barons who wanted the rustling of their livestock halted at any cost. Horn could kill a rustler at an unseemly long range. Horn was framed and after capture, discovered he had outlived his usefulness to the barons, who welched on their promise to back him to the end. He was quickly tried and as quickly hung.

McQueen died of cancer after taking a trip to Mexico to be treated with now debunked “Laitrille” which is ground almond seeds. Aside. American English usage to define. (1) “welched.” Is this an uncomplementary reference to the people of Wales, as in "unreliable" or "untrustworthty"? Is this word used in Wales in a similar way?



[edit on 6/4/2006 by donwhite]



posted on Jun, 4 2006 @ 08:26 AM
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I have seen "Tom Horn."

McQueen's last, and arguably best film, though, being a petro-holic I tend to favour "Bullitt" myself, I would also recommend that the original "The Getaway" should be seen before anybody sees the Alec Baldwin remake.

The saddest thing about "Tom Horn" is watching it you can tell that the man is dying, he looks so ill.



posted on Jun, 4 2006 @ 09:33 AM
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Now here’s a Brit we can all be proud of. Colonel William Lambton. (I have a Lampton ancestor, I wonder if the spelling got botched?) In India, at then Madras now Chennai, he began a monumental task so many Englishmen are famous for doing. It began in 1799, when the English gained control of the province of Mysore. Col. Lambton was assigned the task of making a survey of the new territory for bureaucratic and military reasons. After finishing that task, Col. Lambton proposed to the East India Company he make a survey of the entire peninsula. To survey all of India.

To accomplish this task, Col. Lambton needed to establish with great accuracy the length of a degree of latitude in central India. Other surveys had been accomplished earlier, including the first by Lord Clive and the second, the Bengal Survey of 1769. But none was so ambitious as this one.

Beginning in April, 1802, the first baseline was measured by Lambton. 7.5 miles long, he used a 100 foot long chain. The chain was carried in 5 boxes of equal length. Each time the chain was moved, 400 times, it was first leveled, stretched, measured and then the temperature was taken in each box to compare with a second chain kept in a cool place. Lambton’s theodolite was 36 inches in diameter. This task required 57 days hard, grueling work.

In 1818, Lieutenant (Lu- In America, Lef- In GB) George Everest joined the survey team. By now, I’m sure you know of what I am referring. Col. Lambton died in 1823. Lt. Everest went on to complete the survey in 1843. It established the Himalayas and not the Andes as the earth’s highest mountains. As one side accomplishment, the height of what was the earth’s highest mountain and later named in his honor, Mt. Everest, was measured. 29,002 feet. In 1975, China definitively measured the height of Mt. Everest at 8,848.13 m + or - 0.35 m. 29,198.8 feet + or - 13 inches.

Another example of the value of this survey was the reduction in Newton’s original value assigned for the compression of the earth - oblation due to rotation - from 1/230, to the improved value made possible by Lambton's survey, 1/310.



[edit on 6/4/2006 by donwhite]



posted on Jun, 4 2006 @ 01:03 PM
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Captain James Cook, commanding the Resolution and the Adventurer, between 1772 and 1775, crossed the Article Circle but failed to sight the oft predicted land mass already named Antarctica. Cook did prove the continent was not as large as geographers had estimated. In 1820, this was to change when three seamen, a Russian, a Britisher and an American, sighted the land mass before any knew of the other’s observations. Another Englishman, James C. Ross, mapped the Ross Ice Shelf which bears his name. 480,000 square kilometers, nearly as large as France.

The next challenge was to be first to make it to the South Pole (and back alive). Norwegian Roland Amundsen and Britisher Robert F. Scott dashed to be first to the Pole. Amundsen won the race in December, 1911. Scott followed on by about 6 weeks, in 1912, but he died before returning to his ship, the Terra Nova. The exact date he made it to the pole remains unknown and is now attended with some dispute.


[edit on 6/4/2006 by donwhite]



posted on Jun, 4 2006 @ 09:41 PM
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Greatest acheivements: Oil lighting, Gas lighting, Electric lighting (London was the first city to have all three--its hard to remember just how groundbreaking the British were technologically).

Greatest crimes: Genocide, genocide, genocide--The American Empire



posted on Jun, 5 2006 @ 10:58 AM
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Originally posted by Vox Populi
nor have you provided any proof that life in these countries would be any better had they not been colonised.


- Well seeing as that particular course did not happen on can hardly 'prove' what would or would not have been the case had things been that way, one can only speculate.


Defeats your argument somewhat does'nt it.


- Hardly.
It merely confirms the proposition that the context was so enormous (seeing as it encompased almost the entire continent of Africa) that it even affected other countries not actually colonised themselves.
However I'd also say the attack and occupation by Mussolini's Italian forces was a not a good example of a country supposedly not suffering colonisation.
Plainly they did.

Empire brought disaster to the colonial powers; it directly led to WW1 and WW1 directly led to WW2.

Empire left the colonised 'countries' with huge problems which many have still yet to get over fully.

If you disagree then OK that's up to you but I still say those are undeniable facts, no matter how much you try and quibble over the detail.



posted on Jun, 5 2006 @ 12:37 PM
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posted by sminkeypinkey

posted by Vox Populi
You provided [no] proof that life in these countries would be any better had they not been colonized. [Edited by Don W]


- Well seeing as that particular course did not happen one can hardly 'prove' what would or would not have been the case had things been that way, one can only speculate.



Defeats your argument somewhat doesn’t it.


- Hardly. It confirms the proposition that the context was so enormous that it even affected other countries not actually colonized. I'd say the attack and occupation by Mussolini's Italian forces was not a good example of a country supposedly not suffering colonization. Plainly [Ethiopia] did.


I concur, S/P. Even the most altruistic - Sierra Leone - failed. As has its neighbor, Liberia. Provided you ignore the Western Hemisphere, I suppose one could argue of Asia and Africa, the India, Pakistan and Bangladesh colonies ended most favorably to the inhabitants. Or at least, so it looks to me.



Empire brought disaster to the colonial powers; it directly led to WW1 and WW1 directly led to WW2.


I have read Barbara Tuchman’s ‘Guns of August’ and I don’t recall her placing empire rivalry as a causative factor in WW1. I thought “secret” treaties urged on by Franco-German rivalry on the Continent coupled with an emerging Russia were the most prominent causes. We know Italy changed sides early into the War, but I am not sure why. Was it obvious to the Italians the Central Powers were “born to lose?”



Empire left the colonized 'countries' with huge problems which many have still yet to get over fully. If you disagree then OK that's up to you.


On this, S/P, I not only agree, but admit it is obvious.



[edit on 6/5/2006 by donwhite]



posted on Jun, 5 2006 @ 01:01 PM
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Originally posted by donwhite
I thought “secret” treaties urged on by Franco-German rivalry on the Continent coupled with an emerging Russia were the most prominent causes.


- Although I am not claiming no other factors were involved (how could one, the 'maze' of how Europe created WW1 is labyrnthine) I don't think you can discount the personal in the 'rush to Empire' and WW1.

The familial competitiveness and outright chauvinism between the German Kaiser and his Royal British relatives is a major factor not to be overlooked, IMO.

It was a driving force in the several years of pre-war (naval) arms race between Britain and Germany and it was this IMO that cemented the relatively young 'entente cordial' (which in many ways really ran counter to centuries of Franco-British history) and turned the German state into the figure of fear and hostility she was so easily to become.


We know Italy changed sides early into the War, but I am not sure why. Was it obvious to the Italians the Central Powers were “born to lose"?


- Probably; as it became obvious that the war would not be short.

That and the historic Italian designs on Austrian territory (something that was not settled and was still a major debating point as Hitlers Germany pondered annexing Austria......to this day the South Tyrol region has some unique autonomous 'constitutional' arrangements).

[edit on 5-6-2006 by sminkeypinkey]



posted on Jun, 5 2006 @ 03:23 PM
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However I'd also say the attack and occupation by Mussolini's Italian forces was a not a good example of a country supposedly not suffering colonisation.
Plainly they did.


Mussolini lost.


Empire brought disaster to the colonial powers; it directly led to WW1 and WW1 directly led to WW2.


The two world wars were struggles for European dominance, not colonial dominance. This is borne out by the fact that one of the main protaginists, Imperial Germany was one of the leat active European nations in colonial empire building.


Empire left the colonised 'countries' with huge problems which many have still yet to get over fully.


There is no evidence to suggest that any of these nations problems were in any way caused by colonialism, and quite substantial evidence to suggest that they are caused by bad governance.

In relation to Africa colonial government is probably the only period that that continent ever experienced good governance.


If you disagree then OK that's up to you but I still say those are undeniable facts, no matter how much you try and quibble over the detail.


You have not pointed out any facts. You have mereley mentioned that these countries have problems. No s**t sherlock, which countries do not have problems? You have not provided any evidence that points to any causative link between africa, and other former colonies problems and colonialism.

I ask again, what facts?



posted on Jun, 5 2006 @ 06:51 PM
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Originally posted by Vox Populi
Mussolini lost.


- So what?

Contrary to your claims the Italians did attack (with modern weapons - including mustard gas), defeat, occupy and colonise Ethiopia/Abyssinia from 1935.


The two world wars were struggles for European dominance, not colonial dominance.


- I never said they weren't.

I actually said that the 'race for Empire' was a major component of why the colonial Powers ended up at war, which is quite different.


This is borne out by the fact that one of the main protaginists, Imperial Germany was one of the leat active European nations in colonial empire building.


- Just because Germany was 'very late in the day' at this (as she was even formalising her own borders) does not mean it was not a factor.


There is no evidence to suggest that any of these nations problems were in any way caused by colonialism, and quite substantial evidence to suggest that they are caused by bad governance.


- Well if you are going to ignore the fact that border definition done remotely and thousands of miles away (that took little or no account of tribal realities) or the single produce economies that were the result of Empire were harmful then that's up to you.


In relation to Africa colonial government is probably the only period that that continent ever experienced good governance.


- According to you.

Of course the long-running damage colonial servitude does to a 'nation' in terms of division, development usually being done for the benefit of the Empire and without regard to the actual interests of the 'country' itself and the inevitable violence as radical nationalism is almost invariably created 'on the rebound' when the colonials leave is just nothing at all to do with the colonial Powers or colonialism, huh?
Wake up.


You have not pointed out any facts.


- No.
You merely wriggle and are blind to them.

By the way, interesting that in all this time there's not been the slightest acknowledgement of 'the elephant in the room' from you. I wondered if you'd give it any mention, obviously not, eh?

Slavery may have been nothing new but it was when done on the vast scale of the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries.
This was undeniably born out of colonialism......and of course you'd have us believe that wasn't very harmful either, I suppose?



You have not provided any evidence that points to any causative link between africa, and other former colonies problems and colonialism.
I ask again, what facts?


- No you don't.

You're playing ridiculous and rather tedious little games and I am done with them.


[edit on 5-6-2006 by sminkeypinkey]



posted on Jun, 6 2006 @ 11:51 AM
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Contrary to your claims the Italians did attack (with modern weapons - including mustard gas), defeat, occupy and colonise Ethiopia/Abyssinia from 1935.


I did not mention this little footnote in history because the Italians were not around long enough to colonise the country.

Abyssinia was liberated by the British Army in 1941.

Blaming Ethiopea's current problems on 6 years of Italian occupation is rather like the French blaming their recent student riots on the Nazi occupation of 1940-44.


I actually said that the 'race for Empire' was a major component of why the colonial Powers ended up at war, which is quite different.


I disagree. Bear in mind that the two greatest colonial rivals, Britain and France fought both those wars on the same side.



- Well if you are going to ignore the fact that border definition done remotely and thousands of miles away (that took little or no account of tribal realities)


I have never said that colonial rule was in any way perfect or that mistakes were not made. I hold to the view though that in the case of the British Empire anyway more good was done than harm. I also believe that colonialism is balmed for modern problems that have been mostly caused by incompetant and corrupt governance.


or the single produce economies that were the result of Empire were harmful then that's up to you.


I have already stated in a previous post that this is caused by a lack of modern ethical investment. You have not rebutted this.


In relation to Africa colonial government is probably the only period that that continent ever experienced good governance.

- According to you.


Please explain in what way the pre-colonial rulers of Africa, tribal chiefs who slew, tortured and enslaved their subjects at will, or the likes of Idi Amin Boukhassa, and Robert Mugabe were/are better governors than the old colonial administrations.


You have not pointed out any facts.

- No.
You merely wriggle and are blind to them.


Taken for granted left-wing revisionist opinions are not facts.


may have been nothing new but it was when done on the vast scale of the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries.
This was undeniably born out of colonialism......and of course you'd have us believe that wasn't very harmful either, I suppose?


I did not mention it because it is a peripheral issue, but since you brought it up.

There can be absolutely no justification for the slave trade. You were quite correct to hint that this trade had existed before Europeans arrived on the scene, and equally correct to say that nobody took it to such industrial proportions as the English.

However you failed to mention (possibly because it does not quite fit in with the left-wing revisionist view of things) That the slave-trade was abolished by Britain in the early 1800s, and slavery was abolished throughout the British Empire in 1833.

Following abolition Britains armed forces took steps to anhilate slavery from the face of the earth.

Preassure was placed on the other powers to adopt the same laws as briatin, which they did.

Briatins armed forces fought several wars and countless expeditions to surpress slavery.

Several African countries were colonised simply as part of the fight against the slavers, Sierra Leone and the Gambia are two such examples.

The slave trade was a shameful episode in our history, yet no nation has done as much as Great Britain to destroy this trade.



posted on Jun, 6 2006 @ 12:57 PM
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Originally posted by Vox Populi
Blaming Ethiopea's current problems on 6 years of Italian occupation


- Er, I didn't.
I merely pointed out they had been attacked, occupied and damaged by Italian colonialism, contrary to your claims.

.....and I don't see that as having been a positive episode for them, do you?


Bear in mind that the two greatest colonial rivals, Britain and France fought both those wars on the same side.


- What are you on about?
Once again you have contrived to utterly miss the point and move on to something which is nothing to do with the point I have been making at all.

It was quite obviously the belated Empire desires and rivalry Germany created between her and the British that was the key in leading towards the naval arms race and WW1, nothing to do Britain and France.


Please explain in what way the pre-colonial rulers of Africa, tribal chiefs who slew, tortured and enslaved their subjects at will, or the likes of Idi Amin Boukhassa, and Robert Mugabe were/are better governors than the old colonial administrations.


- Again you manage to completely miss the point.

It does not matter that colonial rule was not as bloody or corrupt, the point is that it was harmful to the development of those places and therefore cannot be described as 'good'.
Being in some respects better than what went before (or even after) does not automatically mean it was overall 'a good thing' - especially when much of the 'bad' that came after is the perfectly foreseeable consequences of the end of Empire.


I did not mention it because it is a peripheral issue, but since you brought it up.


- Oh right, when discussing the merits of the British Empire slavery is just "peripheral" as far as you are concerned.

Well doesn't that just speak volumes.


Taken for granted left-wing revisionist opinions are not facts.


-.....and there we have your trademark resorting to rather ridiculous name calling.

Told you you were just playing silly games.

....oh and one last thing -

The slave trade was a shameful episode in our history, yet no nation has done as much as Great Britain to destroy this trade.


- Sorry if I can't find it in me to go all gooey and congratulate one of the 'greatest' slave trading nations the world ever saw on the eventual conversion away from slave trading (and eventually the later sham which was the post-slavery 'indentured labour').

In any event I don't suppose you'll understand why that doesn't strike me as something to see as too much of a 'plus' or achievement.



[edit on 6-6-2006 by sminkeypinkey]



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