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How come most of the former british colonies are in messes

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    How come most of the former british colonies are undeveloped.
    Why is it only places like Hong Kong, Australia, Canada, South Africa(kinda) and New Zealand that are doing well after british colonial rule, compared to countries like Nigeria, Ghana, Jamaica, India, Pakistan, Uganda and some other former british colonies.
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    I don't think the living standards in India have fallen at all, although it gets worse the more people fill up their population. With Zimbabwe it is down to discrimination against white farmers and racist attacks. I think with the other ones is that they don't have a good infrastructure and industries.
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    Is messes a word?
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    Corruption
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    (Original post by kenni12)
    How come most of the former british colonies are undeveloped.
    Why is it only places like Hong Kong, Australia, Canada, South Africa(kinda) and New Zealand that are doing well after british colonial rule, compared to countries like Nigeria, Ghana, Jamaica, India, Pakistan, Uganda and some other former british colonies.
    India isn't that bad, it's only developing because of it's huge population which is a big drain on economy and causes noticeable poverty and job competition.

    Hong Kong, Canada and Australasia (including NZ) are generally alright because of their natural resources - eg. canada has loads of oil. As well as that, British settlers immigrated to much of those territories as it was something appealing, whereas for India and China is more 'business' and upkeeping the Empire.

    Pakistan is falling apart because Britain ballsed things up in the partition, though the muslims were not going to be satisfied either way. Same thing happened in Palestine when Britain partitioned that.

    South Africa was a keystone to the control of the african continent. It was maintained to a decent standard until the Empire was dismantled - now it is a bit unstable, though not a lot has changed.

    Short answer: some places had resources, some places were sites of interest for immigration purely to move, some places were key to maintaining the Empire and were deemed important, and some places were not overpopulated - that can't be said for all of the previous colonies.
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    Maybe because Britain took a lot from those places (e.g. taxes, treasures etc)
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    I don't think it's a coincidence that the ones deemed to be 'failing' are the ones least English-like, whether that be rule of law or societal.

    I think you could argue that one of our former colonies is, however, leading the world in almost everything: The US. So it's clearly not all bad.
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    It's not just British colonies; look at West Africa (mainly French), the Congo (Belgium), Mozambique (Portugal), etc. Colonialism is certainly a large factor in how those countries function nowadays, but it's not down to which particular power ruled then. Colonial practice amongst all the European powers led to borders being drawn up along a Western model of what a country is, rather than with recourse to the local situation. Hence things like different ethnic groups being forcibly contained within the same regions, which has often led to strife.

    And of course many problems don't relate to the legacy of colonialism at all, such as, for example, drought.
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    The crappy nations tended to have good deals of government control once the British left and they also tend to be situated in less than ideal places.
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    (Original post by yothi5)
    Is messes a word?
    Yes. Plural of 'mess.'
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    (Original post by Drewski)
    I don't think it's a coincidence that the ones deemed to be 'failing' are the ones least English-like, whether that be rule of law or societal.
    True, but it's association rather than causation. The places where there are lots of European settlers were generally those without lots of resources. Land was cheap and the government encouraged settlement because it would produce new markets for goods. They were allowed to independently develop without too much interference (well, the settlers were).

    Compare that to somewhere like Jamaica. Jamaica wasn't supposed to be for settlement, it was for plantations and spices and suchlike. That made land expensive and the government didn't want ordinary people moving there anyway, because the government was run in the interests of the rich and they wanted Jamaica kept as it was for them to make a profit.
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    (Original post by kenni12)
    How come most of the former british colonies are undeveloped.
    Why is it only places like Hong Kong, Australia, Canada, South Africa(kinda) and New Zealand that are doing well after british colonial rule, compared to countries like Nigeria, Ghana, Jamaica, India, Pakistan, Uganda and some other former british colonies.
    India? India is one of the fastest growing economies in the world. It will soon overtake the UK economy wise. I doubt it'll be undeveloped in 50 or so years.
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    Bad drawing of national boundaries.
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    (Original post by kenni12)
    How come most of the former british colonies are undeveloped.
    Why is it only places like Hong Kong, Australia, Canada, South Africa(kinda) and New Zealand that are doing well after british colonial rule, compared to countries like Nigeria, Ghana, Jamaica, India, Pakistan, Uganda and some other former british colonies.
    India has never had a famine since the Westerners left (unlike beforehand).
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    (Original post by kenni12)
    How come most of the former british colonies are undeveloped.
    Why is it only places like Hong Kong, Australia, Canada, South Africa(kinda) and New Zealand that are doing well after british colonial rule, compared to countries like Nigeria, Ghana, Jamaica, India, Pakistan, Uganda and some other former british colonies.
    Why would you expect them to be developed up to the standard of Western Europe? The ones that are doing the best are, broadly speaking, the ones where British society, at a highly developed level, was directly transplanted, and the less-developed pre-existing societies were wiped out. The second tier are those where there was an existing, reasonably-developed civilisation and long-term British rule, such as India, which I would resist placing in the same category as Jamaica or Nigeria. Now look at the pre-existing societies of the African continent, where colonial rule was also the shortest. This simple picture is of course massively complicated by the nature of colonial rule in each colony, its place in the colonial economy, the existence of ethnic conflict, corruption, etc., but it is a good basic starting point. Where the native population was not wiped out, colonial societies were not created from scratch. These places have a pre-colonial history and pre-existing nature that also needs to be taken into account.
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    Mainly down to corruption, Zambia prospered under British rule due to the copper trade; when they got independence the militias took over and plunged people into poverty,
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    Because the British are best at divide and rule.
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    neo- colonialism
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    Sorry if I offended anyone, I am from one of the former british colony(Nigeria) which is plagued by poverty and unreliable leaders and it makes me wonder why few former british colonies like Canada, Australia,etc are in the developing world compared to ones like mine.
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    Because theyre run by a bunch of moronic despots and they have ethnic tensions Australasia, canada and most of the US dont have.
    with regards to your examples though i wouldnt say India is in a mess by any stretch of the imagination, its an up and coming superpower by many peoples reckonings and it also owns most of the [whats left of anyway] steel produciton in the UK and a few of the luxury car brands ... and south africa is pretty up the pooper lets not lie here .. crime is through the roof, corruption is rife etc.

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Updated: April 24, 2012
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