The history of Britain

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FergieD
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I assume most people on here are aware of the history of the british empire.

Modern Britain (despite it's flaws) has one of the highest standards of living in the world and is a developed nation where all of our citizens live in relative luxury.

Most people would not hold these modern descendants responsible for the actions of it's ancestors.

But, the reality remains that we (and the rest of the western world) have profited from it in a massive way.

So:

1) Should we feel guilt that we continue to live in luxury because of the oppression dished out by our ancestors?

2) Should the many ancient relics and treasures housed in the British Museum be return to the countries they were found in?

3) Colonialism rapidly increased the development of europe, and some would argue that without this development the world would not be as developed as it is today - Do you agree with this? And if so, do you believe it justifies the actions of colonists?
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pane123
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The inhabitants of former colonies are getting their revenge through mass immigration.

And 'its' should not have an apostrophe.
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cid
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(Original post by FergieD)
I assume most people on here are aware of the history of the british empire.

Modern Britain (despite it's flaws) has one of the highest standards of living in the world and is a developed nation where all of our citizens live in relative luxury.

Most people would not hold these modern descendants responsible for the actions of it's ancestors.

But, the reality remains that we (and the rest of the western world) have profited from it in a massive way.

proof? I'm not saying you're wrong, I'm saying show me some quantitative data proving your argument,
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Kiss
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1, No, we aren't responsible for the actions of our ancestors.
2. Unless they can be proven the property of a specific family then I don't think so - if they are then maybe, but if not then it should remain in a museum for all and everyone to see.
3. Developments would have occurred elsewhere if it hadn't been in Europe.
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Snagprophet
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(Original post by FergieD)
2) Should the many ancient relics and treasures housed in the British Museum be return to the countries they were found in?
I think that them being housed in the British Museum guarantees the continued existence of these treasures. In many of these Islamic countries there's been a trend of destroying non-Islamic artefacts so there's no reason why we should send certain things back to their country of origin. Egypt being a prime example of this. We've already had the library at Alexandria destroyed by them, I don't think we're taking any more chances with them.
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FergieD
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(Original post by cid)
proof? I'm not saying you're wrong, I'm saying show me some quantitative data proving your argument,
The simplest and easiest would be the collection of tax from the colony in question.

Although where you would access the detail records to quantify the amounts I am not sure
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Swanbow
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1) No, because our economic development wasn't entirely funded by colonialism. The Industrial Revolution was vastly responsible for making the United Kingdom a wealthy nation. If anything we should be ashamed at the dismal conditions workers in our country faced for over a century, including child labour. Furthermore as I had no role in colonialism, I don't see why I should have any guilt.

2) This should be dealt with on a case to case basis. If a foreign government petition for the return of important cultural artefacts held in our museums, and present a compelling case then I am not against it.

3) Again I believe colonialism was a sideshow compared to the Industrial revolution in the development of Europe. In fact 19th Colonialism was a product Europe technological superiority and development, thanks to the Industrial Revolution and Age of Enlightenment. Colonialism did however spread Western ideas and systems across the globe, i.e. Westminster parliamentary system in former British colonies. How Africa and Asia would have developed without colonialism is unknown, so it is difficult to say whether colonialism was justified or not. At any case the oppression and various acts of genocide that accompanied imperialism are certainly unjustifiable.
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FergieD
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(Original post by Kiss)
1, No, we aren't responsible for the actions of our ancestors.
2. Unless they can be proven the property of a specific family then I don't think so - if they are then maybe, but if not then it should remain in a museum for all and everyone to see.
3. Developments would have occurred elsewhere if it hadn't been in Europe.
That all depends on whether or not you believe the industrial revolution would have happened otherwise.

During this period the major nations of Europe were very wealthy and very stable - would they have been this way without their empires? Would the IR have happened without these conditions?

I think you might struggle to find evidence to prove either way, but I suspect that people who have a better and more detailed understanding of these two events would be able to draw a stronger conclusion.
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cid
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(Original post by FergieD)


1) No, because our economic development wasn't entirely funded by colonialism. The Industrial Revolution was vastly responsible for making the United Kingdom a wealthy nation. If anything we should be ashamed at the dismal conditions workers in our country faced for over a century, including child labour. Furthermore as I had no role in colonialism, I don't see why I should have any guilt.

2) This should be dealt with on a case to case basis. If a foreign government petition for the return of important cultural artefacts held in our museums, and present a compelling case then I am not against it.

3) Again I believe colonialism was a sideshow compared to the Industrial revolution in the development of Europe. In fact 19th Colonialism was a product Europe technological superiority and development, thanks to the Industrial Revolution and Age of Enlightenment. Colonialism did however spread Western ideas and systems across the globe, i.e. Westminster parliamentary system in former British colonies. How Africa and Asia would have developed without colonialism is unknown, so it is difficult to say whether colonialism was justified or not. At any case the oppression and various acts of genocide that accompanied imperialism are certainly unjustifiable.


That all depends on whether or not you believe the industrial revolution would have happened otherwise.

During this period the major nations of Europe were very wealthy and very stable - would they have been this way without their empires? Would the IR have happened without these conditions?

I think you might struggle to find evidence to prove either way, but I suspect that people who have a better and more detailed understanding of these two events would be able to draw a stronger conclusion.

This is why i requested quantitative data from you supporting your argument, without it, this entire thread is just an exercise in futility.
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FergieD
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(Original post by cid)
This is why i requested quantitative data from you supporting your argument, without it, this entire thread is just an exercise in futility.
Quantitative evidence showing that Britain and other European economies benefited from colonialism??

1) Tax collected from colonies
2) Slaves taken from colonies which were either sold or used to generate income through labour

Also note academic immigration - whilst there is plenty of quantitative data to show that it happened, there is nothing to prove a causative link between academic immigration and increased wealth.
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FergieD
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(Original post by cid)
This is why i requested quantitative data from you supporting your argument, without it, this entire thread is just an exercise in futility.
Also note I wasn't arguing either way - I was simply asking the question.
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