Hey there! Sign in to join this conversationNew here? Join for free

British people are proud of colonialism and the British Empire, poll finds Watch

    Offline

    3
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Fullofsurprises)
    Yes, Arab slaving in Africa preceeded and ran alongside European slaving. It was also as you say a very cruel and oppressive system. (It still runs in some areas of sub-Saharan Africa and allegedly in parts of the Islamic Arab world.)

    However, I think the usual recourse to Arab slaving as a comparison and justifier that often comes up in web forums when this is debated is a bit of a distraction. For sure, Arab slavers were active. However, their impact was miniscule compared to European (and especially British-controlled) slaving. Our innovation was to truly industrialise it, turning what had been essentially a family type of business into a gigantic mercantile exploitation. The Arabs transported slaves by the hundreds. Our ancestors transported them by the million.
    From the wiki:

    Historians estimate that between 650 and the 1960s, 10 to 18 million people were enslaved by Arab slave traders and taken from Europe, Asia and Africa across the Red Sea, Indian Ocean, and Sahara desert.
    Current estimates are that about 12 million Africans were shipped across the Atlantic
    Of which it states that 28% went to English and British colonies; the largest Atlantic slaving power was Portugal whose American empire received about 40% of all slaves transported across the Atlantic.

    Now it is worth pointing out that the Arab (more accurately, muslim) slave trade took place over 1,000 years, the European over about 400, so the intensity of the European slave trade was greater, but only about 2x, and much less adjusted for the relative European population size, or the land area of their possessions.

    The main reason we care more about the European slave trade than the Arab, and the British slave trade than the Portugese, is that slaves in British colonies were much more likely to survive and reproduce than slaves in non-British European colonies, and having survived had much more political power as citizens of the mighty USA than weak Brazil, while the Arabs exterminated almost all of their imported slaves by overwork.

    This is the paradox of oppressed minoritarianism: although an oppressed minority must be both oppressed and a minority, if it's too small then no one is around to agitate for it and if it is too oppressed those people tend to end up ignored or dead. The result is that we hear a lot more about the least abusive cases than the most abusive cases. Applies even within cases: white Europeans today care a lot more about the subjugation of the tiny and thoroughly despicable Lakota tribe that survived to make its case in 20th century books and newspapers, than the much larger and more civilised Atlantic settled farmer Amerindians of the east coast who were wiped out completely.
    Offline

    3
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Observatory)
    From the wiki:




    Of which it states that 28% went to English and British colonies; the largest Atlantic slaving power was Portugal whose American empire received about 40% of all slaves transported across the Atlantic.

    Now it is worth pointing out that the Arab (more accurately, muslim) slave trade took place over 1,000 years, the European over about 400, so the intensity of the European slave trade was greater, but only about 2x, and much less adjusted for the relative European population size, or the land area of their possessions.

    The main reason we care more about the European slave trade than the Arab, and the British slave trade than the Portugese, is that slaves in British colonies were much more likely to survive and reproduce than slaves in non-British European colonies, and having survived had much more political power as citizens of the mighty USA than weak Brazil, while the Arabs exterminated almost all of their imported slaves by overwork.

    This is the paradox of oppressed minoritarianism: although an oppressed minority must be both oppressed and a minority, if it's too small then no one is around to agitate for it and if it is too oppressed those people tend to end up ignored or dead. The result is that we hear a lot more about the least abusive cases than the most abusive cases. Applies even within cases: white Europeans today care a lot more about the subjugation of the tiny and thoroughly despicable Lakota tribe that survived to make its case in 20th century books and newspapers, than the much larger and more civilised Atlantic settled farmer Amerindians of the east coast who were wiped out completely.
    Big big rep for highlighting this [email protected]

    Posted from TSR Mobile
    Online

    19
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Observatory)
    From the wiki:


    The main reason we care more about the European slave trade than the Arab, and the British slave trade than the Portugese, is that slaves in British colonies were much more likely to survive and reproduce than slaves in non-British European colonies, and having survived had much more political power as citizens of the mighty USA than weak Brazil, while the Arabs exterminated almost all of their imported slaves by overwork.

    You are a gentleman and a scholar. Take my rep.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    Can you blame them? Most people would cause they know their are failures on their own accounts and will never amount to nothing, so claiming something as powerful as the BE would be a god send for them. Claiming that your family is from one of the best empires in the world would make anyone feel good. The truth in the matter is, the British Empire wasn't made for the poor part of Britain and if it carried on, the poor would have got poorer.
    Offline

    20
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Observatory)
    From the wiki:




    Of which it states that 28% went to English and British colonies; the largest Atlantic slaving power was Portugal whose American empire received about 40% of all slaves transported across the Atlantic.

    Now it is worth pointing out that the Arab (more accurately, muslim) slave trade took place over 1,000 years, the European over about 400, so the intensity of the European slave trade was greater, but only about 2x, and much less adjusted for the relative European population size, or the land area of their possessions.

    The main reason we care more about the European slave trade than the Arab, and the British slave trade than the Portugese, is that slaves in British colonies were much more likely to survive and reproduce than slaves in non-British European colonies, and having survived had much more political power as citizens of the mighty USA than weak Brazil, while the Arabs exterminated almost all of their imported slaves by overwork.

    This is the paradox of oppressed minoritarianism: although an oppressed minority must be both oppressed and a minority, if it's too small then no one is around to agitate for it and if it is too oppressed those people tend to end up ignored or dead. The result is that we hear a lot more about the least abusive cases than the most abusive cases. Applies even within cases: white Europeans today care a lot more about the subjugation of the tiny and thoroughly despicable Lakota tribe that survived to make its case in 20th century books and newspapers, than the much larger and more civilised Atlantic settled farmer Amerindians of the east coast who were wiped out completely.
    I agree that there must be survivors (or records) to tell a story. The many vanished peoples of the former Soviet Union that Stalin had liquidated can no longer tell their stories for example.

    Western media, writers, books and films, have concentrated on the Triangle Trade and plantation slavery in recent years primarily because it took place in the US. It's noteworthy for example that there is less coverage about the Caribbean slave systems and those in S. America, which were also extensive.

    On that point, the slave survivors in the US were not primarily a British thing - the slave plantations there were under 'American' (Southern) control. In many of the British-controlled plantations in the Caribbean, conditions were much harsher in fact. There was definitely a work-to-death ethos in places like Barbados and Trinidad. There, infamously, Christian organisations like the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel and individual Bishops and churches owned slaves. Helpfully, to identify them, they were branded with the cross on arrival. They were treated with extraordinary cruelty even by the standards of those grim places. When the system was closed down after abolition on British territory, the British government compensated the owners and one example, Christopher Codrington, Bishop of Exeter, was rewarded so lavishly for his dreadful loss of slave income that he was later able to endow the library at All Soul's Oxford.
    Offline

    20
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by BLUChaosBear)
    Can you blame them? Most people would cause they know their are failures on their own accounts and will never amount to nothing, so claiming something as powerful as the BE would be a god send for them. Claiming that your family is from one of the best empires in the world would make anyone feel good. The truth in the matter is, the British Empire wasn't made for the poor part of Britain and if it carried on, the poor would have got poorer.
    The working class of Britain were kind of part of the mechanism by which the British upper classes maintained huge wealth. The desperately poor in the Empire produced the raw materials and the not-quite-so-desperately-poor in Britain processed them into manufactures. Later, as the 19th Century progressed, through constant militancy and action, the working class in Britain were able to obtain some small increases in well being and income, which enabled them to achieve a situation of being more distinctly above the position of the poor in Africa and Asia.
    Offline

    18
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by HucktheForde)
    The British public are generally proud of their country’s role in subjecting the world to colonialism and the British Empire, according to a new poll.

    At its height in 1922 the British Empire governed a fifth of the world’s population and a quarter of the world’s total land area, but its legacy divides opinion.

    Common criticisms of the empire include its policies causing millions of famine deaths in British India, its running of brutal detention camps in occupied territories, and massacres of civilians by imperial troops.

    The British Empire was also a dominant slave-trading power until the practice was outlawed in 1807, after which the Empire played key a role in ending the practice internationally.

    The Empire’s proponents say it brought economic development to parts of the world and benefited the countries it controlled.

    David Cameron has previously said the Empire should be “celebrated”.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk...-a6821206.html

    anyone finds this disturbing?
    I'm proud of what we did, except the India part. We ruled and we MADE human right, we MADE freedom and democracy, even without the empire we are a world power even with our size. We made USA like it is today, we still show we are better than the western countries as we are the only stabled economic in Europe currently as everyone else going down and France in recession. USA, UK and India are the only countries pulling it off right now for economic stabability. I'm proud to be called British, we are light-hearted nation to defend for the freedom and rights of people which WE created.

    While everyone else goes down in the future on economic ladder in the western world, the UK, USA and Germany will maintain our positions while everyone else sinks. Be proud not down.
    Offline

    16
    ReputationRep:
    Very proud. It was our divine right. Now most of the fuzzy wuzzy countries are rubbish. They need a bit of cold British steel to keep them in order. They don't like it up 'em you know.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Fullofsurprises)
    The working class of Britain were kind of part of the mechanism by which the British upper classes maintained huge wealth. The desperately poor in the Empire produced the raw materials and the not-quite-so-desperately-poor in Britain processed them into manufactures. Later, as the 19th Century progressed, through constant militancy and action, the working class in Britain were able to obtain some small increases in well being and income, which enabled them to achieve a situation of being more distinctly above the position of the poor in Africa and Asia.
    I agree. The thing is, most of the workers were still poor at the end of the BE and their descendants are probably not in a better position.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by ckfeister)
    I'm proud of what we did, except the India part. We ruled and we MADE human right, we MADE freedom and democracy, even without the empire we are a world power even with our size. We made USA like it is today, we still show we are better than the western countries as we are the only stabled economic in Europe currently as everyone else going down and France in recession. USA, UK and India are the only countries pulling it off right now for economic stabability. I'm proud to be called British, we are light-hearted nation to defend for the freedom and rights of people which WE created.

    While everyone else goes down in the future on economic ladder in the western world, the UK, USA and Germany will maintain our positions while everyone else sinks. Be proud not down.
    How come your cool with what they did to Africa part but not the India part?
    Offline

    18
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by BLUChaosBear)
    How come your cool with what they did to Africa part but not the India part?
    Oh whatever else they did than, Britain is still a good nation. Don't like it leave it.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by ckfeister)
    Oh whatever else they did than, Britain is still a good nation. Don't like it leave it.
    Don't like what? Britain did what everyone was doing back so I can't hate on anyone. The reason why the BE was hated is because they did it better.
    Offline

    18
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by BLUChaosBear)
    Don't like what? Britain did what everyone was doing back so I can't hate on anyone. The reason why the BE was hated is because they did it better.
    We more liberal.
    Offline

    13
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Copperknickers)
    Of course. What's your point?
    I have never met Indian/Pakistani/African/Bangladeshi praising "English values" and "thank we were part of the empire", hence I am curious, where you have gotten that opinion from. They view it much more critically. Another point is, that Germany has a way better reputation globally, than you think. Especially because Germany is not glorifiying its past.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    I think it was great.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    Some people just say proud in place of that they aren't ashamed of it


    You know like people who say they're proud to be (insert race here)


    I don't think colonialism is anything to be proud of but it wasn't all evil
    Offline

    12
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Nathanielle)
    I have never met Indian/Pakistani/African/Bangladeshi praising "English values" and "thank we were part of the empire",
    You have obviously never been to India/Pakistan/Bangladesh. A lot of people in South Asia are thankful for the positive aspects of empire, and very few people actively criticise today's Britain (quite rightly, since the people responsible for British imperial atrocities are all dead now).

    hence I am curious, where you have gotten that opinion from. They view it much more critically. Another point is, that Germany has a way better reputation globally, than you think. Especially because Germany is not glorifiying its past.
    Germany in its modern form is 25 years old. Before that, it was two countries, one of which was an oppressive Communist state with a chillingly infamous secret police force, the other of which was an irrelevant and subdued place. Before that of course it was Europe's most belligerent country for a hundred years. Germany today is a peaceful and wealthy country with a large amount of influence within the EU, but that's a very recent development. My point is the British empire was by the standards of its time no different to any other country, it was just richer and more powerful. It's exceptional qualities lay in its mercantile, industrial and scientific contributions which allowed it to surpass all the other equally brutal and oppressive empires of the world, both European and non-European.

    It's worth reading up on the Aztecs, the Mughals, the various Chinese dynasties, and the Ottomans, if you think European empires invented genocide and slavery. And let's not get started on what life was like for the tribal peoples of Africa, North America and Australasia. The Maoris used to throw people alive into boiling volcanic springs, and eat the brains of the enemies they killed in battle.
    Offline

    16
    ReputationRep:
    Good and bad things came from the British Empire. It's not always so simple. There's things to be ashamed of, but also things to be proud of.

    For example, Britain's colonial influence surged a great many nations and peoples into the industrialized world. A number of nations (still ironically seeking 'reparations') would not have the economies, life expectancy, conveniences, or standards of living they do today if it wasn't for their (albeit involuntary) membership.

    Of course the European powers weren't perfect - and they caused many people a great deal of harm - but without them, the world would be a very different, underdeveloped place. But let's not also pretend that these 'stolen lands' were peaceful utopias free of tyranny, disease and conflict before the Europeans turned up. We seem to have succumbed to this bizarre notion that because Britain, France, or whoever, 'touched it last' that every bad thing that is or ever was about those places is now suddenly the fault of colonialism.
    • Political Ambassador
    Offline

    18
    ReputationRep:
    I think people “loving” or being proud of the British Empire may be misinformed. Not only was the BE cruel to its dependent colonies, poor British people were not better off. Except you are from a rich family, who had direct or indirect links to the Empire, you should not really be proud of the British Empire or the Monarchy.

    The media has successfully made Brits to sheepishly follow everything considered “British”, even things that are outright wrong. You see people crowding the streets to “worship” the Queen (and other members of the Aristocracy), when these same people do not see you on the same level. Remember that many “working-class” people were regarded as paupers or peasants.

    The difference between poor British people and slaves was just the freedom and the cruelty of working on the plantations. Poor Brits did not have access to the luxury or opportunities that came with the Empire. It is happening even till this day, poor British people living in the run-down neighbours of Manchester, London, Birmingham etc. comparing themselves to kids living in Berkshire, Wiltshire and Surrey and attending schools like Eton, Harrow and Rugby, where these kids' school fees are more than what some people’s parents earn in a year. So, please do not be fooled by it.

    When the story of the current American Empire will be written, it will be stupid for a white kid from the inner city of New York, whose family ancestry were used to working 3-4 jobs to pay the bills, to be proud of the American Empire and compare his family roots to that of Bill Gates, John D. Rockefeller or even Donald Trump.

    I think people need to research about the British Empire and research about their own family ancestry. Then, they should decide whether they should be proud of the Empire. Just knowing GCSE History or A’ Level History is not enough.

    I think that we should sit and critically think about it. Just saying “we” did this or that is not enough, because honestly YOU did not do anything. If you are proud of such a great empire and your family is still struggling to make ends meet. Then, I respect your decision. Go past the sentiments and think about the British Empire.

    To me, I recognise that the British Empire may have had its merits such as encouraging the use of one global language (English) as well as advances in science, medicine and technology. However, from what I have extensively read, the evil deeds conducted by the administrators of the British Empire appear to outweigh the good deeds. These include allowing or instigating mass starvation of innocent people, encouraging the slave trade and then compensating the slave owners rather than the slaves as well as mass destruction of lives and property. Hence, to me, I am not proud of the British Empire.
 
 
 
  • See more of what you like on The Student Room

    You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

  • Poll
    Break up or unrequited love?
    Useful resources
  • See more of what you like on The Student Room

    You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

  • The Student Room, Get Revising and Marked by Teachers are trading names of The Student Room Group Ltd.

    Register Number: 04666380 (England and Wales), VAT No. 806 8067 22 Registered Office: International House, Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3XE

    Quick reply
    Reputation gems: You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.