British Empire Society Watch

username81904
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The British Empire Appreciation Society is now official!Click here to join.

The British Empire was the most extensive empire in world history and for a substantial time was the foremost global power. It was a product of the European age of discovery, which began with the maritime explorations of the 15th century, that sparked the era of the European colonial empires.

By 1921, the British Empire held sway over a population of about 458 million people, approximately one-quarter of the world's population. It covered about 36.6 million km² (14.2 million square miles), about a quarter of Earth's total land area. As a result, British influence remains strong throughout the world, such as in economic practice, legal and governmental systems, militarily, in society, sports (such as cricket, rugby and football), educational systems, and the English language itself.

At the peak of its power, it was often said that "the sun never sets on the British Empire" because its span across the globe ensured that the sun was always shining on at least one of its numerous colonies.



Hate it or love it, don't you think its time we restored her to former glory or at least appreciate what she did/ruined for the world? Join the Society!

People often forget - the Empire was not a force of evil for those it conquered, it was a force of good. The Pax Britannica made the 19th century comparitively peaceful and safe compared to the centuries that preceded it, and it was possible to travel the globe and visit all continents using just one currency, speaking one language and all without worry of molestation.

Our territory:

Our Mascot:


note: This is not a world domination attempt...yet

Also this has nothing to do with the BNP or any other racially motivated groups.
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username81904
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It was all in good fun...Colonialisation helped alot of countries as well with better farming techniques and investment. Many countries were worse of when they gained independence
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username81904
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no1s forcing you to join?


Wow 1,000 posts!
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Sandhu
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I'll pass, nice idea though.
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JonD
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I want to join!

(Original post by ViVi87)
Fun?? Is that what it is to you?

If you look at the statistics, many countries were worse off at the point of independence than they had been before Britain arrived at their shores. This again reiterates the fact that Britain plundered countries of their wealth and resources for selfish gain.
Many countries kept statistics? I don't believe that. Especially not since most of these countries couldn't even write. The British Empire pioneered statistics, and a glance at those historic records show that more money was invested in colonies than was invested in Britain itself.

I don't believe the British empire was perfect or anything, and I certainly don't like some of its later traditions (i.e. classism, or 'racism' as it's often called now). I'm interested in this society because it had a great aesthetic: walk around London and tell me those towering Victorian buildings aren't awe inspiring. Oh, and because I'm a patriotic believer in Britain and the superiority of our civilisation!

This is good timing really. We need to fend off annoying petty nationalists who want to either split up Britain or throw out non-whites. We also have Indians renovating Raj-era manors, Chinese buying up British car companies so they can live like Gentlemen, and the dawning realisation that our modern era of globalisation is quite like the pre-1914 world.
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JonD
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I think this image should be used as our world map instead

Not really
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Agent Smith
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I wanna join!
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tafina
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what's shame! do you really consider colonialisation as a noble work,i agree with vivi87,colonialisation is a movement which backwards societies,i don't know why people talk with out having enough infomation about the issue,i'll give you an example :in the african savana,a hunter catchs a great elephant,he puts him in a cage with a big chain made with metal and very heavy,at first the elephant tryed to liberate his self every day,and after a while he stoped trying,and then the hunter moved the chain a way,even the elephant was free but he didn't try to run a way ,so you know why because the chain was in his mind.
so before saying inanity ,you have to feel peoples pain.
i would like to ask you what do you feel over the NAZI ocupation did it make a push in your developement ? even it was for few days,
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TRB
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(Original post by tafina)
what's shame! do you really consider colonialisation as a noble work,i agree with vivi87,colonialisation is a movement which backwards societies,i don't know why people talk with out having enough infomation about the issue,i'll give you an example :in the african savana,a hunter catchs a great elephant,he puts him in a cage with a big chain made with metal and very heavy,at first the elephant tryed to liberate his self every day,and after a while he stoped trying,and then the hunter moved the chain a way,even the elephant was free but he didn't try to run a way ,so you know why because the chain was in his mind.
so before saying inanity ,you have to feel peoples pain.
i would like to ask you what do you feel over the NAZI ocupation did it make a push in your developement ? even it was for few days,
What a poor argument, especially the part in bold.

GET
OFF
YOUR
HIGH
HORSE
KID

Id join.
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Gilliwoo
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Oh come on lighten up fellows! Empire, is, to me, like the weather of yesterday: there are things about it that could have worked better, it could have been less of many things, and more of other things, but ultimately, it happened. I view it with the same detachment as I might view an act of God, however much I regret some of its consequences.

Do I consider it to be a achievement? Absolutely! But not in a racial or racist sense, so much as an acknowledgement of the bravery, effort, foresight, ambition, technological nous, military prowess, diplomatic skill, adminstrative ability and downright gall it takes to build one of them things. Call me primitive, but I still think that when looked at in history, Empires remain the single most pulpable manifestations of a culture's success. Ironically, I'd say empires 'multi-culturalize' the world.

But on the other hand, in the process a great part of the native populations of the Americas was killed directly or indirectly, and the same thing happened in other parts of the world such as Australia and Oceania; European diseases were introduced to foreign countries, and exotic ones were brought to Europe; the evil of the slave trade was exploited and exacerbated; an inferiority complex was introduced in many foreign civilizations, with the effects still being felt in many parts of the world, breeding often justified ill-will towards the West; and violent rifts that survive to this day, were created between neighbouring nations as a result of imperial ‘divide and rule’ policy. No other event in history turned mankind upside-down so thoroughly as this period of European eruption and consequent century-long colonial rule and western hegemony.

Will I join this society? Depends on what its purpose is: because the Empire was an immense and impressive achievement, but I see no cause now to paint the town red (or paint the map red perhaps?) in celebration of something with such serious and genuine moral and current implications. I also think to make so light of the more serious side of empire is untoward. At the end of the day, Empires are about taking away the dignity of other peoples, deprecating their cultures, and generaly teating people solely as a means to an end. I don't accept it in commerce or politics, I don't accept it in Empire either.

That said, the British Empire was not at all universally evil, and it was in some ways, especially in its late and middle age, an "empire of good intentions". Let's see it as the brilliant curiosity of history that it is. Form a society by all means.
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username81904
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Exactly!!! It had its ups and downs but it was generally a force for good, it brought people of many different religions and races together and dare i say it prevented strong racial tension in Britian compared to places like Italy and Russia where racism is a huge problem. It generally spread wealth while in power and while it did make people richer in Britian it also brought agricultural technology to places that desperatly needed it eg Zimbabway, once africas bread basket while in the union, today it can hardly feed its own people.

Joining this society is saying that you support union between cultures!
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Gilliwoo
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(Original post by cookiejest)
Exactly!!! It had its ups and downs but it was generally a force for good
Well that's a thoroughly debatable conclusions

it brought people of many different religions and races together and dare i say it prevented strong racial tension in Britian compared to places like Italy and Russia where racism is a huge problem.
Empires actually tend to do this. But it has to be acnknowledged that it creates a dichotomy of dignity between the conquered and the conqeurors. Ihappen to believe that human dignity isnon-negotiable - it's the first rule of ethics.

it also brought agricultural technology to places that desperatly needed it eg Zimbabway, once africas bread basket while in the union, today it can hardly feed its own people.
Yes but that's not because Zimbabwe "can't do it for themselves", so much as the fact that its leaders won't. In any case, Zimbabwe was not an industrial society before Europeans came, so I don't think that European agricultural technology could have improved their lot considerably in that context. Also remember that laissez-faire economic thinkers presided over ugly famines in India and Ireland.

Joining this society is saying that you support union between cultures!
A language's dominance is certainly one of the most telling legacies of an empire. Empire, when done properly, can promote multiculturalism.
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username81904
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An artical i found on the good stuff the BE did for us:
Spoiler:
Show

Let me make clear some first principles.

* The wealth of a nation depends not on its physical resources, but upon the honesty and industriousness of its people. This is why Hong Kong is one of the wealthiest nations of the world per capita, and why mainland China is not - same people in each, but Hong Kong has a population tempered and improved by fair laws and centuries of Anglo Saxon tradition. This makes their culture quite different, and is why, despite the total lack of resources, they are so incredibally wealthy.
* Any country which is superior to another in terms of the culture being fair and honest must surely become wealthier and more powerful than all neighbours, nomatter the resources available. A prime example of this might be ancient Athens, which despite its tiny size (a population of some 50,000 or so) managed to defeat, single handedly, the entire Persian Empire. This was due to Athens being a nation of moral probity and fairness.
* Any nation which is wealthy therefore has moral probity. This is fairly trivial from my above points.
* Any nation which has wealth has a duty to conquer countries less wealthy than it. This may seem controversial, but I think it follows from my previous points fairly well. This wealthier country will obviously have more moral probity and fairness - all the mechanisms of the market defined by Adam Smith depend upon a society that is, at its heart, fair. If someone is more intelligent and has higher moral values than a degenerate in the street, we recognise that that person has a duty to help the degenerate where he can. The same applies to nation states.

Britain became the world's foremost power in the 18th century. Closely rivalled by degenerate France for a time, before extinguishing its historical rival towards the end of the century in the Seven Years War, this was the century when Britain started to really make something of its Empire. In the 19th Century it grew almost by accident - by this time the British were so superior that individual mercenaries, like Rajah Brooke, could take over entire nations. Although the British Empire expanded to take over one third of the globe physically, it also had numerous satellite states and spheres of interest. All of South and Central America did not need to be conquered physically, because they were already controlled utterly and completely economically.

Britain took its obligations seriously however. It did not try to extinguish the cultures of other nations, but rather to bring them alive in a framework of fairness. The only cultural artifacts it imposed were simple principles of morals. Where native religions were opposed to even simple moral behaviour, they would introduce Christianity in order to right the wrongs of paganism and allow these peoples to flower.

The fact that Britain was not interested in changing the cultures and religions of the peoples it conquered can be seen most clearly in India. The British East India company, before the mutiny, was the ruler of India. By 1850 the wealth of the company and its turnover was greater than that of the whole of Britain - a great economic success. However, companies are not interested in changing cultures, only in making money. But when the mutiny started (sparked by a false rumour among the ignorant sepoys of cartridges being greased with pig fat), it was clear that it wasn't altering the culture of India enough and so the government disbanded it and India at last basked in the light of modern post-Enlightenment thought.

Britain in the 19th century can be considered the educator of the world - not a corner or a people did not benefit from the glow of western civilisation and Anglo Saxon culture. Of course, Britain did not intend to impose actual culture, just impose a moral framework such that decent commerce could occur. Primitive regions of the world, such as Ireland and Sierra Leone, have long been thankful for this.

By the 20th century, some nations had taken this lesson to heart so much that they began to take over Britain in economic performance and become teachers themselves - America and Japan are good examples of this. So it was that Britain selflessly undid its own status.

But just imagine for a moment what would have happened had Britain not been so selfless with its knowledge. If Britain had adopted a more protectionist attitude, the whole world would have suffered and we would still be in the dark ages because the light of Britain's advance into the Industrial Revolution and the modern world would not have spread beyond the shores of the Mother Country.

In fact, lets take this to an extreme degree - suppose financially and militarily superior nations and people did not seek to impose themselves on their neighbours. By now Europe would have a population in the billions, and would doubtless have collapsed utterly - it is only by exporting the human surplus and importing resources and agriproducts (like the potato) that Europe has been able to stay alive.

The nub is that those who criticise the Empire, a natural occurance, do not have any decent explanations of how world history was supposed to proceed.

The simple fact is that the British Empire, like all Empires before it, did a lot more good than it did harm. Just like the Roman Empire in ancient times, it spread plumbing, roads, trade, and education. The Roman Empire is now a rosy memory, and generally people recognise that it did much good for Europe - but people will not admit the same for the British Empire regarding what it did for the world.

Perhaps this is because we are still close to the British Empire in time, and it haunts us. I have no doubt that one day, the worth and achievements of Empire will be properly recognised. Whether you are in the USA, Australia, India, South Africa, Canada or Egypt, you can thank the existence of your nation and your standard of living on the British Empire.


I understand that it may have caused as much harm as good, but its important we appreciate it and remember it we cant just forget, ive decided to change the aim of the soc from regeneration of the empire(although i wouldn't mind it) to an appreciation of all the good and bad that it caused. Which is something nobody can say it isn't worth joining.
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JonD
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(Original post by ViVi87)
India? Sanksrit? Before English?
"Especially not since most of these countries couldn't even write."
Notice the word 'most'. Furhermore "the British Empire pioneered statistics". Even in India, I'm not aware there were any economic records before the British started making them.

Do you honestly believe that Britain did not benefit immensely in wealth from its colonies? As an example, why was Britain so desperate to get to India? It sent ****ing Colombus the wrong way in an attempt to get there. It obviously had something to be labelled the "jewel in the crown".

Research about the extortionate taxes imposed on the Indian people in their own country that were being sent directly to the coffers in London. Research about how the British stagnated India's manufacturing industries, like steel and textiles, causing it to rely almost solely on imports when it had previously been the highest exporter in the world along with China. Research about how it took India's food and caused mass famine there, causing millions of deaths. Research about how India gave £200 million to Britain during WW1. Etc etc etc.
Err.. as I've said, the British Empire was not perfect. The main systemic fault is that since it meant subjugated people became subject to British interests, their own were often neglected. I don't think empire is a valid system of government in the 21st century but you seem to think economics is a zero-sum game. The world benefited massively from trade. The economy of the British Empire was the predecessor to modern globalisation.

Your examples are politicised; very few people are interested in defending the British Empire, but many people have profited handsomely from attacking it. For example, an alternative look at the plight of Indian ship-building shows that British investment and technology exchange allowed it to become nearly advanced as European ship production. It wasn't destroyed by some evil, jealous imperialist stereotypes in their Death Star, but the loss of the market due to protectionism. The exact same dynamics are independent from empire and could come in to play in modern India. The software industry is fuelled largely by western investment and technology rather than home demand and if the west was to go through a period of economic decline it would probably vanish. The fact that Asian economics, technology and political life had been stagnant for centuries before European colonialism also seems to be glossed over.

I'm not really that interested challenging the mainstream view of history, since it's outside of my sphere of expertise and I know that those on my side are in the minority (though I still think they are right). I do like its grandeur and aesthetics, though I can understand why a lot of people don't, due to its tarnshied reputation. I think this will very much be a society for those who are too hard to fall for over-emotional propaganda and have no stake in communalist politics.

Just a couple of little things in here for you:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_India

I have lots of reading if you're interested as a matter of fact.
Oh god, you linked me Wikipedia. You've completely academically destroyed my life.
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SpideyMonkey
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Well someone has to civilise the rest of the world I'm in.
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SpideyMonkey
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(By civilise I mean teach to play cricket)
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JonD
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(Original post by ViVi87)
You'd be surprised. You even get backward minded people who argue Britain should re-colonise countries.
Well there's what people think and what is useful to think. There's a whole industry that revolves around attacking institutions like the British Empire, and opposition to it is at the heart of the national mythology of most of the former colonies (the most influential being the most powerful country on the planet, and one that easily infiltrates and influences our own culture). However, if you want to defend it, your audience is limited to a few history readers (and American 'neo-Con hawks' looking for inspiration ).

I agree, though it raises so many current moral and ethical issues, I'd argue it's quite difficult not to get 'emotional' over it.
Why? Nobody in our generation has any connection to the empire.
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username81904
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so you will both be joining the British Empire Appreciation Society then?
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Tory Dan
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Huzzah! Rule Britannia, bring back the Empire!
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Tory Dan
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(Original post by ViVi87)
RE: "You even get backward minded people who argue Britain should re-colonise countries."
If you don't like it then why are you posting here?
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