The British Empire

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newmanb14
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Overall were the impacts of the British empire more positive or negative?
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octaviaowl
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I personally dislike the fact that the British Empire is no more, it would have been a global power house and a lot of the countries that left the empire aren't doing too well except for india which is a positive about the empire as it most definitely helped their economy.
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newmanb14
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It helped unite the world and may have led to closer ties between other countries that may not have been allied otherwise.
(Original post by octaviaowl)
I personally dislike the fact that the British Empire is no more, it would have been a global power house and a lot of the countries that left the empire aren't doing too well except for india which is a positive about the empire as it most definitely helped their economy.
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Owenbrothers
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The British Empire is remembered for its extensive, long-lasting and far-reaching imperial activities that ushered in an era of globalisation and connectivity.
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Sheperd23
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(Original post by octaviaowl)
I personally dislike the fact that the British Empire is no more, it would have been a global power house and a lot of the countries that left the empire aren't doing too well except for india which is a positive about the empire as it most definitely helped their economy.
um what. india's economy was doing way better before the brits came (as in relative to the world back then), and culturally were less 'messed up' as today too. So its a definite no.
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Napp
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(Original post by Kangaroo17)
um what. india's economy was doing way better before the brits came (as in relative to the world back then), and culturally were less 'messed up' as today too. So its a definite no.
I'm not sure you can really compare their economy back then to a modern economy. theyre fundamentally different on every level. Never mind the fact India was less a unified country than a lose confederation of warring princely states back then.
As for 'doing better before the Brits' what metric are you actually using might one ask?
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Sheperd23
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(Original post by Napp)
I'm not sure you can really compare their economy back then to a modern economy. theyre fundamentally different on every level. Never mind the fact India was less a unified country than a lose confederation of warring princely states back then.
As for 'doing better before the Brits' what metric are you actually using might one ask?
true, india did not exist back then (india should be the name of the subcontinent like europe). But it has a rich history, one of the oldest in the world. And yes, brits were doing better especially around the time of industrialisation, but from what ive seen india still had significant wealth relative to their time before colonialism. Europe was also in pieces ya know. Germany wasn't even a nation till like the 19th century.

At the end of the day who cares. Geography also affects development (hot countries had to work less (work during dusk and dawn) because ACs weren't around but building a camp fire was)
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fallen_acorns
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it was a global force for good in the grand scheme of human history...

But that doesn't take away from the fact that it was a huge force for evil/suffering for many of the people and countries that made up the empire.

Its a bit like nuclear weapons.. (so far) they have been a historic development for good, as they have played a large part in ending dirrect wars between major international powers... but obviously they were terrible for the people of Hiroshima or Nagasaki..

Something can be an overall good historically, whilst causing a hell of a lot of pain/suffering/death in the moment. The two aren't exclusive of each other.
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Underscore__
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(Original post by octaviaowl)
I personally dislike the fact that the British Empire is no more, it would have been a global power house and a lot of the countries that left the empire aren't doing too well except for india which is a positive about the empire as it most definitely helped their economy.
Yeah India is the part of the empire that’s doing well, not places like Canada, Singapore, Australia or that one with the funny bald orange man as president.

As for the OP; the empire did some good and did some bad but it must have felt pretty good to be a wealthy person back then and feel like you own the whole world
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Kallisto
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(Original post by newmanb14)
Overall were the impacts of the British empire more positive or negative?
Both in a certain degree. Thanks to British Empire English is an official language in many countries of the world, even the native language in some. Thus it is easier to communicate in a common language.

In the other hand British Empire stands for enslaved Citizen in British colonies up to these days. In great part at least and in Africa in particular. The people there at that time were exploited, British and another colonialists from Europe have taken their goods and treated like subhuman beings. The consequences are still to see in presence: while Europe taken an economical advantage and became a rich continent, Africa is still a poor and so called third-world continent and has to suffer racism in everyday life.
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Napp
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(Original post by Kallisto)
The consequences are still to see in presence: while Europe taken an economical advantage and became a rich continent, Africa is still a poor and so called third-world continent and has to suffer racism in everyday life.
You can hardly blame Europe for these problems being endemic in Africa. They're plenty racist to each other without anyone elses help. Nevermind the people stealing the most are Africans themselves.
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Kallisto
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(Original post by Napp)
You can hardly blame Europe for these problems being endemic in Africa. They're plenty racist to each other without anyone elses help. (...)
Good point. Nonetheless that does not turn the colonialism by the British and the other European in a better light.
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Napp
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(Original post by Kallisto)
Good point. Nonetheless that does not turn the colonialism by the British and the other European in a better light.
Meh, as far as they go the British were probably one of the better (more benign) ones in history though
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Jingo7
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(Original post by fallen_acorns)
it was a global force for good in the grand scheme of human history...

But that doesn't take away from the fact that it was a huge force for evil/suffering for many of the people and countries that made up the empire.

Its a bit like nuclear weapons.. (so far) they have been a historic development for good, as they have played a large part in ending dirrect wars between major international powers... but obviously they were terrible for the people of Hiroshima or Nagasaki..

Something can be an overall good historically, whilst causing a hell of a lot of pain/suffering/death in the moment. The two aren't exclusive of each other.
Yeah pretty much this.

The British weren't very nice, they were really unpleasant, much like the other European Empires.

They went into India and did nasty things, like flood India with cheap textiles, destroying the Indian textile industry and impoverishing millions.

But an indirect result of their actions was that Indians came into contact with European thought. The British didn't care what Indians thought, as long as they got their taxes and access to their markets. An unintended upshot of this brutality was that Indians learned modern European thought, and they eventually turned that thought back on the British themselves, using modern ideas to destroy the legitimacy of the British Empire, and to create a pan-Indian nationalism that fought for the creation of a modern united Indian state.

Also, India before the Europeans wasn't exactly utopia. Although I've heard it said that the hideous caste system was losing influence, and ironically it was the British who reinforced it, it wasn't amazing. Drudging work for a crappy landlord who is backed up by the state etc. actually sounds a bit like today.
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PTMalewski
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(Original post by octaviaowl)
as it most definitely helped their economy.
It's a Western bias, that boosting economy is always good.
Indian culture wasn't even interested in such things.

(Original post by Kallisto)
, British and another colonialists from Europe have taken their goods and treated like subhuman beings. The consequences are still to see in presence: while Europe taken an economical advantage and became a rich continent, Africa is still a poor and so called third-world continent and has to suffer racism in everyday life.
The colonial past has nothing to do with their present poverty.
First of all: you can sit on oild and bankrupt. See: Venezuela. You can also have virtually unlimited resources of every possible natural resource and be poor. See: The Soviet Union.
There are also countries that don't have anything except some dirt and wood, and do pretty well.

Africans have not developed an advanced technical civilization, because technical development was not necessary in the vast and rich in food environment of Africa. The reason why do you consider them poor, is that because their adaptation was completely different, then you came and now you expect that everything should look just like in the West.
It's a crazy idea that is most unsuited for the preservation of the natural environment and completely pointless. Bhutan is dirt poor by comparison to the West, and its population is much happier than any other on the world, maybe except for Finland.
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Jingo7
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(Original post by PTMalewski)
It's a Western bias, that boosting economy is always good.
Indian culture wasn't even interested in such things.



The colonial past has nothing to do with their present poverty.
First of all: you can sit on oild and bankrupt. See: Venezuela. You can also have virtually unlimited resources of every possible natural resource and be poor. See: The Soviet Union.
There are also countries that don't have anything except some dirt and wood, and do pretty well.

Africans have not developed an advanced technical civilization, because technical development was not necessary in the vast and rich in food environment of Africa. The reason why do you consider them poor, is that because their adaptation was completely different, then you came and now you expect that everything should look just like in the West.
It's a crazy idea that is most unsuited for the preservation of the natural environment and completely pointless. Bhutan is dirt poor by comparison to the West, and its population is much happier than any other on the world, maybe except for Finland.
The conclusion being that it's better to be poor and happy than rich and depressed?

No, it is a scandal that large parts of the world are so undeveloped. It is a scandal that there are dirt poor people, living sometimes literally next door to people of extreme wealth.

African nations have not developed an 'advanced technical civilisation' because all African countries are already fully part of the global economic system at their current undeveloped state. This is what is usually referred to as neo-colonialism. Companies get what they need from Africa, they develop mining, forestry, plantation etc. and when the resources run dry they pack up and leave. Companies and politicians give resources and legitimacy to African rulers who can keep this state of affairs going. Therefore the quality of political leaders and policy is poor, and basically tends toward which faction can bend over low enough to receive the blessings of foreign companies. This is a trap of course, since the dependency on foreign companies means that domestic industry never develops. Africa has the least developed domestic industry in the world.

This is a scandal, and it is in incredibly poor taste to try to justify this state of affairs by saying that people are happier in poverty, or "why you wanna make everything look like the West?" The fact is yes, Africa should look like the West, it should be industrialised, it should have a dignified modern standard of living.
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PTMalewski
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(Original post by Jingo7)
The conclusion being that it's better to be poor and happy than rich and depressed?
I wouldn't mind being born in Bhutan. I would prefer it over being born in the US, and sometimes I actually consider going there or to some other place like that, and live a simple life, close to nature and without stress.

Being poor doesn't necessarily mean your life is of poor quality. These people have houses, food, clothes, families and lots of friends. That's everything they need.
I don't even think that financial poverty is relevant. It's a big problem only highly developed countries. The more developed the country, the bigger the problem, because you can't just get or make what you need. You need to buy it for a lot of money.
Intelectual poverty is much worse. Many people are very rich, but their minds are so poor it's just sad.

(Original post by Jingo7)
No, it is a scandal that large parts of the world are so undeveloped. It is a scandal that there are dirt poor people, living sometimes literally next door to people of extreme wealth.
It's a scandal when someone takes advantage to rob others. With some people and even some nations, it's just not the case.
I also believe that the West should start learning very very fast from Bhutan, and promote this kind of lifestyle. Having modern houses with thick walls, A/C, and cars. It's just unsustainable.


(Original post by Jingo7)
African nations have not developed an 'advanced technical civilisation' because all African countries are already fully part of the global economic system at their current undeveloped state. This is what is usually referred to as neo-colonialism.
You don't need developed economy or advanced technology to be happy or even to be adapted to a difficult environment. See the Eskimo, or Tibetan cultures. It's a misconception that it is inevitably wrong if some regions are undeveloped in comparision to the West.
The only reason the West kept developing, and has to maintain a high level of development, is because European tribes and then nations, always needed an edge against their neighbours. We need developed economy to have tanks and jet fighters, and some luxuries we got used to.
In Africa, the territories were vast and rich enough, that no technological edge over enemies or nature was ever required. That's why when Europeans turned up there, they saw houses built of mud and grass, and people living like tens of thousands of years ago. This is the prime, historical source of racism.
If you're denying people the right to live in their traditional way, you're denying them freedom.


(Original post by Jingo7)
Companies get what they need from Africa, they develop mining, forestry, plantation etc. and when the resources run dry they pack up and leave. Companies and politicians give resources and legitimacy to African rulers who can keep this state of affairs going. Therefore the quality of political leaders and policy is poor, and basically tends toward which faction can bend over low enough to receive the blessings of foreign companies. This is a trap of course, since the dependency on foreign companies means that domestic industry never develops. Africa has the least developed domestic industry in the world.
That is a problem. It's probably not fair that this is happening, but on the other hand we should rather ask if they actually ever wanted to have a developed industry? Do we want to, or do we work for it, only because we were told that we have to?


(Original post by Jingo7)
This is a scandal, and it is in incredibly poor taste to try to justify this state of affairs by saying that people are happier in poverty, or "why you wanna make everything look like the West?"
I'm not justifying. I'm just explaining the reasons behind things being what they are, and I'm pointing out it is short-sighted and pointless to turn all countries into a copy of the West and its lifestyle.

My cars is 22 years old, and I'm happy with it. Do you think I ought to be unhappy, because I haven't got a brand new Mercedes?

(Original post by Jingo7)
it should have a dignified modern standard of living.
What you call 'a dignified modern standard of living' is straight road towards a global environmental catastrophe.
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Kallisto
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(Original post by PTMalewski)
(...)
Africans have not developed an advanced technical civilization, because technical development was not necessary in the vast and rich in food environment of Africa. The reason why do you consider them poor, is that because their adaptation was completely different, then you came and now you expect that everything should look just like in the West.
(...)
I just wonder what if many African countries like Rhodesia (Zimbabwe today) were not exploited by the colonialists in the past: would they have been able to become development countries as in Asia with China and India to name but a few? maybe global players as in the Arabian countries? The African had their struggles with cultural differences just before the colonialists came and made it even worse, I know. But is this not the same with the Arabian countries? and despite their differences and struggles, they (Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq, Emirate, etc.) are one of the most important oil producers world wide. And who said they would have been underdeveloped forever? China has made such great steps in economy from Mao Zedong period to presence.

The European colonialists have taken a lot of precious mineral resources for their own. Who knows what some African countries would have done with them today. Maybe this is the difference.
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Napp
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(Original post by Kallisto)
I just wonder what if many African countries like Rhodesia (Zimbabwe today) were not exploited by the colonialists in the past: would they have been able to become development countries as in Asia with China and India to name but a few?
Thats the problem with counterfactuals theyre just guess work. however, going by your examples used i think we can note a problem in that all of the countries you used as counter examples were also 'exploited' by various empires.
maybe global players as in the Arabian countries?
I wouldnt say theyre global players in any respect bar through sheer dumb luck in being situated on top of lakes of oil. I mean aside from petro dollars the gulf states would still be go nowhere 3rd world countries.
The African had their struggles with cultural differences just before the colonialists came and made it even worse, I know. But is this not the same with the Arabian countries? and despite their differences and struggles, they (Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq, Emirate, etc.) are one of the most important oil producers world wide.
Not for long, alas.
The European colonialists have taken a lot of precious mineral resources for their own. Who knows what some African countries would have done with them today. Maybe this is the difference.
Maybe they did maybe they didnt but the fact is Africa is, arguably, the most richly endowed continent still, my point being the Europeans didnt take that much, relatively speaking. The problems with African development go far deeper than a former colonial legacy.
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username358506
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Africa's biggest problem is tribalism.

Unlike the Chinese, which have managed to convince themselves that they are all Han Chinese, all part of the same ethnic group, and therefore united together not only by a shared history, language, culture and identity, but by ethnicity, Africans, on the other hand, to this day remain extremely tribal, and when you add Africa's geography into the equation, a geography that makes it incredibly easily for Europeans and Arabs to invade the continent, the mix of extreme tribalism and an easily invadable continent makes the divide and conquer strategy effortless.

It's a shame that their ***** heritage hasn't bound them together.

(Original post by Kallisto)
I just wonder what if many African countries like Rhodesia (Zimbabwe today) were not exploited by the colonialists in the past: would they have been able to become development countries as in Asia with China and India to name but a few? maybe global players as in the Arabian countries? The African had their struggles with cultural differences just before the colonialists came and made it even worse, I know. But is this not the same with the Arabian countries? and despite their differences and struggles, they (Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq, Emirate, etc.) are one of the most important oil producers world wide. And who said they would have been underdeveloped forever? China has made such great steps in economy from Mao Zedong period to presence.

The European colonialists have taken a lot of precious mineral resources for their own. Who knows what some African countries would have done with them today. Maybe this is the difference.
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