The British Empire: Your opinions on it

  • Page

    of 7 First / Last

    Previous
  • Deleted user 22 September 2009 09:35:24
    Do you look back on Britain's imperial past with pride, shame or ambivalence (i.e. too afraid to give a real opinion, haha)?
  • nickthegun 22 Sep 2009 09:35:54 58,948 posts
    Seen 6 hours ago
    Registered 9 years ago
    Ambivalence.

    HAHA!

    ---------------------------------------------------------
    He totally called it

  • Stickman 22 Sep 2009 09:36:18 29,664 posts
    Seen 6 hours ago
    Registered 10 years ago
    I think it had its good points and its bad points and that this will probably get locked.

    THIS SPACE FOR RENT

  • LeoliansBro 22 Sep 2009 09:37:05 43,321 posts
    Seen 5 hours ago
    Registered 8 years ago
    I think it gave a lot of developing nations a focus and a leg up, but there's no denying they were exploited.

    LB, you really are a massive geek.

  • woodnotes 22 Sep 2009 09:38:24 4,922 posts
    Seen 5 days ago
    Registered 11 years ago
    The Brittas Empire was better.
  • dufftownallan 22 Sep 2009 09:40:03 4,723 posts
    Seen 2 weeks ago
    Registered 8 years ago
    we shamelessly raped and pillaged the world for all it was worth, any positives gleamed as a result of the empire were simply a by-product.
  • TheStylishHobo 22 Sep 2009 10:03:40 3,193 posts
    Seen 4 months ago
    Registered 6 years ago
    [Kanye West joke]
  • modo_komodo 22 Sep 2009 10:05:45 1,194 posts
    Seen 1 year ago
    Registered 8 years ago
    dufftownallan wrote:
    we shamelessly raped and pillaged the world for all it was worth, any positives gleamed as a result of the empire were simply a by-product.

    I think I agree but I also get this horrible voice in my head that shouts "if we didn't do it then someone else would have". That's one of the normal defences of the empire and it makes me think about how things would have turned out if someone else actually had done it instead of us.
  • ram 22 Sep 2009 10:06:42 3,474 posts
    Seen 6 hours ago
    Registered 9 years ago
    I loved every second of it, lets do it again.
  • Tremendosaurus 22 Sep 2009 10:14:14 1,197 posts
    Seen 2 months ago
    Registered 8 years ago
    Yes it was horrendous, but without it and the money we raped out of developing nations we wouldn't have stood a chance in WW1 or 2...
  • FairgroundTown 22 Sep 2009 10:32:54 2,522 posts
    Seen 8 months ago
    Registered 9 years ago
    We funded the WWs by borrowing from the US - the profits of empire were long-spent by 1914.
  • Tremendosaurus 22 Sep 2009 10:35:02 1,197 posts
    Seen 2 months ago
    Registered 8 years ago
    Fair enough.

    /leaves intelligent thread in search of discussions on boobs ;)
  • Genji 22 Sep 2009 10:36:53 19,691 posts
    Seen 2 years ago
    Registered 10 years ago
    It fucking sucked.

    /not British
  • Deleted user 22 September 2009 10:38:55
    It annoys me how the positives from it are usually lost, and how the fact that much of the domination of other places was achieved because the ruling class, or equivalent thereof, were complicit in it for their own gain.

    Compared to what some other nations did, like Belgium..... I dunno, is the situation any better in some places today, despite bilions of pounds in aid, assistance and so on?

    I honestly think it was something that had a potential greater than what was realised because some powerful people warped what it was meant to do. It's easy to look back and criticise than to do something at the time. What a lot of nations that were once under colonial rule have done since they became their own nations makes atrocities under colonisation pale by comparison.
  • FairgroundTown 22 Sep 2009 10:40:08 2,522 posts
    Seen 8 months ago
    Registered 9 years ago
    @Genji - We did bring you cricket!
  • Genji 22 Sep 2009 10:41:19 19,691 posts
    Seen 2 years ago
    Registered 10 years ago
    FairgroundTown wrote:
    @Genji - We did bring you cricket!
    Oh yes. And the Commonwealth Games.

    Whoop-de-doo
  • kalel 22 Sep 2009 10:42:25 86,448 posts
    Seen 4 hours ago
    Registered 11 years ago
    Itís weird. Having travelled in some of the African and Caribbean colonies, even though it was all done in the name of power and greed, thereís little doubt that many of those countries are now far better off because of their colonial past, and are actually pretty proud of it.

    Not that it justifies what was done.

    I think Iím mostly ashamed of it all, but I canít help feel a little national pride at how big our little islandís influence on the world was (and still is as a result to a degree).

  • grey_matters 22 Sep 2009 10:47:31 3,679 posts
    Seen 3 hours ago
    Registered 8 years ago
    ...warped what it was meant to do...

    What was that? I'd have thought it was to find riches and power faster than your rivals. I don't know much about it though to be fair.
  • Pure-Ultra 22 Sep 2009 10:50:14 739 posts
    Seen 6 days ago
    Registered 7 years ago
    Bring it back. World was a better place back then. Most countries who used to be in our Empire (or France's for that matter) don't have the ability to govern themselves. Just look at the corruption and violence on the sub continent. Disgraceful.
  • Articulate-Troll 22 Sep 2009 10:52:40 3,104 posts
    Seen 2 weeks ago
    Registered 7 years ago
    I'm neither ashamed nor proud. Before there were international standards it was perfectly normal to expand your domain by military and economic means. Virtually every nation was doing it, including some of the apparent 'victims'.

    That said, I'm under no delusion it was nothing but shameful pilfering of other nation's resources.
  • DFawkes 22 Sep 2009 10:52:55 22,619 posts
    Seen 4 hours ago
    Registered 9 years ago
    I am quite ignorant on the issue, so really shouldn't post as I'm not qualified to have an opinion. But...

    I do feel bad Native Americans were forced off their own land by colonies from here. Or maybe they weren't and I'm just proving that first line. We made nice ships though.

    I'd kick the living daylights out of the producers of Tipping Point - Ghandi

  • Deleted user 22 September 2009 11:00:06
    Generally I think we were 'better' than most when it came to ruling our colonies. But, to me, it was just one of those things which happened - that's what Europe did at the time. We mostly seemed to do it by accident anyway with people like Rhodes and the EIC doing much of the pushing.
  • figgis 22 Sep 2009 11:04:53 7,383 posts
    Seen 11 hours ago
    Registered 9 years ago
    Isn't this thread just a massive open goal for some 'hilarious' racist sock?

    At it's time it was impressive, obviously now some of it seems fairly dubious. If it hadn't been Britain no doubt it would have been France so at least the rest of the world can thank us for that.
  • keyboardmonkey 22 Sep 2009 11:10:40 409 posts
    Seen 3 years ago
    Registered 8 years ago
    Yes we totally ripped them all off and took whatever treasures we saw fit at the time. Add to that the slavery etc.. we have a lot to be ashamed about. But i'm not ashamed because it wasn't me who did it.
    And as has been pointed out by others, a lot of the places the empire went to put in place an infrastructure which at that point in time was way beyond what those cultures could have done by themselves.
    Some one mentioned the Commonwealth games, and i think it's a bit of a testament to how well these places were governed etc.. that so many countries are still part of the commonwealth even after the British Empire has released all countrol of them (not for the better in some cases e.g. Zimbabwe)
  • LeoliansBro 22 Sep 2009 11:12:07 43,321 posts
    Seen 5 hours ago
    Registered 8 years ago
    Was there ever anything weirder than a rich, upper class society on a small European island using money leeched from Caribbean trade goods worked by a population forcibly repatriated from West Africa?

    A lot going on under the surface in Austen :)

    LB, you really are a massive geek.

  • gang_of_bitches 22 Sep 2009 11:14:20 5,442 posts
    Seen 3 days ago
    Registered 9 years ago
    DFawkes wrote:
    I am quite ignorant on the issue, so really shouldn't post as I'm not qualified to have an opinion. But...

    I do feel bad Native Americans were forced off their own land by colonies from here. Or maybe they weren't and I'm just proving that first line. We made nice ships though.

    I think most of the Native American bashing was post Independence, wasn't it?

    Empire can be viewed from several perspectives, I think there was an element of zeal in trying to civilize these countries (wherther they liked it or not) but it cannot be denied that greed and rivalry were the driving force. I know most about the African Colonies having read a rather excellent book called "the State of Africa: A history of 50 Years of Independence" by Martin Meredith. The single most insideous thing that came to light was the arbitrary way borders were created with no regard to tribal boundaries, creating a legacy of infighting that survives to this day.

    Do I feel bad about it? no, I wasn't around at the time (and couldn't have done anything about it if I was. Plus I think arguments could be made that the British Empire was the least worst of the options, as was said before the Belgians, who I'd always regarded as nice cuddly types were absolute cunts in the way they administered their territories.

  • skuzzbag 22 Sep 2009 11:18:53 5,638 posts
    Seen 2 days ago
    Registered 10 years ago
    Of course the African tribes who handed their enemies over to be used as slaves are completely blameless in all this.
  • Deleted user 22 September 2009 11:19:28
    gang_of_bitches wrote:
    The single most insideous thing that came to light was the arbitrary way borders were created with no regard to tribal boundaries, creating a legacy of infighting that survives to this day
    Yeah, in a way I'm actually more ashamed in the manner we ended the British Empire than started it.
  • morriss 22 Sep 2009 11:21:55 70,911 posts
    Seen 19 hours ago
    Registered 10 years ago
    kalel wrote:
    Itís weird. Having travelled in some of the African and Caribbean colonies, even though it was all done in the name of power and greed, thereís little doubt that many of those countries are now far better off because of their colonial past, and are actually pretty proud of it.

    Not that it justifies what was done.

    I think Iím mostly ashamed of it all, but I canít help feel a little national pride at how big our little islandís influence on the world was (and still is as a result to a degree).

    Pretty much sums it up for me. We were massive cunts, but at the same time, especially as I live in a foreign country, I can't help but wear it as some kind of badge of honour from time to time.

    Mixed feelings, really.
  • Page

    of 7 First / Last

    Previous
Log in or register to reply