The British Empire: Your opinions on it Page 2

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  • gang_of_bitches 22 Sep 2009 11:23:03 5,623 posts
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    disussedgenius wrote:
    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.

    Well I don't think we had much choice in that respect, we generally jumped just before we were pushed.
  • brokenkey 22 Sep 2009 11:23:50 7,061 posts
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    We were a lot better than the French or the Spanish or the Germans or the Romans or the Ottomans or the Vikings.

    I think people need to get some perspective on this.

    3DS 3497-0122-1484
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  • tomb85 22 Sep 2009 11:25:02 204 posts
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    I don't think it will always be looked upon as a bad thing. The Roman's weren't exactly the friendliest bunch but their empire is remembered more for the advances made than the lives lost or people exploited. It's not far enough in the past for people to look at it objectively as the cock-ups we made are still quite open wounds to an awful lot of people.
  • kalel 22 Sep 2009 11:25:15 87,933 posts
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    brokenkey wrote:
    We were a lot better than the French or the Spanish or the Germans or the Romans or the Ottomans or the Vikings.

    I think people need to get some perspective on this.

    I'm not sure exactly what perspective that gives us. I mean, you could argue Hitler wasn't as bad as the Romans, but so what?

    /Godwin
  • morriss 22 Sep 2009 11:25:24 71,037 posts
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    Lesser of evils doesn't make things better.
  • LeoliansBro 22 Sep 2009 11:25:26 44,429 posts
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    I liked the uniforms and the naval warfare.

    LB, you really are a massive geek.

  • Deleted user 22 September 2009 11:26:36
    gang_of_bitches wrote:

    Well I don't think we had much choice in that respect, we generally jumped just before we were pushed.
    Yeah, (and rightly so, mostly) but the attitude of ignoring any experts (like Lawrence of Arabia) because they'd 'gone native' and arbitrary drawing lines across the globe was one thing we could have done differently which could have helped the world today.
  • gang_of_bitches 22 Sep 2009 11:27:30 5,623 posts
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    disussedgenius wrote:
    gang_of_bitches wrote:

    Well I don't think we had much choice in that respect, we generally jumped just before we were pushed.
    Yeah, (and rightly so, mostly) but the attitude of ignoring any experts (like Lawrence of Arabia) because they'd 'gone native' and arbitrary drawing lines across the globe was one thing we could have done differently which could have helped the world today.

    Yes indeed, absolutely.
  • Deleted user 22 September 2009 11:32:01
    morriss wrote:
    Lesser of two weevils.

    FILMGUESS!
  • Fab4 22 Sep 2009 11:36:52 6,092 posts
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    It was the way of the world, in those times. Its already been said, if we hadnt done it, some other country would have. More than likely Germany ;)

    I'm neither proud or ashamed of The Empire....welcome to Human Nature.
  • skuzzbag 22 Sep 2009 11:37:15 5,649 posts
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    People should be thanking us they all can speak a similar language instead of just shouting at each other.
  • brokenkey 22 Sep 2009 11:39:07 7,061 posts
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    Without the Empire, we would not have
    Flashman
    Sharpe
    Aubrey.

    3DS 3497-0122-1484
    XBL/PSN/NNID: CptnBrokenkey

  • ScoutTech 22 Sep 2009 11:45:17 2,424 posts
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    gang_of_bitches wrote:
    disussedgenius wrote:
    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.

    Well I don't think we had much choice in that respect, we generally jumped just before we were pushed.

    & not always by the countries we were in.
  • mcmonkeyplc 22 Sep 2009 11:47:36 39,464 posts
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    Pure-Ultra wrote:
    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.

    Excuse me? That might have worked on Africa, but even the Empire had to let India run herself to a certain extent. Hence the vice roy.

    You cant just say things like that, it is STILL a very touchy subject. Ofcourse the Empire had benefits, but it DID have it's downside too and part of that was oppression.

    So you should think before you say such idiotic things.

    Come and get it cumslingers!

  • kalel 22 Sep 2009 11:48:50 87,933 posts
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    Oh, and we all were doing such a good job of ignoring that one.
  • heyyo 22 Sep 2009 11:48:51 14,373 posts
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    If anyone is interested - the treasures of the India's princes come to London in "'Maharaja: The Splendour of India's Royal Courts" at the Victoria and Albert Museum (October 10-January 17). The exhibition covers the golden years of the maharajas, from the 18th century until the end of British rule in 1947.

    Before the British arrived, maharajas were religious, military and politicl leaders. The word comes from the Hindi maha, meaning "great", and raja "king". With the expansion of the British East India Company in the 18th and 19th centuries, the Anglo-Indian style flourished among the maharajas.

    Objects on display include all kinds of shit, i.e, 1928 Patiala Necklace (largest commisioned by Cartier), and a silver elephant riding seat among others.
  • Pure-Ultra 22 Sep 2009 11:49:35 741 posts
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    My God its so fashionable to criticise our forefathers so we can be seen to be politically correct. We ruled the world when the world wanted ruling. Now that it doesn't we don't. No problem.
  • mcmonkeyplc 22 Sep 2009 11:50:14 39,464 posts
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    kalel wrote:
    Oh, and we all were doing such a good job of ignoring that one.

    Yeah, well I couldn't let it pass. It goes a little too close to home for my liking. Excuse me.

    Come and get it cumslingers!

  • gang_of_bitches 22 Sep 2009 11:52:33 5,623 posts
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    heyyo! wrote:
    If anyone is interested - the treasures of the India's princes come to London in "'Maharaja: The Splendour of India's Royal Courts" at the Victoria and Albert Museum (October 10-January 17). The exhibition covers the golden years of the maharajas, from the 18th century until the end of British rule in 1947.

    Before the British arrived, maharajas were religious, military and politicl leaders. The word comes from the Hindi maha, meaning "great", and raja "king". With the expansion of the British East India Company in the 18th and 19th centuries, the Anglo-Indian style flourished among the maharajas.

    Objects on display include all kinds of shit, i.e, 1928 Patiala Necklace (largest commisioned by Cartier), and a silver elephant riding seat among others.

    Ooh, that should be interesting, their displays of conspicuous wealth put even rappers to shame.
  • Deleted user 22 September 2009 11:52:38
    Pure-Ultra wrote:
    We ruled the world when the world wanted ruling.
    How'd you figure that one out? You think people just laid down their arms for us or something?
  • kalel 22 Sep 2009 11:53:09 87,933 posts
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    /sigh
  • LeoliansBro 22 Sep 2009 11:53:51 44,429 posts
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    Napoleon would have had a much easier time of it in Europe.

    LB, you really are a massive geek.

  • coojam 22 Sep 2009 11:56:53 625 posts
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    Not saying it's ideal, but English is about the closest thing to a universal language the world has and without the Empire, we wouldn't have that, so there's a pretty important positive. Communication is one of the most important things in the world.
  • Pure-Ultra 22 Sep 2009 11:57:13 741 posts
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    disussedgenius wrote:
    Pure-Ultra wrote:
    We ruled the world when the world wanted ruling.
    How'd you figure that one out? You think people just laid down their arms for us or something?

    Cos otherwise they'd have just remained as savages hunting wild animals.
  • mcmonkeyplc 22 Sep 2009 11:57:15 39,464 posts
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    We wouldn't have had pirates of the caribbean without the Empire. Keria knightly's flat chest would have gone unseen forever!

    Come and get it cumslingers!

  • localnotail 22 Sep 2009 11:58:53 23,093 posts
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    kalel wrote:
    It’s weird. Having travelled in some of the African and Caribbean colonies, even though it was all done in the name of power and greed, there’s 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've had several long conversations about this with people in various Indian states, and they were unanimously grateful to the Brits for coming in and giving them a unifying language, democratic goverment, trains, roads, medical care, schooling and sanitation systems.

    /what have the Romans ever done for us...?

    in fact, there is apparently a running joke against Goans for the fact that they were unfortunate enough to be colonised by the Portuguese who just took what they wanted and only left some nice villas and endemic Catholicism behind. Similarly, some of the people I met in Laos said they would much rather have been taken by the English than the French, who left fuck all behind apart from baguettes.

    So the huge burden of liberal guilt I carried until my 20s is dissapated somewhat by the fact that we did actually help the people whose resources we were stealing. Admittedly we also stole and desecrated loads of their religious imagery, which I'm none too proud of.

    It's not like we were never colonised though - it's been a part of life since tribes started to notice the grass might be greener on the other steppe.

    I have obviously not visited every place in the world where Victoria stretched her empire, but the only people I have met who were annoyed with the British Empire were the Fijians - and that was just because when we realised that the Fijians were just far too laid back to ever make good slave workers we imported loads of industrious Indians, and they now run the whole island, pretty much.

    A strange game. The only winning move is not to play.

  • kalel 22 Sep 2009 12:00:41 87,933 posts
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    localnotail wrote:
    kalel wrote:
    It’s weird. Having travelled in some of the African and Caribbean colonies, even though it was all done in the name of power and greed, there’s 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've had several long conversations about this with people in various Indian states, and they were unanimously grateful to the Brits for coming in and giving them a unifying language, democratic goverment, trains, roads, medical care, schooling and sanitation systems.


    Presumably these conversations were had with somebody who was quite well off, and whose socio-economic group makes up less than 1% of the population…
  • Fab4 22 Sep 2009 12:03:29 6,092 posts
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    We have a student here who is from Eritrea, and while he says the British rule wasnt particularly good, at least they recognized Eritrea as a separate entity to Ethiopia when they were leaving. However this was reneged on by the people they left in power.
  • Deleted user 22 September 2009 12:04:22
    kalel wrote:
    Presumably these conversations were had with somebody who was quite well off, and whose socio-economic group makes up less than 1% of the population…
    Not necessarily in my experience. As has been said, they largely ran themselves based on their own tribal system so really they were ripe for playing off of each other as they were.

    Edit: Plus there's the whole 'might is right' ethos.
  • localnotail 22 Sep 2009 12:05:26 23,093 posts
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    kalel wrote:
    Presumably these conversations were had with somebody who was quite well off, and whose socio-economic group makes up less than 1% of the population…
    nope, why?

    the longest talks I had about it was when I worked in Tamil Nadu, on long trips to the countryside with community nurses to do health checks. Others were on trains in 3rd class.

    A strange game. The only winning move is not to play.

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