shmikeyboy

Subscribe!
Contacting shmikeyboy
Send message Forward
Add to friends Favorites
Add to group Block user
Tuesday, May 04, 2010

British Empire: A force for good.

Views: 413
Comments: 10

We've all heard about the downsides of the British Empire, haven't we?

Well there were also many upsides, and having read Empire by Niall Ferguson (excellent book by the way), I thought I'd have a go at a blog setting them out.

 

1) Abolishment of suttee in India. The abolishment of suttee, widows jumping onto their husbands burial pyres, through coercion from family members, is surely a benefit of the British rule in India. I can't see how anyone could argue to the contrary

 

2) Eradication of the Thuggee. This mean that travellers in India no longer had to fear being strangled while they slept by men they regarded as their travelling companions (and gave an unlikely plot to a Harrison Ford film). The only downside I can see is the interference with religion.

 

3) The rail network of India was brought by Imperial rule and makes up a considerable proportion of modern India’s transport infrastructure

 

4) Whilst the British Empire was one of the main participants in the slave trade, it was also the first major empire to forbid it, and after the slave trade was made illegal, a whole squadron (West African or Preventative Squadron) of the Royal Navy was made available to hunt down slavers. This squadron took at times, one-sixth of the Navy and Marines from other duties. This was while fighting a major war elsewhere, showing that despite appearances, Britain wasn’t just a self interested nation riding roughshod over everybody else.

 

5) The military strength of the Empire lead to a century with only 3 major conflicts, a vast improvement on the 17th and 18th centuries.

 

6) The USA wouldn’t exist without the Empire (though the benefit there may be debatable). It took the expulsion of the French during the Seven Years War for the colonists to be secure enough to rebel and not rely on Britain

 

7) Areas formerly under British rule often enjoy more secure legal and economic systems.

 

8) Clichéd I know, but without Britain’s resistance during 1940-1, and the provision of a secure base from which D-Day could be launched, World War 2 would have gone very differently and may well have ended with Hitler ruling a German-controlled European super-state that could have taken America’s superpower position.

 

THIS IS NOT IN ANYWAY AN ATTEMPT TO OVERLOOK THE MANY ATROCITIES/MASSACRES COMMITTED IN THE NAME OF EMPIRE.

 

Thanks for reading, even if it didn’t turn out as well as I had hoped.

1:03 pm - 10 comments - 0 Kudos - Report!
Comments
Kensai wrote on May 4th, 2010 2:07pm

Well yeah, they introduced some good ideas and abolished some bad ideas in countries.

That suttee thing sounds really fucked up.

quote

shmikeyboya wrote on May 4th, 2010 2:36pm

Kensai wrote on May 4th, 2010 at 1:07pm :
Well yeah, they introduced some good ideas and abolished some bad ideas in countries.

That suttee thing sounds really fucked up.


It was. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suttee

but this blog thing was really just because I was bored to be honest.

quote

EuBoat wrote on May 5th, 2010 7:10pm

As for the religious interference with regards to thuggee/thagi or however you want to spell it, Mike Dash in Thug puts forward the view that the cult was not a religious one. Most happened to worship Kali (Hindu goddess of time or change) but there were also many Sikhs or Muslims who went around strangling people and hiding the bodies. Dash holds that to Indians thuggery was more a way of earning a living than anything else.

Whatever Bengal Regulation it was that outlawed Sati was far more of an interference with Indian religious practices and customs than the anti-thug laws. The widows were often drugged and thrown on the pyres too 0_o.

/stuff I still remember. My notes are at school :P

quote

shmikeyboya wrote on May 5th, 2010 11:37pm

Get you :P

I'm thinking about properly doing one having a go at the State of New York for teaching that the Potato Famine was Genocide

quote

Craigo wrote on May 9th, 2010 2:10am

It should be obvious to anyone that come good did come out of the Empire, even though it was awful.

quote

CrimsonBizzare wrote on May 11th, 2010 9:41pm

I want it back :(

quote

Till From Kenig wrote on May 12th, 2010 10:00am

World War 2 would have gone very differently and may well have ended with Hitler ruling a German-controlled European super-state that could have taken America’s superpower position

Well should I remind you what country liberated Berlin and crushed most of the German troops?

quote

bartdevil_metal wrote on May 12th, 2010 5:08pm

Till From Kenig wrote on May 12th, 2010 at 9:00am :
World War 2 would have gone very differently and may well have ended with Hitler ruling a German-controlled European super-state that could have taken America’s superpower position
Well should I remind you what country liberated Berlin and crushed most of the German troops?


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soviet_war_crimes#Ger many

I wouldn't say that Russia was a force for good in WWII. *shrug*

quote

shmikeyboya wrote on May 13th, 2010 5:04pm

Till From Kenig wrote on May 12th, 2010 at 9:00am :
World War 2 would have gone very differently and may well have ended with Hitler ruling a German-controlled European super-state that could have taken America’s superpower position
Well should I remind you what country liberated Berlin and crushed most of the German troops?


The USA couldn't have launched an invasion of Europe if it hadn't had a launching pad, which was Britain.

quote

shmikeyboya wrote on Jun 10th, 2010 4:50pm

Till From Kenig wrote on May 12th, 2010 at 9:00am :
World War 2 would have gone very differently and may well have ended with Hitler ruling a German-controlled European super-state that could have taken America’s superpower position
Well should I remind you what country liberated Berlin and crushed most of the German troops?

And it was aid from America and Britain that allowed the USSR to fight on.

quote

Post your comment
Expand