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British Empire

Discussion in 'World History' started by adamsj, Apr 12, 2002.

  1. adamsj

    adamsj Gaint Hobbit!

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    How and why did the British built its empire?
     
  2. MrPresident

    MrPresident Anglo-Saxon Liberal

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    Because we could
     
  3. Sodak

    Sodak Paha Sapa Papa

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    Why? From what I remember, european imperialism happened "because everybody was doing it." Once it became clear that colonies could bring wealth to the home country (at least for a while), there was a rush to get a slice of the proverbial pie. Spain got rich quickly, then other nations (including England, of course) decided to follow the same path.

    Very simplified, I know...
     
  4. Lefty Scaevola

    Lefty Scaevola Moderatus Illuminatus Super Moderator

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    I suspect that imperialism was engenderd in part by military, governing, and bureaucratic castes who wanted access to more and different females for predatory sexual practices. Thoses 1800s Brits in particular were tired of Victorian women. Now I am going to care care of setting up MY empire.
    :egypt:
     
  5. knowltok2

    knowltok2 Chieftain

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    You know, someone could post a long and detailed account of British Imperialism including factors such as economics, religion, power, and money, but in the end, the answer above perfectly sums it up. :goodjob:
     
  6. Richard III

    Richard III Duke of Gloucester

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    We had the Maxim gun, and they didn't!


    This is actually a big moral quandary for me. On the one hand, I believe Imperialism is terrible, immoral and irresponsible. But I had relatives in Burma, the Amritsar Massacre, the Crimea, the Boer War, the Somme, and so on, and my great great uncle designed the Crystal Palace at the first world's fair in London. One non-blood relation was the King's first military attache to the Dalai Lama in 1921, and his wife the first recorded white woman in Mongolia as part of an embassy sent there. My grandfather, on watching "Ghandi," said "that's bull****, my unit was there and we were never issued SMGs" during a scene where troops let loose with machineguns. On the other hand, he gets all weepy at the sight of Sikhs, because a few saved his ass in Burma and his wife is a Memsahib.

    We just reek of Empire.

    So I can't help but say :goodjob: imperialists! Well done lads! Good scrum!

    This is what happens when your parents send you to "one of those schools."

    R.III
     
  7. EdwardTking

    EdwardTking Chieftain

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    The British Empire was not planned.

    It was all a COMPLETE ACCIDENT!


    The english conquered Scotlands and Wales in self defence;
    purely to stop them invading england. The pope slanderously
    declared our Good Queen Bess a bastard and sent french
    spies to encourage english catholics to assassinate her; so
    we ended up fighting and conquering the catholics in Ireland.

    The colonies of America and Australia were simply the bizarre
    result of criminal rehabilitation programs which went wrong.

    A trading company called the East India company became
    hopelesly confused and entirely accidentally conquered
    a sub-continent when all it wanted to do was defend its
    trading posts from the anti-social French and Portugese.

    Every now and then some lunatic, usually rabid homosexual
    too, suggested being all masculine and warlike; I think they
    liked men in uniforms not the native woman; so we sent away.

    However this went wrong; for example 4 gay blokes called:

    Cecil, with a gold fetish, stirred up S Africa.
    Clive, conquered much of India
    Gordon, the first of the Gay Gordons, invaded the Sudan
    Lawrence, conquered the Holy Land


    Occasionally outlandish offshoots had strange ideas
    such as developing a bit of the empire all for themselves
    with the cruel use of slaves and expanding outwards
    ruthlessly exterminating all the native populations.
    We decided to disown such people but thought it politic
    to convince them that separation was really their idea;
    so - guess what - we planned to annoy them by putting
    an absolutely infuriating tax on their daily cup of tea!

    This was perhaps overdoing it a little because instead
    of just refusing to pay and joining up and declaring
    a peaceable independence; they started a war instead!

    Then there was that corsican Napoleon Buonaparte bloke.
    He insisted on trying to bully and conquer Europe so we told
    him to put his pointed artillery away or we'd confiscate
    his colonies so he wouldn't have any west indies candy.
    We wanted to give the confiscated colonies back; but
    the french had annoyed everyone else in Europe so much
    they did not let us. The 1815 congress made us keep them.

    The good people of england were so horrified to learn that the wicked chinese government would not let its ill people buy medicine such as the opium poppy so we sent them a fleet full.
    Some one dropped a cigar and their summer palace burnt down. They offered us Hong Kong full of bandits; were so embarassed we accepted without even knowing thought where it was.

    The only really planned invasions were of Afghanistan.
    We only went in because the devious Russian Tsarist
    intelligence service had convinced us they were planning
    to invade India via Aghanistan and cut off our cup of tea!
    These all went horribly wrong. I recollect that 10,000
    went in and only the surgeon came out alive after one.

    After that we left it to others to plan their conquering;
    Hitler in Europe; Japanese in Asia etc. Interestingly
    enough that did not work out too well for either of them.

    As a consequence of that we ended up in charge of Vietnam;
    but sensibly ran away quickly, unlike the French or the USA.

    The lesson is that it is best to let history sort itself out.

    Anyway time for a nice cup of tea.
     
  8. Ribannah

    Ribannah Fighter Druid

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    It all started with the wish to break the Arab monopoly on the trade routes to the east. Then the Portuguese made some navigational improvements ....
     
  9. Hamlet

    Hamlet Manic Depressive

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    The English never conquered Scotland. They were both technically united by the act of Union to form The UK. However, Scotland was never actually annexed militarily.

    Ireland had been the site of English campiagns a loonnnggg time before Liz I.

    Errr, not quite.
     
  10. allhailIndia

    allhailIndia Chieftain

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    Anyway, the conquest of India was entirely by a fluke, because the English never won a proper battle against any Indian prince without the help of another prince.

    In fact even during the First and Second World War, Indian troops were very important to the British and they prevented the collapse of the middle Eastern colonies in WW1 and staved off Jap invasion on WW2. So as far as military might goes, England was never really strong apart for their navy:p
     
  11. MrPresident

    MrPresident Anglo-Saxon Liberal

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    It takes a hell of a lot of intelligence to conquer 1/4 of the world with a not very strong military.
    Thats probably not too far off the truth. Australia was definitely used primarily to put "undesirables". And America was the place that people in debt went to, to avoid jail. Although America was more important for trade.
     
  12. allhailIndia

    allhailIndia Chieftain

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    OR blatant treachery, plain and simple and using any excuse to butcher tribals fighting "with sharpened fruits" to use Black Adder's(the real one) quote;) :p
     
  13. Hamlet

    Hamlet Manic Depressive

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    "Was that the Umboto Gorge where we massacred the peace loving pigmies of The Upper Volta and stole all their fruit?"
     
  14. Simon Darkshade

    Simon Darkshade Mysterious City of Gold

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    "No - totally different Mboto Gorge."

    "Ten thousand Watutsi warriors armed to the teeth with kiwi fruit and guava halves.":D
     
  15. Flatlander Fox

    Flatlander Fox Armed Cultural Consultant

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    Great explanation Edward!

    And since naval power was SO important back then, I would have to say that the English were stronger than ANY other nation.
     
  16. Adamski

    Adamski Football Legend

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    That was no fluke man, but they did certainly make good use of other guys army. Just ask the Scots , Prussians at Waterloo, Kepas Maoris in the fight against Hone Heke, the Kiwi and Aussia diggers at Gallipoli or how bout those Yanks and other colonials in WWII?:soldier:

    There are many others hmm, well its a cunning and insidious form of warfare. They have fought a few out themselves as well, mind. Thinking of Rorke's Drift and 10,000 zulus;) :arrow:
     
  17. Hamlet

    Hamlet Manic Depressive

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    Yep, most of 'our' army at Waterloo was in fact made up of Prussians, Austrians, etc.

    "Ten thousand Watutsi warriors armed to the teeth with kiwi fruit and guava halves."

    The less said about Rorke's Drift the better I fear, heh.
     
  18. Simon Darkshade

    Simon Darkshade Mysterious City of Gold

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    Tsk, it is great to see the revisionists and the communists come out to play:p
    Rorke's Drift was an extremely heroic stand against overwhelming odds and a savage enemy bent on their death. It was a bit more serious than the Blackadder parody.

    But never let the truth get in the way of good propaganda, right?:p
     
  19. Hamlet

    Hamlet Manic Depressive

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    You have a rather peverse idea of heroism.

    Personally, I don't consider men shooting at other men who are mostly armed with little more than stabbing weapons from behind a heavily fortified position particularly heroic. Clearly, you think differerntly.

    That isn't revisionism, it's common sense.
     
  20. Simon Darkshade

    Simon Darkshade Mysterious City of Gold

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    It is revisionism, you silly communist revisionist!:p

    I do not call sacks of meal and tin cans a heavily fortified position, particularly when there were not enough men to properly man the makeshift defences, and they were HUGELY outnumbered.
    Even though they did have Martini-Henry rifles, it still often came down to close combat against a well trained and extremely fit foe intent on ripping open their stomach.
    It was a darn close run thing, won because of the discipline and the heroism of the British infantrymen who fought there. You impugn their honour and their memory with your craven insults. It is not a matter of opinion. It is simple, black and white fact.
    I suggest you actually do a bit of research into the realities of the battle, and the Zulu War...
     

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