Posted: Jan 11, 2023 10:30 am
by darnwelling
Spearthrower wrote:
darnwelling wrote:The British empire was one of the largest and most powerful empires in world history. Spanning the globe, it brought trade, industry, and technology to countless nations, and helped to spread the ideals of democracy and the rule of law. 

It actually treated conquered nations as subordinates, stripping them of their resources for the UK's benefit, and forcing them to follow British law despite already having their own long standing laws. These still cause problems today, particularly with respect to homosexuality.

darnwelling wrote:One of the most significant benefits of the British empire was the economic development it brought to many of the territories it controlled.

For the UK's benefit. For example, the train networks in India weren't for the benefit of Indians who weren't even allowed to use those trains, but to ship resources and soldiers across the continent.

darnwelling wrote:The empire created vast trade networks that linked the far-flung corners of the world and spurred economic growth throughout the British colonies. For example, in India, the British introduced a number of economic reforms, including the establishment of a centralized banking system and the development of a rail network, that helped to spur industrialization and economic growth.

Having stamped on indigenous industrial and economic growth, such as with the textile industries of Punjab and Bengal.

darnwelling wrote: Similarly, in Africa, the British built a vast system of railroads, roads, and ports that facilitated the export of raw materials and the import of manufactured goods, helping to spur economic development on the continent.

And took hundreds of thousands of slaves - human beings owned by other human beings - to another continent to labour for free for British profits.

darnwelling wrote:The British empire also helped to spread the ideals of democracy and the rule of law to many of the territories it controlled.

You already said this, but it's obviously not true when those nations had no political say in the British government, i.e. taxation without representation.

darnwelling wrote: Many of the colonies that fell under British rule were ruled by authoritarian or despotic leaders, and the British brought a system of government based on the rule of law and the protection of individual rights.

They merely swapped a local authoritarian regime for a foreign one. And the vast majority of citizens of those nations didn't benefit from the democratic process or the rights extended to British citizens.

For example, even as recently as the last century saw the Jallianwala Bagh massacre with hundreds, possibly as many as 1500 unarmed people murdered in cold blood by the British, and all those people were doing was protesting a law not for British citizens, but for Indians entailing indefinite detention, imprisonment without trial or judicial review - you know, things that are opposite to democratic or human rights.

darnwelling wrote:For example, in India, the British introduced a system of government based on the rule of law, and helped to establish a number of institutions, including a judiciary, that helped to protect the rights of citizens.

Just bullshit. India already had a judiciary and under the British, Indians' rights were not protected.

darnwelling wrote:Similarly, in Africa, the British helped to establish a number of democratic institutions, including free and fair elections, that helped to promote political stability and good governance.

One empty statement after the next. It's intriguing that you've written so few words yet have ended up repeating yourself twice.

darnwelling wrote:Furthermore, The empire had a strong impact on the spread of education and knowledge, The British introduced an extensive system of education in their colonies, allowing many people access to education who might otherwise never have had the opportunity.

Going to be hard to distinguish between one historical timeline and the alternate one we'd need to be able to review to distinguish what might have happened.

Still just amounts to you putting words into sentences and making claims though.

darnwelling wrote:Many of the schools and universities established by the British continue to operate today, and continue to provide education to millions of people. This education has helped to create a generation of leaders and thinkers who have gone on to shape the political, social, and economic development of their countries.

An entirely pointless argument when the schools are administrated locally and have been since independence.

darnwelling wrote:The British empire brought many benefits and made many positive contributions to the world. The economic development, spread of democracy and rule of law, education and knowledge, it was instrumental in shaping the world as we know it today. 

The British empire did bring some benefits to parts of the world, albeit mostly unintentionally with respect to helping those indigenous peoples, but whatever benefits may be rightly conceded, they'd be outweighed by the murder, rape and pillage of those populations, of labour and property being stolen, of violent imperialism.

The suggestion that the entire enterprise was solely detrimental to the people of the colonies and that the majority of citizens did not benefit from the democratic process or rights extended to British citizens, is a narrow and incomplete view of history.

Firstly, it is true that during the time of British Raj, access to the train network was restricted to British officials and soldiers, However, it is also important to acknowledge that the rail network played a significant role in the economic development of the region by facilitating trade and commerce. The construction of this infrastructure also provided jobs and economic opportunities for local populations.

In regards to the textile industry, it is true that the British empire had a profound impact on the textile industry in Bengal and Punjab, however it is important to remember that the British colonizers brought new technologies, machinery and knowledge to the regions, making textile production more efficient and industrialized, and enabling the regions to become a major exporter of textiles to the rest of the world.

It's worth remembering that Britain was not the only country to use slaves. The transatlantic slave trade was a widespread practice involving many European countries, as well as the United States and Brazil, not just the British empire. The British empire was one of the most active participants in the trade of enslaved people, however it was not the only one, and this assertion oversimplifies the history of slavery. Not to mention Africa's role in selling slaves, as well as slavery perpetrated by Africans and Arabs on each other as well as people of European descent.

While the vast majority of citizens of the British colonies in Asia did not enjoy the same rights and privileges as British citizens, the British empire did introduce ideas of democracy and the rule of law, which laid the foundation for the eventual granting of independence and self-governance to these nations. Additionally, the introduction of education, healthcare, and other social services also had a positive impact on the lives of many people living in these colonies. Let's not forget the benefits to member nations of the British Commonwealth. 

The British empire had a complex and multifaceted relationship with the people living in the territories under its control, and it's true that the empire had many negative impacts on the lives of people living in the colonies. However, it is important to understand the nuances and complexities of history and acknowledge that the empire also had positive effects and brought about advancements in technology, medicine, and education, as well as laying the foundation for democracy and the rule of law. The net outcome is clearly a positive one.