A look back at European imperialism

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European Imperialism has often been condemned, being blamed for the state in which we find many countries in South America and Africa.

Was it really such a negative factor, though?

I will admit right now that I know the primary intention of the countries colonizing the Americas and Africa was for economic and military advantage, and to a lesser extent, religious conversion of the locals. Creating free, strong, independent countries was not the intention.

Looking at many former colonies now, though, it seems that a great many have enjoyed economic and social success, much more so than they ever had before the imperial age. The U.S., Canada, New Zealand, Australia and even Hong Kong were all former colonies and are now better off than many other countries. Did imperialism help or hinder their development?

Many others were not this lucky, of course. Haiti and the Congo are terrible places to live today. Was Imperialism a large negative factor? Would the lives of the people there be better had they never been colonized?

So what does the escapist think?

(Also, it's kind of interesting that the colonies that seem to have done very well for themselves all seem to have been British)

Well, the whole 'omg the west is so evil' movement was mostly in the 70's. For the most part they didn't have a basis in fact, as most countries weren't ever colonised. Large chunks of Africa that supposedly belonged to a European country never ever saw a European travel through them, let alone colonise it. Then another nuance is that those places have existed for centuries, and were mostly colonised only for a few decades. It's impossible that colonisation made a large impact in such a short time.

In reality, colonisation made the colonised states better, with only very few exceptions, very limited in time and space.

Most of the blaming of 'imperialism' is just racist bullshit who wants to point the finger of blame at 'the whites' or 'the west' or some other generalising term.

Blablahb:
Well, the whole 'omg the west is so evil' movement was mostly in the 70's. For the most part they didn't have a basis in fact, as most countries weren't ever colonised. Large chunks of Africa that supposedly belonged to a European country never ever saw a European travel through them, let alone colonise it. Then another nuance is that those places have existed for centuries, and were mostly colonised only for a few decades. It's impossible that colonisation made a large impact in such a short time.

In reality, colonisation made the colonised states better, with only very few exceptions, very limited in time and space.

Most of the blaming of 'imperialism' is just racist bullshit who wants to point the finger of blame at 'the whites' or 'the west' or some other generalising term.

Jesus fucking Christ. Imperialism was a fucking horrible thing that absolutely destroyed Africa. From the Dutch/British's brutal stratification of South Africa for economic gain, to the French and Germans commiting genocide on native groups, to the Belgians turning the Congo into the desolate and horrifically violent place it is now, there is literally no argument that could be made that colonisation improved Africa in any way that isn't either horribly ignorant, or horrifically racist.

AlouiciousKF:
Jesus fucking Christ. Imperialism was a fucking horrible thing that absolutely destroyed Africa.

Okay, please be the first person ever to prove this claim.

AlouiciousKF:
From the Dutch/British's brutal stratification of South Africa for economic gain, to the French and Germans commiting genocide on native groups, to the Belgians turning the Congo into the desolate and horrifically violent place it is now

This is what I meant. That list is half fantasy, half what was already normal in various parts of Africa (how odd that you see 'Africa' as one homogenous space) so nothing whatsoever was changed. The Netherlands never colonised South Africa for instance. They had a few trading posts there and some settlers, but the Dutch (and for a long time also English) impact on that space was near nill.

Except for advantages of course. Advantages including but not limited to:
-ending tribal wars
-building infrastructure
-bringing more decent and stable government

Maybe it's time for an apology for the accusation that I'm a racist, seeing as railroads for one thing are an undeniable fact and an improvement by colonisation?

Blablahb:

AlouiciousKF:
Jesus fucking Christ. Imperialism was a fucking horrible thing that absolutely destroyed Africa.

Okay, please be the first person ever to prove this claim.

AlouiciousKF:
From the Dutch/British's brutal stratification of South Africa for economic gain, to the French and Germans commiting genocide on native groups, to the Belgians turning the Congo into the desolate and horrifically violent place it is now

This is what I meant. That list is half fantasy, half what was already normal in various parts of Africa (how odd that you see 'Africa' as one homogenous space) so nothing whatsoever was changed. The Netherlands never colonised South Africa for instance. They had a few trading posts there and some settlers, but the Dutch (and for a long time also English) impact on that space was near nill.

Do you think Apartheid is some urban legend that Those Damn Africans cooked up to make White People look bad? Do you know of the existence of the Rhodesian state? Do you know who Nelson Mandela is? Do you know what Afrikaners are?

I'm asking this because that post is, by far and away, the single most ignorant thing I've ever read regarding South Africa.

Blablahb:
Except for advantages of course. Advantages including but not limited to:
-ending tribal wars
-building infrastructure
-bringing more decent and stable government

-The redrawing of borders by European settlers created far more and far worse wars than what already existed. Oh, and there's the whole little, you know, genocide thing.
-Infrastructure by European standards. As it turns out, most native African tribes were doing just fine for themselves before Europeans came in and declared them "uncivilized savages".
-ahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

Blablahb:
Maybe it's time for an apology for the accusation that I'm a racist, seeing as railroads for one thing are an undeniable fact and an improvement by colonisation?

Railroads: Totally make up for genocide, oppression, etc.

In certain instances, imperialism did provide some advantages to the peoples that were forced to suffer through it. Please note the word "suffer." While many old colonies have managed to do pretty well in the years since colonial rule ended, the time they endured was often brutal and horrific.

For instance, the United States was a former colony and has more or less managed to putter along fairly well afterwards, but the Amerindians might have a little something to say about the supposed "benefits."

Also, consider the colonization of the Chinese coastal areas (the spheres of influence the various European powers had), the decimation of the nations of Central and South America, the extension of the African slave trade, the numerous acts of genocide against indigenous peoples, etc., etc., etc. I'm not sure the price paid is really worth the benefits.

AlouiciousKF:
Do you think Apartheid is some urban legend that Those Damn Africans cooked up to make White People look bad? I'm asking this because that post is, by far and away, the single most ignorant thing I've ever read regarding South Africa.

Why are you starting about something random and unrelated? I noted how most spaces in Africa weren't affected by colonisation, or were barely affected.

You flew into a rage and claimed colonisation "destroyed Africa". So logically, I want to see proof 'Africa' as a whole was a paradise before colonisation, and ceased to exist afterward.

For one thing a friend of mine visited South Africa for research last year, and one of my co-workers is from Morocco, so it appears at least those parts of Africa still exists, and you are wrong.

But if you want to abandon that claim and instead try to prove there were no positive sides to colonisation and big negative sides, that's fine too. Don't forget to prove that railroads and such that were built by various Europeans are a myth and never existed, because I already mentioned those, and they need refuting.

Blablahb:
*what the christ*

I edited my post before you made this one, but I'll address some more points you brought up here.

Blablahb:
Why are you starting about something random and unrelated? I noted how most spaces in Africa weren't affected by colonisation, or were barely affected.

If you think apartheid is completely random and unrelated to imperialism you are either the dumbest motherfucker on the planet or missing the point.

Blablahb:
You flew into a rage and claimed colonisation "destroyed Africa". So logically, I want to see proof 'Africa' as a whole was a paradise before colonisation, and ceased to exist afterward.

That's not the point of what I wrote and you goddamn know it. You are being incredibly obtuse.

Blablahb:
For one thing a friend of mine visited South Africa for research last year, and one of my co-workers is from Morocco, so it appears at least those parts of Africa still exists, and you are wrong.

Welp, South Africa is a country and the Moroccan people still exist. I guess I was wrong about everything else.

Blablahb:
But if you want to abandon that claim and instead try to prove there were no positive sides to colonisation and big negative sides, that's fine too. Don't forget to prove that railroads and such that were built by various Europeans are a myth and never existed, because I already mentioned those, and they need refuting.

what the fuck is it with you and fucking railroads.

Blablahb:

AlouiciousKF:
Jesus fucking Christ. Imperialism was a fucking horrible thing that absolutely destroyed Africa.

Okay, please be the first person ever to prove this claim.

I'm rather interested in this exchange, for my own reasons.

Captcha: Incept This. ...what?

Blablahb:

You flew into a rage and claimed colonisation "destroyed Africa". So logically, I want to see proof 'Africa' as a whole was a paradise before colonisation, and ceased to exist afterward.

For one thing a friend of mine visited South Africa for research last year, and one of my co-workers is from Morocco, so it appears at least those parts of Africa still exists, and you are wrong.

I was going to post a point-by-point rebuttal like AlouiciousKF but then I read this.

Jesus.

AlouiciousKF:
what the fuck is it with you and fucking railroads.

They're physical proof of positive effects from colonisation, and conclusive proof that you are wrong.

Although admittedly, asking you to prove they don't exist is slightly condescending. Then again, your fault for taking a position that's so easy to prove wrong. If I claimed cars don't exist, or some other claim against which there is commonly known physical proof, I'd expect to be made fun of as well.

AlouiciousKF:
If you think apartheid is completely random and unrelated to imperialism you are either the dumbest motherfucker on the planet or missing the point.

Let me explain again that apartheid is not relevant, since we were talking about Africa as a whole continent, across all of time, and not a few decades of South Africa as a country.

I pointed out how the negative view of colonial times is vastly exagerated, based on half-truths and was mostly popular in the 'red seventies' (E. Said's hugely overestimated book Orientalism for instance) and I pointed out nuances and positive effects of colonisation (note: that's not just talking about European countries colonising others).

Actually your post about fictional genocides and what not was an excellent example of such exageration and half-truths. In reality plenty of 'conquering' was a joke, and consisted of nothing more than building a trade post and striking a deal with the local overlords. For certain, European colonisers never did anything to the natives that wasn't already usual for those times in those places.

You know, it's finally connected. Your avoidance of discussing South Africa, your insistence on colonials only setting up trading posts AND NOTHING ELSE, your obsession with pointing to "the railroad" as a positive, your examples all being Dutch, you yourself being Dutch.

I ain't even angry at you anymore, now it's just funny to watch a guy scramble to be an imperialist apologist and try to excuse the sins of his people.

Blablahb:

As for exageration, this would be obvious. Read any of those classical occidentalist works and their single-minded structuralistic ideas and it becomes obvious. Said for instance strongly ties colonisation to racism (of course only if whites do it, Arab colonisation isn't mentioned anywhere) while that's nonsense: it was mostly about money. And there are exceptions. Bismarck had some islands in the Pacific colonised, but those were meant as bartering chips towards others European powers.

An example is Jan Pieterszoon Coen. People often harp on about how he depopulated the Banda islands and how terrible that was. Those same people often conveniently fail to mention that the Bandanese had themselves exterminated various VOC missions, broken treaties and had treated Coen terribly in the past, shaping his future actions. THey also conventiently fail to mention how the Dutch at the time reacted rather poorly to Coen's draconic measures. The Lords XVII themselves spoke out against it, something which only happened if you were really totally in the wrong. Lastly, it also failed to mention that feudal warfare in that archipalo often involved war crimes including indiscriminate killing. Destroying a hostile village was normal at that place in that time. Why is it suddenly notable when a European does it?

You do realise this all boils down to "But they did it too" don't you? And that this, especially the second paragraph, is not proof at all of your assertions that the negative effects of colonisation were largely exaggerated, right?

Now between book titles, science-history and examples, I think I may have provided all the arguments in this whole topic so far, and especially considering the extremely unpleasant tone used by some, I'm going to let this rest untill someone adds a reply of similar quality that refutes my own, lest this topic turns into some sort of flame war.

You haven't provided anything except name-drop a couple of books (one of which I literally couldn't find any info on till I ran a citation through Google translate from Dutch) and a bunch of "but they did it too!" post-hoc justification along with some bullshit about railways being a good justification as if the people being colonised would never have been able to come up with railroads themselves until the awfully generous white man came along and gave it to them (to help plunder the resources of the countries in question more effectively).

e: hahaha jesus fucking christ:

This was something that had been going on for centuries between African tribes. Why is it suddenly a genocide when a European army does the exact same? Why the double standards?

Do you really need the lesson of "Two wrongs don't make a right" reiterated?

As a quick example of Colonial conduct off the top of my head, (let's not even go into the British Raj), the Free Congo State was a particularly good example of just how shitty colonial European powers could be.

Before his ascent to the throne, King Leopold II of Belgium had been enviously eyeing the colonial holdings of his neighbours Britain, Spain, Germany and Holland. Leopold was convinced that having a colony would allow Belgium to gain more status among European powers and provide a constant drip-feed of income. The Belgian people did not share his enthusiasm but Leopold began his political machinations regardless.

At the 1884 Berlin conference, all of the main European powers convened and essentially decided who got to trade in which parts of Africa. King Leopold II's subtle wrangling worked incredibly well and he walked away with personal control of the Congo region, it was not tied to Belgium nor any other country - it was his and his alone. Unfortunately for the people of the newly christened 'Congo Free State' Leopold's stewardship coincided with a sharp rise in the worldwide demand for rubber due to Dunlop's patent of the pneumatic tyre.

Congolese Woman and Children would be separated from the Menfolk, who would be sent out to gather rubber in State mandated quotas. If the punishing quotas were not met their families might be killed or a 'tax' collected by the severing of a hand.

Instead of tapping the rubber vines, workers would slash them and smear the rubber latex all over their bodies, where it would harden and have to be painfully scraped off later - unfortunately this method also killed the vine, resulting in a decrease in the amount of rubber available to extract, while State quotas were continually increased.

As the collection of rubber became more desperate, State soldiers were ordered to burn entire villages who had not met quota and were paid bonuses on the number of severed hands collected. Troops were also underfed and allocated a small number of bullets, each of which had to be accounted for. If soldiers hunted game to ease their hunger they would have to remove even more hands to account for the loss of their bullets.

The total death toll of King Leopold II's Congolese project is unknown but estimates range between 5 and 25 million people.

e: sorry, Congo Free State

I don't think you understand the basis of Blabs point. The things Europeans are blamed for, they were happening before Europeans arrived. The only difference is that Europeans recorded the events. Even during European colonization tribes were still fighting among themselves.

The other aspect, why blame the problems of Africa on the treatment of the natives? Treating the natives like shit was not exactly localized to Africa. There is a reason Native Americans are allowed to build casinos.

pyrate:
I don't think you understand the basis of Blabs point. The things Europeans are blamed for, they were happening before Europeans arrived. The only difference is that Europeans recorded the events. Even during European colonization tribes were still fighting among themselves.

The other aspect, why blame the problems of Africa on the treatment of the natives? Treating the natives like shit was not exactly localized to Africa. There is a reason Native Americans are allowed to build casinos.

Blabs' "point" is that he is an imperialist apologist who doesn't think anything the colonists did anywhere was bad for any reason. He literally dismissed a full blown, recognized genocide of two groups of native African people as "You only think it's bad because you hate Europe!"

Don't defend him, pity him.

AlouiciousKF:

pyrate:
I don't think you understand the basis of Blabs point. The things Europeans are blamed for, they were happening before Europeans arrived. The only difference is that Europeans recorded the events. Even during European colonization tribes were still fighting among themselves.

The other aspect, why blame the problems of Africa on the treatment of the natives? Treating the natives like shit was not exactly localized to Africa. There is a reason Native Americans are allowed to build casinos.

Blabs' "point" is that he is an imperialist apologist who doesn't think anything the colonists did anywhere was bad for any reason. He literally dismissed a full blown, recognized genocide of two groups of native African people as "You only think it's bad because you hate Europe!"

Don't defend him, pity him.

Blab point is not that there is nothing wrong with genocide, the point is that Europeans were not the evil doers of the world, everyone was. Every man and his dog was killing each other back then, putting the blame on a specific group makes no sense.

pyrate:
I don't think you understand the basis of Blabs point.

Well, the whole 'omg the west is so evil' movement was mostly in the 70's. For the most part they didn't have a basis in fact, as most countries weren't ever colonised. Large chunks of Africa that supposedly belonged to a European country never ever saw a European travel through them, let alone colonise it. Then another nuance is that those places have existed for centuries, and were mostly colonised only for a few decades. It's impossible that colonisation made a large impact in such a short time.

In reality, colonisation made the colonised states better, with only very few exceptions, very limited in time and space.

Most of the blaming of 'imperialism' is just racist bullshit who wants to point the finger of blame at 'the whites' or 'the west' or some other generalising term.

In short, the negative effects of colonialism is anti-white racist bullshit and the natives got a good deal from being subjugated. Railways is a damn good deal for the kind of shit that went down in the Congo Free State.

That is the "basis" of his point.

The other aspect, why blame the problems of Africa on the treatment of the natives? Treating the natives like shit was not exactly localized to Africa. There is a reason Native Americans are allowed to build casinos.

What the shit does this have to do with wether or not the colonial powers engaged in horrific practices like wiping out villages, looting resources and imposing rule on foreign nations? Are you really so morally bankrupt that you base your moral calculus on middle-school concepts like "but they started it"?

The imposition of Colonial rule on African nations was a dictatorial mission of economic self-interest by European powers and it undermined the right of self-determination of the countries involved. Most of the "civilizing" done was so the occupying powers could better exploit the resources and labour of the nations involved (railways to transport resources and labour, education so the people there could administrate the colonies on their behalf etc.)

To argue the extent of the effects of imperialism and colonization is one thing. There is little concensus right now about just exactly what would have been the shape of Africa without being colonized. But to sit back and say "yeah, most of the bad stuff Europe did to their colonies was made up by anti-white racists" is fucking absurd.

Blablahb:
Then another nuance is that those places have existed for centuries, and were mostly colonised only for a few decades. It's impossible that colonisation made a large impact in such a short time.

Decades? More like 400 years.

I think with or without colonization Africa still would've been poor nowadays. However this does not excuse the slave trades and the genocides. But this is not my area.

Specially Spain. I really, really hate what the Spaniards did in America.

PiCroft:

pyrate:
I don't think you understand the basis of Blabs point.

Well, the whole 'omg the west is so evil' movement was mostly in the 70's. For the most part they didn't have a basis in fact, as most countries weren't ever colonised. Large chunks of Africa that supposedly belonged to a European country never ever saw a European travel through them, let alone colonise it. Then another nuance is that those places have existed for centuries, and were mostly colonised only for a few decades. It's impossible that colonisation made a large impact in such a short time.

In reality, colonisation made the colonised states better, with only very few exceptions, very limited in time and space.

Most of the blaming of 'imperialism' is just racist bullshit who wants to point the finger of blame at 'the whites' or 'the west' or some other generalising term.

In short, the negative effects of colonialism is anti-white racist bullshit and the natives got a good deal from being subjugated. Railways is a damn good deal for the kind of shit that went down in the Congo Free State.

That is the "basis" of his point.

The other aspect, why blame the problems of Africa on the treatment of the natives? Treating the natives like shit was not exactly localized to Africa. There is a reason Native Americans are allowed to build casinos.

What the shit does this have to do with wether or not the colonial powers engaged in horrific practices like wiping out villages, looting resources and imposing rule on foreign nations? Are you really so morally bankrupt that you base your moral calculus on middle-school concepts like "but they started it"?

The imposition of Colonial rule on African nations was a dictatorial mission of economic self-interest by European powers and it undermined the right of self-determination of the countries involved. Most of the "civilizing" done was so the occupying powers could better exploit the resources and labour of the nations involved (railways to transport resources and labour, education so the people there could administrate the colonies on their behalf etc.)

To argue the extent of the effects of imperialism and colonization is one thing. There is little concensus right now about just exactly what would have been the shape of Africa without being colonized. But to sit back and say "yeah, most of the bad stuff Europe did to their colonies was made up by anti-white racists" is fucking absurd.

I have never said Europe never did any bad stuff. I have said that bad stuff was not just done by Europe and that bad treatment of natives was not isolated to Africa. To blame colonization for the current troubles of Africa makes no sense.

Africa is not in bad shape because of colonization, it is in bad shape because it is a shit place to live. Countries such as America and Australia were colonized, had their natives wiped out and are doing just fine. The reason is pretty simple, America was a lot more appealing then the middle of the 2nd largest desert on the planet.

On that thought, yeah, let's go look at some other places Europeans colonized! Like the Americas, or Australia!

Hmm, let's see, with the Americas we have the genocide of the native peoples (in North America), and the complete destruction of local kingdoms and empires (in South/Central America).

Australia is all good, though right? I mean sure, if you ignore the oppression and, again, genocide of the Aboriginal Australian people!

Basically what I am saying is sure, colonialism and imperialism doesn't look bad at all if all you look at is how the whiteys are doing in whatever place they subjugated and conquered.

pyrate:

Africa is not in bad shape because of colonization, it is in bad shape because it is a shit place to live. Countries such as America and Australia were colonized, had their natives wiped out and are doing just fine. The reason is pretty simple, America was a lot more appealing then the middle of the 2nd largest desert on the planet.

Thanks forums poster "pyrate" for succinctly summing up the issues and legacies of centuries of wars, subjugation and strife as "Because Africa is shit" and astounding us with your astute summation of Africa as "a desert". Surely your opinions are worthy of careful and respectful consideration and I shall endeavour to mull over your thoughts on the matter carefully.

You all have to recognize that BlahBlah... Is what is called a "race realist." Its an interesting new subgroup of racist that tries to used distorted historical facts, faulty logic, and one sided scientific studies to rationalize racism/white supremacy on a legitimate and logical level. By doing so they escape the usual stigma that is attached to their kind and believe they have a real shot at legitimizing their foolishness on a level beyond stormfront and other typical hate group identities.

For fun i have purposefully engaged him and his ilk on several occasions. While they may surprise initially with their lesser known "history" lessons and data, they still dont have a leg to stand on for their ridiculous views. Although slightly more formidable that your average racist due to their habit of researching their one sided rhetoric and generally higher level of intellectual fortitude that your typical racist, the "race realist" ideology always falters under the following terms.

-Highly selective and revisionist ideas of world history
-Cherry picked "scientific" studies
-"yeah but so did they" arguments justifying the legacy of imperialism/slavery/apartheid
-Unwillingness to engage on an honest level anything that does not support their ideals

My personal theory is that the increase of this phenomena (especially on the internet) is directly related to the widespread increase of ALL hate group activity since the election of Barrack Obama. It is scary for many whites who are not closely connected to this countries power structure to be face with possibly "losing" elements of their privilege and the crazyness displayed by Blab(who BTW isnt American) is a symptom of this.

Saladfork:

Looking at many former colonies now, though, it seems that a great many have enjoyed economic and social success, much more so than they ever had before the imperial age. The U.S., Canada, New Zealand, Australia and even Hong Kong were all former colonies and are now better off than many other countries. Did imperialism help or hinder their development?

Many others were not this lucky, of course. Haiti and the Congo are terrible places to live today. Was Imperialism a large negative factor? Would the lives of the people there be better had they never been colonized?

I remember a good reason i heard once, the colonies like America took decades or even centuries to set up properly, meaning that while the usual resource grabbing was going on the country was slowly getting the infrastructure needed to stand as an independent country. Whereas a lot of African colonies were set up during the height of the industrial revolution; a time where the colonizers weren't too fussed about a new stable outpost and were more of the "get in, get as much as we can, screw the natives" mindset, meaning that nowhere near as much effort into building an infrastructure.

Of course what i think did more damage was the post imperial catchup a lot of colonies went through; the west basically dragged half the world kicking and screaming forward a few hundred years to match our economies and values. This is why you see men in Africa carrying an iphone and still thinking medicine men can cure AIDS, they live in a 21st century world with a 15th century mindset.

So while colonies like North America or Australia, which were basically made up entirely of white settlers, were easier to stabilise and develop as they were more advanced, those colonies with large indigenous populations didn't have those advantages and lead to them being screwed up majorly.

PiCroft:

pyrate:

Africa is not in bad shape because of colonization, it is in bad shape because it is a shit place to live. Countries such as America and Australia were colonized, had their natives wiped out and are doing just fine. The reason is pretty simple, America was a lot more appealing then the middle of the 2nd largest desert on the planet.

Thanks forums poster "pyrate" for succinctly summing up the issues and legacies of centuries of wars, subjugation and strife as "Because Africa is shit" and astounding us with your astute summation of Africa as "a desert". Surely your opinions are worthy of careful and respectful consideration and I shall endeavour to mull over your thoughts on the matter carefully.

There is a reason America and Australia came out of colonization fine, immigration. Only 0.65% of the African population is of European descent. Europeans flocked to America and Australia, bringing their knowledge and technology. The numbers involved required the widespread building of infrastructure one was accustomed to in Europe. This was not the case in Africa. Why do people choose one country/continent over another, because one is better than the other.

Ask yourself this, ignoring political, economical and social aspects, would you prefer to live in America or Africa. The choice is pretty simple, the answer is America, geographically it is much nicer.

As for Africa being a desert, about 40% of it is. As a percentage of land mass it has double the desert of Australia. The only continent with more desert than Africa is Antarctica and look at how well off that is.

While I know I really should avoid these debates, I was just wondering why there's been no mention of India? Like a number of African countries, it was colonised by Europeans and the genral population were treated harshly often with little or no respect. However, it fought and won its independance and now is the largest democracy in the world and rapidly on its way to being a world power. Why are Africa's troubles blamed on colonialism when India and the surrounding nations have shown countries can use it to their advantage?

Quick edit: I would also say that using Australia and (North) America in these arguments hurts more then it helps as its a different type of colonialism. Both were cases of "Go in, stake claim and eliminate the natives" where as Africa and India ae "Go in, steal stuff and rule those already there".

Plinglebob:
While I know I really should avoid these debates, I was just wondering why there's been no mention of India? Like a number of African countries, it was colonised by Europeans and the genral population were treated harshly often with little or no respect. However, it fought and won its independance and now is the largest democracy in the world and rapidly on its way to being a world power. Why are Africa's troubles blamed on colonialism when India and the surrounding nations have shown countries can use it to their advantage?

Quick edit: I would also say that using Australia and (North) America in these arguments hurts more then it helps as its a different type of colonialism. Both were cases of "Go in, stake claim and eliminate the natives" where as Africa and India ae "Go in, steal stuff and rule those already there".

Yep when britain left, the hindu population turned on the muslim population of india and slaughtered them in the street. Killing woman and children and forcing alot of muslims to flee to the newly created pakistan. Great example of a civilized democracy.

The OP reminded me of this bit from Monty Python 's "Life of Brian"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ExWfh6sGyso&feature=youtube_gdata_player

Davidmc1158 said it already, "...consider the colonization of the Chinese coastal areas (the spheres of influence the various European powers had), the decimation of the nations of Central and South America, the extension of the African slave trade, the numerous acts of genocide against indigenous peoples, etc., etc., etc."

The price paid was certainly not worth the benefits. Besides, the benefits could have been given through mutual trade and economic assistance, not as a byproduct of of economic and political domination.

feeqmatic:
You all have to recognize that BlahBlah... Is what is called a "race realist."

Is he really?
They seemed to pop up suddenly on youtube months back, not exactly the brightest light on the tree, and that is just how they argued, nevermind what they said.

Still denial of the outright terrible actions of European powers would be in line with such a position.

Extolling any sort of virtue from imperialism is kinda moot, considering most imperialist nations brutally suppressed all colonial movements that strove to unite their respective nations in preparation of independence, packed up their industry and destroyed what economies had been created in the colonies once they saw that independence could not be postponed indefinitely and then proceeded to support the most brutal military dictatorships afterwards in order to safeguard access to natural resources for western companies.

In any case, it is hard to imagine that Africa wouldn't have been better off being able to develop and shape the continent on its own, with outside meddling reduced to peaceful trade and exchange of innovations and ideas.

When we're talking about Africa both the colonization and decolonization were bad for the Africans. Colonization was bad for the more obvious reasons, but when the Europeans left there was a big power vacuum left to be filled, which led to centuries of civil wars and genocides. And that is probably the main reason large parts of Africa are in poor condition.

Knight Templar:

feeqmatic:
You all have to recognize that BlahBlah... Is what is called a "race realist."

Is he really?
They seemed to pop up suddenly on youtube months back, not exactly the brightest light on the tree, and that is just how they argued, nevermind what they said.

Still denial of the outright terrible actions of European powers would be in line with such a position.

The question raised by some of us over and over again. Why only blame Europeans? The European powers were not the first to be involved in African warfare, nor were they the first to participate in slave trade, they were not even the last.

Before the European powers took over it was the Arab world. Before the Arab world it was among themselves. A big talking point is always the slavery. Europeans were not the ones that forced people into slavery. Africa had slavery for millenia, just like the rest of the ancient world. The tribes of Africa did not see it as putting Africans to slavery, to them it was their enemy tribe they were selling to the Arabs, Europeans or other Africans. Europeans did not force the people into slavery so much as they bought them from the victors of tribal wars. It is how slavery had worked for thousands of years.

Compared to the rest of the world Europe was pretty progressive in terms of slavery. The Arab world continued slave trading well into the 20th century. 20% of the population of Saudi Arabia in the 1950s were slaves. The Arab slave trade was not abolished until 1970.

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