/ The Empire

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Al Evans on 27 Mar 2012
Just finished watching this series 'Empire' by Jeremy Paxman on BBC, I think you can still get the episodes on BBC Player.
I thought it was fascinating and fairly dealt with by Paxman, the good it did, the bad that was perpetrated to acheive the Empire. But mostly having watched the series I think it was overall a thing good for the world. Did anybody see it, what do you think? If anything I thought Paxman was less gushing than he might have been about the positives of the Empire?
jnymtch - on 20 Apr 2012
In reply to Al Evans:

In what way was slavery the export of religion and genocide and all the other nasty things that we did good for the world. we may have got rich and wealthy out of it all but i cant see anything that was good for anyone else on the receiving end of our Imperial/ colonial expansion race with the rest of europe.
Wide_Mouth_Frog - on 20 Apr 2012
In reply to jnymtch:
> (In reply to Al Evans)
>
> In what way was slavery the export of religion and genocide and all the other nasty things that we did good for the world. we may have got rich and wealthy out of it all but i cant see anything that was good for anyone else on the receiving end of our Imperial/ colonial expansion race with the rest of europe.

Not a single thing? Transport links, common language, trade links to the rest of the world.
mcdougal - on 20 Apr 2012
In reply to Wide_Mouth_Frog:

Rule of law? Parliamentary democracy? Communication of ideas?
Rob Davies - on 21 Apr 2012
In reply to Al Evans: As a follow up, I'd recommend Niall Ferguson's book "Empire" which tries to take a balanced view of the imoact of the British Empire.
Rob Davies - on 21 Apr 2012
In reply to jnymtch: If the Brits were trying to export religion they were being extremely ineffective: compare India with South America.
jnymtch - on 22 Apr 2012
In reply to Wide_Mouth_Frog:

Colonialism i would say has done nothing good, despite how nice a life it has given us, including me!

Religion, I would say a good job was done by Europe of eradicating traditional belief across Africa. in favour of their preferred Christian ones. and yes I know Christianity was there long before colonialism in the horn of africa.

Drawing borders across the land causing future conflict and devision. Gassing the unruly somalis with mustard gas, for daring to resist. The Belgian's did a an amazing job in Rwanda at dividing a country and priming it for future conflict, or was it all the fault of the africans for not getting on with each other despite the Belgians going to all the trouble of measuring and classifying people for preferential treatment and South africa, Such a fair land!

The introduction of UK fixed land agricultural practices across africa on soil that cannot sustain it and never will.

Slave trade to the americas,( Nice cross continental travel system.)

Railways throughout india and other colonies were not built for public transport they were to extract wealth from the country and did it well. The building of which deforested large parts of the land which still is deforested, The Empire managed the removal of it not preservation. In general raw good taken out processed and sold back to the country, a good method of wealth extraction.

The drawing up of and eventual partition of india. one of the most rapid and brutal genocides of modern history with a couple of million people killed and 15 million displaced in about 6 months.

I dont think the eradication of traditional Languages and replacing it with english as something amazing. Even in india, they could speak each others language, there not dim. They seem to have done ok on the language and mathematics.
A time we were scratching in the mud still creating lords and robbing our own people. But once all was taken from the peasants in england we needed some more to rob blind. !

If Britain and the the rest of Europe had left the rest of the world be to do their own thing. im fairly sure it could have been a better place.

Al Evans on 22 Apr 2012
In reply to jnymtch: Have you seen the programme, it casts a very fair look at the good and the bad.

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