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Old January 15th, 2013, 05:44 AM   #61

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Originally Posted by Vladd View Post
Just like the defensive Americans in the thread about Washington attacking Indian villages.
I was being critical of the Brits for appearing to defend colonialism which, to be fair, resulted in money and misery for many.

Vlad, I am known for being critical of my own country perhaps a little often. I learned nothing about the US's colonial excesses when I was in school, because they were conveniently overlooked. The genocide of native Americans was not seriously addressed.

Even today, I object to the military and commercial colonialism that the US engages in without actual occupation. (21st century gunboat diplomacy)

How will schools in my country teach the story of Iraq and Afghanistan in the future?
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Old January 15th, 2013, 05:52 AM   #62

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Originally Posted by larkin View Post
Even today, I object to the military and commercial colonialism that the US engages in without actual occupation. (21st century gunboat diplomacy)
I see that Hobsbawmian Historiography is still alive.
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Old January 15th, 2013, 12:36 PM   #63

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The UK. was a democratic monarchy where its citizens had a say in how things were run. But I do not think they were asked on how the empire should be governed. The governing of the empire was left to certain people in the government and British companies with interests outside of the British isles. The British Empire might have been wealthy but back in the British isles there were people that were struggling to survive. They did not really profit from the so called Empire.

Having said that. I once read that in Bengal the Indians were forced to plant Opium thus when drought hit some people only had Opium plants to eat.

I highly recommend you watch these following videos. Part One.
[ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sNhADTcnx4k"]British Raj: Occupied India and the Chinese Opium Wars part 1 - YouTube[/ame]

Part Two.
British Raj: Occupied India and the Chinese Opium Wars part 2 - YouTube

Short clip. Seems if you subcribe you can see the whole thing.
[ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rs0B16GW07U"]Imperialism: The British in India - YouTube[/ame]
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Old January 15th, 2013, 01:43 PM   #64

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Originally Posted by JohnAshtone View Post
Would India have been better or worse if the British had not taken over.

Worse, as you would still have had either the French or the Moghuls, and the Moghuls really did rape India, at least the British invested £millions (the equivalent of £billions today) into India, the French and Moghuls in particular only bled the Country dry.
Can you please explain to me how the Moghuls "raped" India? As I recall, the Moghuls were based in India, while the British Empire was based in Europe. It would have been rather difficult for the Moghuls to have raped themselves.

You may want to read about the growth of India's economy in the late 16th and 17th century thanks to the Pax Mughalica. The period saw India becoming one of the leading economic powers in the world, with India being the world's largest producer of textiles in 1700. There was overwhelming demand for Indian cloth in the late 17th century among Europeans; on average, 34 tons of silver and half-a-ton of gold was flowing to India each year from Europe. The huge popularity of Indian textiles and the negative trade balance that they caused was seen as harming to European economic interests, leading the French to ban textile imports from India in 1686, followed by the English in 1701.

India was much richer under the British and that included many Indians.
Fascinating. Can you show me a single statistic to support this claim?

The famine figres you quote are exagerated, and seem to be working on what the death toll wopuld have been, had it been at today's figures.
The death tolls are accurate. There were literally millions who died, and there is no question about it. The only question is: to what degree were their deaths the result of mismanagement by the British Raj?

Also as more Indians died from the famines after the British left, and were still doing so until the mid 1960s, when aid and expertise from Britain helped stop it, I think your posting is just disingenuous.
Utterly false. There was NO major famines in India after 1947, not a single one. This is a simple fact, and a well-documented one.

And certainly the British were no worse at running the Counrtry, than Delhi in the 1950s, and certainly the average Indian was far better off than when the Moghuls were there, and the French wouldn't have given you freedom.
The average Indian in the 1950s was little better than he was in the 17th century. It was only in the past 60 years of Independence, that the living standards of Indians have risen markedly. The British Raj did little to nothing to improve the lives of Indians, which is not surprising since that was never their intention in the first place.
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Old January 18th, 2013, 08:20 AM   #65
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Killing Millions "Let them Starve" policy of the British

BBC Archives have several detailed articles of how Lord Lytton and others sytematically adopted "Let them Starve" policies in India. Thus, inspite of bumper harvests, the produce was cornered and exported, letting the Indians starve by the millions. The British thus caused numerous famines in which millions of Indians perished.

The link to one such article is here -- BBC.CO.Uk archives.

BBC - WW2 People's War - 3 Million Dead in Artificial Famine in Bengal

All comments would be welcome.
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Old January 18th, 2013, 08:41 AM   #66

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There has not been a serious famine since the British left. Somehow I believe that, there have been some but certainly not on the scale of the era this article is about.

Sadly I still don't hear of the people of India prospering as they should today either.
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Old January 18th, 2013, 12:01 PM   #67

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The 1876 famine does indeed seem to have been a very shameful episode in the British administration of India, and the Viceroy Lytton and Sir Richard Temple, the Famine Commissioner, come out looking like the worst kind of bureaucrats (Temple had been much more extravagant and successful during the Bihar famine, where far less suffering and very little loss of life had occurred, but had been criticised for his expenditure).
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Old January 18th, 2013, 12:52 PM   #68
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British India was a major exporter of grain to the United Kingdom, a fact which may strike many as counter-intuitive, given the popular image of India as a land of perennial food shortages.

What caused major famines in British India was the fact that the British rulers continued to export grain even in situations of real food shortages due to regional crop failures. As a result there was not enough food left for the whole Indian population, which led to mass starvation.
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Old January 18th, 2013, 12:57 PM   #69

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Cormac O Grada is Professor of Economics at University College Dublin writing in ‘History Ireland’ July/August 2010 despite
“There was a food availability problem, though its extent cannot be resolved with any accuracy. That there was a deficit may be inferred from informed commentary at the time, from the failure of the food drives and from the high incidence of forced land sales by starving peasants. In normal times Bengal might have been resilient enough to cope with the shortfall, but in 1943, given military requirements and war-related disruption to trade and communications, the consequences were disastrous. Neither price movements nor the outcome of the food drives of the summer of 1943 support the case for excessive hoarding on a massive scale. Markets did 'fail' in another sense, however: the disruption of transport facilities led to huge increases in the price of rice in the east of the province. The problem in Bengal in 1943 was the failure of the imperial power to make good a harvest shortfall that would have been manageable in peacetime”
About the Bengal Famine.
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Old January 20th, 2013, 08:04 AM   #70

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I have few reservations about the famine in 1943 as we were involved in WW2 and it took priority. The actions in the Victorian era are harder to defend but then we were only just learning to care for our own poor in Europe,never mind in our colonies
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