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Old November 16th, 2012, 02:41 PM   #141

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Re: Which European Colonial power treated their colonies the best and which the worst


If one is from the country who colonized the other countries then his/her country is the one which treated her colonies the best.

On the other hand if one belongs to the country which has been colonized then their colonial rulers were the worst colonial powers.

in general all the colonial powers treated their colonies far worst then they treated their own people. one can only compare how less bad they were in comparison to each other.
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Old November 16th, 2012, 02:54 PM   #142

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Originally Posted by Naomasa298 View Post
Italy, by virtue of not keeping its colonies for very long...
Virtually Italy had another idea of colonization, i.e. there was the thought of colonies as a "fourth shore" (quarta sponda) since those overseas territories were meant to be the land where Italians had to emigrate instead of USA or France.
However, Italy, though less than countries such as UK, France or Belgium committed its war crimes.
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Old November 16th, 2012, 03:02 PM   #143

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Originally Posted by xander.XVII View Post
Virtually Italy had another idea of colonization, i.e. there was the thought of colonies as a "fourth shore" (quarta sponda) since those overseas territories were meant to be the land where Italians had to emigrate instead of USA or France.
However, Italy, though less than countries such as UK, France or Belgium committed its war crimes.
Especially during Mussoulini.
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Old November 16th, 2012, 03:10 PM   #144

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Especially during Mussoulini.
Mussolini*
Yes indeed.
Relatively few crimes were perpetrated during 1868-1922 Era.
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Old November 16th, 2012, 04:12 PM   #145

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I'm late to the discussion, so I couldn't read the whole thread, but if I can offer a pretension to evidence. Perhaps if we look at the current states of former colonies, it might offer some enlightenment? For example, if we take the world development index
1994 is show here:
Click the image to open in full size.

Obviously it's not the greatest benchmark, and lots of action and inaction has been taken by former colonies in the time between independence and the compilation of the index. However this does provide a broad base for comparison of countries.

My thesis here is that if a country (say France) was a significantly more benign colonial master and better at providing for the wellbeing of the colonies, that should have some representation in the modern state of those countries, i.e. the development of French colonies should broadly be higher than those of English colonies.

As seen on this map, however, that doesn't play out. Neighboring French and British colonies share development levels. The countries that are higher developed aren't developed because they had benign masters; the developed countries are those that were independent or self-governing at the time of second-wave colonialism.
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Old November 16th, 2012, 04:18 PM   #146
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Originally Posted by apophaticlogos View Post
I'm late to the discussion, so I couldn't read the whole thread, but if I can offer a pretension to evidence. Perhaps if we look at the current states of former colonies, it might offer some enlightenment? For example, if we take the world development index
1994 is show here:
Click the image to open in full size.

Obviously it's not the greatest benchmark, and lots of action and inaction has been taken by former colonies in the time between independence and the compilation of the index. However this does provide a broad base for comparison of countries.

My thesis here is that if a country (say France) was a significantly more benign colonial master and better at providing for the wellbeing of the colonies, that should have some representation in the modern state of those countries, i.e. the development of French colonies should broadly be higher than those of English colonies.

As seen on this map, however, that doesn't play out. Neighboring French and British colonies share development levels. The countries that are higher developed aren't developed because they had benign masters; the developed countries are those that were independent or self-governing at the time of second-wave colonialism.
A million thanks for sharing with us this relevant piece of hard evidence.

That said, I tend to find your explanation a bit oversimplistic.

In fact, the economic performance of a territory can actually improve even under the most brutal regime.

The Nazi occupied Europe (especially under Herr Speer), hardly any "benign" regime, would be a paradigmatic example.

IMHO the relevant point here is that the HDI is especially low in regions with high prevalence of former colonies of any master.
(Including some scarce nations which were never colonies, but that shared many of the economic conditions of the actual colonies, like Ethiopia)
The European oofshoots (especially British) fared excellently in general terms, but the conquered native populations were an entirely different story, even within the aforementioned offshoots.

Last edited by sylla1; November 16th, 2012 at 04:25 PM.
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Old November 16th, 2012, 04:22 PM   #147

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Germany and Belgium were the worst - genocides and/or virtual slavery in German southwest Africa and Belgian Congo.

The Portuguese come in fourth due to their horrendous treatment of slaves in Brazil. The average slave only had about seven years of life expectancy once arriving in Brazil.

The Spanish did commit many atrocities when taking the lands of the Aztecs and Inca - although these were often carried out by individual expeditions or viceroys and not the Spanish state. Regardless, the Spanish and the pope made it illegal to enslave Christian natives long before the protestant countries. They also didn't enforce strict race laws la the British and Germans.

The nicest were either the British or the French - check that, it was the French because of what the British did to the natives in America, Canada, Australia etc. The French lived, traded in mixed with the natives in Canada, and when the British took it over, that all changed. The French also abolished slavery in the 1790's (although Napoleon re instituted it in 1802 or so) and I think this is a notable attempt considering the time frame. The treatment of natives in French Africa and British Africa was mostly the same - except that the French did not officially adopt scientific racism like the British.

Last edited by Mike Lynch; November 16th, 2012 at 04:33 PM.
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Old November 16th, 2012, 04:25 PM   #148

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Originally Posted by apophaticlogos View Post
I
Click the image to open in full size.

Obviously it's not the greatest benchmark, and lots of action and inaction has been taken by former colonies in the time between independence and the compilation of the index. However this does provide a broad base for comparison of countries.

My thesis here is that if a country (say France) was a significantly more benign colonial master and better at providing for the wellbeing of the colonies, that should have some representation in the modern state of those countries, i.e. the development of French colonies should broadly be higher than those of English colonies.

As seen on this map, however, that doesn't play out. Neighboring French and British colonies share development levels. The countries that are higher developed aren't developed because they had benign masters; the developed countries are those that were independent or self-governing at the time of second-wave colonialism.
Agreed - and the former British colonies that have a high development index are the countries where the natives were wiped out and replaced with Britons. There isn't much of a difference between the British and French in Africa.

On the other hand, what does it say about French rule if they have the most colonies voluntarily remaining as part of their country (French Guyana, for example)?
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Old November 16th, 2012, 04:26 PM   #149

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That said, I tend to find your explanation a bit oversimplistic.

In fact, the economic performance of a territory can actually improve even under the most brutal regime.
Right, I'm not saying this is the endgame explanation. I just find it interesting that there doesn't seem to be much correlation between modern societal advancement and colonial masters.

In my opinion the question itself somewhat discredited itself with the use of the words "best" and "worst. ("Treated" is suspect too)
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Old November 16th, 2012, 04:41 PM   #150
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Originally Posted by apophaticlogos View Post
Right, I'm not saying this is the endgame explanation. I just find it interesting that there doesn't seem to be much correlation between modern societal advancement and colonial masters.

In my opinion the question itself somewhat discredited itself with the use of the words "best" and "worst. ("Treated" is suspect too)
We entirely agree.

In this fascinating map (HDI 1994) the HDI is clearly far more correlated with the geographic-economic region than with any formal master.

For example:
- Zambia (formerly British),
- Tanzania (formerly German & British),
- Congo (Democratic Republic, formerly Belgian),
- Angola (formerly Portuguese) and
- the Central African Republic (formerly French)
...are all exactly of the same color (HDI 0.300 - 0.499)

Even worse are:
- Western Sahara (formerly Spanish)
- Sierra Leone (formerly British)
- Ethiopia (Italian colony just five years)
- Somalia (formerly Italian & British)
- Chad (formerly French)

Last edited by sylla1; November 16th, 2012 at 04:48 PM.
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