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Old November 25th, 2016, 01:26 AM   #71
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I just like to state that the former colonies remain to be backward not because they were exploited but because they cannot get over from their tribal ways that had no national identity. A single tribe cannot be one nation. They need to get united and the fact that when the West was already aware of existence of nationhood and the conquered territories were mostly tribes only mean one thing, there was delay in the development and the delay is still going on.
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Old November 25th, 2016, 01:59 AM   #72

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Originally Posted by Domnall Ballach View Post
We 'retarded' them? How? By building tens of thousands of miles of roads, wells in every town, basic sanitation, schools, hospitals, civic planning, modern technology and medicine, the scientific method, global trade markets, and a broader popular stake in their own government and management than they'd had whilst 'independent' under various kinds of autocrat? In India's case especially, how did we 'retard' the development of a landmass that - before we arrived - was not a coherent entity at all, but a fractured collection of warring kings?
I wouldn't go so far as to use the word "retarded", but I think that it is very hard to argue that it did not hinder the development of these regions.

The importance thing to remember here, is that while all this infrastructure was indeed developed, it was developed for the purpose of extracting wealth from the colonies and benefiting a small group of people, not for the benefit of the greater indigence people.

Thus you will notice that the development that there is, is rather sparse and isolated. It was never meant to serve the masses but only the few.

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Colonialism existed for cash. Racialist theories developed separately and were a handy excuse, but on their own could not have sustained desires for grand adventures and global commitments.
I agree with you here.
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Old November 25th, 2016, 03:21 AM   #73

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On Egypt... wood shortage was always a problem (in fact there is evidence they imported wood from Lebanon as far back as 2 500 BC or there abouts)
I know that they imported wood, but the reasoning that "they had problems reaching a high level of development because of their shortage of wood" doesn't make sense. They did reach a very high level of development. In fact, before their downfall and decline they reached a much higher level of development than most places that had abundant wood.


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You'll find that Egypt was no longer a power after the 7th or 6th century BC, and was constantly invaded (persians, greeks, romans, arabs etc...).. It did not have the wood (and hence the metal as then for metal you needed lotsa wood to power the furnaces) to compete

As wood became more and more important in antiquity, so did Egypt's power wane
I would say that their lack of charcoal or wood resulted in the Egyptians falling behind western Asia and the rest of the world in their uses of metal for military purposes, and that this may have contributed to their inability to withstand the armies of the Persians and Greeks (though there are other factors which are probably more important). I can't see how this means that they failed to reach a high level of development.
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Old November 25th, 2016, 03:41 AM   #74

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The evidence is in the fact that the "elites" were all french speaking, french educated, had a french life style... Where possible they had homes in France, french wives and travelled there regularly

I would say France never had the means to extend the benefits of education to everyone, especially in countries where at the time most of the population was rural.. So they focused on city dwellers and the 'elites'
I do think that you misunderstood what I was saying. I asked, if they were actually trying to educate their countries to the level where they were as educated as the French themselves, why was the evidence of this pitifully absent?

Educating only a few elites over the course of several decades means they didn't make much of an attempt at all, which supports what I was saying in the first place. And nearly half the places that France colonized already had some elites that were educated in some system of schooling besides western education anyway, so in those places it was an even bigger failure.

In the early 20th century, 40% of France's population was rural (unlike Britain which had a significantly higher urban population), so in the early to late 19th century (when French colonization efforts really took off), this percentage was even higher. If they could educate their own people, despite their high rural population, why couldn't they do that for the places they were occupying?

Is it because they just weren't that interested in doing so? I've said it before, but I can say it again: the results of French colonization don't bear out the idea that they were trying to create a "second France" in any part of their empire.
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Old November 25th, 2016, 04:15 AM   #75

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We can

My point would simply be that if there could be a france or UK in Africa, it would already be there ...... and look at what south korea has achieved in a short amount of time..... there is not a single south korea (not even close) in Africa
Both France and the U.K. had profited greatly, over the course the 17th and 18th centuries, from their colonial ventures in the New World. Expecting anywhere in 19th century Africa to be able to compete with transcontinental empires economically would be ridiculous. I haven't suggested that anywhere in 19th century Africa was that developed.

However, from a strictly economic standpoint, there had already existed richer countries in Africa than either France or the U.K, but these were in previous centuries.

I'm not sure how familiar you are with South Korea's situation but there is really no similarity between their modern history and that of anywhere in Africa. Korea was pretty much developed by Japan, unconditional western aid, and Park Chung Hee. You may find this article (written by a Korean) relevant, as it explains some of the things that helped Korea get to where they are that weren't available to Ghana or many other African countries:

http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/...7.2015.1038339

You'll note that the author mentions the importance of military coups in disrupting Ghana's economic progress and stability, no mention is made of the CIA's role in initiating the first coup. The author is probably not aware of that fact.
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Old November 25th, 2016, 04:45 AM   #76

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I wouldn't go so far as to use the word "retarded", but I think that it is very hard to argue that it did not hinder the development of these regions.

The importance thing to remember here, is that while all this infrastructure was indeed developed, it was developed for the purpose of extracting wealth from the colonies and benefiting a small group of people, not for the benefit of the greater indigence people.

Thus you will notice that the development that there is, is rather sparse and isolated. It was never meant to serve the masses but only the few
I don't disagree that the purpose was enrichment of a small clique, or the home islands, but as a by-product the lives of almost everyone did improve. Roads, medicine, schools, technology, and commerce are to the common benefit. One might say that the colonisers took a lot of resources and commandeered intelligentsia, and that this had a detrimental effect on development. But indigenous rulers would've done the same. Plus, the colonisers' home governments had the same policies in force domestically: it wasn't a case of the colonsing nations' people being exploitees and the colonised exploited. There were many more levels to it than that.

Last edited by Domnall Ballach; November 25th, 2016 at 04:48 AM.
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Old November 25th, 2016, 04:47 AM   #77
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I do think that you misunderstood what I was saying. I asked, if they were actually trying to educate their countries to the level where they were as educated as the French themselves, why was the evidence of this pitifully absent?

Educating only a few elites over the course of several decades means they didn't make much of an attempt at all, which supports what I was saying in the first place. And nearly half the places that France colonized already had some elites that were educated in some system of schooling besides western education anyway, so in those places it was an even bigger failure.

In the early 20th century, 40% of France's population was rural (unlike Britain which had a significantly higher urban population), so in the early to late 19th century (when French colonization efforts really took off), this percentage was even higher. If they could educate their own people, despite their high rural population, why couldn't they do that for the places they were occupying?

Is it because they just weren't that interested in doing so? I've said it before, but I can say it again: the results of French colonization don't bear out the idea that they were trying to create a "second France" in any part of their empire.
Their colonies for the most part were starting off from a lower level than F;rance in many aspects. Even if the rural population of France was 50% at the late 19th century, the urbanization level was still higher than their colonials. These literate, educated elites were only a relqtively small fraction of the population. The transportation infrastructure was vastly superior than its colonies, none of their colonials could boast a railroad network as extensive as France itself. Those factors did make a big difference. Most of their colonies had no or only a few printing presses. Plus, the French tried to instruct the people in French for the most part, so first they had to teach many of the people a new language. Having to learn an alien language as part of the being educated is simply goimg to make their education efforts far less effective, and take more effort to achieve the same results. And to be fair to French it would have been difficult to find the resourses to translate all their learning into all the languages that existed in their colonies, or find instructors to teach in them. In many of their colonies, the people were probably at a level of civilization that hadn't quite reached late medieval France. It would have been difficult to overcome the 500 year gap that existed. The French could have overcome all these factors, but it would have meant spending far more time and money to educate their colonial subjects than they did the people of France. Even in late medieval France, the rural peasants were exposed to writing on a weekly basis when they went to church, and the inscriptions on the wall, the bible on the altar, anr the writing shown in the stain glass windows. Not sure you could say the same thing for most of their colonials. North Africa, maybe, and Vietnam.
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Old November 25th, 2016, 04:52 AM   #78

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This point is often made you are right

But I would disagree with it in the case of France....

If you look at the structure of French trade today, you'll find that less than 5% of French exports go to former french colonies in Africa (and half of that is with the Maghreb)... This is at a time when these countries are 4+ times more populated than they were during colonial times and more wealthy...This is really not material

During colonial times, the buying power of the locals was very limited..... and most exports to these places were to cover the needs of the french population there and whatever building projects (e.g. railroads) were being undertaken.....
You are mistaken. The case you are making here could and actually has been made for Germany and especially for Britain, which had so many other places outside of Europe it exported to (multiple settler colonies like Australia, Canada, etc.) in addition to its robust trade with the rest of Europe, that its exports to its colonies in Africa were not a large percentage of its exports. Perhaps India might be a different case, but I haven't looked into the data for that.

In the case of France however:

Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.



From pp.9-10 of Colonialism in Africa 1870-1960 by L.H. Gann and Peter Duignan.



And its true that the percentage of French exports to Africa has dropped to less than 5% in recent years, yet they still are trying to keep an economic stake in Africa:

https://www.stratfor.com/analysis/fr...al-ties-africa


In any case, whether we're talking about Britain, France, or any other colonizing power, you haven't provided some source showing their colonial ventures were a net loss, although even if you did, I don't see how that would prove that they were putting some great effort into developing their colonies. At most it might suggest financial mismanagement.

Last edited by Ighayere; November 25th, 2016 at 05:06 AM.
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Old November 25th, 2016, 04:58 AM   #79

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What sort of evidence would you need ?

Some pointers (not saying it is definite proof)... Up till the 80s there was visa free travel between north african countries and France... Then France introduced a visa system because it felt it could no longer cope with the inflow (this was compounded by the fact that the population growth in north africa was extremely high, population has almost quadrupled in the past 50 years or so)....

Almost 10% of the population of the maghreb is in France, whether already french or as residents...

French yearly delivers some 600 000 resident cards to algerians
So no definite proof or evidence of any kind?

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You are right in that France can barely finance the few oversea territories it has (caribbean islands, mayotte, reunion etc...)..... So if other countries had stayed "French", there would have been a major disbalance...... However for the citizens of said countries, it would have been economically beneficial
This is misleading. France's former colonies trade much more with the rest of the world than they do with France (if you want a source: http://www.etsg.org/ETSG2012/Programme/Papers/192.pdf) and this has been economically beneficial to them, whereas if they had stayed French, who knows how much more pitiful their economies would be. Probably just a continuation of the situation during colonial times.
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Old November 25th, 2016, 05:29 AM   #80

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We 'retarded' them? How? By building tens of thousands of miles of roads, wells in every town, basic sanitation, schools, hospitals, civic planning, modern technology and medicine, the scientific method, global trade markets, and a broader popular stake in their own government and management than they'd had whilst 'independent' under various kinds of autocrat? In India's case especially, how did we 'retard' the development of a landmass that - before we arrived - was not a coherent entity at all, but a fractured collection of warring kings?
The thing is, wherever Europeans colonized, they didn't usually build many roads, certainly didn't build "a well in every town", or provide advanced sanitation in anything more than a few places, didn't build "many" hospitals, or many schools. They provided very small amounts of these things, especially relative to the area/population of people they were ruling over, unless actual Europeans were settling in those places in large numbers. Whether most of the places they colonized would have acquired small or larger amounts of such things simply by trade or by paying foreigners to teach them those things (as Japan did), without being colonized, is something that would need to be looked at on a case by case basis. And surely nobody today thinks that the British would need to have been colonized by Indians in the past to acquire Indian numerals or learn about advanced rocketry, or need to be colonized by Turks or Africans to acquire knowledge of inoculation, or need to be colonized by the Chinese to discover the usefulness of meritocracy or paper.

The "broader popular stake in their own government and management" claim seems a bit naive. Depending on the situation, a religious or ethnic minority in a colony formed by Europeans could have had more say in how they are ruled prior to colonization than after. Using the Kenyans as an example, there are always writings from people from some non-Kikuyu ethnic group complaining about "Kikuyu domination." Of course, this sort of sentiment is universal, and exists even in Europe.
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