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Old January 2nd, 2018, 08:55 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Duke Valentino View Post
For me, the British Empire. Totally overrated.

Love it when English people bring it up, and yet are against slavery, quite ironic.
The British Empire controlled like 33m sq km, 1/4 of the world's population, access to every continent, and rule the ocean. If that is over rated then I don't know what is on spot. What is not over rated to you then.
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Old January 2nd, 2018, 09:00 PM   #12
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The Latin Empire of Constantinople

https://www.britannica.com/event/Cru...Constantinople

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Old January 2nd, 2018, 11:06 PM   #13
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The British Empire controlled like 33m sq km, 1/4 of the world's population, access to every continent, and rule the ocean. If that is over rated then I don't know what is on spot. What is not over rated to you then.
It is possible to be the greatest empire of all time and still be overrated. Overrated and underrated are merely tied to how something is viewed versus how you think something should be viewed. That being said I agree with both views that the UK isn't the greatest empire of all time and the empire was overrated . My logic in regard to this applies to most colonial empires, as it's usually much easier to acquire the impressive collections of territory capturing and settling far less developed and/or populated lands like the British did than it is to have a continuous empire defeating your technological peers.

This is not just a critique I have of the UK, but for most of the major colonial empires to varying degrees, especially in the New World. I just think that not all square miles are created equal. I want to make it clear, I am not saying that the British Empire wasn't impressive, and that every single colonial possession of the British Empire fulfills the criteria I mentioned above. India for example had a huge population(combined India, Pakistan and Bangladesh back then) the UK controlled with a pretty small occupying force thanks to railroads and I find the UK controlling India pretty impressive. Simply saying that square miles doesn't determine greatness, when all square miles and ways of acquiring territory aren't equal.

Finally in terms of the UK's case in particular, the UK controlled several very large areas that had almost no people in most of that area, that drastically inflated their numbers. Canada and Australia for example count for about 7 million of the UK's 33 million square miles, and most of those areas are empty, making control of these territory's inherently misleading in this regard. Both of these country's today individually are larger than the Persian Empire which controlled almost half of the worlds population and controlling both of these countries still gives the UK a colonial empire that was about as large as the French and Spanish ones at their peak.

In terms of population, the three countries that make up India alone today have almost a quarter of the world's population, and just like Canada and Australia, heavily inflated the British Empires territorial stats, India heavily inflated the British Empire's population stats.

The British Empire was a great empire and there's lots of merit to calling it not only great but even maybe the greatest as strongly as I disagree. The whole "largest empire in the world" and 33 million square miles stat though is extremely misleading in this regard and if that's an argument for it being better than empires with less total territory then I think it's pretty clear that, yes that stat is overrating the British Empire.

Last edited by Emperor of Wurttemburg 43; January 2nd, 2018 at 11:09 PM.
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Old January 2nd, 2018, 11:44 PM   #14

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The Athenian Empire.

I'm not kidding, take a look at the 'Empires' competition in the Games sub-forum of the Lounge, and you'll see that the Athenian 'Empire' actually won. For what? Lasting less than a century or covering an area roughly just the size of Ireland? While the cultural achievements of Athens may be impressive it still pales in comparison to the likes of the Han Empire, just to name one that it beat. It was also only an empire in the loosest sense of the term and in reality functioned as more of a league. It, with its strength lying with its navy, was also beaten at sea and dismantled by a power which wasn't even primarily known for its naval ability anyway (cue, Aegospotami).

The result of that contest... I just don't even.... I don't know whether to laugh or to cry.

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Old January 3rd, 2018, 12:05 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by nuclearguy165 View Post
The Athenian Empire.

I'm not kidding, take a look at the 'Empires' competition in the Games sub-forum of the Lounge, and you'll see that the Athenian 'Empire' actually won. For what? Lasting less than a century or covering an area roughly just the size of Ireland? While the cultural achievements of Athens may be impressive it still pales in comparison to the likes of the Han Empire, just to name one that it beat. It was also only an empire in the loosest sense of the term and in reality functioned as more of a league. It, with its strength lying with its navy, was also beaten at sea and dismantled by a power which wasn't even primarily known for its naval ability anyway (cue, Aegospotami).

The result of that contest... I just don't even.... I don't know whether to laugh or to cry.
Athens and other Greek city states like Sparta and Thebes certainly punched well higher than their size. Persia also funded and was responsible for the Spartan navy and I do not think Sparta could have won that war by themselves.

That being said calling Athens or any mere Greek city state an "empire" when they didn't even unify Greece, which was less than half the size of for example Carthage's empire which was about as small as empires got in that era, is a huge stretch of that term and them winning an "Empires competition" is a laughable notion.

Athens has been very overrated particularly in my country due to their contributions to democracy and the disproportionate amount of scholarly foundational culture that came from Democratic Athens, especially in academia . Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Herodotus, Thucydides, Hippocrates all had a profound impact on academia which in turn means ancient Athens has an overweighted impact on education that heavily outweighs it's power relative to other historical entities. I'd be willing to bet a large percentage of people who'd say Athens was one of the greatest empires, feels that way largely in part because of how much they've learned about it compared to other powers. Thebes should get a similar amount of attention for it's attempts at Greek hegemony in the 4th century BC as Athens gets for it's attempt at Greek hegemony in the 5th century BC. Sparta is a unique middle ground that gets dragged up by Athens because educators love showing it as the "contrast" to make Athens look great. That being said I think most kids growing up in the US(and I really don't think this would be a local thing), would probably be more likely to know about Athens and a few historical Athenian historical figures than any other classical civilization and the actors relevant to it's story, maybe even with the Roman Empire.

Last edited by Emperor of Wurttemburg 43; January 3rd, 2018 at 12:08 AM.
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Old January 3rd, 2018, 12:43 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by EmperoroftheBavarians43 View Post
It is possible to be the greatest empire of all time and still be overrated. Overrated and underrated are merely tied to how something is viewed versus how you think something should be viewed. That being said I agree with both views that the UK isn't the greatest empire of all time and the empire was overrated . My logic in regard to this applies to most colonial empires, as it's usually much easier to acquire the impressive collections of territory capturing and settling far less developed and/or populated lands like the British did than it is to have a continuous empire defeating your technological peers.
I am sure anyone can say whatever the heck they want, but if challenged they should at least defend their statement.

So what are we comparing the British Empire to before we can the British Empire is over-rated?

Otherwise I can say every empire is over-rated. Could be just my personal opinions. Or no empire is over rated.

At the same time, Britain has defeated the Napoleonic France, Russian Empire, the German Empire, the Spanish Empire, the Ottoman Empire, the Qing Empire, the list goes on. Just because the British Empire has amass a large quantity of oversea possessions doesn't mean they luck into it, though you could certainly argue for it, but the overall quality of the empire is one of the greatest empire in human civilizations shouldn't be surprising. Like if I say the Mongol Empire is overrated because most people don't have Mongol Ponies so they won on the back of ponies and not that impressive, you should laugh at my statement.


Quote:
This is not just a critique I have of the UK, but for most of the major colonial empires to varying degrees, especially in the New World. I just think that not all square miles are created equal. I want to make it clear, I am not saying that the British Empire wasn't impressive, and that every single colonial possession of the British Empire fulfills the criteria I mentioned above. India for example had a huge population(combined India, Pakistan and Bangladesh back then) the UK controlled with a pretty small occupying force thanks to railroads and I find the UK controlling India pretty impressive. Simply saying that square miles doesn't determine greatness, when all square miles and ways of acquiring territory aren't equal.

The SHEER amount of technological advance necessary to govern ALL THESES SQUARE MILES prior to internet is god damn impressive.

While they may not govern everywhere properly, they were able to govern and that by itself is something impressive.





Quote:
Finally in terms of the UK's case in particular, the UK controlled several very large areas that had almost no people in most of that area, that drastically inflated their numbers. Canada and Australia for example count for about 7 million of the UK's 33 million square miles, and most of those areas are empty, making control of these territory's inherently misleading in this regard. Both of these country's today individually are larger than the Persian Empire which controlled almost half of the worlds population and controlling both of these countries still gives the UK a colonial empire that was about as large as the French and Spanish ones at their peak.
OK then 25 million sq miles of populated empire is pretty damn impressive.

And at which point did the Persian empire controlled almost half of the world's population?

If we give the most generous estimate of 35 millions that's still not half of the population of the world at the prime of Achaemenid empire.

Quote:
In terms of population, the three countries that make up India alone today have almost a quarter of the world's population, and just like Canada and Australia, heavily inflated the British Empires territorial stats, India heavily inflated the British Empire's population stats.
It isn't like the British walk up to the Indian coast, plant down their flags, and proclaim it for Queen and God, and all the Indians just shrugged and say 'OK.'

Quote:
The British Empire was a great empire and there's lots of merit to calling it not only great but even maybe the greatest as strongly as I disagree. The whole "largest empire in the world" and 33 million square miles stat though is extremely misleading in this regard and if that's an argument for it being better than empires with less total territory then I think it's pretty clear that, yes that stat is overrating the British Empire.
No one is saying the stat is overrating or underrating the British Empire. My question was WHY is the British Empire overrated, overrated how?

Given that some of their stats are highly impressive, WHY should we dismiss it?

If we want to go into detail sure, but I think it's fair to ask anyone claiming the BE is overrated to defend their position especially compare to a not overrated empire and why.
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Old January 3rd, 2018, 12:59 AM   #17

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At the same time, Britain has defeated the Napoleonic France, Russian Empire, the German Empire, the Spanish Empire, the Ottoman Empire, the Qing Empire, the list goes on.
1. Britain defeated Napoleon with a help of a huge continental Coallition. Yes, the British did fight Napoleon on the seas, in Spain, and finally at Waterloo, but most of the land fighting was done by the other Coallition members like Austria, Russia or Prussia.

2. Once again, Britain defeated Russia with the help of France, the Ottomans and Piedmont. And both France and Turkey sent more troops to fight than Britain.

3. When you say Britain defeated Spain, which war do you mean? The Armada one? The Spanish Succession one?

4. Speaking of the Qing, yes, Britain defeated them, but they were a declining power anyway.

That being said, I don't consider the British Empire overrated. It had a gigantic effect on the past and its legacy still lives on, for example in the very fact that I am typing this in English, the unofficial world language.

Last edited by Maki; January 3rd, 2018 at 01:02 AM.
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Old January 3rd, 2018, 01:03 AM   #18

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Originally Posted by Poly View Post
The British did more to end slavery than anyone else in history


The British empire gave the world a common language


It is almost impossible to OVER-rate the importance, significance and effect the British empire had on history over 250 years.
___ _______


And which country first abolished the slavery?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abolitionism
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Old January 3rd, 2018, 01:17 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by mariusj View Post
I am sure anyone can say whatever the heck they want, but if challenged they should at least defend their statement.

So what are we comparing the British Empire to before we can the British Empire is over-rated?

Otherwise I can say every empire is over-rated. Could be just my personal opinions. Or no empire is over rated.

At the same time, Britain has defeated the Napoleonic France, Russian Empire, the German Empire, the Spanish Empire, the Ottoman Empire, the Qing Empire, the list goes on. Just because the British Empire has amass a large quantity of oversea possessions doesn't mean they luck into it, though you could certainly argue for it, but the overall quality of the empire is one of the greatest empire in human civilizations shouldn't be surprising. Like if I say the Mongol Empire is overrated because most people don't have Mongol Ponies so they won on the back of ponies and not that impressive, you should laugh at my statement.





The SHEER amount of technological advance necessary to govern ALL THESES SQUARE MILES prior to internet is god damn impressive.

While they may not govern everywhere properly, they were able to govern and that by itself is something impressive.







OK then 25 million sq miles of populated empire is pretty damn impressive.

And at which point did the Persian empire controlled almost half of the world's population?

If we give the most generous estimate of 35 millions that's still not half of the population of the world at the prime of Achaemenid empire.



It isn't like the British walk up to the Indian coast, plant down their flags, and proclaim it for Queen and God, and all the Indians just shrugged and say 'OK.'



No one is saying the stat is overrating or underrating the British Empire. My question was WHY is the British Empire overrated, overrated how?

Given that some of their stats are highly impressive, WHY should we dismiss it?

If we want to go into detail sure, but I think it's fair to ask anyone claiming the BE is overrated to defend their position especially compare to a not overrated empire and why.
Overrated and underrated are some of the most ambigious words, they basically mean you think something deserves less or more respect/attention etc than you perceive it be getting(which also could be arbitrary, though I think it'd be easier to get people to agree on, seeing as popularity is easier to judge than how great the empires actually were). Thus based on the respect/attention the British Empire receives, I feel the empire is overrated because I think it deserves less. If someone says the British Empire controlled more territory than any other empire in history, I'd say you're overrating the British Empire. Different than a typical opinion because it has to be tied to the opinions of others otherwise you're just saying, good or bad. "Rated" indicates you're observing someone else's "rating", not the empire itself.

Now if someone put the British Empire below an empire I think is inferior to the British Empire, I'd call it underrated. Wasn't really putting much thought into just how many empires I think are better than the British Empire, I have a few off the top of my head I feel that are strongly better but there's also some where it could go either way. How about since I'm arguing the UK isn't THE greatest empire based on it's mileage, I just give you the empire I think is the greatest for comparison which is the Persians?

Again your arguments seem to be alleging I'm calling accomplishments bad rather than overrated. I'm not saying achievements are worthless(though with much of Canada and Australia, I know I'm coming close but that's because the land i was referencing is literally almost empty even today), I'm saying they are overrated compared to the achievements of others. If someone uses the fact that the British controls the most territory to say they are the most impressive empire and we let's say say the Brits territory was equally impressive to 25 million normal square miles(hypothetical, Brits controlled more empty lands as well, was using the most radical outliers to best prove the point), that still means the British were overrated beforehand.

In terms of "WHY is the British Empire overrated", I was replying to a stat you gave me and explained how I think the stat was less impressive than you were suggesting. Calling something overrated is saying someone else's opinion of a country is higher than you think it should be and I did that with your stat. I could say I think the British are generally overrated, but that's a generalization based on my experiences. So for me to give you an answer to why the British are overrated, someone rating the British higher than is consistent with my opinion is necessary. That being said, generally my examples would be the fact she was the largest empire in the world empire, "that the sun never sat on", is central to the arguments that overrate the British IMO as is the fact I am writing this in their language. The reasons I think the empire is overrated is because of colonization which I think is overrated compared to other conquest, the British empires numbers being misleading and the fact the British weren't really the most powerful country on earth all too long, nor were a particularly lasting empire, with their early history being quite inferior IMO to the other central regions in the European story.

Want to make it clear, I think the British were one of the greatest empires of all time as in probably like 6 or something like that but that's not what everyone IME tends to think, more like 1,3, so I think the British are overrated as a result.

Persia controlled almost half of the worlds population for quite a while when it controlled Egypt, Iran, the Indus Valley, Mesopotamia, Syria and Asia Minor. This area contained a very large concentration of the worlds developed areas and thus population at the time. It's in the 40's which is close to 50, regardless it's a substantially higher share than any other empire has managed to obtain, ever. The fact the UK and Mongolia are often cited as the top 2 empires due to size and have about half the population share says it all about how impressive that is.
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Old January 3rd, 2018, 03:51 AM   #20
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Central African empire

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