Aren't some countries unfairly vilified for their slavery/colonial past?

Oct 2011
421
Croatia
What "headway"? They had enough development to go colonise which is something I don't deny, but not more so than Spain and Portugal. The point is that they, well just Britain really, would not have industrialised had they decided not to colonise. Britain did have an advantage over Spain, France, etc., and that is that it is insular which allowed it to escape the ravages of continental European wars.
That is where you are wrong. Yes, Britain had advantage in being insular. It also had advantage in terrain - Spain and Portugal are too mountainous for easy industrialization. But colonies had little to do with incentive to industrialize. It would have happened, colonies or no colonies.

First you say that Spain and Portugal are or were poorer and/or more undeveloped than Northern Europe, yet they were capable of creating colonial empires, even though you keep saying this is impossible for poor or undeveloped countries. You then amended this by saying that they squandered their wealth in colonies, but apparently, colonies didn't squander the wealth of Britain and Germany. You're not making any sense. Also, you should read your first article:
I am making sense, it is just that you are too caught up in your own mental image to understand what I am saying.
1) Spain and Portugal ended up poorer and more undeveloped than Northern Europe whereas your idea that colonization helped development should have precluded that. They were not poorer and more undeveloped at the time they created their colonial empires; they ended up that way afterwards.
2) Colonies did not squander wealth of Britain and Germany because they found no easy wealth in them. Germany was a latecomer to colonization game, and first British colonies were minor compared to Spanish ones, and were trading outposts besides. So both countries could industrialize without distraction of colonies.

"Conventional wisdom has long seen Germany’s productivity catch-up on Britain as a process that took place well before World War I, mainly in manufacturing. Superior use of R & D, large-scale plants, and cartelization were held to have been the major causes. More recent research, however, has revealed a surprisingly stable pattern of German performance with respect to Britain. Using productivity benchmarks for census years in Britain and Germany, Broadberry and Fremdling [1990] have argued that there was no decisive productivity advantage for Germany over Britain in manufacturing until World War II [in other words, not in the 19th century like you claimed]."

You also missed this in your third article: "In 1800 [that is, when industrialisation was still starting], Europe controlled 35 percent of the world's land surface".The only thing that can be conceded to you is that countries no longer need colonies once there was the sufficient industrial technology, but that still doesn't change how said technology first developed in Britain needed colonialism. The British would not have been able to initially mass produce steam engines and similar machines without colonies, even if they much later, well into the 19th century and I would say only around the time Engels published his book on the conditions of the English working class in factories, developed more efficient ways to do that without depending as much on colonies.
Do you have any proof for that? You are also ignoring that in 18th and 19th centuries Britain underwent British agricultural revolution. This led to massive population growth, which itself is a prerequirement for industrialization as it provides excess labour force, but it also provides incentive for colonization.

In other words, you are confusing correlation for causation.

Now, colonies may have provided easier access to raw materials. But they were not the only way of acquiring such materials, which would be required for your theory to hold water.

Economic development and industrialisation aren't the same thing, the latter being an element of the former or a type of it. No one disputes here that Europe or the US after independence had significant economic development, but that development would not have led to industrialisation without colonies.
No. But population growth would have led to industrialization.

I already addressed the thing about Spain and you keeping the same argument shows you're not reading. Spain lost its headstart because of the War of the Spanish Succession as I already said; see below as well. By that time Britain was hardly small and owned most of the 13 colonies (read: almost 1 million square kilometres), vast swaths of India, parts of Canada and all of the British Isles of course. And no, the Ottomans did not have the exact same amount of plunder. That is an offensive false equivalence. There's nothing like the amounts of gold and silver extracted from the Americas, the Ottomans had nothing like the mines of Zacatecas and Potosí, nor did they have the vast amounts of Brazilwood dye plantations, nor did they stole land from the native population to make room for Turkic settlers (except maybe in Constantinople but Constantinople is just one city) like Spaniards and other Europeans did in the Americas, nor did they deforest almost entire woods in their conquered lands to build massive galleons and treasure fleets. The Ottomans exploited their conquered population and brutalised it, but not anymore than any prior Mediterranean empire that came before them (one can argue that the Roman Empire was in fact more brutal than the Ottomans), whereas European colonialism was a whole different new level entirely.
You are assuming Spain had any headstart to begin with, which I have seen not a shred of evidence for. Also, Succession War only had any impact because it reinforced already existing Spanish tendencies towards centralized control.

(to cont.)
 
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Oct 2011
421
Croatia
(cont'd)

Wars in Western Europe were hardly more intermittent since the Ottomans first invaded Europe in the late 14th century and lasted all until the liberation of all Eastern Europe from the Ottomans in the 1870s:
Hundred Years War: 1330s to 1450s
Spanish and Portuguese Reconquista: 1300s to 1490s
Italian Wars: 1490s to 1550s
French Wars of Religion: 1550s to 1590s
Anglo-Spanish War: 1580s to 1600s
Eighty Years' War: 1560s to 1640s
Thirty Years' War: 1610s to 1640s
Anglo-Dutch Wars: 1640s to 1680s
Franco-Dutch Wars: 1640s to 1680s
Nine Years' War: 1680s to 1700s
War of the Spanish Succession: 1700s to 1710s
Great Northern War and War of the Polish Succession: 1710s to 1730s
War of the Austrian Succession and Seven Years' War: 1740s to 1760s
American Revolutionary War (it counts since involved France, Spain, Britain and Germany): 1770s to 1780s
French Revolutionary Wars and Napoleonic Wars: 1790s to 1810s
Wars of Latin American independence (again, count since they involved Britain, France, Spain and Portugal): 1810s to 1820s
Carlist Wars: 1830s to 1840s
Revolutions of the 1840s and 50s
Crimean War: 1850s to 1860s
Wars of German unification: 1860s
Franco-Prussian War: 1870s

Hardly a year passed by without some major conflict. It's also hilarious you say Ottoman wars were equally or more brutal when it is well-known that the French Wars of Religion, the Thirty Years War, the Seven Years' War and the Napoleonic Wars were the wars with most casualties in European history up until their respective points in time. The Thirty Years' War alone resulted in a greater demographic diminution than WWII. No Ottoman war waged in European soil compares to that, and calling Western European wars "squabbles" is nothing but an insult to your intelligence. The amount of carnage and devastation is incomparable.
As I said, you clearly have no clue about Ottoman wars. Wars with Ottomans were in many ways similar to later concept of total war. There was no respite from warfare - irregular warfare and raids continued even during the times of declared peace. This involved population enslavement, religious conversion, economic devastation, mass slaughters, etc. There were no limits: civilian populace was liberally enslaved and slaughtered. Economic devastation was par the course, and in many ways an integral aspect of warfare - destroying the economy and forcing the population to abandon border areas, thus making fortresses much harder to defend. Some areas were outright depopulated as a result of wars, as population simply did not have any means to survive in devastated areas. These were repopulated as border eventually moved westward - by people (Muslims and Orthodox Vlachs) whose sole duty was to keep up warfare against still-free areas of Croatia (which, again, included raids, enslavement etc. - some raids penetrated as deep as Slovenia and Austria, in fact, such as the army which ban Derenčin intercepted at Krbava field in 1493. - but there were such raids before and after 1493.).

None of the wars you have listed fit that criteria. Some, admittedly, did come close: Hundred Years War, in some periods; Reconquista; Thirty Years' War. But none had all of the characteristics I listed above. And since these wars you have listed involved different combinations of countries, they are hardly equivalent to Ottoman Wars. Especially since England in particular was almost never invaded during any of those wars; so the only wars on its own territory were civil wars. France likewise was invaded intermittently, and while it experienced much more war than England, sheer size of country meant that any given area experienced warfare only for a small fraction of time, for the most part - and as I mentioned, these were (usually - there were exceptions) not as brutal as wars with Ottomans. So periods of warfare would be as follows:
Croatia: 1443 - 1699*, 1716 - 1718, 1787 - 1791
= 262 years in 1443 - 1791 period, or 65,5% of 1400 - 1800 period
* Of those, the Croatian Hundred Years' War lasted either from 1493 - 1593, or else from 1463 to 1595

Ottoman wars, while the worst of the lot, were not the only wars which impacted Croatia; so total list is as follows:
Croatia: 1411 - 1433, 1437 - 1442, 1458 - 1465, 1471 - 1476, 1482 - 1488 (?), 1490 - 1491, 1493 - 1593, 1573, 1593 - 1606, 1663 - 1664, 1683 - 1699, 1716 - 1718, 1788 - 1791 (of those, 1443 - 1699 was more-or-less constant warfare, if often undeclared)
= 176 years in 1400 - 1800 period, open warfare only (44%) - 182 years if you count 1482-1488 (45,5%)
= 288 years in 1400 - 1800 period , if you also include undeclared warfare (72%) - this is still the minimum number, as even after 1699 there were still raids
England: 1400 - 1415, 1455 - 1487, 1497, 1512 - 1514, 1543 - 1550, 1569 - 1570, 1639 - 1653, 1642 - 1651, 1685, 1715, 1745-1746
= 84 years in 1400 - 1800 period (21%)
France: 1415 - 1453, 1474 - 1477, 1485 - 1488, 1521 - 1526, 1536 - 1538, 1542 - 1546, 1551 - 1559, 1562 - 1598*, 1621 - 1622, 1625, 1627 - 1629, 1635 - 1648, 1580 - 1583, 1635 - 1648, 1648 - 1659, 1663 - 1664, 1667 - 1668, 1672 - 1678, 1683 - 1684, 1688 - 1697, 1701 - 1714, 1718 - 1720, 1733 - 1735, 1740 - 1748, 1745 - 1746, 1756 - 1763
= 194 years in 1400 - 1800 period (48,5%)
* I am being generous here as Wars of Religion were intermittent, and I am not sure there was any fighting between periods of open warfare (1562-1563, 1567-1568, 1568-1570, 1572-1573, 1574-1576, 1576-1577, 1579-1580, 1587-1589, 1595-1598), which would subtract 22 years, for an end total of 172 years in 1400 - 1800 period, or 43%

So France experienced as much warfare as Croatia if you count regular warfare only. Counting irregular warfare still leaves it significantly behind, and in both cases, France experienced much less devastation (relative to country size) owing to differences in nature of warfare and nature of country.

What is true is that Britain wasn't as devastated from these wars due to being an island. The only devastating war it suffered was the War of the Three Kingdoms, but it came off comparatively unscathed, especially in regards to Spain which waged more devastating wars against France and other continental rivals with the War of the Spanish Succession in particular killing most of its potential development, with the later Napoleonic invasion and conquest being the final blow. I would argue insularity from wars is the main reason why Britain industrialised before the other colonial empires.
This, I do agree with.
 
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Tulius

Ad Honorem
May 2016
5,877
Portugal
Spanish and Portuguese Reconquista: 1300s to 1490s
Pardon the nit-pick about the dates in your long list of conflicts, but here we are talking about a difference of centuries. The date for the beginning of the Reconquista is usually considered the Battle of Covadonga (around or a bit later than 718 AD), and the Portuguese Reconquista ended in 1249/50 AD. Anyway the time period is considerably longer, around seven centuries.
 

Peter Graham

Ad Honorem
Jan 2014
2,619
Westmorland
I'm not going to bother dealing with that part of your post I have not quoted, except to say it is all wrong.
Sounds like you are just dodging points you can't deal with.

As for free speech in the UK, perhaps you could explain this to the doctor who got sacked on the spot for daring to tell his manager that he would not address a notional six ft tall bearded man as "madam" if they "identified" as female. Christian doctor 'sacked' for refusing 'to call any 6ft bearded man madam'
I can't totally explain it as I don't know the full details of the case. Neither do you, I suspect.

However, it's got nothing to do with the right of free speech.

It might have something to do with the employer's interpretation of the Equality Act 2010. The Act consolidated existing piecemeal anti-discrimination legislation and sets out to prevent discrimination on grounds of nine protected characteristics, of which gender is one. Transgender rights are dealt with under the defintion of gender. Case law has made it clear that there is no 'hierarchy of rights' and that the law applies to everyone. So, if you choose to offer services through a business, you have to abide by the law. You don't get a free pass to discriminate just because of your own views.

In this particular case, the employer presumably regarded the employee's actions either as breaching the employer's anti-discrimination policies (which will have been put in place to comply with the Equality Act) and/or as amounting to a failure to follow a reasonable management instruction ('refer to people as they ask to be referred to'). As a result, they took disciplinary action. Whether that was fair or not is a different matter, but the key point that you need to understand but appear to have missed completely is that there is no law which says 'you have to sack someone who does this'. This is therefore not an example of the State cracking down on free speech. It is simply one employer's actions which may or may not have been justified.

I don't know if you have a job, but if you do, there will be things you can't say at work. It's hardly an infringement of free speech for an employer to seek to prevent their employees from saying whatever they like to colleagues, clients or customers. If you want to keep your job, you have to follow the rules.

Your example of "free speech" was risible. Nobody is going to complain about use of the term "Kraut", no matter what the context or how rude it is.
Except that lots of people did complain and Leave EU had to apologise yesterday and withdraw the advert. So you are demonstrably wrong.

On the other hand, a reference, in different circumstances of course, to "rag-heads" would in the first instance never be used by the press in the UK, and if used publicly by members of the public would get them arrested for "hate crime", and you know it.
No I don't, because it is not true. Tell me which law allows someone to be arrested for simply uttering that phrase?

I suspect you won't be arrested today for using the phrase on this site. You probably won't even be sanctioned by the moderators, whom as we all know from Chlodio's post are actively monitoring this thread. The mods are allowing you to exercise your right to free speech. You got away with the term 'mong' the other day too, which is highly offensive if used of disabled people. You used it in a different context which suggested to me you don't actually understand it, but the fact remains that you are based in the UK and are using language in public which you claim gets people arrested. Yet you haven't been arrested and, of course, you aren't going to be. Which might just cause you to wonder if you are talking nonsense.

As it is, we can actually test your theory. Would you like me to report you to the Police for using that phrase? If I do and you don't get arrested, we'll all know I am right. If I do and you do get arrested, we'll all know you are right.

What do you think? Are you up to putting your money where your mouth is?
 

Corvidius

Ad Honorem
Jul 2017
3,047
Crows nest
Sounds like you are just dodging points you can't deal with.



I can't totally explain it as I don't know the full details of the case. Neither do you, I suspect.

However, it's got nothing to do with the right of free speech.

It might have something to do with the employer's interpretation of the Equality Act 2010. The Act consolidated existing piecemeal anti-discrimination legislation and sets out to prevent discrimination on grounds of nine protected characteristics, of which gender is one. Transgender rights are dealt with under the defintion of gender. Case law has made it clear that there is no 'hierarchy of rights' and that the law applies to everyone. So, if you choose to offer services through a business, you have to abide by the law. You don't get a free pass to discriminate just because of your own views.

In this particular case, the employer presumably regarded the employee's actions either as breaching the employer's anti-discrimination policies (which will have been put in place to comply with the Equality Act) and/or as amounting to a failure to follow a reasonable management instruction ('refer to people as they ask to be referred to'). As a result, they took disciplinary action. Whether that was fair or not is a different matter, but the key point that you need to understand but appear to have missed completely is that there is no law which says 'you have to sack someone who does this'. This is therefore not an example of the State cracking down on free speech. It is simply one employer's actions which may or may not have been justified.

I don't know if you have a job, but if you do, there will be things you can't say at work. It's hardly an infringement of free speech for an employer to seek to prevent their employees from saying whatever they like to colleagues, clients or customers. If you want to keep your job, you have to follow the rules.



Except that lots of people did complain and Leave EU had to apologise yesterday and withdraw the advert. So you are demonstrably wrong.



No I don't, because it is not true. Tell me which law allows someone to be arrested for simply uttering that phrase?

I suspect you won't be arrested today for using the phrase on this site. You probably won't even be sanctioned by the moderators, whom as we all know from Chlodio's post are actively monitoring this thread. The mods are allowing you to exercise your right to free speech. You got away with the term 'mong' the other day too, which is highly offensive if used of disabled people. You used it in a different context which suggested to me you don't actually understand it, but the fact remains that you are based in the UK and are using language in public which you claim gets people arrested. Yet you haven't been arrested and, of course, you aren't going to be. Which might just cause you to wonder if you are talking nonsense.

As it is, we can actually test your theory. Would you like me to report you to the Police for using that phrase? If I do and you don't get arrested, we'll all know I am right. If I do and you do get arrested, we'll all know you are right.

What do you think? Are you up to putting your money where your mouth is?
What a load of insulting and patronising nonsense, and entirely expected. It is also entirely political, therefore I will not reply in full or part to any of your post, except to point out to you that to call anybody a "rag-head" will be breaking the Prohibition of Incitement to Hatred Act 1989.
 

Peter Graham

Ad Honorem
Jan 2014
2,619
Westmorland
What a load of insulting and patronising nonsense, and entirely expected. It is also entirely political, therefore I will not reply in full or part to any of your post, .
More ad hominem attacks. Although, to use your words, that was entirely expected. Once again, you rather let down your arguments by being completely unable to support them or evidence them. If you can't back up what you say, perhaps be less enthusiastic about saying it.

except to point out to you that to call anybody a "rag-head" will be breaking the Prohibition of Incitement to Hatred Act 1989
Once again, this is simply not correct. That is not an English law.

I could ask you to try again, but we both know there's no point. You quite clearly rushed off to do a quick internet search in order to have something to throw back at me following my last post, but you did the search too quickly or too carelessly to spot that the law you referred to is actually an Irish law. It has no applicability in the UK.

Can I also assume that you aren't prepared to take me up on my challenge?
 

Corvidius

Ad Honorem
Jul 2017
3,047
Crows nest
What a load of insulting and patronising nonsense, and entirely expected. And no, I will not dance to your tune as I will no longer contribute to the off topic thread derailment you are persisting in.....
 
Last edited:
Oct 2019
95
West Virginia
How do you "unfairly" vilify slavers? to return to the thread's question.

It would seem that all who engaged in slaving deserve vilification, whether Euro slavers, Arab slavers, Africans selling slaves to those 2, or anyone buying and using the slaves.

It's a dirty business all around, and squabbling over which perp was the worst is pointless.

Better we should dedicate ourselves to ensuring that it never happens again.