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

Sep 2016
1,323
Georgia
You are misisng the point. I'm not saying that slavery was an inevitable or a requisite part of economic development or wealth creation. All I am saying is that being able to benefit from slavery assisted colonial powers like Britain to accumulate even more wealth than they otherwise might have done.
I mean, Venice accumulated wealth before all great geographical discoveries. Generally, Northern Italy was much more wealthy than the South and had such strong economic powers like Genoa, Pisa, Milan, Florence or Venice.

Cities of Hanseatic League were pretty wealthy and didn't have colonies to exploit.

German states never became the colonial powers like France or Britain. Some tried to establish them, like Brandenburg for example. However, they were short-lived and Brandenburg-Prussia lost all of those colonies by 18th century. However, Prussia and it's German allies were still able to destroy France in 1871 despite not possesing any colonies in Africa, America or Asia. France was a colonial power in the second half of 19th century and still got technologically outmatched by Prussia.
 
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Sep 2016
1,323
Georgia
Absolutely, but part of that wealth generation certainly was also from slave trading.
Well, i can't deny that slave trade was a profitable business. However, it alone failed to transform Ottoman Empire into highly industrialized nation and more technologically advanced than Europeans by 19th century.

Norway was a backwater in the beginning of 19th century, but take a look at it now. I've already talked about German states and how they were able to technologically crush France in 1871 without any colonies. There were also cities of Hanseatic League, Low Countries in 16th century and etc. that managed to accumulate wealth despite not establishing colonies in various parts of the world.

Russia became a major power as well, despite not establishing bunch of colonies overseas.
 
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Larrey

Ad Honorem
Sep 2011
5,807
Well, i can't deny that slave trade was a profitable business. However, it alone failed to transform Ottoman Empire into highly industrialized nation and more technologically advanced than Europeans by 19th century.

Norway was a backwater in the beginning of 19th century, but take a look at it now. I've already talked about German states and how they were able to technologically crush France in 1871 without any colonies.
Yes, I certainly agree.

It think I already posted that: There was considerable wealth generated by colonial exploitation and slavery – for the times – but in relation the massive wealth generation in the modern period, from industrialization, it was completely dwarfed. It might arguably have been helpful in places, but it clearly wasn't necessary, or otherwise only overseas colonial, slave-trading powers would have been involved. Assuming slavery two centuries ago, even if important then, is a major source of the wealth of modern societies radically misunderstands how wealth has been generated in the period in between.

Modern China is another case in point, since the mechanisms have been possible to observe operating at break-neck speed over the last 30-40 years only.
 
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mark87

Ad Honorem
Jan 2014
2,092
Santiago de Chile
I think I may have solution for the actual question posed at the beginning of the thread. We grab the standard history textbook for countries like USA. Britain, Turkey, North African countries, several European countries, Japan, several Arabian Peninsula nations etc, and see which mention slavery and which don't, which omit slavery and which don't, which barely mention it and which don't, I suspect many here will be surprised at the results.
 

Tulius

Ad Honorem
May 2016
5,972
Portugal
My mistake, I should have written many in the western world would be surprised at the results. Sorry Forum.
My question, or its point, was if you consider that the results would show that slavery was too much or too less spoken in the textbooks?
 

Peter Graham

Ad Honorem
Jan 2014
2,637
Westmorland
Russia became a major power as well, despite not establishing bunch of colonies overseas.
The USSR always looked rather indistinguishable from a central power with a set of colonies to me.

Whilst you make some very fair points, I don't think anyone is arguing that the only route to power and wealth is colonialism and the exploitation of slavery. But that doesn't take away from the fact that colonialism and the exploitation of slavery is at least one route to power and wealth.