Did many of the ex-colonies knew they were going to be poor when they got their independence?

Oct 2018
1,209
Adelaide south Australia
#21
I suspect you are asking about colonies especially in Africa and The Americas. Is I'll also take you to mean 'exteme poverty' Ie food ,water, shelter, rather than in say my country where a person is considered poor if they can't afford a flat screen TV or a mobile phone. I'll not mention the French, in what was Indo China, and NorthAfrica due to space**

Would they 'they' have been aware?, Collectively, probably not, except in a vague way. There would probably would have been a core of middle class intellectuals who were acutely aware. Revolutions and independence movements have tended to come from the middle classes, who considered themselves to be treated unjustly. They tended simply want to be in charge, instead of the colonial power.

My position is that colonisation and imperialism are evil forces because they exploit the whilst having the strange notion that they hav every right to do so
Eg Victorian England convinced itself that it was doing its colonies a huge favour by bringing them the acme of civilisation (ie, Britain's) and of course the jewel of Christianity.I have always personally loathed the arrogance of missionaries..

Some powers were worse than others. Perhaps the most disgusting was King Leopold Of Belgium and the behaviour of his country in what was the Belgian Congo; Now the Democratic Republic Of the Congo. (I'm always bit suspicious of countries which have words such as 'free' , Democratic or' The People's' in their name. I think those qualities are implicit in a free society)

Two major colonial powers were Britain and Spain. Their approaches were extremely different. it's no surprise that overall, former British colonies ,including the US, Australasia and Canada, are wealthy compared with the restt of the world. Ex Spanish colonies, not so much, or if they are prosperous today, it took them much longer:

WHY?

It has been argued that Spain in the fifteenth th century simply did not have the infrastructure to support a colonial empire. The Spanish sent to the colonies tended to be the scrapings of Spanish society*. Spanish colonies were savagely exploited , their people destroyed by disease, slavery and the Church, which almost always defended the status quo. The Spanish hid behind the hacienda system of socials I organisation. They tended not to build cities or to install any kind efficient administration.. They took everything which was not nailed down, and left a wasteland..

The British established societies based on their model; they introduced the rule of law, built cities, railways, an above all had an efficient administration; this administration came from the newly emerging Middle class in England< educated at Eton, harrow , rugby public schools,and later going to Oxford and Cambridge .Middle and higher ranking civil servants and army, especially officers. Rank and file soldiers came from the colonial people> Gernaerally speaking , but not always, when the British left, there remained a thriving society.

* read accounts about Cortez Pisaro.. A good read : 'The Last Days Of The Incas' by Kim Macquarrie, Simon and Schuster,New York, 2007

** if. you want to read about the Colonial experience generally, I recommend ' The Wretched Of The Earth', by Frantz Fanon. It may be in the public domain and easy to get
 

Ighayere

Ad Honorem
Jul 2012
2,570
Benin City, Nigeria
#22
Revolutions and independence movements have tended to come from the middle classes, who considered themselves to be treated unjustly. They tended simply want to be in charge, instead of the colonial power.
I won't speak on what the situation was like in the Americas when they had their independence movements or revolutions, since I am less familiar with the details in those cases, but for Africa this is generally not a valid characterization at all. Yes the more educated or wealthier people would have taken leading roles - as in almost any social movement - but the sentiment or support behind the movements was not limited to them or simply created by them.
 

Ighayere

Ad Honorem
Jul 2012
2,570
Benin City, Nigeria
#23
It has been argued that Spain in the fifteenth th century simply did not have the infrastructure to support a colonial empire. The Spanish sent to the colonies tended to be the scrapings of Spanish society*. Spanish colonies were savagely exploited , their people destroyed by disease, slavery and the Church, which almost always defended the status quo. The Spanish hid behind the hacienda system of socials I organisation. They tended not to build cities or to install any kind efficient administration.. They took everything which was not nailed down, and left a wasteland..

The British established societies based on their model; they introduced the rule of law, built cities, railways, an above all had an efficient administration; this administration came from the newly emerging Middle class in England< educated at Eton, harrow , rugby public schools,and later going to Oxford and Cambridge .Middle and higher ranking civil servants and army, especially officers. Rank and file soldiers came from the colonial people> Gernaerally speaking , but not always, when the British left, there remained a thriving society.
I don't know if you realize this or not, but you may be looking at the case of the British system with rose-tinted glasses.

Also, the Spanish empire vs. British empire stuff has been debated multiple times on this forum, and myths on both sides have been debunked (by those that took part in those threads; I wasn't involved). I can't remember the thread but I think the claim about how the Spanish that went to the colonies were the dregs of Spanish society was also debunked by someone with a pretty good grasp of Spanish America's history.
 

Sindane

Ad Honorem
Aug 2013
4,686
Europe
#24
To give a partial answer to your question, a Nigerian peasant breaking his back under forced labour in mines so that British people could have the materials they needed for their industry (and later for their wars) probably did not have the luxury of having enough time to become so great at clairvoyance. And based on some of their decisions I would have to say that the colonial administrators do not seem to have put much effort into clairvoyance either. Who really knows the future? .
The ones 'breaking their backs' in mines to supply materials for British industry were British labourers.
 

Ighayere

Ad Honorem
Jul 2012
2,570
Benin City, Nigeria
#25
The ones 'breaking their backs' in mines to supply materials for British industry were British labourers.
Maybe you're not familiar with what went on in Africa. What I said could be confirmed easily. And it has no real bearing on the issue of the British working in the mines in their own country. The British working in mines for their own benefit would not change the fact of Africans being forced to work in this or that mine for British benefit. The two things are not even the same and bringing up one does not necessitate mentioning the other.
 

tomar

Ad Honoris
Jan 2011
13,227
#26
Either you missed the point completely or are you are deliberately skirting around the point here. The point is really self-evident, but I"ll state it more explicitly: there's no evidence that has been provided that shows that the majority of the indigenous people voted to remain with France, and it is entirely possible that they did not, considering that they are less than half of the population. If the vote to leave was restricted to just those who are indigenous the results may have been very different. As for "one can imagine the cries of racism. . ." etc. that is irrelevant to the actual point here. Obviously because the area is a popular vacation destination for some people from France it was definitely necessary to restrict the vote to people with French citizenship who actually lived there long-term.

Also, "only about a third of the population is of European origin" is still side-stepping the point. I was aware of that but didn't mention it precisely because I doubt that people who are non-indigenous but also non-European would have much of a motivation to vote for independence. If New Caledonia was independent, they would still be minorities (so no real change in how much say they have about anything) except that now they would be in a situation that they are less familiar with - uncharted waters. At most they would probably be neutral or disinterested either way, but there is every reason to think that most of them would just prefer to keep the status quo.

I was definitely not counting the non-indigenous but non-European population alongside the indigenous population for precisely that reason and that was why I specifically referred to the indigenous population earlier, and not just the non-European population. There is no particular reason to group them together on this issue.

Also, there is still a possibility for two further votes:



'We live in misery': New Caledonia's indigenous people fight for independence from France

And at least one media source from New Caledonia has suggested that the majority of the indigenous people did vote for independence, by the way.



https://www.cnn.com/2018/11/04/asia/new-caledonia-independence-referendum-intl/index.html

But like I said above, clear evidence would need to be provided to show how the majority of the indigenous people really voted. However I think it is noteworthy that even a local source is claiming something that lines up with what I stated above - that the result could have been very different if restricted to the actual indigenous population.
Now that one side has lost, all kinds of bogus excuses will be brought up...

Fact is the so called "indigenous" are the largest group on the island AND the voting rules favored that particular group... You are using total population stats, but since a lot of the "non indigenous" were not allowed to vote, these population stats do not mean much....

Second in which country would only those who had roots going back 200 years or more be considered the only ones that have a right to have a say ???? Why would a mexican settled in the US or an indian settled in the UK have a say but not a vietnamese or fidjian settled in Caledonia ?????

Third from the article you quote , there are really some BS arguments

“Look how we live today. If we were independent, we could receive the profits from the mine,” said Calixte.

Typical naive argumentation.... First said mine is loss making and second the territory does receive subsidies... wihtout which it would just be poorer.... I dont know many places where locals receive "profits" from their mines.....even in Europe
 
Oct 2018
1,209
Adelaide south Australia
#27
"I don't know if you realize this or not, but you may be looking at the case of the British system with rose-tinted glasses."

Ad hominem attack, not a relevant response.

I can't remember the thread but I think the claim about how the Spanish that went to the colonies were the dregs of Spanish society was also debunked by someone with a pretty good grasp of Spanish America's history.

Argument from authority. Don't care what some body else said. I care about evidence. I formed my opinion a Spanish imperialism at university. That was over 30 years ago. I may have misremembered, or there could be new studies. Please cite any evidence you have in support of your position.
 

Ighayere

Ad Honorem
Jul 2012
2,570
Benin City, Nigeria
#28
Ad hominem attack, not a relevant response.
It's not an attack. It was a suggestion that this might be a case of you not looking at some other things that occurred under British colonialism, and developing a slightly positive or idealized image of it, while imagining the Spanish case to be it's mirror opposite - a sort of foil to point at and criticize while not criticizing the British case in the same way.

An actual ad hominem would be an attack on your person, i.e. something about you as a poster or about your background to try to discredit your argument. I didn't actually do that.

Argument from authority. Don't care what some body else said. I care about evidence. I formed my opinion a Spanish imperialism at university. That was over 30 years ago. I may have misremembered, or there could be new studies. Please cite any evidence you have in support of your position.
Perhaps you are, in a way, now making a sort of "argument from authority" here yourself, although one that is less obvious? ("I formed my opinion about Spanish imperialism at university" - as though this means that this opinion was automatically credible, correct, or completely fact based?).

I am not interested in "defending" Spanish imperialism anyway, and really have no interest in digging through multiple old threads on this forum or multiple sources from outside this forum just to prove anything. I just find the apparent conviction that the British empire was sunshine and roses in comparison to the Spanish empire very questionable and suspect that people who actually think it was are pretty selective in what they choose to look at, so let's leave it at that.
 

Sindane

Ad Honorem
Aug 2013
4,686
Europe
#29
Maybe you're not familiar with what went on in Africa. What I said could be confirmed easily. And it has no real bearing on the issue of the British working in the mines in their own country. The British working in mines for their own benefit would not change the fact of Africans being forced to work in this or that mine for British benefit. The two things are not even the same and bringing up one does not necessitate mentioning the other.
You stated
...so that British people could have the materials they needed for their industry (and later for their wars)



Maybe you are not familiar with the British coal industry and how it fed an industrialisation that spanned two hundred years.
The UK was mining hundreds of millions of tonnes of coal a year. Until the first world war, the UK was the largest exporter of coal in the world.
Coal wasn't discovered in Nigeria until 1909. It wasn't mined until 1916 and at it's peak it only managed to produce 790,030 metric tonnes . The UK coal industry peaked at 228 million tonnes and had been producing coal for industrial use for at least three hundred years .
In
1986 one single colliery (Kellingly, in Yorkshire) achieved 404,000 tonnes in one single shift.
 

Ighayere

Ad Honorem
Jul 2012
2,570
Benin City, Nigeria
#30
Now that one side has lost, all kinds of bogus excuses will be brought up...

Fact is the so called "indigenous" are the largest group on the island AND the voting rules favored that particular group... You are using total population stats, but since a lot of the "non indigenous" were not allowed to vote, these population stats do not mean much....
I don't know what portion of the 60% that are not indigenous were not allowed to vote, but the point is that just the fact that some were able to vote may mean that the result could have been different if it were restricted to the indigenous population.

Second in which country would only those who had roots going back 200 years or more be considered the only ones that have a right to have a say ???? Why would a mexican settled in the US or an indian settled in the UK have a say but not a vietnamese or fidjian settled in Caledonia ?????
Did I say that others should not have a right to have a say?

My point was, in reference to your mention of colonialism in your initial post, the majority of the actual indigenous people of the island - the descendants of those that were colonized - may not have wanted to remain with France in the vote.

A Mexican settled in the U.S. or an Indian settled in the UK are not part of a large foreign population outnumbering whatever groups are considered the native (or in the case of the U.S., the more long established) inhabitants of those countries while voting in referendums to determine the future independence or dependence of the country. I'm sure they can vote for mayor, congress/parliament, head of government, etc. but their voice doesn't overrule the native or the more long established groups in anything.

And also, depending on the area of the U.S., a "Mexican settled in the U.S" might actually have deeper roots in a part of the U.S. than some Americans of non-Mexican heritage. There was a migration of some Mexicans out of the U.S. and into Mexico in the 19th century following Mexico's loss of nearly half its territory in the Mexican-American war. A portion of some Mexicans that settled in the U.S. at a later time could be descended from such people.

Third from the article you quote , there are really some BS arguments

“Look how we live today. If we were independent, we could receive the profits from the mine,” said Calixte.

Typical naive argumentation.... First said mine is loss making and second the territory does receive subsidies... wihtout which it would just be poorer.... I dont know many places where locals receive "profits" from their mines.....even in Europe
Well that person is probably trying to make the argument that they could escape dependency and consequent economic inequality if they had their independence, though that person perhaps isn't articulating that clearly. He seems to be arguing for a sort of nationalisation of resources and or at least the investment of more of the mining companies' profits (through an additional tax? or partial state ownership of companies?) towards developing the indigenous people's areas. How that would turn out I don't know - probably would depend on how much of the mining expertise the indigenous people have.

Also, their being "subsidized" has resulted in this, at least for that town: "Thio’s rate of unemployment sits at 30%, and 97% of residents have not graduated from high school."

So not really some great achievement.