Do you think that colonial subjects should have pushed harder for full integration with the metropole as opposed to independence?

Do you think that colonial subjects should have pushed harder for full integration with the metropol

  • Yes

  • No


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Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
21,022
SoCal
#1
Do you think that colonial subjects should have pushed harder for integration with the metropole as opposed to independence? I mean, obviously some independent ex-colonies--such as Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, and Botswana--did pretty well for themselves. However, some other independent ex-colonies experienced struggles after they acquired independence. Obviously the status quo before independence was unacceptable to colonial subjects--and rightfully so. After all, AFAIK, they were either denied the citizenship of the metropole countries or, in the case of Algeria after 1947 (and this is a fact that I have recently found out), had French citizenship but had elections gerrymandered against them.

Basically, what I was thinking of is having colonial subjects push for full integration with the metropole--complete with full citizenship from the metropole countries, full legal equality, the right to vote, no gerrymandering against them, et cetera. The logic behind this would be that if they were treated as equals, colonial subjects could experience the benefits of being ruled by a developed country without degrading their human dignity. Think of the arrangement that Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands have with the US in real life. They're full US citizens, have the right to move to the mainland US at will, have the right to vote in US elections if/after they move to the mainland US, and are presumably heavily subsidized by the US in order to ensure a decent standard of living there. (Of course, it would be really nice if they were made US states, but they don't actually appear to have enough of a desire for this.) I was thinking of having colonial subjects push for a similar arrangement with the colonizing countries--whether these colonizing countries would be European or Japanese. Such an arrangement might very well result in a higher standard of living for these colonies (who would now become fully integrated into the metropole) and would also result in these colonial subjects having a huge say over national affairs due to their sheer weight of numbers. Such an arrangement would also result in free movement between the colonies and the metropole for everyone and in these colonies being heavily subsidized by the metropole (due to voters in the colonies demanding this and voting out any politician who is against this).

Anyway, what do you think about this idea? Do you think that colonial subjects--at least in some colonies--should have pushed harder for full integration with the metropole as opposed to pushing for independence from the metropole?
 

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
21,022
SoCal
#2
For what it's worth, I voted Yes because I think that colonial subjects themselves would have benefited from this. Thus, IMHO, it would have been in their best interests to push for this--though perhaps with the option of keeping independence on the table in the event that things will ever go south. Obviously the previous status quo was completely unacceptable, but if colonial subjects would be treated as citizens and full equals and have their territories be fully integrated into the metropole, then things could have been much better for some of them. After all, they could vote (without being gerrymandered against), move to the metropole and permanently stay there, be heavily subsidized by the metropole in order to ensure that they will have a decent standard of living, possibly have better quality healthcare, et cetera.

Whether such an arrangement would have been great for the people in the metropoles is a completely separate question, though.
 
Mar 2019
106
Victoria, Australia
#4
Mhmm. Depends on the colonial policy of the various countries. I personally think that the sale of Louisianna and the loss of Canada was a horrible issue for France. However, the colonial policies of the French in that regard, particularly concerning the natives, was a lot more liked than those of the British (or even worse, the Americans).

The argument is actually more whether one believes in imperialism and all that or whether fragmented states are better. I don't think one is inherently better from the other. But in my opinion, no I do not think colonies would have been better integrated with some, and very few, exceptions. These exceptions being primarily those colonies too small or weak to be viable nations by themselves (like almost all Caribbean countries for instance fit this exception well. I would honestly give back to their respective colonial powers since they are really to small to be of any importance or power diplomatically and being part of a larger state would allow them privilages otherwise unreachable for them).
 
Likes: Futurist
Jan 2015
3,538
Australia
#5
It depends on the circumstances. Generally you tend to think the centropole is going to exploit the outer provinces, so the answer is no, but sometimes the situation of assimilation is still the better choice (Ancient Rome's annexation of Gaul stands out as a fairly clear example of positive conquest).
 
Likes: Futurist
Mar 2019
106
Victoria, Australia
#6
(Ancient Rome's annexation of Gaul stands out as a fairly clear example of positive conquest).
Mhmm. Positive for the romans perhaps. The Gauls and that culture had lived in stability for hundreds of years, not to mention the loss of an entire culture and way of life. You could argue that the roman way of life is better than what we know of the gauls (or vice versa), but that's neither here nor there really.
 
Jan 2015
3,538
Australia
#7
Mhmm. Positive for the romans perhaps. The Gauls and that culture had lived in stability for hundreds of years, not to mention the loss of an entire culture and way of life. You could argue that the roman way of life is better than what we know of the gauls (or vice versa), but that's neither here nor there really.
The Gauls had a serf style society where power was concentrated in the hands of the few; the majority were (intentionally) kept illiterate, human sacrifices were practised to read the future, and they were subject to frequent incursions from neighbouring tribes. Rome fixed all that, to the point that Gaul became a flourishing and safe part of their Empire. After Caesar conquered it I find it telling that there was basically no real rebellions there for effectively centuries (the minor rebellions we could point to were either not worth mentioning, or about internal Roman power struggles), and indeed Gaul became one of Rome's most loyal and supportive provinces. The majority of people in Gaul were far better off moving forward under a system that gave them greater opportunities, safely, wealth, etc.
 

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
21,022
SoCal
#8
It depends on the circumstances. Generally you tend to think the centropole is going to exploit the outer provinces, so the answer is no, but sometimes the situation of assimilation is still the better choice (Ancient Rome's annexation of Gaul stands out as a fairly clear example of positive conquest).
That was done in a time where human rights weren't as highly valued as they are right now, though. I am talking about giving citizenship, full voting rights (without any gerrymandering), et cetera to all of the people in a country's colonies. In such a scenario, the former colonial subjects are going to be able to dominate the national parliament in many cases due to their sheer numbers.
 

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
21,022
SoCal
#9
Mhmm. Depends on the colonial policy of the various countries. I personally think that the sale of Louisianna and the loss of Canada was a horrible issue for France. However, the colonial policies of the French in that regard, particularly concerning the natives, was a lot more liked than those of the British (or even worse, the Americans).

The argument is actually more whether one believes in imperialism and all that or whether fragmented states are better. I don't think one is inherently better from the other. But in my opinion, no I do not think colonies would have been better integrated with some, and very few, exceptions. These exceptions being primarily those colonies too small or weak to be viable nations by themselves (like almost all Caribbean countries for instance fit this exception well. I would honestly give back to their respective colonial powers since they are really to small to be of any importance or power diplomatically and being part of a larger state would allow them privilages otherwise unreachable for them).
I'm not a big fan of imperialism in its traditional form due to the fact that this denied self-determination to one's colonial subjects. I do have a very tolerant view of secession (including for US states) and thus I do think that secession should have certainly been an option for colonial subjects. That said, though, if they were actually treated as equals, then having the colonial power stick around and integrate these countries into the metropole might have also had its advantages. Specifically, this colonial power would constantly have to provide a lot of subsidies to their former colonial subjects and would have also had the job of providing good-quality healthcare to their former colonial subjects. Plus, their former colonial subjects could have in many cases dominated the legislatures of the colonizing countries by sheer weight of their numbers. Please remember that being treated as equals includes giving all of one's colonial subjects full citizenship and the right to vote in national elections without any sort of gerrymandering against them.