Facebook and The Sad Legacy of the British Empire
Two essays today.
Did you know that when you post something to your Facebook page that it only is routed to about 15 percent of your Facebook friends, not to all of them? This is what I recently heard on the radio. Therefore, we will try to “promote” this essay on Facebook at a cost (to me) so that it (a link) will actually make it to all of our new friends.
We cover a wide range of issues here on this blog. Some sample links to a few essays are below. Blogsite visitors can always search under the various categories for essays that may interest them. (Categories include Society, Human Rights, Philosophy, Religion, Marriage, Economy, Energy, Music, Women, Politics, Obama, History, etc.)
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One of our politically incorrect essays, but with a moral to the story:
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The Sad Legacy of the British Empire
Or, why I am not an Anglophile.
This is the first of 2 essays on inconvenient history. (After which, we will move on to other topics on this wide ranging blog.) Out of respect for the Thanksgiving Holiday in the US, we will post the second essay next week. We wish everyone in the US a safe and happy holiday. As well, we wish readers outside the US, a good, safe and happy week!
In my working career, many individuals of very differing views have been encountered. There have been a few Anglophiles who loved all things English and approved of all British actions throughout history. Somewhat ironically, most of these individuals were not English by ancestry.
The British, throughout the past several centuries, seemed to be operating under just 2 rules in their interactions with all other nations and peoples across the globe: England first, and nobody else second. A zero sum game approach? And, many Brits, in a chauvinistic view, feel that England never conquered, colonized, nor defeated any people or nation when it was not for their (the colonized’s, the defeated’s) own good.
We recognize that the world would still be filled with much injustice even if there had not been a British Empire. But, it needs to be said that the English have been some of the most aggressive and opportunistic people in all of recorded history. We will briefly list some of the current troubled spots on the globe where the British Empire played a role in making these trouble spots. As well, we mention some of the British outrages in the past several centuries towards other peoples.
In no particular order, consider these items.
Some students of history assert that there have 3 hundred year wars (periods of intermittent warfare spanning nearly a century) between England and France. In all of the English depredations on French soil, the English men simply could not keep their hands off the French women.
During the reign of Elizabeth I, in the latter part of the 16th century, there was much pirating of Spain’s ships returning from the New World by the English.
England at times battled the Netherlands for supremacy of the seas in the 17th and 18th centuries.
Ireland – we do not need to tell the Irish of the mistreatment they have suffered at the hands of the English for the past several centuries. Ireland is currently divided and is still prone to strife partly, if not mainly, due to prior actions by England. This is a current trouble spot.
South Africa – the acquisitive British were not very interested in South Africa until the late 1800s when gold and diamonds were discovered there. The Boer Wars were brutal and saw the first use of “concentration camps” by the British against the Boers.
Sri Lanka (formerly Ceylon) – the Tamils and the native Singhalese are often in conflict with one another. The Tamils were brought (by the English) to Ceylon in the late 1800s as a source of cheap labor from neighboring Tamil Nadu across the straight in India. This is a current trouble spot.
China – a small part of the lasting animosity of mainland China towards the western world is due to the Opium Wars of the 1840s, and the seizure by Britain of Hong Kong. China was humiliated by Britain at that time, and the Chinese have long collective memories.
India and Pakistan – the partition of South Asia in 1947, done by English administrators with little appreciation and understanding for the differences in religion, caused much strife and loss of life at the time. This area continues to be a very tense and troubled part of the globe today. Both countries are nuclear powers now.
Iraq – the artificial country of Iraq was the creation of the British with Winston Churchill around 1920 in the aftermath of World War I and the breakup of the old Ottoman Empire. Iraq has been problematic for most of the last 90 years and is likely to remain so. It remains a trouble spot.
Palestine – the modern state of Israel owes much thanks for its existence to the Balfour Declaration issued by Britain during World War I. Treatment of this is beyond the scope of this essay. Suffice it to say that this declaration was issued in order to help get the USA into the war on the side of Britain. (Some of you already know the details.) Is there anyone in the world that doubts that Palestine remains a very troubled part of the world?
United States of America – Britain fought 2 wars against the USA. The Revolutionary War (1776 – 1783) and the War of 1812 (where Andrew Jackson gained fame).
World Wars I & II – England is not wholly blameless for these horrendous conflagrations. The unjust peace that came out of Versailles proved to be not a lasting peace. We will deal more with the terrible World Wars in our next essay next week. Then we will move on to other topics.
The fictional book, The Riddle of the Sands, by Erskine Childers (written in 1903 and more recently reprinted by Dover Publications in 1976) shows a British dislike for Germany prior to World War I. In the book, the British felt very threatened even by German national defense plans which called for attacking Britain if war broke out between the two nations. Another nation’s legitimate defense planning was perceived as a major threat to British supremacy.
Thanks for reading. Be sociable and share this with others you think may be interested in its contents. Best wishes to all!