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The most "humane" colonial empire?

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Poll Question: Which of the following empires had the most "humane" colonial policy?
Poll Choice Votes Poll Statistics
14 [23.33%]
6 [10.00%]
4 [6.67%]
13 [21.67%]
2 [3.33%]
17 [28.33%]
3 [5.00%]
1 [1.67%]
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  Quote calvo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: The most "humane" colonial empire?
    Posted: 23-Jul-2007 at 18:28
Colonialism has never been charity and all imperialist powers had their fair share of atrocities, yet distinct imperialist policies did make a difference.
There were some imperial powers who offered an opportunity to the subject nations, others who allowed them a high degree of autonomy, and others who brutalized the conquered in the most sadistic manner.
Which of the above empires do you think were the most "humane"?
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  Quote edgewaters Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23-Jul-2007 at 19:24
Well it's such a tough pick. I can only say that I'm certain NOT the USSR or Tsarist Russia.
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  Quote Maharbbal Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23-Jul-2007 at 19:33
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  Quote Lmprs Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23-Jul-2007 at 19:58
They were all demons.
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  Quote Dan Carkner Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23-Jul-2007 at 23:03
Ottomans, though some aspects were obviously pretty harsh.
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  Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23-Jul-2007 at 23:11
Believe me or not, because they have a problem of "image", I am pretty sure that at least in the Americas, they were the Spaniards. Not because there weren't cruelty, but because they assimilated the Natives. Most of the Native Americans of the hemisphere still live in the former lands of the Spanish Empire. That's not coincidence. Inside the Spanish Empire there was a battle between the bigots and the protectors of the Indians. Nothing like that happened with the other colonial powers of the Americas. And the result is clearly seen in the demography.
 
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  Quote think Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24-Jul-2007 at 01:23
The Spaniards had no choice Pinguin. Do you really think that if Latin America recieved immigration with the likes of America that the Spaniards would have absorbed the native population. not likely.
The British did not wipe out the Maori either.

Oh yeh look how prosperous North America is, then look at the majority of Latin American nations.

Anyway the different colonial powers faced different circumstances. Latin America never got the type of immigration that North America recieved. Like Pinguin said, just look at their demographics. The Southern Area of Latin America is unusually European, perhaps maybe due to more immigration, pinguin. The Native population has only exploded within the last century Pingiun, so Latin America for the most part of its life was sparsely populated.

I didnt know the Ottoman were a "colonial" power, what did they colonise ?


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  Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24-Jul-2007 at 02:39
Carleton S Coon pointed out that in the South the Spanish faced civilised empires, while the French and English faced ,not savages, but nomadic lifestyles peoples.
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  Quote Panther Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24-Jul-2007 at 02:57
I can't really pick just one. Though, i find myself agreeing with edgewaters, in regards to the Russians. A very darn tough question! I can't even narrow it down to three.
 
 
 
 
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  Quote Constantine XI Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24-Jul-2007 at 03:30
Depends on your criteria of "humane". This could refer to level of autonomy given to natives, presence or absence of atrocities, ultimate levels of economic and political development which resulted from colonisation, etc etc.


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  Quote rider Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24-Jul-2007 at 03:37
I don't understand what the Tsarist Russia does on that list... during those two hundred years, Russia seldom saw expansion towards the east and concentrated more on south and north... as much as they could obviously.

I picked the Arabs however...
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  Quote Patch Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24-Jul-2007 at 04:30
There has never been an English Empire so it is obviously the most humane.
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  Quote edgewaters Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24-Jul-2007 at 04:50
Originally posted by think

The Spaniards had no choice Pinguin.


Nobody was asking why they were the way they were. When colonialists were humane or benefitted the locals in some way, it was almost always out of self-interest. The Spanish weren't particularly exceptional or unusual in that way.

Do you really think that if Latin America recieved immigration with the likes of America that the Spaniards would have absorbed the native population. not likely.


Probably, yes. By 1700 there were still more Spanish than English in the New World, but the English weren't living amongst the natives in quite the same way. They dwelt apart. Different era, different peoples, different forces behind settlement patterns - alot more complex than simple numbers. The Spaniards settled much earlier than the English, in an era that was more medieval in thinking - in which interbreeding was seen as a succesful method of pacification. Since this practice was already established in the area it would have been hard to stop in later eras regardless of numbers. When the English started settling in numbers it was a later era and they had new ideas about pacification, typified by things like the Plantations in Ireland.

I wouldn't venture to guess which was more humane. The Spanish were making an effort to build a feudal-style power bloc out of subject native populations and tried very hard to reform the practices of their settlers, even ushered in a concept of natural rights to try to protect the natives. The English had their own virtues as well; they accepted several native powers as allies and sovereign equals, such as the Iroqouis. The Spanish never did that. Of course - they had no choice about accepting them, they barely survived King Phillip, the Iroqouis could have wiped them out in the 1600s. But that doesn't concern me because it doesn't change the fact that they did accept them. Just like the reasons behind the mixed society the Spanish built don't change the fact that they did that.

These sorts of one-sided views are almost universally erroneous, that's why this question is such a tough choice. Everybody had their vices and virtues and it's really really hard to say anyone was more humanitarian than anyone else - they all perpetrated some horrors, but they all had their good side too.

That goes for the natives too.

The Native population has only exploded within the last century


What? No, not in Latin America. In places like Bolivia and Peru, they have never ceased to be the majority. In places like Mexico they have always been sizable minorities, and in certain sub-regions like the Yucatan Peninsula have always held a majority.

Plus, if you include mestizos, well the vast majority of Latin Americans have always been native to some degree. Up here, Metis are considered to be an aboriginal group, and they're the same thing as mestizos.

Edited by edgewaters - 24-Jul-2007 at 05:09
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  Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24-Jul-2007 at 11:17
Originally posted by think

The Spaniards had no choice Pinguin.
 
Yes, they had. They could have acted as the British, exterminating people and repopulating with Europeans or Africans, rather than trying to make them "good Christians". Spaniards actually put theirs effort into assimilation. It was not only theory like some think, but a matter of royal politics.
 
Originally posted by think

Do you really think that if Latin America recieved immigration with the likes of America that the Spaniards would have absorbed the native population. not likely.
 
That's false. Latin America received as many Europeans as North America during the last 500 years. However, our population is twice the one of the United States, though, and people intermarried a lot more without prejudices, so you don't see the same "kind of people" in the North and the South, at least you apply genetics. Besides, while Germanics when mainly to North Americans, the south was the destination of Mediterranean peoples.
 
Originally posted by think


The British did not wipe out the Maori either.
 
Maories where lucky.
Originally posted by think


Oh yeh look how prosperous North America is, then look at the majority of Latin American nations.
 
What that means? That you have to resort to genocide to build prosperous nations? Look how people live in the guettoes in North America, anyways. Even in Canada I made a tour for poverty and I found more that I would ever expected Embarrassed
 
Yes, Latin America is not rich at all, but in many places people is progressing. What is funny is that many foreigners come here and they thing they are in the wrong continent LOLLOL
 
Originally posted by think


Anyway the different colonial powers faced different circumstances. Latin America never got the type of immigration that North America recieved. Like Pinguin said, just look at their demographics.
 
That's part of the truth. I can agree on that.
 
Originally posted by think

The Southern Area of Latin America is unusually European, perhaps maybe due to more immigration, pinguin. The Native population has only exploded within the last century Pingiun, so Latin America for the most part of its life was sparsely populated.
 
Southern South America is European to certain degree; most people is European looking, indeed. However, we have more Amerindians in this part of the continent than in the whole North America, though, and there isn't a "racial barrier" between "us" and "them". Besides, our Amerindians look European LOLLOL. Many of them do.
And you know? Many of the whites people in here are the most fanatical indigenists, too.
 
Pinguin
 


Edited by pinguin - 24-Jul-2007 at 11:18
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  Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24-Jul-2007 at 11:27
Originally posted by edgewaters

...What? No, not in Latin America. In places like Bolivia and Peru, they have never ceased to be the majority. In places like Mexico they have always been sizable minorities, and in certain sub-regions like the Yucatan Peninsula have always held a majority.

Plus, if you include mestizos, well the vast majority of Latin Americans have always been native to some degree. Up here, Metis are considered to be an aboriginal group, and they're the same thing as mestizos.
 
That's true. Large parts of Mexico, Guatemala, Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia are still majoritary Amerindian and they have always been that way. In there you can listen Amerindian languages as Maya, Quechua and Aymara in a daily bases, as living and important tongues. No matter most of them are billingual.
 
In the rest, some regions are Mestizo and others are Castizo (Mestizo+European). What foreigners call the "Whites" of Latin America is the 35% of the people that is European and slighly Amerindian. "Whiteness" exist in Latin America, most people have that genetics, but is in admixture in varying degrees, mainly with Amerindian. In the Caribbean region, though, the main admixture is with Africans.
 
Metis are different to the average Latin America in culture. Metis have an hybrid culture rooted in colonial and amerindian traditions, and they behave as a subgrup inside an allien society. On the other hand, Latin Americans have a mainstream culture, based mainly a western culture with local nationalistic traditions that rooted in the Amerindians.
 
Pinguin
 
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  Quote Patch Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24-Jul-2007 at 11:33
'I didnt know the Ottoman were a "colonial" power, what did they colonise ?'
 
 What are now Turkey, Greece, Serbia, Albania, Hungary, Romania, Croatia, Moldavia, southern Ukraine, Bulagria, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, Israel, Suadi Arabia, Iraq, Kuwait, Egypt, Libya, Tunisia and Morroco (hope I haven't missed anyone out - not sure about Yemen) were all at one time or other ruled by the Ottomans.  They were busy people.
There were also Turkish dynasties in medieval India though I don't know if they owed allegance to the Ottoman Sultan or not.


Edited by Patch - 24-Jul-2007 at 11:39
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  Quote calvo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24-Jul-2007 at 13:09
Originally posted by Patch

There has never been an English Empire so it is obviously the most humane.
 
I meant by British. You should have known what I meant.
 
The "British" Empire was in reality more "English". Scotland, Ireland, and Wales were more like her "colonies" than part of the motherland; although since the 20th century, due to economic development as a unity all the British Isles developed a common identity.
Still, many Scots and Welsh still have an antagonistic attitude towards the English for past exploits.... with the Irish I wouldn't mention any more.
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  Quote calvo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24-Jul-2007 at 13:28

I voted for the Romans.

Although they enslaved entire populations, over the centuries they made much of the conquered nations their own citizens not only by passport but also by heart.
Only the first imperial dynasty came from Italy itself, with all the remaining coming from the provinces; among them were Hispanics, africans, ilirians, arabs etc.
After the 1st century AD provincial recruits already made up the bulk of the legions and their loyalty to the empire was no less stronger than those recruited from the original city-state.
 
Distinct to the British and the French, the Romans consciously rejected apartheid; and distinct to the Spanish, they didn't impose their religion or language on anyone; but encouraged the natives from adopting Latin ways by offering them benefits.
 
In none of the colonial powers of the modern era did natives manage to rise to equal footing as the original conquerors as such.
 
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  Quote Patch Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24-Jul-2007 at 13:29
Originally posted by calvo

Originally posted by Patch

There has never been an English Empire so it is obviously the most humane.
 
I meant by British. You should have known what I meant.
 
The "British" Empire was in reality more "English". Scotland, Ireland, and Wales were more like her "colonies" than part of the motherland; although since the 20th century, due to economic development as a unity all the British Isles developed a common identity.
Still, many Scots and Welsh still have an antagonistic attitude towards the English for past exploits.... with the Irish I wouldn't mention any more.
 
I did know what you meant but it was still wrong in name and in fact.  Should we always refer to the Castellian empire as all the rest of Spain  are merely colonies of Castile?  As a matter of interest are you from Castile or one of the colonies?
 
Scotland was never a colony of England, I would suggest you do some research on the union of crowns in 1603 and the union of Parliments in 1707.
There were many of Scots, Irish and Welsh decent throughout the empire,  there were, in relation to the respective population sizes, more Scots administering the Empire than English.
The Royal Family is more Scottish & Welsh than English, there have been Scots, Welsh and Irish prime ministers.
If anything there was much more of a British identity during the imperial period than there is now.


Edited by Patch - 24-Jul-2007 at 13:30
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  Quote ChickenShoes Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24-Jul-2007 at 15:38
I can't believe the English are leading. Have we all but forgotten their treatment of the Africans, Aboriginies, and Canadian native peoples? Or even the brutal methods they used to supress the Indians in modern history.  At least in Rome you could become a legionnaire and/or a citizen with Roman rights after a period of time, similar to what calvo said. I'm not keen on the Arab or the Ottomans but weren't they somewhat tolerant and respectful of other cultures?

Edited by ChickenShoes - 24-Jul-2007 at 15:40
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