Colonist Perspective: British Corruption

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Colonist Perspective: British Corruption



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A similar claim was never staked out in this form by a world empire of Antiquity or a non-European colonial power in the modern period, such as Japan or the USA. The extraordinary continuity of Chinese colonialism or that of the Aztecs in Central America before the Spaniards arrived is indeed structurally comparable to modern European expansion. But similar to the Phoenician and the Roman empires, the phenomenon of expansion usually ended with colonisation and not in colonial development.

The imperial expansion since about was not a European invention but its chronological and spatial dimension was as unique as the variety of colonial methods of rule. It is characteristic that the impetus for colonialism was often derived as an answer to European history itself. This includes capitalist striving for profit, the colonies as valves for overpopulation, the spirit of exploration, scientific interest, and religious and ideological impulses up to Social-Darwinistic and racist motives. Colonialist urges of this type do not explain the expansionistic economic, military and other forces in the periphery that compelled the governments of the mother countries into a defensive pressing forward. What is now understood as globalisation has a critical background in the world historical involvement of the non-European sphere from the Early Modern Period up and into the period of decolonisation.

No European country remained exempt — all directly or indirectly participated in the colonial division of the world. The Treaty of Tordesillas put global power thinking into words that perceived of colonial possessions as a political, economic and cultural right, last not least even as an obligation to a civilizing mission that was only definitively shaken with the independence of India in This turns the simultaneity and multitude of European colonialisms and imperialisms into a border-bridging experience. Few transnational specifics of European history illustrate the diversity of a European consciousness this clearly. But what was colonialism?

If one looks back at the essential elements in the thought of the Spanish world empire since the 16th century, it was similar to that of the English and Portuguese up to the most recent time because of the often claimed idea that the European nations created their empires themselves without the participation of others. Conquest followed discovery: Christopher Columbus ca. Spain's power was only definitively broken with the Treaty of Paris in 2 , which ended the Seven Years' War and solidified British colonial supremacy. It also revealed the entanglement between Europe and the American continent because the seed had been sown for the independence struggle of the United States as well as the revolutions in Central and South America between and After human and citizens rights had been fought for during the French Revolution, the first Black republic in world history arose in from a slave revolt in Haiti.

Colonialism was by no means a one-dimensional affair with a simply European orientation and European discoverers such as Columbus and Vasco da Gama — [ ] , who succeeded in making the first East India voyage in less than a decade after Instead, colonialism should be understood as a dynamic interaction in the context of which the colonial empires and the individual colonies massively influenced the historical development of their European mother countries.

This even extended to the programmes of rulers' titles. Subsequent to da Gama successfully establishing trade relations with the Southwest Indian spice port of Calicut , king Manuel I — not only styled himself king of Portugal, but also lord of Arabia , Persia and India. Like the Portuguese world empire, the Spanish arrived in all of Europe because European and non-European immigrants participated as much as did the natives in the colonies. The Spanish empire can hardly be imagined without Belgians, Italians and Chinese, while commerce and administration in the Portuguese empire was shaped to a significant degree by Germans, Flemings, Moslems and Jews.

According to Wolfgang Reinhard, colonialism in terms of a history of ideas constitutes a "developmental differential" due to the "control of one people by an alien one". It has existed in almost all periods of world history in different degrees of expression. Already in , the Brazilian sociologist Gilberto Freyre stated the thesis that the Portuguese as the oldest European colonial nation had a special gift for expansion in his controversial book Casa-grande e Senzala The Masters and the Slaves. It consisted of peacefully intermingling the cultures without racism and colonial massacres.

Using the example of Brazil , he rationalized colonial paternalism with the allegedly successful relationship between masters and slaves. But other colonial powers also claimed this for themselves. However, that the colonies became an integral part of the mother country, that therefore the colonial nation is indivisible, at home on several continents and, thus, incapable of doing any fundamental evil, can be shown to be part of the European colonial ideology since its earliest beginnings.

Intellectual transfer processes had already taken place at this time, in the Age of Enlightenment most noticeably in the mutual influence of Adam Smith — , Denis Diderot — , Johann Gottfried Herder — [ ] and their contemporaries. Though slavery and cosmopolitanism could theoretically not be brought to a common denominator, in practice the conquest explained its legitimacy since the 16th century with its own success. The Dutch, English, Portuguese, Spanish, French and Russian colonial enterprises, which each surveyed the world in its own manner with soldiers, scientists, merchants and missionaries, shared the common perception of the "Other" on the basis of the presumed cultural superiority of the "Self".

As different as the spread of Christianity proceeded with the nonconformist, dissenting elements of Protestantism in North America and the Catholic forces in South America so, too, was the result different in the end. Spain, for example, was not able to use Latin America for a profitable export economy, but by contrast the British succeeded in monopolising the slave trade as a most lucrative long-distance business. When, during the course of the 19th century, the Italians, Belgians and Germans raised a claim to their share of the world in addition to the old colonial powers, the term "Imperialism" became an ideologically loaded and overall imprecise, but probably irreplaceable historiographical concept.

That is what makes this period so unique in European history, though measured against other criteria, such as time and space, it was not more spectacular than previous ones. Thus, the European conquest of North and South America in the 16th and 17th centuries or of India in the 18th and early 19th centuries was no less incisive in its spatial dimension or the number of people brought under European rule as was the "Scramble for Africa" that became synonymous with the unsystematic and overly hasty intervention of Europeans in the entire African continent. But unlike in earlier periods, a broad European public for the first time participated politically, economically and culturally directly in the process of that expansion. It had deep-reaching effects on the historical development of the European societies themselves, which is reflected, for example, in the professional careers of politicians, diplomats and high-ranking military men.

After all, it was caused by massive economic and diplomatic rivalries between the European colonial powers and a widespread chauvinism. Likewise, this process was to a significant extent triggered by internal crises in Africa itself. As in the 16th century, the rivalry between Christian and Islamic missions again erupted in the North of Africa. In a classic of the historiography of imperialism, Ronald Robinson and John Gallagher explain that Europe is not the only place for understanding the motives of European expansion. According to Robinson and Gallagher, this motivation was primarily founded in Africa, at least, as far as late Victorian society was concerned.

Their lobbying influence on the expansion of the colonial empires was no less than that of political and economic interest groups in the metropole, even though their motivations depended more situationally on the events in the colonies than could be or would be the case in the European centres of power. This can be shown equally for the Asian, the African and the Pacific regions. Colonial sites of remembrance and their culture of monuments recall to this day conflicts and ambivalences of European colonial rule in public memory. This circumstance made High Imperialism a European and global project at both the centre and the periphery.

Furthermore, it illustrates the critical significance of political and military force in the imperial process. Informal imperialism, often equated with the dominance of free trade over other methods of colonial influence, lost ground to the extent that coercion could only be exercised by violence. This is well illustrated by the war with China over the opium trade — The protection of national economic interests or the defence of prestige later led several German observers to the conclusion that the English were conducting a commercial imperialism, whereas the French wanted to enhance the respect for their nation in the world. Nevertheless, the "informal empire" was the prevailing model. In the British context, this led to the exaggerated thesis that the nation was not interested in expansion and that in this regard it was characterized by "absentmindedness".

Until the recent past, this thesis could be countered by noting that it not only underestimates the scale of the creation of global empires but also their dissolution. In this respect, colonisation and decolonisation were two historical processes referring to each other, comparable to the systole and diastole of the metropolitan heart beat. Only the interaction of these two as well as numerous other factors resulted in the world historical consequences of European expansion. Colonial regions and their limits as well as periods and their caesuras offer two possibilities of approaching European colonialism. For example, the independence of the North American colonies in [ ] marks one of the most important turning points — from the Atlantic to the Asian aspect of the British empire — and, also, the first experience of decolonization of global significance in the history of European imperialism.

The second only began in the s, here especially on the African continent and, offset in time from the freedom movements of Central and South America as well as Asia. In the 18th century, the foremost European colonial powers, led by England , solidified their global hegemonic position. If they did not create overseas empires, they conquered territories in the form of a continental colonialism as the Russian monarchy did in Siberia and the Habsburgs in South-eastern Europe. This continental variant was equivalent in nature to the later westward shift of the American Frontier and the north migration of the South African boundary as well as the subimperialism, e.

While the direct penetration of North and South America was almost entirely completed, that of the Asian and African sphere only began on a larger scale after — in Africa, for example, after with the French conquest of Algeria, from which Morocco and Tunis were also to be brought under French influence. The Russian conquest of Siberia, which followed the course of the rivers similar to the American expansion, aimed to acquire the lucrative fur trade. Concurrent with the mining of gold and precious stones in Brazil, silver mines were also found in the Siberian highland and the financial as well as the informational value of a caravan route between Russia and China was recognized.

The coastal fort colonies that the Dutch operated in Indonesia and the English on the coasts of India initially were reserved for commercial interests in spices, tea, coffee and cotton. As long as they did not expand inland and develop larger areas, they lacked military value. In , when governor Warren Hastings — [ ] strove not only for economic but also for the political and administrative development of the hinterland in Bengal and his administration was overshadowed by numerous scandals, his famous critic Edmund Burke — vented his anger on the methods of colonial rule.

In this way, he also directed attention to the newly formed field of tension of the competing powers of the administrative centre in London and the "men on the spot", those increasingly more powerful servants of European colonialism who at the same time also pursued their own interests in the periphery. In the 19th century, this would become a fixed topos of mutual accusations when businesses based on shares and founded on the model of the East India Company chartered in , monopoly to , and comparable to the Dutch Vereenigden Oost-Indischen Compagnie — , were raised by Sweden , Denmark , Scotland , Austria , Brandenburg-Prussia and Poland and were partly equipped with sovereign rights. Financially, they were based on the exchanges, which were becoming ever more central to European economic life, and a modern banking system that coordinated the international trade in luxury goods, such as silk, with that in foods novel to Europe, such as potatoes, maize and rice.

Only the English company flourished in the long run. Within limits, the Dutch company, which focused on the spice trade and participated in expanding the colonial empire in Southeast Asia, also succeeded. The British created a cotton monopoly. With the trade in goods, for example, coffee from Java and tea from China, Europeans continuously developed new areas, especially Asia, that could be "opened" almost without violence China since The formal use of colonial violence was symbolized in its most illustrative form in the slave trade with the establishment of slave ports on the coasts of West and East Africa as the starting points of slave shipments to the plantations of Middle and South America.

South Africa, since the 17th century developed by the Dutch as a settlement colony and since of importance to the British because of its gold and diamond mines, is exempted from this. Similar to Egypt, it played a special role, including with regard to its perception by Europeans. The shipping routes around the Cape and through the Suez Canal were of elementary significance from the perspective of military and commercial politics.

Furthermore, a presence in Egypt held great symbolic significance, as manifested in attempts at its conquest from Napoleon Bonaparte — to Adolf Hitler — Remarkable in this parallel is the belief that focussed power in Europe and on the Nile — as the access to Asia — was a condition of concentrated power in the world. A British colonial administrator such as Evelyn Baring, Lord Cromer — , who was stationed in Calcutta and Cairo , knew like none other that the survival of the empire depended as much on India, the Jewel in the Crown, as on the Suez Canal. His book Ancient and Modern Imperialism is a testimonial of intimate knowledge of the manner in which colonial rule functioned, as they were handed down at various administrative posts.

What the British were willing to spend on the defence of their interests some 6, miles from London is evident from the, on the whole devastating, South African War also Second Boer War, — Volunteers from numerous European countries fought on the side of the Boers against the British, who in turn recruited large military contingents in Australia and Canada. The legend of imperial rule irretrievably lost its legitimacy when in the British and the French armies had to leave the Suez Canal Zone under pressure from the USA and the Soviet Union.

Another near-fatality during the event was William Garcia of the United States. He was found lying in the road along the marathon course with severe internal injuries caused by breathing the clouds of dust kicked up by the race officials' cars. After losing all of his money in New Orleans, Louisiana, he hitchhiked to St. Louis and had to run the event in street clothes that he cut around the legs to make them look like shorts. Not having eaten in 40 hours, he stopped off in an orchard en route to have a snack on some apples, which turned out to be rotten. The rotten apples caused him to have strong stomach cramps and to have to lie down and take a nap.

Despite falling ill from the apples and taking a nap, he finished in fourth place. Len Tau finished ninth and Mashiani came in twelfth. This was a disappointment, as many observers were sure Len Tau could have done better if he had not been chased nearly a mile off course by aggressive dogs. In , the readers of The Courant, a paper published in Boston, were captivated by letters sent in by a widow with a keen wit and a gift for satire, Mrs.

Silence Dogood. In her letters, Mrs. Dogood poked fun at such illustrious institutions such as Harvard, therefore winning the hearts of many. For months no one knew the identity of Mrs. Turns out, Silence Dogood was actually year-old Benjamin Franklin, who worked as an apprentice in his brother's print shop. Potatoes weren't very popular in France at first. This changed when Antoine-Augustin Parmentier took matters into his own hands to promote the potato as a food source for humans in France.

He'd surround his potato patch with guards during the day, to suggest valuable goods were growing there, and then remove the guards at night so people would come and steal the potatoes. Same legend in Germany, but here it was Frederic the Great People still lay potatoes on his grave In , there was a car race around the world that started in NYC. Cars were relatively new, road infrastructure was limited to only metropolitan areas, and even then, a lot of it was cobbled stone. But what you might have thought is, how in the world can a car get across the Pacific? Duh, they would drive across the Bering Strait during the winter when it froze into an ice bridge, silly!

The race began in February of and immediately ran into challenges. To list a few; cars breaking down multiple times, lack of usable roads, car-hating people giving wrong directions, and, oh yeah, SNOW. The first team reached San Francisco in 41 days, but quickly realized that the proposed route from San Francisco to Alaska did not exist. So the organizers allowed teams to ship their cars to Valdez, Alaska, then continue on the Ice Bridge. Small oversight. Organizers then allowed teams to ship their cars across the Pacific to Japan, then Russia, to carry on. Despite all unpredictable and hilariously predictable odds, the winning team arrived in Paris days later. Ronald Reagan's first job was a lifeguard. Over those six years, he saved 77 people from drowning.

Allegedly, Egyptian Pharaoh Pepi II despised flies so much, he'd keep naked slaves smeared with honey near him in order to keep the flies away from him. In , the Canadian government temporarily declared a maternity ward of Ottawa Civic Hospital to be extraterritorial. This was done because Dutch princess Margriet was born there after her parents fled the country during the occupation of the Netherlands by Nazi Germany. Making the maternity ward outside of the Canadian domain caused it to be unaffiliated with any jurisdiction and technically international territory. This was done to ensure that the newborn would derive her citizenship from her mother only, thus making her solely Dutch, which could have been very important if the child had been male, and as such, the heir of Princess Juliana.

The Dutch government still sends Ottawa , tulip bulbs every year in thanks for sheltering Juliana and her daughters during the war. They asked the US for shelter but were refused because too many American politicians favoured the Nazis and thought they were "doing the right thing. Before being elected as president of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky became the star of the popular television series Servant of the People, where he played the role of the President of Ukraine. In the show, Zelensky's character is a thirty-something high-school history teacher who wins the presidential election after a viral video shows him ranting against government corruption in Ukraine.

Starting 31 December , Zelensky led a successful, almost entirely virtual, presidential campaign to unseat the incumbent President of Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko, in just three to four months. One of my instructors in grad school was a retired ambassador, and was part of an international team of outside observers for this very election. He spent an entire class telling us all about it, and it was fascinating. To overcome the walls of the fortress, the Romans decided to dig tunnels beneath the city. Defenders, seeing how successively the Romans were moving forward with the digging, decided to make their own trenches, where they allowed wild animals to enter the tunnels, including bears and bees, to attack the intruders. Pope Stephen VI had his penultimate predecessor Pope Formosus' remains dug up and put the corpse on trial.

With the corpse propped up on a throne, a deacon was appointed to answer for the deceased pontiff. The corpse was found guilty, stripped of its sacred vestments, deprived of three fingers of its right hand the blessing fingers , clad in the garb of a layman, and quickly buried; it was then re-exhumed and thrown in the Tiber. The scandal ended in Stephen's imprisonment and his death by strangling that summer. As St. Lawrence was roasted on a gridiron by the prefect of Rome, the legend says, he cheerfully declared: "I'm well done on this side. Turn me over! Lawrence derives his patronage of cooks, chefs, and comedians. Blasius got strangled to death and is thus the martyr you invoke to help with throat aches. The Capture of the Dutch fleet at Den Helder on the night of January 23, presents a rare occurrence of a "naval" battle between warships and cavalry, in which a French Revolutionary Hussar regiment captured a Dutch Republican fleet frozen at anchor between the 3 kilometres 1.

After a charge across the frozen Zuiderzee, the French cavalry captured 14 Dutch ships and guns. A capture of ships by horsemen is an extremely rare feat in military history. Very odd indeed. How did the horses make it into the ships? Those on the ship we're surly above the horse and could fire downward. I would love to know more about this. Montenegro and Japan were, technically, in a war for years. During the Russo-Japanese war that took place in , volunteers from Montenegro were encouraged to fight in the Russian Army in Manchuria. However, Montenegro was not mentioned in the peace treaty and a technical state of war was presumed to exist between the two countries.

In , Japan made the gesture of recognizing Montenegrin independence following its secession from Serbia and declared then that hostilities were over. Abraham Lincoln's son Robert Todd Lincoln was coincidentally either present or nearby when three presidential assassinations occurred. Lincoln was not present at his father's assassination. He was at the White House, and rushed to be with his parents. The president was moved to the Petersen House after the shooting, where Robert attended his father's deathbed. At President James A. Guiteau on July 2, , and was an eyewitness to the event. Lincoln was serving as Garfield's Secretary of War at the time. At President William McKinley's invitation, Lincoln was at the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, New York, where the president was shot by Leon Czolgosz on September 6, , though he was not an eyewitness to the event; he was just outside the building where the shooting occurred.

Lincoln himself recognized these coincidences. He is said to have refused a later presidential invitation with the comment, "No, I'm not going, and they'd better not ask me, because there is a certain fatality about presidential functions when I am present. Abraham Lincoln was a skilled wrestler and was honored with an award from the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in Ancient Greek philosopher Plato was a skilled wrestler as well. In fact, the name "Plato" meaning "the broad one" might have been his wrestling stage name. The first one on the night of August 26, by the Royal Air Force was a military disaster. Six of their fifty bombers crashed, a woodshed in a Berlin suburb was destroyed, only two Germans were slightly injured, and the only real casualty was an elephant in the Berlin Zoo.

Ancient cultures often used bread stamps, partly because of human pride, but mostly to combat "bread fraud. Kristy Mucci Report. Sometimes unscrupulous bakers would cut costs by adding sawdust and other fillers. Ancient Greek and Roman statues were, in fact, painted in various colors. A lot of the paint faded away over time or was removed by people. And Boy was there one huge stampede when the Confederates quickly decided the outcome.

The shortest war occurred between the United Kingdom and the Zanzibar Sultanate on 27 August , lasting between 38 and 45 minutes. The eldest son of the future Roman Emperor Claudius, Tiberius Claudius Drusus, died of asphyxiation when he tossed a pear high in the air and caught it with his mouth, but he choked on it. At the time, it was suspected that he had been murdered by Sejanus, the father of his betrothed, but Suetonius, a Roman historian, did not believe that.

Around the 17th century, New England states outlawed Christmas because celebrations were rowdy public displays of excessive eating and drinking, the mockery of established authority, aggressive begging often combined with the threat of doing harm , and even the boisterous invasion of wealthy homes. Herostratus burned down the Temple of Artemis. He did it for the sole purpose of becoming famous.

His acts prompted the creation of a damnatio memoriae law forbidding anyone to mention his name, whether orally or in writing. The law was ultimately ineffective, as evidenced by mentions of his existence in modern works and parlance. Thus, Herostratus has become a metonym for someone who commits a criminal act in order to become famous. One big one is in the White House.

Thomas Jefferson and John Adams died on the same day, July 4, , which was also the 50th anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence. Adams' last words included an acknowledgement of his longtime friend and rival: "Thomas Jefferson survives. Adams: my personal favorite Founding Father btw might have been predicting that Jefferson would be more famous than himself, which is true. More people know about Jefferson than Adams—-too bad, because Adams was one hell of a maverick, and loved the concept of a fair trial for EVERYONE, regardless of public acceptance, so much he accepted the offer to defend the British soldiers involved in the Boston Massacre.

Was some colonist in the crowd—-and not one of the British—-trying to artificially incite violence, possibly to expedite the war? The question helped cast enough doubt to acquit the soldiers. It is the only known time during the war in which Americans and Germans fought side-by-side.

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