Legacy of Colonialism on Developing Countries

brad465

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These people are in the country of France, a country that had aims of Liberty, Equality and Fraternity in its revolution at the end of the 18th century. Do these now no longer apply? Do I understand your view that having reached France, asylum seekers are not safe there?
There is no obligation for someone to claim asylum in the first 'safe' country that they pass through. If, for example, someone has family in the UK then it is right and proper for them to make their asylum claim to the UK. Which is a hell of a lot easier to do if they're already here.
As well as what @najaB said, I imagine English being a prominent language plays a large part. French of course is prominent in North African countries and I wouldn't be surprised if many refugees from there decide to stop at France. But this is what happens when countries like Britain and France go round the world pillaging and colonising large areas, which on gaining independence are left in a poor state that creates the conditions for instability to drive refugee crises, while also having the language of their former coloniser (talk about reaping the whirlwind).
 
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Xenophon PCDGS

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As well as what @najaB said, I imagine English being a prominent language plays a large part. French of course is prominent in North African countries and I wouldn't be surprised if many refugees from there decide to stop at France. But this is what happens when countries like Britain and France go round the world pillaging and colonising large areas, which on gaining independence are left in a poor state that creates the conditions for instability to drive refugee crises, while also having the language of their former coloniser (talk about reaping the whirlwind).
Not just England and France. Recently, I have been reading of how much of East Africa was conquered by the Middle East Arab states eons ago and where Islam is still the officially recognised religion.
 

najaB

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Not just England and France. Recently, I have been reading of how much of East Africa was conquered by the Middle East Arab states eons ago and where Islam is still the officially recognised religion.
However, Arabic is a common language in very few (if any) of those countries.
 

DynamicSpirit

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But this is what happens when countries like Britain and France go round the world pillaging and colonising large areas, which on gaining independence are left in a poor state that creates the conditions for instability to drive refugee crises, while also having the language of their former coloniser (talk about reaping the whirlwind).

Most of the countries that we and France colonised gained independence in the couple of decades after WWII, with almost everywhere having become independent over 50 years ago. The refugee crisis is largely a product of the last 10 years. It seems to be a bit tenuous to claim that one directly caused the other when there's a 40+ year gap between them. That's a bit like trying to blame - say - the current Cost of Living Crisis on Harold Macmillan! Do the Governments of those countries not bear most responsibility for what they did during those intervening 40+ years?
 

Xenophon PCDGS

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Most of the countries that we and France colonised gained independence in the couple of decades after WWII, with almost everywhere having become independent over 50 years ago. The refugee crisis is largely a product of the last 10 years. It seems to be a bit tenuous to claim that one directly caused the other when there's a 40+ year gap between them. That's a bit like trying to blame - say - the current Cost of Living Crisis on Harold Macmillan! Do the Governments of those countries not bear most responsibility for what they did during those intervening 40+ years?
Zimbabwe under Mugabe being a prime example of what is said above.
 

ainsworth74

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This surely one of those things where it's a little of column a and a little of column b?

Is the history of Western imperialism solely the cause of the current refugee crisis? No, of course not. As pointed out most countries have been independent for decades and able, more or less, to set their own course. Did it play a role? In my view yes, and I'm not sure it's sustainable to argue otherwise. Many of these countries were, to a greater or lesser extent, set up to fail once they gained independence due to conditions that pertained during the period of their colonisation.

Though of course there is also the somewhat murky Cold War period to consider as well. The US CIA agitating for coups against regimes which were just a little to left-wing for their tastes (Chile in the 70s for instance) didn't exactly help to promote stability (though Chile does seem to now be a relative stable country!), the Soviet Union helping to fuel the Angolan Civil War and the dubious business practices of some multinational companies extracting vast mineral wealth from these countries often with significant ecological damage but bringing none of the economic benefits to the local people. Hardly the thing of which stability and the ability to build successful nations is made!

But broadly I think it would be silly to suggest on the one hand that Western imperialism is the sole cause of the present crisis but equally that it has no part to play in it either.
 

Typhoon

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This surely one of those things where it's a little of column a and a little of column b?

Is the history of Western imperialism solely the cause of the current refugee crisis? No, of course not. As pointed out most countries have been independent for decades and able, more or less, to set their own course. Did it play a role? In my view yes, and I'm not sure it's sustainable to argue otherwise. Many of these countries were, to a greater or lesser extent, set up to fail once they gained independence due to conditions that pertained during the period of their colonisation.

Though of course there is also the somewhat murky Cold War period to consider as well. The US CIA agitating for coups against regimes which were just a little to left-wing for their tastes (Chile in the 70s for instance) didn't exactly help to promote stability (though Chile does seem to now be a relative stable country!), the Soviet Union helping to fuel the Angolan Civil War and the dubious business practices of some multinational companies extracting vast mineral wealth from these countries often with significant ecological damage but bringing none of the economic benefits to the local people. Hardly the thing of which stability and the ability to build successful nations is made!

But broadly I think it would be silly to suggest on the one hand that Western imperialism is the sole cause of the present crisis but equally that it has no part to play in it either.
I'm a bit reluctant to reply having read #3328 but doesn't much of this go down to when Africa. the Middle East, parts of Asia were carved up with little attention paid to ethnic divisions so when they gained independence, some countries had significant ethnic minorities (and in a few cases majorities) who were the traditional enemies of the controlling faction and were subsequently persecuted? So, maybe, the answer to where it went wrong for the Tories was when they (and the Whigs/ Liberals) drew lines across maps ignoring the local population not thinking what might happen a few hundred years later?
 
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brad465

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Most of the countries that we and France colonised gained independence in the couple of decades after WWII, with almost everywhere having become independent over 50 years ago. The refugee crisis is largely a product of the last 10 years. It seems to be a bit tenuous to claim that one directly caused the other when there's a 40+ year gap between them. That's a bit like trying to blame - say - the current Cost of Living Crisis on Harold Macmillan! Do the Governments of those countries not bear most responsibility for what they did during those intervening 40+ years?
To an extent what you say is true, but some events in history can have long legacies; even the French revolution is still relevant in France, with certain laws currently in force linked to it.

In the case of Mugabe as also mentioned above, he was the first leader of an independent Zimbabwe, but he only started doing his worst after 2+ decades in power. What we needed to do was have a plan for helping newly independent countries on their way, something we did do for Hong Kong, even though the CCP are now trying to usurp those arrangements.

In Arab countries where the Arab Spring took off in 2010-11, certain leaders/dynasties had been in place for a few decades at least before their population rebelled and civil wars started (Gaddafi had been in power for 40 years in Libya). We of course made things worse by getting involved without an exit plan here as well; for all the rightful blame on Blair and Bush messing up Iraq, Cameron (and Obama) have a lot to answer for with regards to Libya.
 

dgl

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To an extent what you say is true, but some events in history can have long legacies; even the French revolution is still relevant in France, with certain laws currently in force linked to it.

In the case of Mugabe as also mentioned above, he was the first leader of an independent Zimbabwe, but he only started doing his worst after 2+ decades in power. What we needed to do was have a plan for helping newly independent countries on their way, something we did do for Hong Kong, even though the CCP are now trying to usurp those arrangements.

In Arab countries where the Arab Spring took off in 2010-11, certain leaders/dynasties had been in place for a few decades at least before their population rebelled and civil wars started (Gaddafi had been in power for 40 years in Libya). We of course made things worse by getting involved without an exit plan here as well; for all the rightful blame on Blair and Bush messing up Iraq, Cameron (and Obama) have a lot to answer for with regards to Libya.
I know in Botswana they didn't get rid of the British until they had sufficiently trained locals to do the government jobs, this seemed to have helped the avoid some of the pitfalls other African nations had when they gained independence.
Noting that my Grans older brother was Attorney general for the first independent government for a while.
 

matacaster

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I know in Botswana they didn't get rid of the British until they had sufficiently trained locals to do the government jobs, this seemed to have helped the avoid some of the pitfalls other African nations had when they gained independence.
Noting that my Grans older brother was Attorney general for the first independent government for a while.
Out of control population growth in many poor countries plus well-meaning western idiotic famine relief schemes which just fuel emigration from such countries. Eg just check exponential growth in Ethiopian population.

Population control is NECESSARY to save the planet, but everyone ignores it as it might offend some nationality or other. If that doesn't work, nuclear war, famine, water shortages pandemics etc will occur.
 

Giugiaro

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Population control is NECESSARY to save the planet, but everyone ignores it as it might offend some nationality or other. If that doesn't work, nuclear war, famine, water shortages pandemics etc will occur.

Or just have people not want to have babies at all.

Better: not pursuing relationships! Now that's a kicker!!!
 

Shrop

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Out of control population growth in many poor countries plus well-meaning western idiotic famine relief schemes which just fuel emigration from such countries. Eg just check exponential growth in Ethiopian population.

Population control is NECESSARY to save the planet, but everyone ignores it as it might offend some nationality or other. If that doesn't work, nuclear war, famine, water shortages pandemics etc will occur.
Completely agree. People rarely talk about population control, but it's actually more pressing than addressing climate change.
In practice the population will actually be controlled naturally by climate change, once it changes enough, the problem is that it will happen in a much more cruel way than not having a population explosion in the first place.
 

Giugiaro

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China addressed this particular issue with the one child per family decree, but I understand that may have been changed in recent time.

But that's prohibiting people from having children, or more than one per pair.

I'm talking about people simply losing interest in conceiving children, or even starting a serious relationship with someone.

As things stand I'll be checking both marks, as I'm single without commitment and far from getting to the point of wanting to have children.
Give it some time and I may as well carry on being single. I won't be the first, nor the last.
 

brad465

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Out of control population growth in many poor countries plus well-meaning western idiotic famine relief schemes which just fuel emigration from such countries. Eg just check exponential growth in Ethiopian population.

Population control is NECESSARY to save the planet, but everyone ignores it as it might offend some nationality or other. If that doesn't work, nuclear war, famine, water shortages pandemics etc will occur.
In the developed world fertility rates are below the replacement threshold of 2.1. If you want to control population then more needs doing to tackle poverty, education and human rights' issues in the developing world. Pity the Government is cutting foreign aid rather than directing it into this sort of cause, which if they put it like that would make foreign aid spending more attractive.
 

nw1

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Or just have people not want to have babies at all.
With the caveat that I am childless and likely to remain that way now (and hence somewhat atypical), I agree that the birth rate coming down is probably the most effective way to slow down the growth in the world's population.
 

RT4038

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Most of the countries that we and France colonised gained independence in the couple of decades after WWII, with almost everywhere having become independent over 50 years ago. The refugee crisis is largely a product of the last 10 years. It seems to be a bit tenuous to claim that one directly caused the other when there's a 40+ year gap between them. That's a bit like trying to blame - say - the current Cost of Living Crisis on Harold Macmillan! Do the Governments of those countries not bear most responsibility for what they did during those intervening 40+ years?
If the colonial countries hadn't used the colonies resources to become rich, there would probably not be such a great difference between the wealth of the (former)colonists and the wealth of those colonised, such that the immigrants would not be attracted to come to share in this wealth. However, this lack of colonisation may not have made them any richer, the resources having been wasted (or still dormant).

It therefore seems apparent that if the wealthier countries gave away their wealth to the poorer ('levelling up' I think is the phrase in vogue) then they would not be so attractive for immigrants. I suspect that the wealthier countries would rather swallow the immigration pill rather than do that.

When the (former) colonial wealthier countries are so dominant, it is difficult for the former colonies to build their economies (our own [former] membership of a wealthier countries club shutting out former colonies imports being an example).
 

The Ham

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In the developed world fertility rates are below the replacement threshold of 2.1. If you want to control population then more needs doing to tackle poverty, education and human rights' issues in the developing world. Pity the Government is cutting foreign aid rather than directing it into this sort of cause, which if they put it like that would make foreign aid spending more attractive.

Indeed, it wasn't that long ago that families in this country fairly often had 8+ children born, just because so many died before they reached adulthood.

Even between the 1970's and 2010's child survival rates improved noticeably in this country.
 

birchesgreen

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Indeed, it wasn't that long ago that families in this country fairly often had 8+ children born, just because so many died before they reached adulthood.

Case in point, my Nan in Liverpool born in the early 1900s was one of 15, though i think over half died in childhood.
 

dgl

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Yes, anyone in Britain that claims to be a "true brit" unlike those nasty foreigners would probably get a big shock if ther're history was delved into.
 

DynamicSpirit

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In terms of reasons why ex-colonial countries are often poorer, there are lots of things likely to have contributed. Off the top of my head:

1. Climate - particularly in Africa/equatorial countries. Much less hospitable for growing food, with land covered either by desert or by jungle. Endemic tropical diseases, etc. All other things being equal, that just by itself was always going to make it harder for countries to thrive.
2. In the immediate aftermath of independence, quite a few of the new leaders - particularly in Africa - were ideologically socialist and believed they could model their societies on state controlled socialist principles rather than by growing market economies and supporting free enterprise. In most cases that proved economically disastrous (as it always does).
3. Lack of education, and populations who are not accustomed to the culture and norms of an industrialised society: Compare how European countries that had been completely ravaged by Nazi Germany, as well as (West) Germany itself, bounced back from near-complete desolation after 1945. Yes, they had help from the US, but that wasn't the only factor.
4. Racial tensions/hatred - obviously in many cases exacerbated by the way countries were ruled and borders drawn in colonial times, but those tensions already existed even in the absence of colonial rule.
5. And of course, the direct effects of colonial rule itself - the mismanagement, and the exploitations of populations to support the colonial powers.

Certainly, colonial exploitation has played a role (and in many cases was horrific), but I would say it's simplistic to the point of being false to make out (as some people do) that it's the main/only cause of many countries' current problems. Especially now, so many decades after those countries gained independence.
 

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Certainly, colonial exploitation has played a role (and in many cases was horrific), but I would say it's simplistic to the point of being false to make out (as some people do) that it's the main/only cause of many countries' current problems. Especially now, so many decades after those countries gained independence.
To a large extent, these former colonial countries are still under the control of large Western corporations and capital, until recent years began to be challenged by investment from emerging powers (Russia, China). The West has never contributed to poverty reduction in Africa, nor has it used loans to develop business, they have not even regarded Africa as a business market at all and what they do is extract resources. Western countries are used to giving orders to African countries, and if an African country's government refuses them, they will be punished from the West, such as sanctions or stop lending.
 

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How do the indigenous peoples in the South America region feel as a result of the Spanish incursion into their lands some hundreds of years ago? Africa is not the only continent to have been colonised.
Very interesting question, before Spanish–American War in 1898, most Latin American countries hate Spain the former sovereign, elites influenced by liberalism generally despise Spain and Portugal as indolent and backward countries that have left Latin America with a great deal of dark heritage. Spanish–American War changed everything like an earthquake swept Latin America. After Spain's defeat in the war, faced with the invasion of the United States, Latin American countries were shocked that they belonged to the defeated old world, not the new world represented by the Americans.
1898 was a year of reflection for Spanish thought and a turning point for Latin American thought. The core of Latin American nationalism in the 20th century was anti-Americanism. One of the anti-American arguments was to emphasize its own European traditions and cultural heritage, which meant that sympathy and admiration for Spain and Portugal overcame contempt and hatred.
 

brad465

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How do the indigenous peoples in the South America region feel as a result of the Spanish incursion into their lands some hundreds of years ago? Africa is not the only continent to have been colonised.
Most of them died from Smallpox when it was brought over and the indigenous had no immunity, so the fatality rate was even higher.
 

matacaster

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To a large extent, these former colonial countries are still under the control of large Western corporations and capital, until recent years began to be challenged by investment from emerging powers (Russia, China). The West has never contributed to poverty reduction in Africa, nor has it used loans to develop business, they have not even regarded Africa as a business market at all and what they do is extract resources. Western countries are used to giving orders to African countries, and if an African country's government refuses them, they will be punished from the West, such as sanctions or stop lending.
There are, I suspect, since time immemorial few if any examples of conquerors expending lots of money and effort in enhancing the lot of countries they have invaded or enslaved. That was hardly the reason to invade. Despite Mr putin's protestations, I feel sure his real intention is to grab more resources, land and strategic advantage.
The Jews suffered most from the holocaust, but still managed to build a new nation and army in what was a foreign land to most. However, the achievements of countries in Africa do not in general appear to to have been of the best.
 

DynamicSpirit

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To a large extent, these former colonial countries are still under the control of large Western corporations and capital, until recent years began to be challenged by investment from emerging powers (Russia, China). The West has never contributed to poverty reduction in Africa, nor has it used loans to develop business, they have not even regarded Africa as a business market at all and what they do is extract resources. Western countries are used to giving orders to African countries, and if an African country's government refuses them, they will be punished from the West, such as sanctions or stop lending.

Really? Could you give a few recent examples of the West punishing an African country for disobeying Western orders?
 

Gostav

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Really? Could you give a few recent examples of the West punishing an African country for disobeying Western orders?
Patrice Lumumba, Thomas Sankara, and recent examples are French military operations in Mali and Burkina Faso.
French diplomatie Jean-Yves Le Drian publicly stated that the transitional government of Mali is illegal, and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has directly decided to impose the most severe sanctions on Mali and cut off the trade and financial links between Mali and West African. The military government of Mali said that the reason was instigated by France.
 

DynamicSpirit

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Patrice Lumumba, Thomas Sankara, and recent examples are French military operations in Mali and Burkina Faso.
French diplomatie Jean-Yves Le Drian publicly stated that the transitional government of Mali is illegal, and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has directly decided to impose the most severe sanctions on Mali and cut off the trade and financial links between Mali and West African. The military government of Mali said that the reason was instigated by France.

Patrice Lumumba - brutally killed in 1961, apparently by Katangan secessionists (albeit with support from Belgium). How is that recent? And in mentioning his name in your apparent eagerness to blame 'the West', you've possibly missed that the killing was part of a coup apparently instigated by his own countrymen.
Thomas Sankara. Lead a coup d'etat in Burkina Faso in 1983. Subsequently killed 4 years later when he was himself deposed in a coup organised by his rivals in Burkina Faso. Again that's hardly 'recent' and you seem to have missed the largely African origins of his assassination.

Jean-Yves Le Drian publicly stated that the transitional government of Mali is illegal. Well, yes, Jean-Yves Le Drian expressed an opinion. Expressing an opinion is not remotely the same as giving an order. ECOWAS is the West African community of states (notice the clue in the name: It's African, not European, so if it decides to impose sanctions, that's African countries imposing sanctions.

The military government of Mali said that the reason was instigated by France. So you believe the words of an authoritarian military Government that came to power in a coup, when it says something that's in its interest to say but without any evidence?

Are you sure you're not gratuitously going out of your way to try to blame Europe for stuff that was done by Africans? Because it certainly looks to me like you are.
 

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