determination and freedom from British oppression.The old IRA was nothing like the one today, they were unified by the cause to Ireland a nation. It was only after the treaty they became a terrorist organisation.
As an Englishman of Scottish and Irish descent, I say Ireland and the other former colonies earned their independence.
Thats a good one mate. Ireland was pretty much equal to Scotland and Wales in the UK at this time. Some terrorists just got butthurt during WW1 and decided to break away. They were terrorists the whole time. Killing anyone that disagreed. The other colonies should have stayed with the UK. Why you may ask? Lets take a quick look at nations that were formed by Britain. The United States and India. These broke away by the process of plenty of blood being spilled for a "democratic" idea. The nations that broke away violently from the UK usually end up becoming shit sometime in the future. The US is falling of the world scale. We incarcerate,spy and suck dry our populace. Our economy is in shambles and its ok to say the sun is setting on the American Empire. Lets not get started on India and how bad that is. People are living below the poverty level and their sacred river gives so many people aids and cancerous diseases. Hospitals,Churches and institutions built by the British are in disarray and they cannot do anything for themselves. The same goes for African nations. This may sound racist but bear with me. People in Africa cannot rule for themselves. They are the richest continent on the fucking planet with resources and opportunities and it is all wasted. During the colonial era these resources were used well. The Colonists built hospitals,parks,churches and universities and our textbooks portray imperialism as this evil disgusting foe? Give me a break. The British Empire was the greatest thing to happen to the world since the roman empire. Admit it. You know well sir.
The empire was a mistake and should never have occurred. When Ireland was forced into the union, the British government made several attempts to wipe out the local language and identity. In 1845, a disease spread through the country and killed off a lot of potatoes, which was a staple food source at the time. Hundreds of thousands died of starvation and many more were driven from the land, and do you know what the British did about it? Next to nothing. During the war for independence, the British sent in the Black and Tans to combat the IRA (the Irish Brotherhood at the time) and safeguard the citizens of Ireland. Instead they became notorious for harassing the population, my grandmother told me how they used to arrest anyone who even looked slightly suspicious, fire through the windows and under the doorstep, burn down homes and murder suspects in public. In 1920, after Michael Collins and his colleagues assassinated the Cairo Gang, the British Army shot dead 14 fourteen people while watching a football game in Croke Park. The event became known as Bloody Sunday and sparked outrage across Ireland and even in England, from that moment on, the Irish people never trusted that British government to rule over them. Discrimination didn't stop there though, when my grandparents moved to England, they were met with signs posted on windows reading "No Dogs. No Catholics. No Irish. etc." and work was incredibly difficult to find because of their Hibernian heritage.
While it is true that India today isn't up to standards with other developing countries, I will always defend their right to self-determination and Gandhi's methods used to gain their independence. Gandhi himself didn't hate England or anyone else, he even served in the Medical Corps during the Boer War. He always said that as human being it is our utmost duty to oppose evil, in all shapes and forms. Despite all the hardships he faced such as being arrested by the Viceroy and threats made by the Raj, he managed to rally an entire nation (three if you count Pakistan and Bangladesh) and free it from brutality without firing a bullet. As for the atrocities in India, the British there committed the Jallianwala Bagh Massacre, possibly the bloodiest in British imperial history. It was an act so horrifying, even Churchill himself condemned it.
Many African states are poorly governed to this day, that is still no excuse to beat a nation into submission. Cecil Rhodes invaded South Africa without consent of the Queen and took land which had been claimed by the Boers, starting the Second Boer War. The British introduced the concentration camp by rounding up civilians of Boer and Dutch origin and forced them to live in squalid conditions, many died of disease and mistreatment.
As for America, your economy isn't the only one that's suffering right now, things aren't so good here either. The colonials were often badly governed by the British as well, introducing taxes and laws they didn't want such as the tea tax (I assume you know what that led to). The Continental Army was driven by the ambition for home rule in America and freedom to decide their own fate.
I strongly believe that the best people to rule a nation are the very people who live within them. While I still love my country, England and I am forever loyal to the crown, I cannot defend the horrors that our wretched empire brought upon the world and left many situations unresolved today. But I have seen the benefits the old colonies have reaped from ruling themselves, Ireland had the Celtic Tiger in the 90's and 00's and their economy gained huge profits, today they have even surpassed the UK in the HDI. India is slowly becoming a major power in South Asia and has even recently begun it's own space program. Australia has become one of the best places to live in the world, and New Zealand is a world exporter. Canada is one of the most equal nations in the world, and of the largest financial sectors today. The US speaks for itself, even though I don't agree with it's foreign policy, I do appreciate the fact that it has become what it its today through it's own will and strength.
Scotland has yet to regain control of it's destiny this year, and once you seize it, there is no knowing what can be achieved.
Millions suffered because of the empire, and now we are paying for the sins of our forefathers. The partition of Ireland, the Boer concentration camps, countless massacres, wars and invasions. Many of these acts were unnecessary and have left a bitter taste amongst the former colonies.
The concentration camps during the Boer War were temporary ground level structures that were devised by a local command structure just trying to cope with the realities of the conflict. To equate them to the concentration camps of Nazi Germany, camps designed for the specific purposes of enslaving and killing an entire race, is uninformed at best and intellectually dishonest at worst. Want to know the true colonial injustice of South Africa? The Boers themselves. The Dutch settlers and their descendents treated the native African populations poorly. The British, meanwhile, had a policy of racial equality throughout the Empire. It was Dutch, not British, colonists who oppressed the native African population in South Africa. It was the Boers, not the British, who instituted Apartheid. And it was a Boer-led South African government that chose to leave the British Commonwealth when the British made abolition of Apartheid a condition for their continued membership. So spare me "oh the Boer War was a case of the British being evil imperialists." A British dominated colony in southern Africa would have been more fair and more inclusive for the native African population then the Boer-dominated states were.
As for the partition of Ireland? You know why that was done, right? The Irish in the north were Protestant and wished to remain part of the UK. They had no desire to join the independent, Catholic dominated, Republic of Ireland. My family's descended from those people. To me the partition of Ireland meant my family could stay in Ireland without fear of Catholic reprisals.
The only massacres in India occurred AFTER the Indian rebellion that saw Indian rebels storm British strongholds and murder innocent women and children in addition to British soldiers.
The British Empire was NOT perfect. I won't ever say that. Yet if you were to look at it? The nations that evolved out of the Empire are among the most well off, advanced nations in the world (Canada, Australia, New Zealand). British colonialism brought infrastructure to parts of Africa and Asia that wouldn't have gotten it otherwise. And it spread the liberal philosophies of Britain (belief in Parliamentary democracy, freedom of faith, of speech) to all corners of the world. The British Empire stood for democracy in the face of the authoritarian Central powers in the Great War. The British Empire was, for a time, the last power in the world ready and willing to resist the march of genocidal fascism in World War II.
To say that the Empire was a negative force? You're ignoring a good deal of historical truth and inadvertently attacking my country, a product of Empire. You're implying that my family of Irish Protestants should have been left to the Catholics who would have butchered them. People who argue against the Empire because of some vague ideological opposition to the concept of empire need to reminded that there are people, families, entire nations, that owe their continued existence to the British Empire. I hope I've done that for you. The British Empire was not perfect, but the world, all in all, is better off because of it. God save our Queen
Ireland wasn't forced into the union first of all. England had held the county of Dublin for centuries. Lots of Irish Kingdoms (Ireland wasn't a country yet) decided it was best to join England. Even though the British government made all those attempts to destroy the language it still prevailed and existed. It shows Irish strength more than anything. And with the disease and famine what are you going to do? Wave the queens magic finger and make it all go away? No. Britain at the time was concerned about other things like Russian expansion into Alaska and the crisis in Crimea. (Crimean war 1855). With the harassment of Irish citizens it was to maintain the empire. Sure it was dictatorial but it is nothing like holocaust level of genocide. No one really died or anything during that time. Most of the death was in the Trenches in continental Europe or in Dublin for the Rebellion,besides Bloody Sunday. Irish people helped build the UK and the two countries have a very close history.
India was a mess. Gandhi may have been a nice guy but couldn't they have just tried for dominion status? All that bloodshed that was caused when the British left. Muslims VS Hindus. They wanted each other dead and there was so much bloodshed. Even today there are some small pockets of Hinduism in Pakistan and Pockets of Islam and India and these people are faced with extreme prejudice. At Least during WW1 and WW2 these people fought valiantly for crown and country. They contributed so much to Britain and Britain helped them build hospitals,charities,parks etc. I would rather have India united under the British Raj where these people won't kill each other rather than having India splintered into 3 states,4 if you count Sri Lanka (Ceylon).
The African states are even worse. You are telling me its much better for them to be independant and have all these problems when they could be under the crown and get assistance? The Boer wars may have been extremely bloody but after them South Africa saw an economic climb with British merchants and trade helping bring civility to the nation.
And the US. Did you know taxes are much higher now than they were under the crown? We fought away to END unfair taxation and now we are taxed for having some good health insurance? Its terrible really. Before you bring up free healthcare in the UK let me point out it wasn't always like that. Clement Attlee was the prime minister that nationalized so much shit and brought the country down. He single handedly killed off the empire. something that took centuries to build. Another thing I never got is how Churchill practically won WW2 in Europe and he is immediately voted out of office. Same in France with De Gaulle. FYI Washington fought in the British Army and showed the French who is boss. Benjamin Franklin didn't even LIKE our constitution and its rumoured that he may have wanted to return to the UK.
Again with your argument that the people inside the nation is the best choice for whom to rule the nation that is'nt always true. Look at Quebec. If they where to become their own Nation they would just fall apart economically. There would be Canadian-US citizens that would be walking around with three citizenships. Canada,US and Quebec. Quebec would either turn to the US or Canada for economic aid. Most likely Canada so why seperate if you are already ENJOYING benefits of the mother country? Scotlands a joke. no one wants independence.
In 1798, Ireland fought a rebellion against the British with some French assistance. Throughout the period, the British Army committed much more horrifying acts against the population of Ireland. Combatants were burned alive, suspects were lined up and shot and civilians were raped and pillaged by their "defenders". So you think it is much better to let the people who were promised protection die for the sake of keeping a brutal, bloodthirsty empire alive; Would be any different if it happened to England or anywhere else?. How anyone can defend these sickening crimes is beyond me. I'm glad the Irish rose against the British oppressors and sought for it's own voice in the world, and be rid of the chains that were wrapped around them. One more thing about Ireland, the War of Independence took place after WWI, not during.
No matter how hard you try, you can never fully get rid of violence and hatred. Pakistan was created as a state for muslims to resolve their dissatisfaction with the new Indian government. The only people who can resolve this turmoil is themselves through dialogue and understanding, not with the bludgeon of an empire that took their land by force, and slaughtered anyone who dared speak out against it. India isn't in a good state today, but they at least have the opportunity to mend their nation how they see fit, without the barrel of a gun at the back of their heads.
The same goes for Africa, only they can rebuild their countries the way they prefer. It is long and tedious, but I'm positive the African countries will eventually become stable and prosperous without foreign interference.
DO you think the US would even be half the country it is today if it was still just some petty colony with no voice or backbone in the world? Those were what the patriots fought for, a land they could call their own and decide for themselves, free from the shackles of the British.
Scotland had been a kingdom for centuries before the union, and much longer as well. Wallace, Bruce and many others fought to keep Scotland protected from the English, to keep their traditions alive and uphold their honour and dignity as a nation. The kings and the clans did more for Scotland than the union has ever done, the clan I hail from, Clan Stewart contributed so much to the wars of independence and to the people under their rule. The polls are turning in the favour of independence right now, and the Lords have even said that independence is not only possible, but becoming ever more likely. The Prime Minister himself (along with much of the opposition) has admitted Scotland can go it alone just as much as England could. The Queen has also said she will respect whatever choice Scotland makes this year.
There are many more examples as to why independence can bring about great opportunities. When Finland broke away from Russia in 1917, there was uncertainty with the country's future, today it is one of the most technologically advanced states in Europe. Iceland gained independence from Denmark in 1918, their economy began gaining footholds in Europe and around the world, and is still quite strong today. Despite the crisis, they managed to pull through and continue to be a growing nation. Brunei and Qatar are two of the smallest states in the world, after the gained independence from the UK they became two major influences in the Middle East and South Asia. It's not about how big your country is, it's about the potential your people have.
"Alas, I have often said to myself what are the boasted advantages which my country reaps from a certain Union that counterbalance the annihilation of her Independence, and even her name !" - Robert Burns
The crimes may be bad but look at Britain in 1900. The greatest nation on Earth spanning a 3rd of the Globe. The first three I can understand. Britain is'nt going to reclaim empire status ever again. Had the US not gained independance the most likely thing for the countries history woulod probbaly be a war with the French for Louisiana and and Invasion of Mexico. If anything what would come of it is Canada getting dominion status and holding all de-jure US territory. Making twice the juggernut it is today.
Scotland would pretty much just join the EU like the traitors they are/ Alex Salmond just wants political gain and once they join the EU they join a failing socialist union with a crippling economy. The EU will be gone in 10 years I promise you that. Polls are always subject to fluctuations. A good example is in my country the US the south was once all democrat and the north all republican. Its the opposite today. The parties even changed positions. Republicans were once staunch liberals helping abolish slavery. (Lincoln was a republican had he lived today he would be a democrat) and the democrats back then were conservative wanting to defend southern plantations. A quicker example of a flucuation in the polls is the US in the 1920s. Before the depression everyone was a classical liberal for free market. Just like that great depression hits and the dynamics change. People wanted a safety net. Who is to say something may not hapen to put the polls in the opposite direction? You guys have lots of racial tension with pakistani immigrants,maybe something can grow out of that. Why would you want to kill off a 400 year old union that has done so much for the world? Why? (even if some of it was bad)