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25-06-2020, 17:07   #61
Lyan
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Is there a problem here? Asking for evidence is just another way that I worded "can I have a source". And yes, I wanted a primary source showing the Belgian authorities expressing that extreme punishment be carried out on workers. This is a history forum and I'm actually interested in history. Do you not think such a document would make for a fascinating read?

Last edited by Lyan; 25-06-2020 at 17:10.
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25-06-2020, 21:10   #62
Yellow_Fern
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You think the 1950's was "one particularly bad outbreak" when compared to the rest of the time European powers colonised Africa?

Are you insane?
No, just being balanced. My thesis is not that Europeans were particularly kind in Africa but it is that it was far less transformative than elsewhere. The 1950s was indeed a particularly violent period in Kenya's history. In some regions there was more violence then Kenya but in entire countries there was nearly no violence against local peoples at all. Most of Africa was not colonised like the Americas. Excluding was certain regions like costal Mozambique and South Africa, colonisation was very brief and lot of pre-Europeans social structures were retained. People were not forced to convert or give up their languages and in many most cases not their land. Terrible harm can be done in short spaces of time, see Congo and Namibia, but it is clear colonisation was very different to other continents.


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There is a mountian of evidence that King Leopold ordered his forces in the Belgian Congo to do the things they did. Cutting off hands and genitles and murdering over approximately 15,000,000 people in a period of 23 years up to 1908.

The population of the area was reduced by +/- 25% due to his rule.
You forgot to mention that many died from economic collapse and hunger from the violence.
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25-06-2020, 21:46   #63
Manach
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Given the subject matter and tone of this discussion this is a reminder as per charter to be civil to fellow posters, who are free to provide or not any primary or secondary proofs.
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26-06-2020, 02:56   #64
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Is there a problem here? Asking for evidence is just another way that I worded "can I have a source". And yes, I wanted a primary source showing the Belgian authorities expressing that extreme punishment be carried out on workers. This is a history forum and I'm actually interested in history. Do you not think such a document would make for a fascinating read?
It would. But my concern is that you initially asked that whether the Belgians had mandated this behaviour, before asking whether there is evidennce of the Belgians directing that it be done. I've already pointed out that this suggests that, if they didn't direct that it be done, they didn't mandate it. If you want to clear up any confusion by saying, no, you are no longer asking if the Belgians mandated these cruelties and are now asking the completely different question of whether the mandate took the form of a documented order, now would be a good time to do that.

The short answer to your question, however, is that the cruelties of the Congo Free State regime and the direct complicity of (European) officials in administering and supervising them were extensively documented in the Casement Report, which was published by the UK Parliament in 1904 as Command Paper Cd. 1933, which you will find in any academic library, and which includes many witness statements. This led to a poliltical scandal in Belgium which resulted eventually in the annexation and dissolution of the Congo Free State and the prosecution and imprisonment of a number of its (European) officials. If there's not much talk nowadays of primary evidence of colonial officials directing acts of cruelty as a matter of company policy, it's because that question was asked and answered more than a century ago.
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26-06-2020, 21:10   #65
Yellow_Fern
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It would. But my concern is that you initially asked that whether the Belgians had mandated this behaviour, before asking whether there is evidennce of the Belgians directing that it be done. I've already pointed out that this suggests that, if they didn't direct that it be done, they didn't mandate it. If you want to clear up any confusion by saying, no, you are no longer asking if the Belgians mandated these cruelties and are now asking the completely different question of whether the mandate took the form of a documented order, now would be a good time to do that.

The short answer to your question, however, is that the cruelties of the Congo Free State regime and the direct complicity of (European) officials in administering and supervising them were extensively documented in the Casement Report, which was published by the UK Parliament in 1904 as Command Paper Cd. 1933, which you will find in any academic library, and which includes many witness statements. This led to a poliltical scandal in Belgium which resulted eventually in the annexation and dissolution of the Congo Free State and the prosecution and imprisonment of a number of its (European) officials. If there's not much talk nowadays of primary evidence of colonial officials directing acts of cruelty as a matter of company policy, it's because that question was asked and answered more than a century ago.
The scandal and prosecutions is good evidence that although there was a streak of barbarism in the Belgian administration, it wasn't shared by European colonial authorities. Clearly they had concern for peoples welfare.
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26-06-2020, 23:37   #66
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The scandal and prosecutions is good evidence that although there was a streak of barbarism in the Belgian administration, it wasn't shared by European colonial authorities. Clearly they had concern for peoples welfare.
Except of course for the British, who then went on to put 1+million people in concentration camps in the 50's, torturing tens of thousads, developing a special type of pilars to crush their testicles, pulling teeth and ripping off fingure nails, and worse, and then went to the effort of burning, burrying at sea and hiding millions of pages of internal reports which would highlight these issues as part of "Operation Legacy" with what was left of these documents only being released publicly in 2011 as part of a legal challenge by survivors of the concentration camps against the British government.


Or the French who raised the infrastructure of Guinea when the country declared independance unilaterally, with the French saying if Guinea wanted independance they shouldn't "profit from the history of the colonisation" as if they somehow owed the french for being subjugate.

Or the dozens of other examples of European powers being absolute scumbags during the decolonisation of Africa.

Last edited by MidlanderMan; 26-06-2020 at 23:41.
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28-06-2020, 12:43   #67
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When reading about colonial crimes against Africa, it is important to remember that European states at the time were very brutal to their own home populations, the conquested African populations were also extremely brutal to each other.

I am no defender of colonialism but I really feel the need to quash the myth that poverty in Africa today is a result of Europe or some colonial asset stripping. This isnt remotely true. Differences in wealth of continents is mostly driving by climate and geography. Sub Saharan Africa is a tough 'spawn point'. It has all sorts of ecological challenges that are unfathomable to Irish people. But the good news is that those differences are declining all the time due to globalisation and Africa today is booming and extreme poverty is going the way of the dodo.
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28-06-2020, 15:18   #68
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No one seems to have touched on Africans themselves.

I'm from Tanzania and both my parents in their 50s have said unequivocally that the best time was in the 70s-80s. It seems that many African countries went downhill in the late-80s from poor economic policies and HIV
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28-06-2020, 15:20   #69
Rodney Bathgate
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No one seems to have touched on Africans themselves.

I'm from Tanzania and both my parents in their 50s have said unequivocally that the best time was in the 70s-80s. It seems that many African countries went downhill in the late-80s from poor economic policies and HIV
I thought you were from the US?
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28-06-2020, 15:22   #70
mr_fegelien
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I thought you were from the US?
I lived in Tanzania until 2006 then moved to Atlanta for 2.5 years. Came to Ireland in 2009.
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28-06-2020, 16:02   #71
Victor
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When reading about colonial crimes against Africa, it is important to remember that European states at the time were very brutal to their own home populations, the conquested African populations were also extremely brutal to each other.
Yes, brutal, but they didn't usually go around chopping off hands from 5-year olds.

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I am no defender of colonialism but I really feel the need to quash the myth that poverty in Africa today is a result of Europe or some colonial asset stripping.
It certainly didn't help. However, the processes that went with colonialism and decolonisation, e.g. the destruction of existing power structures, creating borders that paid no respect to existing social structures, favouring certain groups, the Cold War powers using Africa for proxy wars, etc. have us where we are now.
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28-06-2020, 17:16   #72
Yellow_Fern
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Yes, brutal, but they didn't usually go around chopping off hands from 5-year olds.

It certainly didn't help. However, the processes that went with colonialism and decolonisation, e.g. the destruction of existing power structures, creating borders that paid no respect to existing social structures, favouring certain groups, the Cold War powers using Africa for proxy wars, etc. have us where we are now.
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It certainly didn't help. However, the processes that went with colonialism and decolonisation, e.g. the destruction of existing power structures,
The regions I am referring were mostly rural farming societies with no cities. There were some exceptions like highland Ethiopia, Kongo Kingdom and Zimbabwe but mostly you are talking about very small states with short hierarchies. There was no local civil service before. When colonies were formed very often local rulers were kept. Most of Africa was not micromanaged in anyway.

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creating borders that paid no respect to existing social structures, favouring certain groups, the Cold War powers using Africa for proxy wars, etc. have us where we are now.
Generally speaking the borders do follow local ethnic lines, not always but very often they did. These are imperfect borders, but they were formed in places where they were none before. How many lives would have been lost for those borders to form without European invention?
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28-06-2020, 17:19   #73
Biafranlivemat
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I look at colonialism in sub Sahara Africa slightly different.
Why make a big deal about it. Yes terrible things happened. But it seems to me not much happened before outsiders arrived

Think about it, Modern humans have existed in Africa for at least 100,000 years. And Everybody only talks about at most the last 500 years.

History only Mostly started with the Arrival of outsiders to Sub Saharan Africa.

Examples
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Early_history_of_Uganda
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pre-co...ry_of_Zimbabwe
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Nigeria

compare that to Ireland, before the Normans.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Ireland

Last edited by Biafranlivemat; 28-06-2020 at 17:23.
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28-06-2020, 17:30   #74
Bambi
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I look at colonialism in sub Sahara Africa slightly different.
Why make a big deal about it. Yes terrible things happened. But it seems to me not much happened before outsiders arrived

Think about it, Modern humans have existed in Africa for at least 100,000 years. And Everybody only talks about at most the last 500 years.
European Colonialism in Africa only really took off in the late 1800s and was pretty much done by the 1960s, you're looking at a period closer to 50 years than 500 hundred
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28-06-2020, 19:45   #75
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Instead of always looking backwards, take a look forwards:

1. China is currently owning (colonising) Africa, ports on 999yr leases, new roads, rail and mines, surely all at some cost.

2. Africa may well colonise much smaller Europe's 1/2 bn, by 2050 Africa will double their population, 2.5bn strong. Of this half will be under 25yo.
Thanks to the Barca' accord (cultural exchange), and also the rise of faster, cheaper boats, rail etc. You may expect to see 10's if not 100's of millions aiming for the shores of the EU (brexitland, and likely Italiexit {and others e.g. Francexit} all exculded). Ireland would be the only viable english speaking country to aim for, for many, given the brits former influence and colonies.

Mod Note:
As current and future speculations are outside a history forum, please keep any subsequent posts within the bounds of the OP's subject manner and within charter's rules.

Last edited by Manach; 28-06-2020 at 20:55.
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