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Why did the British colonizers claim that their civilization was superior

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2022-12-11 / 0 评论 / 3 点赞 / 6,512 阅读 / 8,369 字 / 正在检测是否收录...
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Why did the British colonizers claim that their civilization was superior when they behaved in an uncivilized manner towards the native people?

The British, from the 17th Century up until 1945, were not generally considered to be behaving in an “uncivilized manner” towards native peoples in their colonies. Colonization was a ancient practice around the world up until recently. The British, for all the sins and evil deeds we now view them as having committed in the creation of their empire, were mostly seen by contemporaries as have been more “civilized” and less brutal and exploitative than other nations practicing colonization. The Turks, the Russians, the Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, Italians, Germans, Belgians, and Egyptians were all held to be more brutal and exploitative in the colonial endeavors in the modern period than the British and you can probably find accounts in British editorials, novels, and speeches in which those other nations were by the British for being less civilized as colonial powers than Britain.

British political cartoon showing Britain as perplexed by brutal Egyptian colonial policy in the 19th Century Sudan

In the later 19th and early 20th Centuries, liberal opinion in Western nations began to see colonization as a moral evil. After 1900, more and more intellectuals and liberal politicians saw colonial empires as morally indefensible and economically obsolete. British rationalizations for their empire as a positive good for the world were seen as hypocritical:

As the great champion of freedom and national independence, he conquers and annexes half the world, and calls it Colonization". . . There is nothing so bad or so good that you will not find Englishmen doing it; but you will never find an Englishman in the wrong. He does everything on principle. He fights you on patriotic principles; he robs you on business principles; he enslaves you on imperial principles.

George Bernard Shaw, The Man of Destiny

Among British leaders of the early 20th Century, Winston Churchill defended colonialism, while others, such as Clement Atlee, saw the dissolution of the empire as inevitable. Socialists and Marxists denounced it. American presidents like Woodrow Wilson and Franklin Roosevelt considered the end of colonialism a general goal of their foreign policy. Fascist states like Mussolini’s Italy, Nazi Germany, and militarist Japan saw the creation of new colonial empires as vital goals for make their nations great powers on a scale similar to the British Empire.

The Soviet Union denounced colonialism, but Josef Stalin made the recovery of Russia’s old imperial possessions a primary goal of his nation’s efforts in World War II. Stalin had no philosophical interest in colonialism, but saw international relations as a Hobbsean struggle for survival. Communist propaganda all through the 20th Century denounced colonialism, but the Soviet government sought to replace it with an international system of puppet governments and dependencies that would have similar results.

The Western democracies that were not major colonial powers, led by the United States, sought the end of colonialism as a moral and political objective of their “Alliance of the United Nations” during the Second World War. Franklin Roosevelt made this goal explicit in the Atlantic Charter, issued publically on August 15, 1941.

THE ATLANTIC CHARTER

Atlantic Charter AUGUST 14, 1941 The President of the United States of America and the Prime Minister, Mr. Churchill , representing His Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom, being met together, deem it right to make known certain common principles in the national policies of their respective countries on which they base their hopes for a better future for the world.

  • First, their countries seek no aggrandizement, territorial or other;

  • Second, they desire to see no territorial changes that do not accord with the freely expressed wishes of the peoples concerned;

  • Third, they respect the right of all peoples to choose the form of government under which they will live; and they wish to see sovereign rights and self government restored to those who have been forcibly deprived of them;

  • Fourth, they will endeavor, with due respect for their existing obligations, to further the enjoyment by all States, great or small, victor or vanquished, of access, on equal terms, to the trade and to the raw materials of the world which are needed for their economic prosperity;

  • Fifth, they desire to bring about the fullest collaboration between all nations in the economic field with the object of securing, for all, improved labor standards, economic advancement and social security;

  • Sixth, after the final destruction of the Nazi tyranny, they hope to see established a peace which will afford to all nations the means of dwelling in safety within their own boundaries, and which will afford assurance that all the men in all lands may live out their lives in freedom from fear and want;

  • Seventh, such a peace should enable all men to traverse the high seas and oceans without hindrance;

  • Eighth, they believe that all of the nations of the world, for realistic as well as spiritual reasons must come to the abandonment of the use of force. Since no future peace can be maintained if land, sea or air armaments continue to be employed by nations which threaten, or may threaten, aggression outside of their frontiers, they believe, pending the establishment of a wider and permanent system of general security, that the disarmament of such nations is essential.

They will likewise aid and encourage all other practicable measure which will lighten for peace-loving peoples the crushing burden of armaments. Franklin D. Roosevelt Winston S. Churchill

Winston Churchill, who needed American support for Britain’s war effort and expected the United States to join the war against Nazi Germany in a few months, had no choice but to officially agree with Roosevelt:

  • First, their countries seek no aggrandizement, territorial or other;

  • Second, they desire to see no territorial changes that do not accord with the freely expressed wishes of the peoples concerned;

  • Third, they respect the right of all peoples to choose the form of government under which they will live; and they wish to see sovereign rights and self government restored to those who have been forcibly deprived of them

Britain, France, the Netherlands, and Belgium, seeing that the world was changing under them, supported this goal as members of the United Nations after the alliance against the Germany, Italy, and Japan was formally announced on January 1, 1942.

History of the United Nations | Nations Unies

The United Nations Charter is the treaty that established the United Nations, it was ratified on 24 October 1945. The following series of events led to the writing of the Charter, and the UN's founding: Declaration of St. James Palace After World War II there was a strong feeling that a way had to be found to keep peace among nations. The idea for creating an international organization dedicated to maintaining peace took hold during the war.

However, it took many years of planning before the United Nations actually came into existence. Here is a summary of the main events that led up to creation of the UN Charter. Declaration of St. James Palace (June 1941) In June 1941, London was the home of nine exiled governments. The British capital had survived twenty-two months of war and in the bomb-marked city, air-raid sirens wailed frequently.

Practically all of Europe had fallen to the Axis powers (Germany, Italy, and Japan) and ships on the Atlantic, carrying vital supplies, sank with regularity. On 12 June 1941, the representatives of Great Britain, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa as well as representatives of the exiled governments from Belgium, Czechoslovakia, Greece, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Yugoslavia and the Free French, met in London to sign the Declaration of St.

James Palace to pledge their solidarity in fighting aggression until victory against the Axis powers was won. The Declaration proclaimed that “the only true basis of enduring peace is the willing cooperation of free peoples in a world in which, relieved of the menace of aggression, all may enjoy economic and social security." Atlantic Charter (August 1941) In August 1941, the Axis powers seemed to have the upper hand. Germany had commenced its attack on the USSR and carefully stage-managed meetings between Hitler and Mussolini, which ended in “perfect accord,” sounded grimly foreboding.

Although the United States was giving moral and material support to the Allies, it had not yet entered the war. One afternoon, two months after the Declaration of St. James Palace, came the news that President Roosevelt and Prime Minister Churchill were in conference “somewhere at sea” the same seas on which the desperate Battle of the Atlantic was being fought and on August 14 the two leaders issued a joint declaration destined to be known in history as the Atlantic Charter. British battleship HMS Prince of Wales, during the Atlantic Charter meeting This document was not a treaty between the two powers. Nor was it a final and formal expression of peace aims. It was only an affirmation, as the document declared, “of certain common principles in the national policies of their respective countries on which they based their hopes for a better future for the world.

The sixth clause of the Atlantic Charter declared that after the final destruction of Nazi tyranny they hope to see established a peace which will afford to all nations the means of dwelling in safety within

It was on the basis of the Atlantic Charter and the United Nations Treaty, signed in 1945, that the community of nations then existing declared that colonization was immoral and illegal. It set ethical standards that frame every conversation we have about imperialism, war, conquest, and colonization in 21st Century societies.

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