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Re^2: Consideration for obscenity

by Eliana (Scribe)
on Feb 07, 2007 at 23:53 UTC ( #598912=note: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??


in reply to Re: Consideration for obscenity
in thread Consideration for obscenity

Eeek.. footnotes and everything! :)

We're so hideously off-topic that I don't want to prolong this too much, but I guess the logical consequence of a sloppy post is the desire to clarify what one was saying...

I don't want to dispute gradations of control, despite my inept analogies! I was asserting that there is a very significant distinction between one country having de facto control of another and the two countries being part of the same country. There is certainly plenty of room for debate about where the dividing line lies, but I wasn't trying to go there! A better example would have been: "England" and India were never 'the same country' despite the British control of India.

Wales is more complex because it is very clear, imnsho, that Scotland was never made part of England, and the historical record documents that very clearly. Wales, on the other hand, very clearly was 'legally' annexed by England, but culturally maintains a very clear sense of itself as a separate people, some would even say a conquered nation.

It is my understanding that "England" never considered its colonial holdings to be *part* of "England"; they were answerable to "England", influenced by her, etc... I have seen some fascinating comparisons of British and French views of their colonies... France had much more of the expanding the country sentiment than did Britain and tended, if I remember correctly, to rule more directly whereas Britain had far, far less assimilation and tended to rule through local leaders. (This is way outside anything approaching an area of expertise for me... corrections are welcome!)

Had you merely used England as a shorthand, I would have grumbled quietly to myself and moved on.. it was the historical assertions which lured me out of lurking status and onto a soapbox. :)

I too am pessimistic about the future of Iraq. :(

...although I suspect our viewpoints on the specifics are at least as conflicting as on the present subject...

Eliana (who *someday* will have progressed enough to have something to contribute to a directly-Perl-related-topic!)


Comment on Re^2: Consideration for obscenity
Re: Consideration for obscenity
by jonadab (Parson) on Feb 08, 2007 at 11:47 UTC
    A better example would have been: "England" and India were never 'the same country' despite the British control of India.

    I will concede that I tend to agree with you on that one.

    Wales, on the other hand, very clearly was 'legally' annexed by England, but culturally maintains a very clear sense of itself as a separate people, some would even say a conquered nation.

    Some would say that the American south was conquered by northern aggressors, and there are significant cultural differences between the north and the south. This is neither here nor there, the way I see things. We have one government, free movement, extensive intermarriage, ... we are functionally one country. The rest of the world certainly can't be expected to see these nuances; to them we're *all* Yanks, even those who are actually from Georgia.

    It was not my intention to offend the English. (Umm. Or the Welsh, or the Scotch or Irish.) But from the other side of the ocean you look very much like one country (excepting the Republic of Ireland, and I don't care to discuss the question of Sealand). And I'm not clear on exactly why that should be offensive.

    On the other hand, China and Taiwan look very much like two countries (albeit with some cultural things in common), and I'm still trying to figure out why that's offensive to them.

      It was not my intention to offend the English. (Umm. Or the Welsh, or the Scotch or Irish.) But from the other side of the ocean you look very much like one country (excepting the Republic of Ireland, and I don't care to discuss the question of Sealand). And I'm not clear on exactly why that should be offensive.

      I bumped into this issue a few times during the period I lived in London (UK). I agree, in many respects the governmental structure of the United States and Canada seem very much like that of the United kindom. Translate "state" or "province" into "country", and the UK looks like a federated structure with 4 provinces (I'm Canadian so ill use that term). But thats a superficial comparison. The identities of the nations was originally far more distinct than almost any of our provinces or states, with distinct languages, religious traditions, different traditions of law, etc.

      The closest we see to these conditions in North America is probably the relationship of Quebec to Canada, and of course that of the Native Americans to the both Canada and the US and I guess to some extent Hawaii and Puerto Rico (no offense intended to any minority group not covered here :-). And I think you have to agree that all of these are much more sensitive relationships than simple federation. With the exception of Hawaii and the Native Americans, all of these are relatively new entities with much much less established tradition that those in Europe. Quebec or Puerto Rico are what a few hundred years old, Wales and Scotland and England and Ireland remember Roman invaders in their national memory.

      I think its hard to grok European tribalism from a North American perspective. We just dont have the history or perspective to do so. I once made the mistake of pointing out to a young Irishman that in my travels I had found that the Scots, Irish, and English were closer to each than to any other group I had met. I was only saved by the fact that his girlfriend was quite clever and agreed with my position. Whether she was being clever and seeing my point, or being clever in calming down her BF i cant say :-)

      Although i think it was the former, as i was making the point that despite the fact that Canadians love to spout on about how different we are to Americans, that we are (at least the Enlish speaking part of Canada) closest to them culturally than we are to any other group. IOW, the more similar two nations are the more likely that one of the two will vehemently object to being considered the same as the other. (Witness the average Kiwi objection to being mistaken for an Aussie, or vice versa, the way english Canadians object to being mistaken for American, and the way Scotts, Welsh or Irish object to being called English, Portugese for Spanish, Dutch for Germans, Swiss for Germans, yada yada yada).

      ---
      $world=~s/war/peace/g

Re^3: Consideration for obscenity
by demerphq (Chancellor) on Feb 08, 2007 at 14:52 UTC

    It is my understanding that "England" never considered its colonial holdings to be *part* of "England"; they were answerable to "England", influenced by her, etc... I have seen some fascinating comparisons of British and French views of their colonies... France had much more of the expanding the country sentiment than did Britain and tended, if I remember correctly, to rule more directly whereas Britain had far, far less assimilation and tended to rule through local leaders. (This is way outside anything approaching an area of expertise for me... corrections are welcome!)

    The French view, and from what I know the general Non-British approach to colonization was that of a small settlement establishment and then resource extraction. While i dont know about the French specifically, and there is good examples to the contrary in Canada, this often involved usurping the local leadership and enslaving the local population to achieve these goals.

    The British on the other hand rarely ended up in control of places where resource extraction along these lines was financially feasable, and in the places where it was its arguable they resorted to similar tactics. However, as they didn't often end up in places where this could work they focused on three things, strategic aquistion, market expansion and migration, none of which are particularly facilitated by enslaving or usurping the local populace. Migration was important because the Great Britian was an island with an overpopulation problem. Market expansion was important because it was the only way to get a ROI on the money it took to secure these places. Strategic aquisition was important because of the trading nature of Britains Empire and their reliance on control of the sea for their power. Ships need somewhere to repair, to replenish their supplies, and somewhere to rest. Its no good having the locals of a strategic outpost want to kill you.

    Anyway, the standard practice of the British Empire was to impose their control over the existing leadership and then let them do more or less as they always had so long as they acknowledged their allegiance and friendship to the empire. Where they deviated from this approach they tended to end up in serious trouble.

    Market growth and migration were key aspects of the British Empire. I recall a textbook on the ecomonic history of the north american colonies, and iirc within 20 years of Britains defeat of the French in North America the British population was double that of the French, yet the French had a 150 year advantage. The (succesful) French colonies in North America were founded in 1603, and the french were defeated on the plains of Abraham in 1759. By 1779 the population of the formerly French areas had doubled, and this process just continued.

    You can see similar patterns in the Protuguese and Spanish colonies. The didnt tend to export much of their population, only that required to keep control. They didnt try to establish markets to sell to and buy from, instead the extracted all the resources they could find (in the process completely destroying and enslaving the previous occupants).

    Dont get me wrong, im not saying that Britain was morally better than the French, Spanish or Portuguese. The truth was that in some respects they were unlucky, such as colonizing places where resource extraction was a viable strategy, and in others they were lucky, such as by being latecomers to the seafaring and colonization business they were able to take advantage of existing technology, but at the same time by being late they lost the chance to gain the "easy wins" that arguably in the end caused the destruction of the kingdoms that came before them. (Easy money tends to get wasted, and on a national level just destablises the country who was obtained it.)

    I recommend Niall Ferguson's "Empire" for a good analysis of the British Empire. It seems a lot of people forget that England was a latecomer to the colony thing, starting out as essentially pirates who raided the Spanish and Portugese, only ending up the master of the seas after a long period of innovation and expansion.

    ---
    $world=~s/war/peace/g

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