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Old 01-23-2019, 12:49 AM
 
Location: Honolulu, HI
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Looking at modern day Singapore and Hong Kong, it's easy to trace it all back to its roots as a European colony. However when we look at other countries, especially in Africa, it's clear that colonialism was very detrimental unlike in several East Asian countries.

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Colonialism is the policy of a foreign polity seeking to extend or retain its authority over other people or territories
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Some argue this was a positive move toward modernization, while other scholars refute this theory as being biased and Eurocentric, noting that modernization is a concept introduced by Europeans.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colonialism

Are some countries and cultures just naturally adaptable and flexible when introduced to European ideals compared to others?
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Old 01-23-2019, 10:57 AM
 
Location: San Diego CA
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As far as Singapore it's not clear that British did much of anything to benefit the country during the era of colonialism. When the country became fully independent in 1965 it was still basically where it was 100 years earlier, poor and people living in slum housing.

The British did not even have the ability to defend Singapore against the Japanese despite having a 3 to 1 superiority in troop strength. Much of Singapore's rise to first world status was due to the People's Action Party, Lee Kuan Yew and the Pioneer Generation.
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Old 01-24-2019, 04:35 AM
 
Location: London
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Singapore, Hong Kong and Calcutta were all created by the British. They were just collections of fisherman's huts before the British built them up. They were built up into world trading centres. Both Singapore and Hong Kong were being built up before the British left. Hong Kong was clearly a world trading centre full of massive skyscrapers before the British left in 1997. I know I was there.

The British did have the capability to defend Singapore. The Japanese went to the negotiating table ready to surrender, then found some idiot named Percival was ready to surrender his British forces. The Japanese bluffed at the table and won. But the story of the fall of Singapore is another topic.

The British put into place in Hong Kong and Singapore a system of collecting revenues to run the colonies that reclaimed the wealth that soaked into the land - they were unable to do this in the UK due to the land being owned by the powerful (land)Lords. This kept income and company taxes low promoting enterprise. Indeed today that is still the case. Hong Kong built a whole underground metro network without dipping into income taxes.

There are a many definitions of colonialism. One is people from one country settling and controlling another. The settlers were named colonists. As was the case in the 13 American colonies, New Zealand, Australia, Canada, etc. Many of the old empire countries still today have their supreme court in London.

To the question in the thread title. Yes colonialism did benefit many of these counties for sure, as many were just backwards and primitive. Even Hitler praised the British Empire for spreading civilisation, who also spread democracy. Many countries were not ready for independence however had it forced on them. A poll in Jamaica was for returning the country to direct British rule. Many realised they can't do it well themselves with it being better in the past.
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Old 01-24-2019, 12:28 PM
 
Location: Aurora Denveralis
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The ones with economic systems and expertise succeeded. The ones with only natural resources - and a lack of ways to profit from them without building an infrastructure to do so - lagged or failed.
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Old 01-24-2019, 02:03 PM
 
Location: Parts Unknown, Northern California
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John-UK View Post

There are a many definitions of colonialism. One is people from one country settling and controlling another. The settlers were named colonists. As was the case in the 13 American colonies, New Zealand, Australia, Canada, etc. Many of the old empire countries still today have their supreme court in London.

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Very good point. As a general rule, places which began as farm/trade colonies wound up being reasonably nice places to live. Places which were started as exploitation colonies wound up being chaotic, unstable and poverty ridden. The difference was between coming to an area to primarily reconstruct the colonist's prevailing culture in a new land, and coming to extract most of the place's wealth in order to ship it back to the colonies' sponsors in Europe.
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Old 01-24-2019, 04:45 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rocko20 View Post
Looking at modern day Singapore and Hong Kong, it's easy to trace it all back to its roots as a European colony. However when we look at other countries, especially in Africa, it's clear that colonialism was very detrimental unlike in several East Asian countries.



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

Are some countries and cultures just naturally adaptable and flexible when introduced to European ideals compared to others?
A country meaning a land with a distinct group of people with shared genes, yes some will thrive and some won’t. Unlike what they teach in schools and bombard us with on tv, there is no such thing as equality when it comes to nature. Some groups of people just like some types of animals (lion vs deer) will succeed more than others because they have different genetic predisposition to intelligence, violence, ingenuity and creativity. There is a reason many of the Asian countries can produce advanced societies and why Haiti (or areas of detriot, the South Bronx or Kenya can’t (at least without foreign assistance. Most of the infrastructure that exists from the wheel on up would not be possible for them to construct or develop on their own). Actually most Asian countries appropriated Western engineers and knowledge for their projects and buildings. China’s new jet is built on an old McDonnell Douglas assembly line and with very similar design specifications as Boeing and airbus. It’s not a coincidence. But still even without western technology they would be advanced albeit without some creativity.
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Old 01-25-2019, 07:48 PM
 
Location: Florida
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What would be the lifestyle of many of these places if Europeans had never gone there.
Horses came to the Americas on Spanish ships. Before that the Indians traveled on foot because that was all they had.
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Old 01-26-2019, 06:28 AM
 
Location: London
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grandstander View Post
Very good point. As a general rule, places which began as farm/trade colonies wound up being reasonably nice places to live. Places which were started as exploitation colonies wound up being chaotic, unstable and poverty ridden. The difference was between coming to an area to primarily reconstruct the colonist's prevailing culture in a new land, and coming to extract most of the place's wealth in order to ship it back to the colonies' sponsors in Europe.
Botswana is 70% desert with a 2 million population, with 3% white. Texas is 2/3 of its area. Mining, cattle and tourism are the prime industries. The country is highly stable with Africa's oldest democracy, dating back to independence in 1966. By African standards the country is wealthy. Why? Those in power had the intelligence to keep what they already had and worked when the country was named Bechuanaland as a part of the British Empire. They knew they did not have the skills to run government departments. They kept the British running the place after independence. The Crown Agency recruits people from the UK to run the civil service roles with the local politicians at the top of the country.

It works.
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Old 01-26-2019, 07:27 AM
 
Location: The Triad (NC)
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Originally Posted by Rocko20 View Post
Why did some developing countries benefit from European colonialism while others didn't?
The degree of influence of stubbornness, stupidity and old tribal hatreds.
Some managed to get past these impediments promptly... some more slowly... and some might never do it.
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Old 01-26-2019, 09:03 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rocko20 View Post
Looking at modern day Singapore and Hong Kong, it's easy to trace it all back to its roots as a European colony. However when we look at other countries, especially in Africa, it's clear that colonialism was very detrimental unlike in several East Asian countries.



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

Are some countries and cultures just naturally adaptable and flexible when introduced to European ideals compared to others?
They don't provide raw materials, but are gateways between Europe and Asia for finance and logistics. The countries that provide the raw materials are the ones that are constantly being beset by foreign occupation, coup d'etats, and civil wars.
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