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Old 12-09-2012, 11:52 AM
 
Location: Michigan
43 posts, read 22,249 times
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Hey guys,

Haven't been on in a very long time due to a variety of issues, but anyway that is all is besides the point.
I was randomly thinking a few days ago about the legacy of the European Empires, like Great Britain, France, Spain, etc. It seemed to me that most of the former British colonies, such as Australia, Canada and the U.S. seemed to be much more stable and well-off (for the most part) than their Spanish and French counterparts. Now obviously this a huge generalization but I was curious to why is this? Was it racial policies, economic differences or something else?

Note: I'm trying to bash anyone here, just curious on what everyone else thinks about this.
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Old 12-09-2012, 12:00 PM
 
Location: Here.
14,814 posts, read 13,684,568 times
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Better form of government (weaker executive, stronger legislative), better legal system (defendant rights, common law), better economic system (free market capitalism), better financial systems (greater access to Great Britain's financial system), better social system (more equality, less feudal), better location of colonies (colder climates = less disease), better demography (more Europeans, less natives), etc.

Just quickly off the top of my head.
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Old 12-09-2012, 01:16 PM
 
Location: Parts Unknown, Northern California
48,025 posts, read 20,216,444 times
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We've done this before, I've not the energy to go searching for the specific thread. I recall that my contribution was to point out that the type and goal of a colonial system had an awful lot to do with outcomes.

There were farm colonies and there were exploitation colonies. The goal of the farm colony was to make the new land a place of permanent residence for the immigrants and their posterity, and to make it self sufficient so that the benefit returning to the mother country came in the form of economic trade. The farm colony would supply food, timber and furs to the mother country which would in turn use those materials for manufacturing goods which they could sell to the colonists. The idea was to create prosperity in both places. The farm colonies typically killed or evicted any natives who were in the way.

The goal of an exploitation colony was to extract all the wealth possible from the new place and ship it directly back to the mother country. The exploitation colony typically enslaved the natives they found and used them as the labor force which was extracting the wealth. The goal was increasing the prosperity of the mother country, the colony was simply a device or tool for achieving that goal.

In general, but not exclusively, the British founded farm colonies while the Spanish founded exploitation colonies.

And once more in general but not exclusively, those places which were founded as farm colonies are today fairly decent places to live, while the communities founded as exploitation colonies are hell holes and unstable backwaters.
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Old 12-10-2012, 11:20 AM
 
Location: Victoria TX
42,661 posts, read 77,698,159 times
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In the British colonies, the British mostly killed the indigenous people or incarcerated them in reserves, so were free to just create British communities there. USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, West Indies. In places where the British let the indigenous people live at large, like India, East Africa, Sierra Leone, they didn't do any better than French, Spanish, Portuguese or Dutch colonies.
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Old 12-10-2012, 12:38 PM
 
Location: London, UK
116 posts, read 327,311 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grandstander View Post
We've done this before, I've not the energy to go searching for the specific thread. I recall that my contribution was to point out that the type and goal of a colonial system had an awful lot to do with outcomes.

There were farm colonies and there were exploitation colonies. The goal of the farm colony was to make the new land a place of permanent residence for the immigrants and their posterity, and to make it self sufficient so that the benefit returning to the mother country came in the form of economic trade. The farm colony would supply food, timber and furs to the mother country which would in turn use those materials for manufacturing goods which they could sell to the colonists. The idea was to create prosperity in both places. The farm colonies typically killed or evicted any natives who were in the way.

The goal of an exploitation colony was to extract all the wealth possible from the new place and ship it directly back to the mother country. The exploitation colony typically enslaved the natives they found and used them as the labor force which was extracting the wealth. The goal was increasing the prosperity of the mother country, the colony was simply a device or tool for achieving that goal.

In general, but not exclusively, the British founded farm colonies while the Spanish founded exploitation colonies.

And once more in general but not exclusively, those places which were founded as farm colonies are today fairly decent places to live, while the communities founded as exploitation colonies are hell holes and unstable backwaters.
That's not exactly true.
Most French colonies, for instance, had massive European population away from Europe.
Take for instance Algeria.

The fact is, after WW2, there was a massive decolonization wars worldwide, and millions of Europeans were ejected from the countries after they were taken back. It was not pretty and the conflicts were bloody.

I would say first and foremost, the reason that in the USA, Australia, and Canada, the Europeans succeeded, is mainly that:
1. The natives were demographically reduced due to disease.
2. The Europeans in turn exploded demographically, thanks to better survivability and influx from Europe.

Also, not just Europeans, but massive influx from all over the world into these countries made the "colonization" even more achieved. (Asians, hispanics, etc.)

Something which did not happen in African colonies for instance, where the population was mostly Natives/whites.
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Old 12-10-2012, 12:50 PM
 
Location: Parts Unknown, Northern California
48,025 posts, read 20,216,444 times
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Originally Posted by anondragon View Post
That's not exactly true.
.
You think maybe that might have been why I wrote "..in general, but not exclusively"?
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Old 12-11-2012, 04:10 AM
 
Location: London, UK
116 posts, read 327,311 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grandstander View Post
You think maybe that might have been why I wrote "..in general, but not exclusively"?
Yes of course.
Was adding to your statement rather than calling it out.
Sorry for the confusion.
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Old 12-11-2012, 10:26 AM
 
Location: NC
10,002 posts, read 9,416,522 times
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It is the difference between Settler colonialism and non-settler colonialism.
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Old 08-21-2013, 05:54 PM
 
9 posts, read 92,115 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Randomstudent View Post
It is the difference between Settler colonialism and non-settler colonialism.
Exactly.

All of the countries listed in the OP were formerly settler colonies. As others have said, settler colonialism usually leads to a very different outcome than exploitative colonialism. They are/were essentially extensions of the mother country and its culture and values. The settlers brought with them considerable resources and sought to replicate the old country in a new environment. This, obviously, led to those colonies having much higher standards of living than those which didn't experience mass European settlement. Since Americans (and many non-American posters on this site) are the product of British settler colonialism, they tend to associate the British with this type of "civilizing" imperialism, which isn't entirely accurate. Most settler colonies were British, but most British colonies were not settler colonies.


Even though most former Spanish colonies have a much lower standard of living than the British settler colonies, they are actually significantly better off on average than many of their British counterparts. With the notable exception of the United States, almost every former British colony is a member of the commonwealth. Depending on the source, the PPP GDP per Capita of Latin America is approximately $12000 per year and that of the Commonwealth is $6000. That's a difference of 2 to 1!

P.S. Sorry for resurrecting this thread after so long, I sort of stumbled across it and thought it was interesting.
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