When speaking to young people today about their views concerning the British Empire, virtually all of them will say it was a bad period in Britain’s history. It is true that some mistakes were made by the British in running the Empire, but compared to the vast amount of benefits that the British brought to the people of the Empire, then these occasional acts of malpractice become insignificant.
The problem that we have today is that most people only know one side of our history, and that is the negative aspects of the Empire, which is taught in our schools. So, our youth have been brainwashed into accepting Guilt as the truth; when in fact, if the truth were taught, then a certain amount of Pride would be the result – which would be totally unacceptable to the politically correct liberal elite who control our education system.
Children brought up in the 1950s would have been taught about the British Empire and the force for good it was in the world. However, by the mid-1960s the curriculum was changed so as not to mention anything positive about the Empire, as it may offend the increasing number of immigrant children arriving into the UK from what was now called the “Commonwealth”.
The rest of this article will throw light on what benefits the British Empire gave to the world?
Hospitals & Medication
In the early years of the Empire medical services were virtually non-existent – even for the British as well as the local natives – and what did exist was of a primitive nature and did little to improve the health of the people. By the early 1800s the churches and their various missionary groups started to set up hospitals in which the local populations could seek medical attention; although dispensing opiates and providing nursing facilities was the limit of their capabilities. Even the East India Company built medical schools for the training of doctors in India during the 1840s. In the Early 1900s the Colonial Medical Service was established, which catered for the provision of medical facilities throughout the Empire. This included the training of doctors, particularly in India, who were then sent throughout the Empire to provide basic medical care; this was at a time that predates the NHS – so natives of the colonies often received better medication than the indigenous British worker.
Railways and Roads
India provides an example of the British Empire pouring its money and expertise into a very well built system designed with the hope that it would stimulate industry and provide jobs for the local people. The system was overbuilt and much too elaborate and expensive for the small amount of freight traffic it carried. However, it did capture the imagination of the Indians, who saw their railways as the symbol of an industrial modernity. The British built a superb system in India, and by the 1940s, India had the fourth-longest railway network in the world. By the 1920s, both the Indian government and the private railway companies started to train the local population as supervisors, civil engineers, and even operating personnel, such as locomotive drivers. Initially, all railway repair and maintenance spare parts were imported from Britain as the manufacturing expertise wasn’t available in India; however, by the 1900s this changed as more local people were trained to undertake the repair work. In Africa, the intention was to build a Cairo to the Cape railway, but due to two world wars, it was never completed.
In the 1830s, the East India Company started a programme of road construction for both commercial and administrative purposes. The Grand Trunk Road, from Calcutta, through Delhi, to Peshawar (present-day Pakistan) was built. As a consequence, the British founded the Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee to train and employ local surveyors, engineers, and overseers to perform the work and undertake future maintenance on the roads. The Grand Trunk Road is still used for transportation in present-day India, where parts of the road have been widened and included in the national highway system while retaining the original name.
Postage & Telecommunication Systems
Postal services were introduced into the American colonies early in the 1600s; but it was the East India Company that took constructive steps to improve the existing systems in India when, in 1688, they opened a post office in Bombay followed by similar ones in Calcutta and Madras. Similar postal services were introduced throughout Africa and other parts of the Empire. By the mid-1850s all of these separate postal services were united under a common General Post Office system based on the UK system that served the complete Empire in an efficient and effective manner.
The All Red Line was a term given to the world’s first telegraph system that encircled the complete globe. The first transatlantic cable connected Ireland and Newfoundland in 1858. By 1870, Suez was linked to Bombay and from there to Madras, Penang and Singapore. Australia was linked to British telegraph cables directly in 1871 and to New Zealand by cable in 1876. To complete the All Red Line, the final major cable laying project was the trans-Pacific section, which was completed in 1902. This was truly the first time that a message could be transmitted in Morse code to anywhere within the British Empire in a matter of minutes. This system was later improved by the introduction of the Imperial Wireless Chain that was completed in 1928, which enabled radio communication between all parts of the Empire.
The first telephone system for use in the Empire appears to be at Kanpur in India 1907, but it’s not clear if this was for military or public use. However, from this date forth, telephone systems, using verbal language instead of Morse code, were expanding rapidly throughout the Empire – even permitting local people to communicate with each other using public telephone boxes.
Islam controlled all the trade land routes to India and China, so after Drake’s circumnavigation of the world, it was obvious that the only option available for the spice merchants was to develop the sea passages between Britain and the Far-east. Essentially the spice trade with India started with the formation of the East India Company. The initial problem for the East India Company was a British product that the Indian and Chinese people wanted; they didn’t want wool or cotton cloth, so what did we have that would make them willing to trade with us? The answer was initially found to be silverware, with other manufactured products following on. Silverware and spices were both high valued commodities, so profits were exceptionally high. This increase in the spice trade created much employment in India, making the Moguls very wealthy; whether that wealth was passed on to the workers is open to question – but that wasn’t the East India Company’s problem.
The Development of Natural Resources
Prior to the coming of the British to the many colonies that formed the early part of the Empire, most of the countries were completely undeveloped. Newfoundland’s fishing grounds were the first to be developed with the colony expanding to provide the facilities for smoking the fish products so that they could be transported to Europe without deteriorating. The creation of the sugar plantations by the British in the West Indies still generates much wealth for local inhabitants. In the American colonies the development of the timber, tobacco, cotton and fur industries were expanding at a considerable pace, and in Canada, the farming of wheat was commencing. In India, tea plantations were being developed, while in Burma, rubber plantations were being set up. In Africa, gold and diamond industries were being established. These are just a few of the many agricultural and industrial resources that the British created throughout the Empire –something for which these now independent nations should be ever grateful.
The Rule of Law based on Christian Morality
In many of the nations occupied by the British, there was no established set of laws, especially in Africa. In many other countries, what law did exist was based on religious doctrine; those based on Buddhism tended to function quite well, but those based on Islam or Hinduism failed to protect people from many injustices. In fact, Islamic courts promoted injustice by treating non-Moslems as infidels, second-class citizens beyond the protection of the Islamic courts – a situation that still exists in countries like Pakistan. Hinduism embraced certain practices that were beyond the moral comprehension of a civilised society such as: suttee, the requirement for widows to throw themselves on the funeral pyre of their dead husband; and thuggee, whose adherents were infamous for their ritualistic assassinations carried out in the name of the Hindu Goddess Kali and were known as Thugs. Although it was not official British policy to promote Christianity, independent missionaries did visit these countries and taught Christian morality which would eventually become part of their culture – even if they weren’t Christian. Most nations of the former empire still have law courts based on the British judicial system, and they still work quite well; it is only in recent years that some of these judicial systems have broken down, almost exclusively in Islamic countries.
The first schools in Africa were set by Methodist missionaries in the 1820s, where they taught the native children English so that they could read the Bible. Their motives may have been to convert them to Christianity, but the repercussions were staggering – as literate English speaking Africans became more in demand by the British employers. It was mostly Christian missionaries that brought English education to Africa, India and other parts of the Empire. However, as time moved on, it was found that the native populations didn’t have the technical skills necessary to handle the new technologies that were emerging, so it was found essential to teach these people the necessary technical skills. One of the first technical schools to be officially set up by the British government was the Sudan Technical School (now the Sudan University of Science & Technology), which opened its doors in 1902 in Khartoum. The need for literate English speaking workers was a requirement throughout the Empire. As a consequence, technical schools, later to become Universities, were built by the British in Africa, India, the West Indies, Hong Kong and the Middle East – this was at a time when compulsory education for all children had only recently occurred within the UK.
Governance & Administration
Throughout the British Empire the governing and administration within the various colonies was initially under the control of their local British Governor and the numerous British civil servants. These later evolved to employ more civil servants from the local population. The local populations became ever more involved in the running of their countries, a typical example being Ceylon when in 1833, the Legislative Council of Ceylon was established. Initially, the Legislative Council consisted of 16 members: the British Governor, the five appointed members of the Executive Council of Ceylon (the Colonial Secretary, the Attorney General, the Auditor-General, the Treasurer and the General Officer Commanding), four other government officials and six appointed unofficial members (three Europeans, one Sinhalese, one Tamil and one Burgher). To start with, the unofficial members had no right to initiate legislation; they could only contribute to the discussion. This was the first step towards giving the people of the country a voice in its administration. However, in 1860 the members of the Legislative Council were given the right to introduce legislation. The number of appointed unofficial members was increased to eight (three Europeans, one Low Country Sinhalese, one Kandyan Sinhalese, one Tamil, one Muslim and one Burgher). This later evolved such that all the members were non-European and elected by the local people, that included the Treasurer, Attorney General and Auditor-General. So, by the time Independence was granted in the 1950s most of the Government officials were from the local population. This wasn’t unique to Ceylon but was mirrored throughout the Empire. Because of this, democratic governance within the Empire trailed behind that of the UK by less than 30 years. When the colonies of the British Empire gained independence, they were all democracies based on the British parliamentary system. Unfortunately, in many of these independent Nations, democracy was short-lived, as some descended into dictatorships or Islamic tyrannies – something for which the British cannot be blamed.
Sewerage & Water Distribution Systems
In the 1800’s it was discovered that diseases were spread by contaminated water in local wells. Consequently, a system was devised for storing clean water in towers on high ground; the force of gravity was then used to distribute the clean water to the households within the locality. Similarly, it was discovered that raw sewerage deposited in the street or in local streams contaminated the water in the wells. Therefore, a system was devised which ensured that raw sewerage was dispatched through a system of pipes to a location where it could be safely deposited – usually the sea or a fast-flowing river. These water distribution and sewerage disposal systems were initially built in the UK, but by the 1940s were being built throughout the Empire in such places as Bombay, Calcutta, Columbo, Hong Kong and Singapore. There can be no doubt that without British technology and ingenuity, many cities within the Empire would have become dangerous places to live, plagued with disease and unhygienic practices.
The English Language
The most significant gain bequeathed to the peoples of the Empire was the use of a common language, English, that permitted natives of different tribes to communicate with each other. It is now the most widely spoken language in the world; if not as a first language, but most certainly as both a first and second language. Furthermore, English is now the world’s official language for commercial activities, legal processes, shipping and civil aircraft communications – to mention only a few. Although for first language speakers, it is below that of Chinese and Arabic – these languages will never replace English, as English is too well established and uses the Latin alphabet, which is without question the world’s dominant means of written communication.
The Abolition of the Slave Trade
After the passing of the Abolition of the Slave Trade Act, slavery was abolished throughout the Empire, and also throughout the Arabic world where African slaves had been imported into these nations for at least 1200 years and which exceeds the trans-Atlantic slave-trade by a factor greater than 10. Apart from the USA, Britain, with its supreme Royal Navy, was able to enforce the abolition of African slavery throughout most of the world.
Sadly, most British education today, whether it be in schools, colleges or universities, teach our youngsters very little about the force for good that the British Empire was in the development of the world’s moral, social, commercial and technological structure. So why does our education system fail to promote the benefits that the Empire brought to the world?
Clearly, due to mass immigration, the teaching establishment is afraid to teach the truth about the Empire as it may offend the immigrant community who have settled in our country to seek all the welfare benefits that are on offer. We certainly don’t blame the immigrant communities for seeking a better life for themselves. However, we do blame the Lib-Lab-Con politicians for engineering this mess.
A significant quantity of the population has been brainwashed over decades with politically-correct indoctrination. Others have been labelled as racist or far-right activists if they challenge the left-wing establishment’s view.
So how can we teach our youngsters the truth about the British Empire? Home Education would be one of the best options. Another way to communicate the many positive things the British Empire did, is to share this post with everyone you know.