>tfw you're devastated your countrymen burned down one of the most beautiful gardens of history.
I support imperial Britain and the ideas that were behind it, but we also did terrible things (pic related occurred during the arrow war).
Was it all worth it /his/?
>I support imperial Britain and the ideas that were behind it
Make an enemy of Britain and your life and culture is forfeit.
I went to the ruins of the summer palace near Tsinghua university when I was staying there. They're really incredibly haunting (a lot of fun to play around in, too, but that's beside the point).
Oddly enough, the British aren't mentioned at the site at all to my memory, just the French. There's a big monument there to Victor Hugo.
>Was an event that prompted the fall of the Qing dynasty and ultimate rise of communist China worth it?
What do you mean by 'the ideas that were behind it'? Britain was a democracy during the imperial period and politics was just as fluid and full of different ideas then as it is today.
What is also interesting about the British Empire is that it was pretty much entirely created by British multinational companies rather than specific decisions by the government to invade and dominate different countries.
We deserve the world. A tiny island conquering massive chunks of the world's landmass? Truly ubermensch.
It was a joint force of British and French soldiers who razed the place to avenge fallen comrades. As for 'was it worth it', I more meant the acquisition of empire and the spread of British institutions and technology across the world at the cost of various atrocities. I should've been more clear.
Of course it was created by various interests, have you read the historical discourse on the existence of 'Gentlemanly Capitalists'?
By ideas behind it I mean the idea of natural British superiority.
Hardly a humiliation. We gave it back because we were legally obligated to and didn't want to provoke conflict with a country as powerful (and touchy) as China. If anything it was humiliating for the Chinese having to roll in tanks to quieten the dissent amongst westernised locals.
>We deserve the world
Damn straight lad.
And we'd have gotten it if it wasn't for those meddling cultural marxists and liberals. REEEEE
I blame the fucking Germans. Had they not felt the need to go to war again we'd have held the empire easily.
>Country loses 2/3rds of its wealth through WWII.
>Immediate result is that Britain surrenders empire because it can't afford its upkeep.
>Those who surrendered our empire (fucking labour) essentially spat in the faces of all those who had given their lives to take it.
>Hardly a humiliation.
Brits tried to keep it actually through two arguments
1) Original signatories (i.e. Qing Empire) was gone
2) Could give it to Taiwan
Not to mention the Brits did not keep to the deal (1997, way past the original 99 year lease).
>If anything it was humiliating for the Chinese having to roll in tanks to quieten the dissent amongst westernised locals.
Looking at the transfer, the PLA arrived in...trucks, bringing office equipment.
We should've called their bluff and bombed them so hard they'd think the great leap forward was a quiet afternoon if they tried to take Hong Kong. Fucking chinks need to be put in their place. Cunts.
>It was an embarrassment because you kept it longer than you should've.
Hahahaha. You couldn't get it off of us. It was hardly an embarrassment to give it back after you'd cried about it for so long.
>Looking at the transfer, the PLA arrived in...trucks, bringing office equipment.
That would depend on the pictures you look at of them moving in wouldn't it :^). Also the dissent is evidenced through the later Tiananmen square protests and the fact that officials who were part of the successful British government there are later elected to be officials by landslides.
Chinese shills plis go.
Since imperialism included colonialism it was a necessary evil. Colonialism played a big part in the industrialisation, as some of you may know.
If GB did not evolve into a imperial super power we might have had an industrial rev. in China long before it reached Europe. This is just one of the aspects of the industrial revolution but it does play an important part.
>You're just butthurt you lost your empire hundreds of years before us.
>Spain spent its silver on nothing of note. Is now a destitute europoor country.
We were already undergoing an industrious revolution prior to the industrial revolution, the industrial revolution does slightly predate colonialism. That said, I do agree with you, the international market drove demand for industrial goods.
As for China, they wouldn't have had an industrial revolution. Their culture was too Confucian in nature. Progress was frowned upon so it would be very unlikely. Plus their coal deposits were far from the seat of power, so geography plays a role as well. How much do you know about the 'Great Divergence'?
Pretty much. Also we get free dental so none of us have buckteeth hahah.
Both the Slave Trade and the money made from colonies certainly played a massive part in financing the Industrial Revolution.
However simply speculating that without Britain China would have had an Industrial Revolution is more along the lines of 'alt history' fantasising.
Ive read books about it and I agree with what you say. There were however possibilites for China (Asia) to be the area where the industrial revolution sprung up, but as you say: "Progress was frowned upon". You are correct, and this led to big problems when it comes to the actual revolution.
China would never have had an industrial revolution because China has never been as innovative or as enterprising as Europe. They invent gunpowder, and yet Europe perfects the rifle. They discover magnetism, and yet Europe perfects the compass. Zheng He sails to familiar shores, Columbus sails west to new lands. China, for whatever reason, is not capable of the same level of development as Europe and it's entire technological advancement is based on westernisation.
China had the chance, and then they blew it because they decided that their country was good the way they already had it. I can't remember the name of a emperor in China but he said: "Everything we need does already exist in China". This leads to a reluctant approach to colonization, and that leads to a halt in the development of the country, since they cannot use everything the world has to offer.
The money for the industrial revolution largely came from Dutch investors who were looking for a safe place for their capital during the decline of the Dutch 'golden age'.
The teaching of Confucius value a stable, agricultural society over all else. Merchants and craftsmen (who weren't just country craftsmen) were looked down upon as un-Chinese (we see this again during the 1820s as the 'Hong' merchants are disparaged by the official class for dealing with foreigners in Canton).
The 'river' of Chinese history follows a similar pattern, that being the rise and fall of dynasties. Any occurrence which fell outside this paradigm was removed from their culture.
Industrialization would have thus been impossible because of the culture factors. Plus the entire state was ran by the emperor, and they would not have allowed a practice such as industrial activity to have gone against the teaching of Confucius.
See above. China as a culture valued stability, whilst Europe became enamored with technological advancement and what it could offer.
You have a point though and this has been discussed by historians and termed the 'Eastern origins of Western civilization'.
Competition between European states has been said to have been the reason for the above. European states craved technological development because they could then get a 'leg-up' on their neighbors. Dynasticsm and the war it brought was a driving factor for bringing the Europeans toward global dominance.
Spence - Search for Modern China
Fairbank - China: A New History
Both rather good. I also like
Wong: Deadly Dreams: Opium
Platt: Autumn in the Heavenly Kingdom
>The money for the industrial revolution largely came from Dutch investors who were looking for a safe place for their capital during the decline of the Dutch 'golden age'.
That's a pretty laughable claim. The Netherlands is a far less populous country than Britian, it's entire economy wasn't big enough to be a serious factor in financing the Indutrial Revolution let alone claiming the whole thing was financed by a few investors looking for a safe place for capital, especially as inventions, railways etc are a risky investment with the possibility of high returns and also the possibility of losing all your money.
Not only that when I say financing I also mean the philanthropic money going to Universities and education etc.
'Laughable claim'? Get out.
>The Netherlands is a far less populous country than Britian, it's entire economy wasn't big enough to be a serious factor in financing the Indutrial Revolution let alone claiming the whole thing was financed by a few investors looking for a safe place for capital.
The Dutch economy was the powerhouse of the worldly economy during the late 16th century to the early 18th. During this time Dutch products constituted 76% of all products on the market and this only fell to 40~% when Britain started undergoing it's own industrialization and the general crisis of the 18th C occurred (probably because no more silver from the new world).
They made a fuck load of money. They invented the stock exchange, De Vries (prominent historian) commented that the United Provinces were a 'Venice on a semi-national scale'. They were very friendly to commerce, and the Dutch central bank made f10 million in 10 years (a fortune).
This wasn't just a few investors, this was the entire class of gentlemen/merchants in the country (it was a badge of pride to be involved in commerce and an earlier peasant revolt had wiped out much of the nobility). They had already invested in titles and land (re-feudalisation) and now had a great deal of capital to invest overseas. Bear in mind this was during a time when their economy was undergoing a localized recession as other European countries started encroaching on their international trade business.
Dutch investment hit British business before the industrial revolution was in full swing, but even if it hadn't, railways were a safe investment. The government granted these companies LLC status (first companies to get it) and promoted their growth across the country.
Shit make that early 17th-early 18th general crisis. I should also note that the Dutch did pretty well during it and avoided their population nosediving like everyone else through buying up cheap Baltic grain and invading the Scottish fishing grounds (the fish being a stable foodsource during what was essentially a small ice age).
>when Britain started undergoing it's own industrialization
Britain was the first country to industrialise. You can't honestly be trying to rewrite world history and claim that the Netherlands industrialised first.
I'm not because they did to an extent. They were the first modern economy and whilst they didn't 'industrialize' (the utilization of the word was a misnomer on my part) they had a very strong national industry. It was highly productive (the first time in history productivity even came close to going over population) and a very integrated economy - each sector bolstered and affected a dozen others.
Plus there were countless polders, canals and windmills constructed as part of extensive national works programs (Schammas said 'fear of the floods frightened them into a high productivity' lol).
One could argue it was rudimentary industrialization, they simply didn't have the technology the British did. I'd actually make the point that because the country had started developing its means of production, it actually damaged the economy twice as badly when the British underwent industrialization and started churning out goods better, cheaper and faster than native Dutch industry. Which was my point above, its easy to have a large share of worldly produced goods when you have no real competition (as during the time the Dutch were the only country who didn't care for dynasticism after shacking off the Habsburgs) but their golden age swiftly came to an end when competition arose.
Should've invented guns yourself.
So what, they razed a 150 (in terms of actual use and composition, hardly 100) year old royal retreat. The only reason people get caught up over this is because of the destruction of physical wealth, and a blow to national pride, not of any great cultural loss.
Of course, let's gloss over why it was sacked, right? It's not like it was meant as a personal blow to the emperor – like the Forbidden City, no commoners were ever allowed in, it was solely a Qing compound – the same emperor who had just ordered the brutal torture and execution of a group of envoys sent under the white flag to negotiate, no.
Clearly this was an act of barbarism against the Chinese people and culture, not retaliation on the personal property of the Manchu emperor. A pretty thing got broken, that's all we need to know. What wanton, senseless destruction, what unfeeling barbarians.
>It made one's heart sore to burn them ... It was wretchedly demoralising work for an army.
Personally I disagree with Lord Elgin's order, but I can understand it from a diplomatic and martial standpoint. At the very least, it's better than razing the Forbidden City, which was the original plan.
Still, it's always sad when pretty things get broken. Looking at the coloured engravings it seems like an idyllic place, a nice place to read book.
I can understand it, sure, it's just sad that it had to be done. I don't even think it was necessary, we'd already utterly destroyed the Chinese fleet outside of Canton.
I don't really think it was necessarily either, at least not militarily. Diplomatically and politically, though, it was certainly a huge personal blow to the Qing Emperor – essentially a statement that he wasn't in fact untouchable, and whatever his Mandate of Heaven might say, he was not above dealing honorably and civilly with foreigners. The direct motivation for the razing of the gardens was, after all, the barbaric treatment of the envoys.
To me it's just one of those cases where people care more about crimes against wealth and beauty, than they do about those to the human element. Doubly so when seen through a modern viewpoint, and reinterpreted as an action against (what is now) Chinese heritage, instead of an action against (what was then) solely Qing.
If you want to get mad about razing chinese buildings look no further than china itself. Every dynasty literally erased the precedent one and even in modern China most historical sites are either off limits or have propaganda slapped all over them.