9

Before and After Colonisation

The British, referred to the ingenuity and resourcefulness of the Congolese people as ‘Primitive’ because they respected the land they lived on and understand the harmony that mankind and nature must abide by. In cultivating Palm trees, they only took what was needed for themselves to feed their families, and constructed a simple but efficient system of refining palms into oil and other products for many different purposes.

The British observed  and studied their technique, in their greed they decided to make it into a mass production enterprise, one explorer stated “buried in their jungle, they were too backward to realise the vast inheritance it had to offer, the untapped resources of their vast continent…wealth lay wasting”

It is by this same so called ‘primitive’ invention that they sought out to make profit from Palm (Palm Trees only grow in Tropical climates so the English knew nothing on how to cultivate and process it) they took the  invention of the Congolese and  enforced their system of capitalism in their country to fund their industrial ‘revolution’, producing more than was necessary, raping the land, causing major issues such as deforestation, habitat degradation, climate change, animal cruelty and for the vast majority if not all of the profits to be enjoyed in their own countries.

They then spread propaganda worldwide; ‘the savages lived in darkness’ ‘we found them swinging from trees’ ‘we saved them from  themselves’, ‘we civilised them’ and etc

They made it larger scale, a little tweak there, a little alteration here, and the white man has the audacity to herald himself as an inventor.

Making alterations to a pre-existing system/product whilst keeping the core technique does not make you an inventor. Its called Plagiarism.

6

Warrior Culture : British Empire
Subculture : Gurkha

Fierce warriors from Nepal who resisted British Expansion into the region. The British were so impressed with the skill and determination of the Gurkha tribesmen that they have encorporated them in the British military ever since.

Small the Gurkha stand little over 5’ft but what they lack in stature they make up for in spirit. With countless examples of Gurkha valiantry during their long service to the English people. Like Field Marshall Sam Manekshaw said “if a man says he is not afraid of dying, he is either lying or is a Gurkha…” which is closely mirrored by the Gurkhas own motto “Its better to die than be a coward.”

The Gurkhas further impress with the use of their own and very distinctive combat knife the kukri. Ranking up with (and tragically beyond) the USMC KBAR in the combat knife arena.

10

British Invasion of the Congo

Although the Belgians Colonised the Congo,In 1911 they gave a British Man ; William Lever, a concession to develop large scale productions of Palm oil in the Congo.

In the book Lord Leverhulme’s Ghosts: Colonial Exploitation in the Congo by Jules Marchal  the author states: “Leverhulme set up a private kingdom reliant on the horrific Belgian system of forced labour, a program that reduced the population of Congo by half and accounted for more deaths than the Nazi holocaust.Formal parliamentary investigations were called for by members of the Belgian Socialist Party, but despite their work the practice of forced labour continued until independence in 1960.

See that lady in the chair up there? Long story short: she’s more awesome than you, she’s more awesome than me, she’s more awesome than fried bacon Nutella, and she is more awesome than Florence Nightingale.

That lady is Mary Seacole, and this is a

Mary Seacole Appreciation Post

When the Crimean War broke out, Mary Seacole signed up as a nurse. Unfortunately, she was the daughter of a Scotsman and a Jamaican free woman in the Victorian British Empire, which meant she was treated with the kind of respect we reserve for shoplifters and murderers.
Well, actually, we still allow murderers and shoplifters to vote, so scratch that and let’s just say fuck Westminster and everyone in it in the 19th century. Except John Stuart Mill, John Stuart Mill was alright, but only because of Harriet Taylor.

Mary Seacole wants to go help out soldiers fighting for the government, the government gives her a big fat middle finger. What does Mary Seacole do? She says “fuck that noise” and goes to the Crimean Peninsula by her goddamn self.  When she gets to the war, she goes to see Florence Nightingale: “Hey, Florence, I want to make people stop dying.” Nightingale says, “no, you’re not white enough and you’ll probably run a brothel or something” and sends her off. So what does Mary Seacole do? She builds a hotel.
And I don’t mean, “she buys a shack someone left behind,” no, she builds a hotel, out of wood and iron scraps, on a motherfreaken battlefield, with the help of a few locals who aren’t dead yet. Take a couple of seconds to realize just how much of a badass you have to be to pull that off.

So, she’s got a hotel for British soldiers, all is fine and dandy, right? She’s safely away from the front-line serving tea to officers in her lovely little inn, right? Wrong! Every morning she makes like a gallon of food, loads it on donkeys and goes TOWARDS the explosions, because a bit of murderous artillery isn’t gonna stop  her being awesome. She spends basically the ENTIRE war getting shot at, bringing food to soldiers and dealing with bullet-wounds. And because she’s NOT a nurse or a British doctor, she understands that it’s a really good idea to wash her hands when dealing with sick people, and that keeping wounds clean is the no. 1 way of not putting ten tons of infection in them. Hell, while she’s out on the battlefield anyway, she even heals the ENEMY soldiers because a little bit of war isn’t a good enough reason to make her stop being the badassest lady for twelve million miles around.

Over where Nightingale is messing around, basically if you weren’t infected when you got in, you were GONNA be once you’d been there a while. Soldiers are croaking left and right and all around because they’re stuffed wall to wall and no-one knows how to spell the word “hygiene” yet. Not Nightingale’s fault, really, so much as all the stupid male doctors who didn’t understand how to listen to really smart Hungarians. You got shot in the Crimean, you wanted to go see Seacole. Cholera, yellow fever, dysentery? Seacole’s got your back. Hungry? Seacole makes, like, the BEST rice-pudding.

I want you to understand that when the Crimean War breaks out, Seacole is 48 years old. This at a time when people had a serious tendency to die before they were 30. It’s basically the equivalent of a 70-year old going to Afghanistan to help topple the Taliban!
And then, after the war is over, not only is she one of the last people to go home, she’s also dirt poor because she spent all her money buying food and medicine for the soldiers and when the war was over she had to sell it to the freaken Russians just to get the creditors off her back. Poor and outliving like 80% of the general population ALREADY, she goes home to live another 25 years, as if she had yet to prove how much tougher she was than absolutely everybody else alive on the planet.

She’s impoverished, old and living in a society that mostly hates her for reflecting slightly less sunlight than they do, so what does she spend her time doing? Raising funds for charity. Like, obviously! Then, in 1857, the Indian Rebellion breaks out and people start dying again. At this point Seacole has spent over 3 years in war and poverty, basically having a footrace with Death, but the first damn thing she does is try and go to India to help people out. It takes the freaken Secretary of War to get her to stay home.

In 1881, Seacole dies at 76, and for the next 100 years, all anyone can talk about is how awesome Florence Nightingale was. It’s not until now in the 21st freaken century that anyone is particularly bothering to remember the single most awesome Scottish-Jamaican super-nurse ever, or include her in textbooks and history-classes. My point is this: let’s remember her on Tumblr.

"I have witnessed her devotion and her courage … and I trust that England will never forget one who has nursed her sick, who sought out her wounded to aid and succour them and who performed the last offices for some of her illustrious dead."—William Howard Russel, one of the first modern war-correspondents. 

anonymous asked:

Have you just woken up and suddenly decided that you hate your own country? You're British and your ancestors probably helped served the British Empire. The British Empire was the greatest thing to ever happen to the world. We helped to develop countries and bring civilisation to Africa, America and Oceania. I literally wouldn't have been born were it not for the British Empire. I, for one, am proud of our empire and you should be too!

My ancestors were Indian. Helped serve the British Empire? You think they had a choice? 

Are you seriously trying to tell me that British rule did good for India? Go and open a history book that isn’t whitewashed beyond all recognition. Go and speak to the descendants of the peoples that were colonised. Ask them about the ‘good’ the British Empire did for their countries. Ask about the Koh-i-Noor diamond.

I may be British, but I’m of Indian heritage, and I’m ashamed of what one part of my identity did to the other. It hurts me to even think about it. But it’s the reality. 

Are you so lacking in compassion, so wrapped up in Britain’s greatness that you’ve managed to read a list of crimes no country should ever have had the power to commit (heavy trigger warnings on this for violence, murder, rape), and still come out of that supporting the regime that literally killed for its own profit and glory? 

You think that we were in any position to ‘civilise’ anyone? You think invaders have that right? 

When you want to step out of your snowy white fantasy land and join the real world, then we’ll talk. 

2

HISTORY MEME : (2/ 8) objects - The Koh-i-noor Diamond

The Koh-i-Noor, “Mountain of Light” , is a 105.6 metric carats diamond, weighing 21.6 gms in the most recent cut state, and once the largest known diamond. The Koh-i Nur is believed to have originated in the state of Andhra Pradesh in India.The diamond has belonged to many dyansties, including Kakatiyas, Rajputs, Mughal, Afsharid dynastys, Durrani Empires, Sikh and British who seized it as a spoil of war time and time again.In 1850, the diamond was confiscated the British East India Company and became part of the British Crown Jewels when Queen Victoria was proclaimed Empress of India in 1877. It is believed that the stone carries with it a curse which affects men who wear it, but not women. All the men who owned it have either lost their throne or had other misfortunes befall them. Queen Victoria is the first reigning monarch to have worn the gem. Since Victoria’s reign, the stone has generally been worn by the British Queen Consort, never by a male ruler. In 1852, in Amsterdam under the personal supervision of Prince Albert the diamond was cut to increase its brilliance.The stone was then mounted in a brooch which Queen Victoria often wore. After Queen Victoria’s death it was set in Queen Alexandra’s brand-new diamond crown, with which she was crowned at the coronation of her husband, King Edward VII.The diamond is currently set into the Crown of Queen Elizabeth and is on display at the Tower of London. (+)

4

Princess Mary’s Christmas Gift

In late 1914, Princess Mary began a campaign to raise funds to send all British and Imperial troops a small gift for Christmas.  On October 14th, the 17 year old Princess Mary launched her appeal writing:

‘I have delayed making known a wish that has long been in my heart for fear of encroaching on other funds, the claims of which have been more urgent. I want you now to help me to send a Christmas present from the whole nation to every sailor afloat and every soldier at the Front.  On Christmas Eve when, like the shepherds of old, they keep their watch, doubtless their thoughts will turn to home . . . I am sure that we should all be the happier to feel that we had helped to send our little token of love and sympathy . . . something that would be useful and of permanent value and the making of which may be the means of providing employment in trades adversely affected by the war.’

The ‘Princess Mary’s Christmas Gift Fund' quickly became the post popular Christmas fund and the public call for donations eventually yielded an astonishing £162,591 12s 5d this staggering sum equals roughly £7,500,000 today. 

Princess Mary (source)

The gift box was designed by Adshead and Ramsey, it included a 5 by 3 1/2 inch by 1 1/4 inches deep embossed brass box with Princess Mary’s profile in the centre surrounded by the names of Britain’s allies including Serbia, Russia, Japan and France and the words ‘Christmas 1914’ at the bottom of the lid (see image #1).  The contents of the box varied as the box was to be given to over 1 million men from all over the empire.  The primary gift for British and Imperial troops from Australia, Canada and South Africa and the Gurkhas would include: a Christmas card, a picture of Princess Mary, a lighter, a pipe, one ounce of tobacco and a packet of twenty cigarettes or two packets of cigarettes.

However, the committee responsible for the gift boxes realised that not all men smoked and that other minority troops would not appreciate the same gifts for various religious and cultural reasons.  As such there was an impressive amount of variation between the gifts.   Non-smokers were to receive the Christmas card, picture of Princess Mary, a .303 cartridge shaped pencil, some acid tablets (vitamin C tablets) and a khaki writing case which contained paper and envelopes.  

Indian troops of different religions receive a number of variations of the gift.  Sikhs were given a box of spices and some sugared candies instead of the pipe and tobacco.  Bhistis (from Northern British India) received a larger box of spices while other Indian troops were given a packet of cigarettes, candy and spices.  Nurses were also given the gift box and they received chocolate in place of the tobacco.

Christmas card from the 1914 gift box (source)

A dozen British companies were involved in supplying the Christmas gift with firms including HarrodsAsprey & Co Ltd,  De La Rue & Co and tobacco companies.  However, even with all of these companies involved some orders were unable to be met in the short space of time and some men received alternate gifts such as tobacco pouches, shaving brushes & combs, scissors, packets of postcards, pocket knives and cigarette cases.

It was initially planned to only give front line troops the gift however, the large amount of money raised meant that every man in uniform regardless of where he was serving was able to be given the present. This meant just under three million soldiers, sailors and nurses were to be given the gift box.   Priority was given to all troops on active service in Europe and at sea, second priority went to those serving in other theatres while finally all other uniformed personnel serving at home in Britain were given last priority.

1915 New Years Card (source)

By late December 426,724 gifts had been distributed with the remaining groups beginning to receive theirs during January 1915.  The sheer magnitude of providing three million gifts meant that some troops were still receiving theirs in 1916.  The troops receiving their gifts after Christmas 1914 were given a simpler ‘universal box’ which included a New Year’s Card and a Pencil (see card above).  After 1914, the making of the gift boxes became increasingly difficult as tobacco became harder to come by and the brass used to make the boxes was needed for cartridge and shell cases.  In 1915, an order for brass was made in the US with one shipment being sent on the Lusitania, it was lost when the ship was torpedoed in May 1915.

The box was gratefully received by most men, the tobacco and other gifts were welcome comforts at the front.  In a war which had been expected to be over by Christmas a gift from home showing the public and monarchy’s appreciation for their efforts was greatly appreciated. Many soldiers used the boxes to store letters received from home, or other personal effects such as notebooks or photographs.  Others kept the pipes and other gifts, smoked the tobacco and sent the their tins home to their families.  

Sources:

Image One Source

Image Two Source

Image Three Source

Image Four Source 

'Princess Mary's Gift to the Troops, Christmas 1914' IWM (source)

'About the Christmas Gift Fund' (source)