Opium! Submission! Kismet! Lattice work, caravanserai fountains a sultan dancing on a tray! Maharajah, rajah a thousand-year-old-shah! Waving from minarets clogs made of mother-of-pearl; women with henna-stained noses working their looms with their feet. In the wind, green-turbaned imams calling the people to prayer. This is the Orient the French poet sees. […] Orient! The soil on which naked slaves die of hunger. The common property of everyone except those born on it. The land where hunger itself perishes with famine! But the silos are full to the brim, full of grain - only for Europe. - Nazim Hikmet

*The nadir for war-time India was the Bengal famine of 1943. In a year of good harvest, the cost imposed on India of supporting the massively increased military presence of wartime led to inflation of food prices and catastrophic famine. The London government opposed the provision of any famine relief. Churchill blocked the Canadian government and local commanders from providing food aid, proclaiming “I hate Indians. They are a beastly people with a beastly religion”. Even his underling Amery, Secretary for India, was moved to tell Churchill to his face that he had a “Hitler-like attitude”. The resulting, entirely man-made famine killed between 1.5 and 3.5 million Indians and should be ranked alongside Stalin’s Holodomor as an act of state murder on an unimaginable scale.

Today in 1704 the capture of Gibraltar by the forces of the Grand Alliance occurred during the War of the Spanish Succession.

Since the beginning of the war the Alliance had been looking for a harbour in the Iberian Peninsula to control the Strait of Gibraltar and facilitate naval operations against the French fleet in the western Mediterranean Sea. An attempt to seize Cádiz had ended in failure in September 1702, but following the Alliance fleet’s success at Vigo Bay in October that year the combined fleets of the ‘Maritime Powers’, the Netherlands and England, had emerged as the dominant naval force in the region. This strength helped persuade King Peter II of Portugal to sever his alliance with France and Bourbon controlled Spain, and ally himself with the Grand Alliance in 1703. Now with access to the Portuguese port of Lisbon the Alliance fleets could campaign in the Mediterranean, and conduct operations in support of the Austrian Habsburg candidate to the Spanish throne, the Archduke Charles, known to his supporters as Charles III of Spain.

Prince George of Hesse-Darmstadt represented the Habsburg cause in the region. In June 1704 the Prince and Admiral George Rooke, commander of the main Grand Alliance fleet, failed to take Barcelona in the name of 'Charles III’; Rooke subsequently evaded pressure from his allies to make another attempt on Cádiz. However, in order to compensate for their lack of success the Alliance commanders resolved to capture Gibraltar, a small town on the southern Spanish coast. Following a heavy bombardment the town was invaded by English and Dutch marines and sailors. The governor, Diego de Salinas, agreed to surrender Gibraltar and its small garrison on 3 August. Three days later Prince George entered the town with Austrian and Spanish Habsburg troops in the name of Charles III of Spain. However, the Grand Alliance failed in its objective of replacing Philip V with Charles III as King of Spain but in the peace negotiations Gibraltar was ceded to Britain.

Painting: Admiral George Rooke (1650–1709) by Michael Dahl c. 1705.

Behind him in both the right and left backgrounds, is a depiction of the Battle of Vélez-Málaga, 1704. Admiral Rooke’s flagship, the 'Royal Katharine’ with the Union flag at the main, is seen in port-quarter view, engaging the 'Foudroyant’, which was the flagship of the Franco-Spanish fleet under the Comte de Toulouse, an illegitimate son of Louis XIV. Though inconclusive, the Battle of Malaga was the only fleet action fought at sea during the War of the Spanish Succession. This portrait is one of a series commissioned for the Royal Collection at the time of Queen Anne and was presented to Greenwich Hospital by George IV in 1824. The Swedish painter travelled to London in 1682, where he became acquainted with Godfrey Kneller. In 1685, he left for Europe and returned to London in 1689 where he remained. During Dahl’s absence, Kneller consolidated his supremacy as the fashionable portrait painter, although the prolific Dahl was his closest competitor. Politically, Kneller supported the ascendant Whigs, while Dahl was a Tory. The death of Kneller in 1723 left Dahl the principal London portraitist.

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.

3

August 1st 1834: Britain abolishes slavery

On this day in 1834, slavery was abolished in the British Empire as the 1833 Slavery Abolition Act came into force. Britain had dominated the Atlantic slave trade for hundreds of years, with millions of people being forcibly taken from Africa to the Americas while businessmen in Britain profited from their plight. The campaign for abolition began in the late eighteenth century, countering claims that slaves were content with the brutal reality of life aboard a slave ship and toiling in a plantation. One of the primary actors in the movement to abolish the slave trade was freed slave Olaudah Equiano, whose eloquent autobiography articulated the horrors of slavery. The slave trade was thus banned in 1807, and this was enforced by the British navy on the West African coast, but the practice continued and captains would throw slaves overboard to avoid fines. The Anti-Slavery Society was formed in 1823 to campaign for the complete abolition of slavery in the British Empire, led by the politician William Wilberforce. The abolition movement was partly fueled by humanitarian concern, but also changing economic interests, as the newly industrial Britain no longer relied on slave-based goods, and slave rebellions in Haiti and Jamaica indicated that slavery was becoming unprofitable. The 1833 act was passed by the House of Commons and the House of Lords, before receiving Royal Assent from King William IV in August; Wilberforce died three days after hearing that the bill would pass. Due to come into effect a year later, it provided for the eventual emancipation of slaves in the British Empire (they were to become ‘apprentices’ for six years before freedom), while providing £20 million (nearly £70 billion in modern currency) in compensation for slaveowners. Whilst this act ostensibly ended slavery, it did not completely eradicate the practice, as some areas of the British Empire were initially exempt and others continued to secretly sell slaves throughout the nineteenth century.

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. 

Calusa: An Aquaculture Kingdom

A tribe we call the Calusa lived in southern Florida since at least 100 CE. They grew into a local power, getting tribute from nearby tribes and building monuments that remain today as testaments to their might.

  • the Calusa depended on the sea, not agriculture, for its food surplus. They fished along the Gulf Coast estuaries and harvested rich shellfish beds.
  • wide and well-tended waterways likely functioned much like streets in a modern town, only for canoes instead of cars
  • “water courts” or large square pools on either side of the main canals, were kept filled with fish. It is believed the water courts were kept as food reserves to feed the city’s large population
  • the Calusa believed each person had three souls—one was their shadow, a second was their reflection, and a third was in the pupils of their eyes
  • the Calusa began expanding around the 1200s CE
  • another neighboring coastal group, the Tocobaga, were also rising in power around this time, and perhaps the Calusa centralized to counter their growing might
  • their capital city was a 51-hectare artificial island constructed almost entirely from oyster, clam, and other shells, called Mount Key
  • the first smaller Spanish forces that landed during and after 1517 were easily chased away by the superior Calusa strength
  • the next 200 years, an increasingly embattled Calusa fought off the Spanish and rival tribes’ attacks, who evened their odds with British firearms

The end came when British slavers in the region offered other native groups, such as the Creek and Yamasee people, a musket for every captive they brought in, they frequently turned up with Calusa men and women. The cities which had survived the past two centuries of intermittent warfare were wiped out within one or two generations.