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Forum LockedEnglish genocide in Ireland?

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21-May-2009 at 12:42
Don't you see it? There is no way anglosaxons accepts theirs guilt.
 
Just to start with a single crime: slavery. It is true that Britain fought for stopping it, but it is also true Britain was one of the main promoters at its beginnings! Britain and Portugal were the largest slave traders in the Americas. In the British Caribbean the slaves had a very short life span, and where continuosly replaced by new arrivals. The infamous triangular trade route between Africa, the Americas and Europe was started by the Brits. Not only that, a large part of the development of Britain was based in that trade, and only when the production increase thanks to the steam machine and the Indian market, and slavery was not such a good business anymore, Britain started to campain against slavery. That happened after three centuries of business! Confused
 
With respect to diseases and Native Americans, it is curious that British seem to be more virulent than Spaniards... at least for the impact in the population Confused


Edited by pinguin - 21-May-2009 at 12:51
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Peteratwar Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21-May-2009 at 13:35

Slavery wasn't a crime then. Everyone enthusiastically supported it, including the African chiefs who unloaded their unwanted prisoners. Took the British to stop it no-one else was interested. The campaign against slavery was started on moral grounds.

Your last innuendo is irrelevant unless you can explain yourself.

 
BTW based on the laws of the time, what crimes were committed ? 


Edited by Peteratwar - 21-May-2009 at 13:37
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pikeshot1600 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21-May-2009 at 14:23
pinguin,
 
I recommend you drop this argument because you are making a fool of yourself now.  Your repetitive attempts (here and other threads) to lay blame on Anglo-Saxons for all the ills of the universe is ridiculous.
 
Assigning relative blame to Anglos and Spaniards for the effects of microbes that no one knew about is absurd.
 
Slavery, while nasty, has existed in every labor intensive culture because it was an economic necessity where labor was scarce.
 
Queen Elizabeth cannot be blamed for not diversifying the potato varieties of Ireland.  Somehow I do not think 16th century princes concerned themselves very much with these matters. 
 
As far as Malthus and Darwin, social thinking has had many unpleasant aspects throughout history and that includes everything from human sacrifice by native Americans to the obliteration of entire populations by Assyrians, Mongols and Germans.  Many times those aspects didn't even make any sense; it was just what they did.  On balance, the Anglos look like saints.
 
Emotional reactions to these things do not enhance historical discussion.  I don't think anyone will close the thread as it has been civil enough, but the line of argument has become a continuous brain fart.
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21-May-2009 at 15:00
I am not defending mankind of its crimes. Everybody "knows" the China wall was made on human bones, Mongolians killed probably more people than the Holocaust, the crimes of Stalin, and all the crimes of Spaniards are well documented; I also know about Rwanda and Cambodia. For blaming, everyone should be ashamed.
 
I am just pointing out that, from the outside, one sees that anglosaxons are less willing to accept the faults of the past. That's all. For instance, perhaps Queen Elizabeth can't be blames for the pottatoes but she could be blame for being a shares owner of slave trade companies.
 
With respect to the microbes, I see you couldn't grasp the irony. How come the natives in contact with the Spaniards suffered a lesser demographical impact than the ones in contact with the British is a "mystery". Perhaps magic has something to do with it. (Another irony).
 
 


Edited by pinguin - 21-May-2009 at 15:10
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote lirelou Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21-May-2009 at 15:40
Apparently some posters missed the ironic tone in my original post on Good Queen Bess.  Of course she can't be "blamed" for introducing the potato into Ireland. It was done to alleviate the sufferings common to clan warfare. And, its end result was to increase the population of Ireland.

Since this thread is on the famine, I'll forgo any discussion of why the English were in Ireland in the first place. How, in the times, Ireland constituted a "dagger aimed at England's back", and why the Spanish Army's position as the foremost military machine in the world, and indeed, the first modern Army, forced both the "Seven Provinces" of the Northern Netherlands, and later the English, to become the world's pre-eminent sea powers. Thereby laying the basis for their becoming colonial powers. I do believe, however, that it is worth noting that India does not appear to have suffered any long term severe demographic impacts due to their contacts with the English. 




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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Parnell Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21-May-2009 at 16:25
I don't know what to make of this anymore. Close it down please, this thread is an embaressment.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21-May-2009 at 16:41
I won't do that in case anyone has anything germane to add, but I'll delete anything more that isn't to do with the question of the Irish famine of the 1840s/50s.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dean Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21-May-2009 at 23:45
I came into this thread questioning whether giving equality with English local government to the Irish in the mid to late 1800s would have prevented the separatist demands and the partition that resulted. My interest is in Passmore Edwards, a radical liberal MP from 1880 to 1885 who opposed Home Rule, because he didn't want the British Empire to be broken up, but did want to see "equality" between England and Ireland. In the 1840s he was lecturing on Temperance issues as well and was a supporter of Father Mathew. In a lecture he gave in Warrington, Cheshire, in 1847, he said "Whilst so many men were starving and dying in Ireland and Scotland and in England, for want, other men were destroying in the process of brewing and distilling the very food which was in such need. There was enough food destroyed to feed all the starving Irish and Scots. There were nearly 8 million quarts of corn so destroyed last year and this was the chief reason why prices were now so high." I reckon that 8 million quarts would be about 10,000 tonnes. Not enough to feed the millions that were starving but enough to effect grain prices as he indicated?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23-May-2009 at 13:17
Not 'destroying' it would have put up beer and whisky prices though (depending what kind of corn) Smile
 
I would have thought the effect on prices would have been less important than the effect of the repeal of the corn laws which reduced them considerably.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote JRScotia Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24-May-2009 at 02:53
So in the height of the Potato Famine they knew that years later there would be Land Wars? How? 

Yes, those destroyed their economic situation--much deserved in my book not too surprisingly. But how did that mean that they hadn't benefited from crop failures and starvation that took place TWENTY or more years before between 1840s and 1850s during the Great Famine.

They profited in the meantime and had no way of knowing what later events would be (even though they were an outgrowth but it was an unforeseen one). So I'll say the same thing about your argument, Parnell. That might be make sense if they had known they their economy would later be destroyed but they didn't.

And you are also ignoring the fact that mass evictions took their toll as well.  These weren't done because the landowners DIDN'T want grazing land. You know that the Gregory Clause was passed specifically as an estate-clearing device. Even relatively pro-English historians admit they see an agenda in the handling of the Famine by the British Government.

I understand resentment at the use of the word genocide but when a government deliberately decides that letting people starve to death is their best policy and a country is depopulated because of it, I am seriously hard-pressed to find another word for it.
 

Originally posted by Parnell Parnell wrote:

Your post would make sense JRScotia, if the landlord class actually had of benefited from the famine. But they didn't, they went into a long decline as a result of it. The Land War of the 1870s and 1880s completely destroyed their economic situation. No landlord actually benefited from the death and emigration of over 2 million people.


Edited by JRScotia - 24-May-2009 at 03:05
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Parnell Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24-May-2009 at 10:57
Parnell out.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24-May-2009 at 15:09
Originally posted by JRScotia JRScotia wrote:

So in the height of the Potato Famine they knew that years later there would be Land Wars? How? 

Yes, those destroyed their economic situation--much deserved in my book not too surprisingly. But how did that mean that they hadn't benefited from crop failures and starvation that took place TWENTY or more years before between 1840s and 1850s during the Great Famine.

They profited in the meantime and had no way of knowing what later events would be (even though they were an outgrowth but it was an unforeseen one). So I'll say the same thing about your argument, Parnell. That might be make sense if they had known they their economy would later be destroyed but they didn't.

And you are also ignoring the fact that mass evictions took their toll as well.  These weren't done because the landowners DIDN'T want grazing land. You know that the Gregory Clause was passed specifically as an estate-clearing device. Even relatively pro-English historians admit they see an agenda in the handling of the Famine by the British Government.

I understand resentment at the use of the word genocide but when a government deliberately decides that letting people starve to death is their best policy and a country is depopulated because of it, I am seriously hard-pressed to find another word for it.
 
So, what are the proofs the government of Britain deliberately decided to let Irish to starve to death?
 
According to some people in this thread, there isn't any. It just happened that Britain was "distracted" analyzing the prize of beer, and it was in an interesting experiment of free market. There is no suspiction, so far that Britain had any bad intention with regards to Irish people.
 
Is that what people calls, "english sense of humour"? If so, I learn it... Ouch
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


Edited by pinguin - 24-May-2009 at 15:11
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Parnell Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24-May-2009 at 16:54
Pinguin, the only thing you've learnt in this thread is to not shut the hell up when you clearly don't know what you're talking about.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-May-2009 at 16:08
Parnell's right. I can't believe this is still going on. Do people really think that early Victorian Britain was some kind of totalitarian dictatorship?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote drgonzaga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26-May-2009 at 00:20
Now, now, Parnell...it is for certain that some people in London did blame the government. Here is an excerpt from the Illustrated London News of 15 December 1849:
 
"The present condition of the Irish, we have no hesitation in saying, has been mainly brought on by ignorant and vicious legislation. The destruction of the potato for one season, though a great calamity, would not have doomed them, fed as they were by the taxes of the state and the charity of the world, to immediate decay; but a false theory, assuming the name of political economy, with which it has no more to do than with the slaughter of the Hungarians by General Haynau, led the landlords and the legislature to believe that it was a favourable opportunity for changing the occupation of the land and the cultivation of the soil from potatoes to corn. When more food, more cultivation, more employment, were the requisites for maintaining the Irish in existence, the Legislature and the landlords wet about introducing a species of cultivation that could only be successful by requiring fewer hands, and turning potato gardens, that nourished the maximum of human beings, into pasture grounds for bullocks, that nourished only the minimum. The Poor-law, said to be for the relief of the people and the means of their salvation, was the instrument of their destruction. In their terrible distress, from that temporary calamity with which they were visited, they were to have no relief unless they gave up their holdings. That law, too, laid down a form for evicting the people, and thus gave the sanction and encouragement of legislation to exterminate them. Calmly and quietly, but very ignorantly-- though we cheerfully exonerate the parties from any malevolence; they only committed a great mistake, a terrible blunder, which in legislation is worse than a crime-- but calmly and quietly from Westminster itself, which is the centre of civilization, did the decree go forth which has made the temporary but terrible visitation of a potato rot the means of exterminating, through the slow process of disease and houseless starvation, nearly the half of the Irish."
 
Seems that some contemporaries viewed the situation as government sanctioned "extermination" does it not?
 
Here is a good link:
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote JRScotia Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26-May-2009 at 01:46
So only a totalitarian dictatorship was capable of passing and enforcing the Poor Laws including the Gregory Clause?

I simply thought it was an example of a government taking advantage of people's suffering for the profit of large landowners many of whom were the ones passing the legislation, needless to say.

Edit: *sigh* deleting sarcasm

This really has been discussed to death. Those of us who think that the English (sorry I can't say British in this case)  government deliberately let this happen won't be persuaded otherwise. I am convinced there is ample evidence. Those of you who think the opposite will say the same thing and I suspect we will continue to each declare the others' sources to be biased or simply wrong.

Originally posted by gcle2003 gcle2003 wrote:

Parnell's right. I can't believe this is still going on. Do people really think that early Victorian Britain was some kind of totalitarian dictatorship?


Edited by JRScotia - 26-May-2009 at 09:46
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26-May-2009 at 04:08
Originally posted by gcle2003 gcle2003 wrote:

...Do people really think that early Victorian Britain was some kind of totalitarian dictatorship?
 
Not like a totalitarian dictatorship, but more like an "evil empire"... Wink
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26-May-2009 at 11:40
Originally posted by drgonzaga drgonzaga wrote:

Now, now, Parnell...it is for certain that some people in London did blame the government. Here is an excerpt from the Illustrated London News of 15 December 1849:
It's already been pointed out that there was a great deal of opposition to the government in Britain, though your quote illustrates the point appropriately.
 
The government switched between Peel's conservative one to Russell's Whig/Liberal one shortly after the start of the famine. Conservatives thought the government should interfere in the economy, Liberals didn't. So the former accused the latter of heartlessness. All part of the ongoing political process.
 
Like Democrats accusing Republicans of using Katrina to help get rid of racial minorities in New Orleans.
 


Edited by gcle2003 - 26-May-2009 at 11:42
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26-May-2009 at 11:52
Originally posted by JRScotia JRScotia wrote:

So only a totalitarian dictatorship was capable of passing and enforcing the Poor Laws including the Gregory Clause?
I had pinguin's post more in mind. I don't understand your comment though because I said it, or at least implied, it wasn't a totalitarian dictatorship. In fact a totalitarian dictatorship wouldn't have repealed the corn laws, because repeal depended on defeating the government.
Quote
I simply thought it was an example of a government taking advantage of people's suffering for the profit of large landowners many of whom were the ones passing the legislation, needless to say.
I know that's what you thought. Parnell and I are trying to enlighten you.
Quote
Edit: *sigh* deleting sarcasm

This really has been discussed to death. Those of us who think that the English (sorry I can't say British in this case) 
Why not? Irish, Welsh and Scots MPs supported the government. In fact the English constituencies had their usual conservative majority. Left-wing governments in British history have usually relied on support from the Celtic countries. 
Quote
government deliberately let this happen won't be persuaded otherwise. I am convinced there is ample evidence. Those of you who think the opposite will say the same thing and I suspect we will continue to each declare the others' sources to be biased or simply wrong.
The hang up is over the word 'deliberately', and possibly over 'let' because it isn't obvious they could have stopped it. That they failed to prevent it is beyond dispute.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote JRScotia Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26-May-2009 at 15:49
Which is a fine example of my point that you refuse to look at sources that show you're wrong. How can you continue claims of ignorance on the part of the government? (And bringing in an argument like Katrina is a mere attempt at distraction--very poor debating technique)

Political or not, you cannot say that the government involved in such a debate didn't KNOW what was happening and that their policies were making the situation worse. Yes, to respond to your post that followed: continuing Poor Laws that forced the poor off the land and prevented those in Poor Houses from even being allowed to raise food (no productive work remember)  knowingly LET people starve to death.

I could see if they enacted those laws and a short time later rescinded them that being an argument. But instead, they continued those policies year after year, so people starving was either the intended result or at least that they didn't CARE that that was the result. They couldn't plead ignorance.

Yes, they changed the Corn Laws. However, that was in 1846 at the START of the Famine. They had years to change other policies and didn't do so.

So enlighten me please:

How did they not know that their policies were causing people to starve to death?

How many people starved WHILE in Poor Houses? There was so much more--Trevelyan's acts (or lack of them), the questions about the grain that was supplied and not replenished, etc. but I just don't even want to think about people who could do such things.

How about an administrator like Trevelyan who wouldn't even go to Ireland because it might cause him to want to DO something for the thousands after thousands of people who were starving? Damn it, he KNEW what the results of his actions were and just didn't want to see them.


If it had been a ONE year or even a TWO year disaster, I could buy your argument. How in God's name can you say this going on for year after year with no change in policy wasn't deliberate? *sigh* You claim to "enlighten" but haven't shown a thing except insisting that policies that they continued while deaths in Ireland INCREASED didn't count because they were only "political".

Believing in their policies doesn't absolve them from guilt any more than Hilter or Stalin. THEY believed in their policies, too. (Ok, I see you having a hissy-fit on the extremely harsh comparison and not a great comparison since their killings were active rather than passive. But I have to repeat my point: Believing in a policy does NOT absolve you from the RESULTS of the policy--not when you know the results and have ample opportunity to change it)

Edit: Why I refuse to call the actions "British" is because legally the victims were "British" even though they certainly weren't treated like it. Thus, calling the actions or lack of actions "British" in effects blames the victims and I refuse to do so. I admit this is a purely emotional reaction, but it's something that I absolutely will not do. These people were NOT at fault in the horrible conditions and fate they endured.

With great effort I'll not refer to any current political issues except to say:

Saor Alba!  Wink

Originally posted by gcle2003 gcle2003 wrote:

Originally posted by drgonzaga drgonzaga wrote:

Now, now, Parnell...it is for certain that some people in London did blame the government. Here is an excerpt from the Illustrated London News of 15 December 1849:
It's already been pointed out that there was a great deal of opposition to the government in Britain, though your quote illustrates the point appropriately.
 
The government switched between Peel's conservative one to Russell's Whig/Liberal one shortly after the start of the famine. Conservatives thought the government should interfere in the economy, Liberals didn't. So the former accused the latter of heartlessness. All part of the ongoing political process.
 
Like Democrats accusing Republicans of using Katrina to help get rid of racial minorities in New Orleans.
 


Edited by JRScotia - 27-May-2009 at 15:50
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