“Colonialism dug its own grave” — too bad

The 19th century was the time of nation building. Italy achieved unity and the German Empire was accomplished in 1871. Europe surfed on a wave of nationalism — and Britain was no exception. Freshly unified, European states eagerly searched for untouched soil to expand their state influence. Untouched soil did not mean to annex a deserted peace of land. This definition was limited to the idea that no other European imperial force had successfully colonised the people of this place before. Pushed by the nationalist devotion to its own land, Britian contentedly presented a colonial empire at the end of the 19th century — the Empire on which the sun never sets. So, the beloved Britain planted its roots all over the world. In order to prosperously rule the little Britains, intellectual leaders were delegated to the colonies. Their education had based on the idea of self-determination of their homeland as a nation of integrity and this was the doctrine they lived up to in the new world. Living in a colony smothered by a foreign ruling upper class, the only way up in the social stairway for an individual of the surpressed ethnic group is to adapt to the foreign life doctrine. In this case this meant, among other things, to belive in the self-determination of a nation. No wonder that eager intelectuals of the colonised country sooner or later understood that nationalism was no virtue that belonged only to the British. As a result, shortly after Europe had energeticly balanced its surfboard on the wafe of nationalism, native colonial forces step by step first learned to swim and finally acquired the western techniques of surfing and joined them on the the wafe of nationalism — the belief in the self-determination of their country. To cut a long story short, british colonialism dug its own grave by spreading its western values in the annexed world triggering a new and strong strive for self-determination.

Source:

Low, A. Maurice. “Nationalism in the British Empire”. The American Political Science Review 10.2 (1916): 223–234.

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