9th March 2010, 03:43 PM
Join Date: Apr 2007
Re: Which was the greatest ancient empire?
I think very few points of view are flat out unacceptable. I can see Thaddeus' point, although I should also make it clear that I am not advocating a return to the days of Empire. In the day, the fashionable belief was that the British Empire was an unreservedly Good Thing because we showed these damnable natives a thing or two about running their own affairs and taught them cricket into the bargain. Nowadays, the fashionable belief is that the British Empire was an unreservedly Bad Thing as it relied on the vile jackboot of oppression and the stifling of those yearning to be free. Whether it's tribe or Empire, it's usually about the control of resources. States that become Empires might be particularly good at acquiring those resources, but if moral opposition to Empire is based on notions of self determination and the sanctity of each tribe/nation/people to govern their own affairs, can anyone explain the qualitative difference between the British annexing India (or the Romans annexing Britain) and the Macsomeones annexing the Macsomeonelses? And how far back do we have to go to find a first people, living in their Garden of Eden state, to whom the right of self determination attaches? Take Cumbria as an example. The earliest records suggest it was part of a Celtic Brigantian federation which covered most of what is now northern England. The Celts themselves were incomers who displaced (or at least took over from) their proto-Celtic predecessors, who in turn were descended from waves of different peoples who had been pitching up through the Bronze Age. The Brigantes were conquered and/or assimilated into the Roman empire. Following the fall of Rome, Cumbria coalesced into a Romano-Britsh kingdom called Rheged. After a brief but glorious hiatus, Rheged fell to English Northumbria. English Northumbria in turn lost it to the Manx/Irish Viking settlers who in turn were absorbed by expanding British Strathclyde. Strathclyde in turn became part of Scotland (settled by the Irish Dal Riadans), who controlled Cumbria until it was ceded to the Norman French kings in the late 11th Century. So, who has the right of self determination in Cumbria? Who are the Cumbrian people? Who are the oppressed and who are the oppressors? Where do we draw the line - and when (in historical terms) do we draw it? Regards, Peter
| I'm sorry, Thaddeus, but I hope your comment was more of the "for the hell of it" variety, because if you truly believe in the validity of the British (or any other) Empire in the present world, then that is a ridiculous line of thought. |
Last edited by Peter Graham; 9th March 2010 at 03:54 PM.