Talk:British Empire

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Commonwealth countries[edit]

The list of Commonwealth countries in this article isn't close to complete. Here's the official list. Note that it includes one country - Mozambique - which was never a British colony. Ikan Kekek (talk) 01:02, 2 February 2016 (UTC)

Wow, the article was only created a couple hours ago :)
Yes, the list is incomplete, however I'm wondering how to handle it, or actually even should we have a list at all. Listing every single Commonwealth country will result in a very long list, and seems to go counter to our aim of creating useful articles. Thoughts? Andrewssi2 (talk) 01:32, 2 February 2016 (UTC)
I didn't realize the article was so new! Maybe we could just link to the official list. Ikan Kekek (talk) 02:19, 2 February 2016 (UTC)
How about a disambiguation article called Commonwealth of Nations and list the countries there? We could then link to it from this section.... --Andrewssi2 (talk) 04:09, 2 February 2016 (UTC)
OK, let's talk about this a little: How is the Commonwealth a travel-related subject? And if it is, what about Le Francophonie, African Union, Arab League, Community of Portuguese Language Countries, Organization of American States... Ikan Kekek (talk) 05:55, 2 February 2016 (UTC)
I would say the Commonwealth is a marginally travel related subject. The Commonwealth Games are fairly important. w:Commonwealth_of_Nations#Culture has some other areas as well. Andrewssi2 (talk) 07:07, 2 February 2016 (UTC)
Couldn't all of them be said to be marginally travel-related in some way? But which ones merit an article, and why? Ikan Kekek (talk) 07:39, 2 February 2016 (UTC)
To return to the purpose of this article, it seemed a good place to point interested readers to our many articles on British Empire related subjects. The actual composition of the current Commonwealth of Nations is interesting but not vital in any way to the original intent. I'd be happy just to link to Wikipedia or somewhere else (such as your link above) Andrewssi2 (talk) 21:27, 2 February 2016 (UTC)
Better to use a primary link, as always. Ikan Kekek (talk) 01:16, 3 February 2016 (UTC)

Ireland[edit]

Some people claim that Ireland actually was the "first part of the Empire" and that the British tested out their tactics of ruling and colonizing and whatnot there. Should we give room to that claim? Hobbitschuster (talk) 15:47, 5 April 2017 (UTC)

I would say Yes, but if you think about it, Wales and Scotland were captured first. Ikan Kekek (talk) 18:33, 5 April 2017 (UTC)
I don't know about the specifics of Wales, but Scotland was - for a quite long time - only another kingdom that happened to have the same King and it was the Scottish kings that took over the English crown, not the other way round. Also, while the "Old English" ultimately became "more Irish than the Irish themselves", they did arrive in Ireland at a time when Scotland was not yet governed by the same monarch as England. Hobbitschuster (talk) 18:41, 5 April 2017 (UTC)
OK, thanks for disabusing me of some false notions. Ikan Kekek (talk) 18:59, 5 April 2017 (UTC)
No problem. I've also heard (though this may well be apocryphal) that the "Prince of Wales" came to be the title of the heir to the throne as some English King promised the Welsh "a prince born in your land and who doesn't speak any other language (other than Welsh)" - luckily for him his infant heir was hardly out of diapers and actually born in Wales. Hobbitschuster (talk) 19:09, 5 April 2017 (UTC)
From a technical perspective, no. The Act of Union made the island of Ireland fully a part of the United Kingdom : w:Acts_of_Union_1800, and therefore in no technical way a colony (in theory all citizens had equal rights).
From a practical perspective it is correct to say that the British did treat Ireland as a colony in many negative ways, even if that wasn't the original intent.
For comparison, Japan also annexed the Korean nation into Japan, with the intent that all Koreans would then be considered Japanese. From a practical perspective that never really happened with similar discrimination being practiced and the time is almost always referred to as 'colonial'. Andrewssi2 (talk) 22:53, 5 April 2017 (UTC)
France also made places like Algeria Overseas Departments. Is that very different? Ikan Kekek (talk) 23:22, 5 April 2017 (UTC)
Well Ireland was also the object of some "settler colonialism", which I think is one of the many reasons for the thing commonly called "The Troubles". And England messing with Ireland in one way or another dates back to shortly after 1066 iirc. I don't know if you've heard of Eric Flint's "1632" series of alternative history, but in one of the many books of the series one of the modern Irish American characters (who has a very dim view of Cromwell because of his actions in Ireland) is confronted with the actual man instead of his caricature image and finds reality to be much more complex than he first thought. At any rate, we have to be careful neither to push the narrative that the British Empire was a single never-ending stream of abuses and crimes nor the narrative that the British Empire was entirely justified in everything it ever did and the restive natives were just ungrateful fools who didn't know what was good for them. Reality is rarely ever that simple. And even if a population exists in some place as a result of settler colonialism, at some point that place becomes the only home they've ever known and they have just as much or little right to live their as other people born there. At any rate, to get back to the original point a bit more: discrimination against Irish as far as I understand it wasn't because of them being Irish so much as them being Catholic - at least post Act of Union. The Church of Ireland had a ridiculous amount of power compared to the number of adherents, but iirc it was not that much more powerful than the Church of England was in England. Hobbitschuster (talk) 23:43, 5 April 2017 (UTC)
Just to help me out here, what is your actual question? Is it should we describe the union of Ireland with the United Kingdom as colonial or not? Andrewssi2 (talk) 00:07, 6 April 2017 (UTC)
My question is whether we should follow the narrative espoused here among other places, that English colonialism began in Ireland and if you'd follow some views it began here and not when Columbus sailed the ocean blue or even later. Or more to the point: Should we mention Ireland and if so, how? Hobbitschuster (talk) 00:24, 6 April 2017 (UTC)
If you take the term 'colonialism' as sending colonists to another country, then indeed England was indeed sending protestant settlers to Ireland in the 16th century. I'd say it is a true statement, but hard to make generalizations about something as big as the British Empire. Andrewssi2 (talk) 00:38, 6 April 2017 (UTC)

List of countries[edit]

A new contributor (quite possible Telstra) has added more countries to this list - I'll just leave here for want of anything else to do about it. --Andrewssi2 (talk) 08:36, 20 May 2017 (UTC)


Listing just some of the Commonwealth countries, with an apparently arbitrary exclusion of certain countries, is pointless. The list should either be completed, or removed altogether. I'm happy to do either of these things, though think it would make more sense to list every country.--ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 23:21, 6 February 2019 (UTC)

I agree. If a full list of 53 is too long, we could list only those countries with a population of over 1 million - 32 countries including the UK. AlasdairW (talk) 00:07, 7 February 2019 (UTC)
They can be listed on two or even three columns, so shouldn't look too lengthy. --ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 17:15, 7 February 2019 (UTC)