View Full Version : 10 Crimes of the British Empire...

05-03-2015, 10:13 PM
Aden Torture Centres - just like Guantanamo

Famine makes it on to list

Cyrpus Internment


What can we add?

06-03-2015, 11:10 AM
The establishment turning a blind eye to crimes of sex abuse against juveniles.


Binn Beal
06-03-2015, 11:28 AM
The slave trade and the drug trade to China could go on that list.

06-03-2015, 01:15 PM
The suppression of the Mau Mau revolt in the 1950s:

Caroline Elkins, a professor at Harvard, spent nearly 10 years compiling the evidence contained in her book Britain's Gulag: the Brutal End of Empire in Kenya. She started her research with the belief that the British account of the suppression of the Kikuyu's Mau Mau revolt in the 1950s was largely accurate. Then she discovered that most of the documentation had been destroyed. She worked through the remaining archives, and conducted 600 hours of interviews with Kikuyu survivors – rebels and loyalists – and British guards, settlers and officials. Her book is fully and thoroughly documented. It won the Pulitzer prize. But as far as Sandbrook, James and other imperial apologists are concerned, it might as well never have been written.

Elkins reveals that the British detained not 80,000 Kikuyu, as the official histories maintain, but almost the entire population of one and a half million people, in camps and fortified villages. There, thousands were beaten to death or died from malnutrition, typhoid, tuberculosis and dysentery. In some camps almost all the children died.

The inmates were used as slave labour. Above the gates were edifying slogans, such as "Labour and freedom" and "He who helps himself will also be helped". Loudspeakers broadcast the national anthem and patriotic exhortations. People deemed to have disobeyed the rules were killed in front of the others. The survivors were forced to dig mass graves, which were quickly filled. Unless you have a strong stomach I advise you to skip the next paragraph.

Interrogation under torture was widespread. Many of the men were anally raped, using knives, broken bottles, rifle barrels, snakes and scorpions. A favourite technique was to hold a man upside down, his head in a bucket of water, while sand was rammed into his rectum with a stick. Women were gang-raped by the guards. People were mauled by dogs and electrocuted. The British devised a special tool which they used for first crushing and then ripping off testicles. They used pliers to mutilate women's breasts. They cut off inmates' ears and fingers and gouged out their eyes. They dragged people behind Land Rovers until their bodies disintegrated. Men were rolled up in barbed wire and kicked around the compound.

Recent enough for me to remember hearing on the radio, and for many of the torturers to be still alive.


C. Flower
06-03-2015, 04:21 PM
The suppression of the Mau Mau revolt in the 1950s:

Recent enough for me to remember hearing on the radio, and for many of the torturers to be still alive.


The British State was recently forced to pay compensation, I believe, to some survivors.

They British Empire is not going to give up its secrets easily.


While MoD archivists say the overwhelming majority of the files are likely to be of no historic interest and will eventually be destroyed rather than archived.......Many of the files at Swadlincote will have no historic value – working to guidelines issued by the National Archive, the MoD destroys about 97% of its records rather than handing them over Yeah right. So the MoD is allowed to decide for itself what is of historic value and what isn't, then burns 97% of its files, but shure dat's grand.

Eight years ago the MoD said it was withholding tens of thousands of files on the grounds that they had been stored in a building in London where asbestos had been discovered. It subsequently said that a number of those files could not be transferred to the National Archive because they had been destroyed as a result of water damage.

Do I look like a complete imbecile to these guys?

Meanwhile, the Foreign Office is yet to transfer all of its secret Hanslope Park archive to Kew, despite a pledge by the foreign secretary, William Hague, in May 2011, "to release every part of every paper of interest subject only to legal exemptions".

The Foreign Office has declined to disclose the reasons for deciding that specific files should be withheld, with the result that the reason for the continuing secrecy is itself a secret.

The glories of "British democracy", eh?

More than 66,000 separate files are being stored at an enormous warehouse operated by TNT Archive Services at Swadlincote in southern Derbyshire, despite the department's legal obligation to assess them for declassification once they are three decades old and either hand them to the archives at Kew, south-west London, or publicly give a reason for keeping them classified. While MoD archivists say the overwhelming majority of the files are likely to be of no historic interest and will eventually be destroyed rather than archived, thousands will need to be preserved.

The hidden archive includes what is described as "hundreds and hundreds of boxes", each containing about 10 files, that were sent to the warehouse when the British army's Northern Ireland headquarters closed four years ago. One MoD archivist describes it as looking like "the final scene from Raiders of the Lost Ark", in which box after box can be seen stretching into the distance.

The disclosure of the existence of the MoD stockpile echoes the admission by the Foreign Office in 2011 that a vast archive of its colonial-era documents had been concealed for decades (http://www.theguardian.com/uk/2012/apr/18/sins-colonialists-concealed-secret-archive) at Hanslope Park, a top-security government communications outpost in the countryside 50 miles north of London.

In June 1957, Eric Griffith-Jones, the attorney general of the British administration in Kenya, wrote to the governor, Sir Evelyn Baring, detailing the way the regime of abuse at the colony's detention camps was being subtly altered. From now on, Griffith-Jones wrote, for the abuse to remain legal, Mau Mau suspects must be beaten mainly on their upper body, "vulnerable parts of the body should not be struck, particularly the spleen, liver or kidneys", and it was important that "those who administer violence … should remain collected, balanced and dispassionate".
Almost as an after-thought, the attorney general reminded the governor of the need for complete secrecy. "If we are going to sin," he wrote, "we must sin quietly."

More than 50 years later, with the imperial endgame long over, evidence of those sins remained quietly concealed in a secret archive within one of the British government's most secure facilities. Set deep in the Buckinghamshire countryside and surrounded by 16ft-high fences topped with razor wire, lies Hanslope Park, home of Her Majesty's Government Communications Centre (http://www.hmgcc.gov.uk/about-us.aspx), where teams of scientists – real-life versions of Q, the fictional boffin of the James Bond films – devise technical aids for the Foreign Office, MI5 and MI6.

What better place to bury Griffith-Jones's letter to Baring, along with thousands more documents from colonial-era Kenya and countless others from 36 other former colonies and protectorates? Were this secret archive to be stacked upright, it would create a tower 200 metres tall. And every document was selected for concealment on the basis of an instruction that nothing should be handed over to any post-independence government that might "embarrass HMG or other government" or cause problems for any colonial policeman, civil servant or member of the armed forces.

Incredibly, perhaps, the Foreign Office maintained until last year that it had no idea its secret archive existed.

08-03-2015, 11:54 AM
The creation of concentration camps in South Africa during the Boer War:


Pearse Monnet
09-03-2015, 06:12 PM
What can we add?

Simple excellent thread Fluffs

For starters . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

On this day...
In 1925 – The British Air Force began a bombardment and strafing campaign (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pink%27s_War) against the mountain strongholds of Mahsud tribesmen in Waziristan – a region that straddles present-day states Pakistan and Afghanistan.

These Fuzzy Wuzzies had the audacity to resist a foreign power interfering in their country. The bloody cheek ! They are just so ungrateful, these.

Amazing how the Tommies are still at this activity (or rather are back at this activity). This is despite Cool Britannia, po-puri, mindfulness, the first Rock ‘n’ Roll Prime Minister, and a people’s princess.

Pearse Monnet
10-03-2015, 03:04 PM
A book detailing how Prime Minister Winston Churchill condemned four million Bengalis to needlessly starve to death in 1944: Mukerjee, Madhusree, "Churchill's Secret War. The British Empire and the ravaging of India during World War II" (2011)

Pearse Monnet
10-03-2015, 03:42 PM
Informative Political World dot Org discussion entitled “How the British Used Poison Gas Against the Bolsheviks in 1919” (http://www.politicalworld.org/showthread.php?14723-How-the-British-Used-Poison-Gas-Against-the-Bolsheviks-in-1919)
The discussion was prompted by a GUARDIAN article 1 September 2013 entitled “Winston Churchill's shocking use of chemical weapons”

Pearse Monnet
10-03-2015, 03:54 PM
Pdf document

Chapter 4 of “Speaking of Empire”; Jack Greene (2012) info on the activities of the East India Company

C. Flower
10-03-2015, 04:53 PM
War Crimes in World War 2


IN WORLD WAR II, perhaps the greatest single act of Allied war terror was the fire-bombing of "the Florence of the Elbe." An undefended city of 630,000, in February of 1945, Dresden was packed with hundreds of thousands of desperate refugees fleeing the Red Army.

(http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0312341156/thewisdomfund) As the Washington Post's Ken Ringle wrote on the fiftieth anniversary of the raid, "if any one person can be blamed for the tragedy at Dresden, it appears to have been Churchill."

Before leaving for Yalta, Churchill ordered Operation Thunderclap, the use of Allied air power to "de-house" German civilians to make them refugees so they would clog the roads over which German soldiers had to move to stop the winter offensive of the Red Army. It was British Air Marshal Arthur "Bomber" Harris who put Dresden on the target list. As Ringle describes the first night of the raid, 770 Lancaster bombers arrived over Dresden around ten p.m. In two waves three hours apart, 650,000 incendiary bombs rained down on Dresden's narrow streets and baroque buildings, together with another 1,474 tons of high explosives.
The morning after the Lancasters struck, five hundred American B-17s arrived over Dresden in two waves, with three hundred fighter escorts to strafe fleeing survivors.
The fires burned for seven days. More than 1,600 acres of the city were devastated (compared to 100 acres burned in the German raid on Coventry) and melting streets burned the shoes off those attempting to flee. Cars untouched by fire burst into flames just from the heat. Thousands sought refuge in cellars where they died, robbed of oxygen by the flames, before the buildings above them collapsed.
Novelist Kurt Vonnegut, one of twenty-six thousand Allied prison ers of war in Dresden who helped clean up after the attack, remembers tunneling into the ruins to find the dead sitting upright in what he would describe in Slaughterhouse-Five as "corpse mines." Floating in the static water tanks were the boiled bodies of hundreds more.
Estimates of the dead in the Dresden firestorm run from 35,000 to 250,000."

Vonnegut's description of schoolgirls jumping into the water reservoir tanks to try to escape the heat only to be boiled alive (so intense was the firestorm) would stick permanently in the mind.

Pearse Monnet
10-03-2015, 05:50 PM
War Crimes in World War 2


Vonnegut's description of schoolgirls jumping into the water reservoir tanks to try to escape the heat only to be boiled alive (so intense was the firestorm) would stick permanently in the mind.

yea it features in the story of the 1993 film Map of the Human Heart. Chilling.

And by February 1945 Germany was bet.

10-03-2015, 06:56 PM
Aden Torture Centres - just like Guantanamo

Famine makes it on to list

Cyrpus Internment


What can we add?

Add The Maynooth Grant Link (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maynooth_Grant)

C. Flower
10-03-2015, 07:05 PM

On 12 December 1948, during the Malayan Emergency (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malayan_Emergency), the Batang Kali massacre (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Batang_Kali_massacre) took place which involved the killing of 24 villagers. The official British position was that these villagers were insurgents attempting to escape, and that detailed investigation into the situation was not possible due to a lack of evidence.[citation needed (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Citation_needed)] Six of the eight British soldiers involved were interviewed under caution by detectives. They corroborated accounts that the villagers were unarmed, were not insurgents nor trying to escape, and had been unlawfully killed on the order of the two sergeants in command. The sergeants denied the allegations. The Government's position was that if anyone is to be held responsible, it should be the Sultan of Selangor (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sultan_of_Selangor).[72] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_war_crimes#cite_note-73)[73] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_war_crimes#cite_note-74)[74] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_war_crimes#cite_note-75)[75] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_war_crimes#cite_note-76)
Throughout the conflict, it was common by British troops to detain and torture (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Torture) villagers who were suspected in aiding the insurgents while attempting to search for them.[citation needed (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Citation_needed)] Brian Lapping said that there was “some vicious conduct by the British forces, who routinely beat up Chinese squatters (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Squatting) when they refused, or possibly were unable, to give information” about the insurgents.[citation needed (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Citation_needed)] There were also cases of bodies of dead guerrillas being exhibited in public. The Scotsman newspaper lauded these tactics as a good practice since “simple-minded peasants are told and come to believe that the communist leaders are invulnerable”.[citation needed (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Citation_needed)] Due to the fact the British were unable to distinguish from friend to foe as they went deep into the jungles and tired and living in fear of insurgent attacks, they often shoot anything that moves. A young British officer commented that: “We were shooting people. We were killing them...This was raw savage success. It was butchery. It was horror.”[citation needed (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Citation_needed)] British units also compete each other in competition who was going to kill more people or not. One British army conscript recalled that “when we had an officer who did come out with us on patrol I realised that he was only interested in one thing: killing as many people as possible”.[citation needed (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Citation_needed)] British forces also booby-trapped (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Booby-trapped) jungle food stores and burned villages.[citation needed (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Citation_needed)] Some civilians and detainees were also shot, either they attempted to flee from them on the grounds that they could give the insurgents valuable assistance to continue to fight against British forces or that simply because they refuse to give intelligence to British forces.[citation needed (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Citation_needed)]
Decapitation (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Decapitation) and mutilation (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mutilation) of insurgents by British forces were also common as a way to identify dead guerrillas when it was not possible to bring their corpses in from the jungle. A photograph of a Royal Marine (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Royal_Marine) commando (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commando) holding two insurgents’ heads caused a public outcry in April 1952. The Colonial Office privately noted that “there is no doubt that under international law (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_law) a similar case in wartime would be a war crime”.[76] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_war_crimes#cite_note-MAY-77)[77] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_war_crimes#cite_note-MAL-78)[78] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_war_crimes#cite_note-79)
As part of the Briggs' Plan (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Briggs%27_Plan) devised by British General Sir Harold Briggs (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harold_Rawdon_Briggs), 500,000 people (roughly ten percent of Malaya's population) were eventually removed from the land, had tens of thousands of their homes destroyed, and interned (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interned) in 450 guarded fortified camps called "New Villages (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Villages)". The intent of this measure was to inflict collective punishments (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Collective_punishment) on villages where people were deemed to be aiding the insurgents and to isolate the population from contact with insurgents. The British also tried to win the hearts of the internees by providing them with education and health services as well as piped water and electricity within the villages. While considered necessary, some of the cases involving the widespread destruction went beyond justification of military necessity (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Military_necessity).[citation needed (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Citation_needed)] This practice was prohibited by the Geneva Conventions (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geneva_Conventions) and customary international law (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Customary_international_law) which stated that the destruction of property must not happen unless rendered absolutely necessary by military operations.[76] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_war_crimes#cite_note-MAY-77)[77] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_war_crimes#cite_note-MAL-78)[79] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_war_crimes#cite_note-80)

C. Flower
10-03-2015, 07:57 PM
Australia. Hunting the aboriginal people, killing men, women, and babies to clear the land. Stealing their children.


C. Flower
10-03-2015, 08:01 PM
The Dublin and Monaghan bombs.


Pearse Monnet
10-03-2015, 08:07 PM
And this early example of biological warfare can’t be overlooked

– The attempt by the British during the French and Indian War (1754–1763) to eliminate a Native American nation by deliberately infecting them with smallpox. The territory of the Odawa people stretched across the present-day province of Ontario in Canada and the state of Michigan, in the USA.

The subject is covered in this book
“The Smallpox Genocide of the Odawa Tribe at L'Arbre Croche, 1763: The History of a Native American People” by Constance Cappel (2007)
reviewed here (https://mellenpress.com/mellenpress.cfm?bookid=7236&pc=9#)

Look there’s an elephant ! We will have to do an American one of these next

Pearse Monnet
10-03-2015, 08:19 PM
the goodies and the baddies . . . . . .

Comparing examples of collective punishment
1) the Lidice massacre by Nazi Germany in 1942 and
2) the Amritsar massacre by the British Empire

C. Flower
10-03-2015, 10:01 PM

These are some excess death figures
1. 18th -19th century Aboriginal Genocide (the Indigenous Aboriginal population dropped from about 1 million to 0.1 million in the first century after invasion in 1788).

2. Tasmanian Aboriginal Genocide (the "full-blood" Indigenous population dropped from 6,000 to zero from 1776 to 1803.

3. British Indian Genocide (post-invasion excess deaths 0.6 billion, 1757-1837; 0.5 billion, 1837-1901 under Queen Victoria; 0.4 Billion, 1901-1947.

4. European Chinese Genocide (10-100 million deaths in the European imperialism-driven Tai Ping rebellion period..

5. Maori Genocide (Maori population dropped from 0.1-0.2 million in 1800 to 42,000 in 1893; Australia was involved in the 19th century Maori wars).

6. African Genocide (scores of millions perished over 5 centuries of European slavery and colonialism; Australians participated in the Sudan War, 1881-1898).

7. Pacific Genocide (there was a catastrophic population decline due to introduced disease and slavery; thus 40,000 Fijians died from measles out of a population of 150,000 in 1876; ...

8. Boer (Afrikaaner) Genocide (1899-1902; 28,000 Afrikaaner women and children died in British concentration camps; ...

9. Armenian Genocide (1.5 million killed; the Australian invasion of Gallipoli as part of an Anglo-French force in 1915 helped to precipitate this atrocity;...

10. Bengali Genocide (6-7 million perished in the "forgotten" man-made Bengal Famine atrocity in Bengal and adjoining provinces in British India, 1943-1945; .

... 13. Australian Colonial Genocide (1950-2005 excess deaths in countries subject to Australian occupation as a major occupier in the post-war era, namely Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands totalled 2.1 million).

14. 20th century Aboriginal Genocide (total excess deaths clearly of the order of 1million; 0.1 million Stolen Generations Aboriginal children forcibly removed from their Mothers in the 19th and 20th centuries; excess deaths in the 11 years of the Bush-ite Coalition Government totalled 90,000 for 1996-2007).

The following Australian genocide involvements in this catalogue of horrors are ongoing.

15. Palestinian Genocide (post-1967 excess deaths 0.3 million, post-1967 under-5 infant deaths 0.2 million and 7 million refugees; with bi-partisan agreement Australia provides diplomatic, financial and haven support for Israeli state terrorism – even when directed against tens of thousands of Australian citizens as in Lebanon in mid-2006 - and up to life imprisonment for anyone giving support to the Hamas Party that overwhelmingly won the 2006 Occupied Palestinian elections).

16. Iraqi Genocide (4 million excess deaths 1990-2008; 2 million post-invasion excess deaths, 0.6 million post-invasion under-5 infant deaths and 4.5 million refugees; Australia militarily involved since 1990 ).

17. Afghan Genocide (3-7 million post-invasion excess deaths, 2.3 million post-invasion under-5 infant and 4 million refugees; Australia involved militarily since 2001).

18. Ongoing Aboriginal Genocide (9,000 excess deaths annually; 90,000 excess deaths in the last 11 years of Bush-ite Coalition rule; see MWC News).


Pearse Monnet
10-03-2015, 10:53 PM
Bury my heart at Mullaghmast hill

Sonderaktion Krakau lives on in the minds of Polish people as one of the more inhuman examples of Nazi Germany’s occupation of Polish territory.

Sonderaktion Krakau (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sonderaktion_Krakau) (translating as Special Action Krakow) resonates not simply because of the killing involved but because of the deception used.

The conciliation used to deceive the subjects from the brutal and mortal true intention of the Sonderaktion Krakau is a well-used tactic. This Gestapo assignment of November 1939 was carried out to eradicate Polish intellectuals in this city; a city that had designated the capital city of the colonial project Germany had for Poland. For the Polish nation to be made more malleable their intellectual leadership had to be disposed of.

A group of Polish academics had been selected and to overcome any natural caution on their part they were duped by an invite to a lecture about German plans for Polish education sent out by the University's rector. The event had originated from the Nazis; the talk never took place. With all 184 guests convened they were arrested on the spot by armed police, frisked and escorted out to their eventual destination of Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp.

The Nazis didn’t have a monopoly on ruses like this. Other examples of similar massacres initiated by guile include the Wounded Knee Massacre of December 29, 1890 where about 300 Lakota were killed in South Dakota, and also the 1577 massacre of Ireland.

The political integration and cultural assimilation of the native population of this country could only be achieved with the elimination of “un-cooperative” elements in the ruling caste.

The 1556 Queen's County Plantation (in what is today County Laois) was a failure. This area had been chosen partly because the O'Moore and O'Connor clans, which resided in the area, had been raiding the English-ruled Pale around Dublin for centuries. However, the dispossession of the O'Moore Clan of their lands had resulted in a costly, long drawn-out guerrilla war in the county.

Francis Cosby, Governor of Maryborough (today Port Laoise town), invited a delegation from Clainn Ui Mór for talks. As an act of good faith, he suggested using the venue of Mullaghmast, which had a standing stone decorated with a Triskele, dating from prehistory, a site believed to hold ceremonial significance for generations of Gaelic nobility.

So, in 1577 the leaders of the various septs (or branches) of the O’Moore Clan arrived to Mullaghmast hill, today near the village of Ballitore in county Kildare. They were ambushed and upwards of 200 people were killed.

1577 massacre
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Massacre_of_Mullaghmast) has featured in ballads and stories ever since.

The following description of events is in “The Annals of the Four Masters” (page 1693) a folk history of the Irish people finally edited by Gaelic scholar John O'Donovan (1806 – 1861)

A horrible and abominable act of treachery was committed by the English of Leinster and Meath upon that part of the people of Offally and Leix that remained in confederacy with them, and under their protection. It was effected thus: they were all summoned to shew themselves, with the greatest number they could be able to bring with them, at the great rath of Mullach-Maistean; and on their arrival at that place they were surrounded on every side by four lines of soldiers and cavalry, who proceeded to shoot and slaughter them without mercy, so that not a single individual escaped, by flight or force.
(Available in the Royal Irish Academy reference number M1577.14)

Pearse Monnet
11-03-2015, 04:18 PM
The Tommy torture scandal of the Ballykelly Hooded Men in the early ‘70s

Info on it here

In the late 90s I saw an interview of some of the Catholic men who were subject to sustained torture perpetrated by this thing called “the UK”. Broken men for the rest of their lives.

Examples of inexcusable savagery like this, polarised opinion in the Catholic community in the north. The blood boiled, young men and women flocked to the ranks of the Provies, and in time the Irps. The tough life of military action that followed, the sacrifice, the spent energy.

C. Flower
11-03-2015, 08:42 PM
Scotland - the Highland Clearances - described "Improvements" by the big landowners - a term reminiscent of the "reforms" of the Troika.

The Sutherlands' first Commissioner, William Young, arrived in 1809, and soon engaged Patrick Sellar (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patrick_Sellar) as his factor, who pressed ahead with the process while acquiring sheep farming estates for himself.[9] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Highland_Clearances#cite_note-prebble-9) The Sutherlands were responsible for brutal clearances between 1811 and 1820.[21] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Highland_Clearances#cite_note-21)[22] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Highland_Clearances#cite_note-22) Sellar threw people out in person if they showed any reluctance to go, and burned down their crofts to make sure they never came back.[23] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Highland_Clearances#cite_note-23) Evictions of 2,000 families in one day were not uncommon. Many starved and froze to death where their homes had once been. The Duchess of Sutherland, on seeing the starving tenants on her husband's estate, remarked in a letter to a friend in England, "Scotch people are of happier constitution and do not fatten like the larger breed of animals."

Tenants were generally treated according to due process of law, being served with notices of eviction and given time (typically three months) to vacate. However, many were reluctant to leave, did not obey the eviction notices, and were evicted with force. The methods used were sometimes harsh and brutal, even by the standards of the early 19th century.[24] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Highland_Clearances#cite_note-Prebble-24) Donald McLeod, a Sutherland crofter (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Croft_%28land%29), wrote about the events he witnessed:

The consternation and confusion were extreme. Little or no time was given for the removal of persons or property; the people striving to remove the sick and the helpless before the fire should reach them; next, struggling to save the most valuable of their effects. The cries of the women and children, the roaring of the affrighted cattle, hunted at the same time by the yelling dogs of the shepherds amid the smoke and fire, altogether presented a scene that completely baffles description — it required to be seen to be believed.

A dense cloud of smoke enveloped the whole country by day, and even extended far out to sea. At night an awfully grand but terrific scene presented itself — all the houses in an extensive district in flames at once. I myself ascended a height about eleven o'clock in the evening, and counted two hundred and fifty blazing houses, many of the owners of which I personally knew, but whose present condition — whether in or out of the flames — I could not tell. The conflagration lasted six days, till the whole of the dwellings were reduced to ashes or smoking ruins. During one of these days a boat actually lost her way in the dense smoke as she approached the shore, but at night was enabled to reach a landing-place by the lurid light of the flames.[25] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Highland_Clearances#cite_note-25)

The clans, and Scottish Gaelic culture, was devastated. People were deported en mass to the shores "to live from fishing" and died there.


15-03-2015, 01:13 PM
The Bengal famines:

The British had a ruthless economic agenda when it came to operating in India and that did not include empathy for native citizens. Under the British Raj, India suffered countless famines. But the worst hit was Bengal. The first of these was in 1770, followed by severe ones in 1783, 1866, 1873, 1892, 1897 and lastly 1943-44. Previously, when famines had hit the country, indigenous rulers were quick with useful responses to avert major disasters. After the advent of the British, most of the famines were a consequence of monsoonal delays along with the exploitation of the country’s natural resources by the British for their own financial gain. Yet they did little to acknowledge the havoc these actions wrought. If anything, they were irritated at the inconveniences in taxing the famines brought about.