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19th century European Imperialism was predominantly negative.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: Select Winner
Started: 6/28/2016 Category: Politics
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,431 times Debate No: 92248
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I will be debating why 19th century European Imperialism was predominantly negative.

Round Rules and Regulations:

1 - Acceptance
2 - Positions
3 - Rebuttals and Refutations
4 - Rebuttals and Refutations (No new arguments)
5 - Closing Statements

No name calling, generalizations, assumptions or ostentatious bigotry.

Each participant must use at least 3 sources for entire debate.

Definition of Imperialism (for the sake of debate): the extension of power and dominion of one powerful nation or empire over another.

This will be my 4th official debate on My past debates have definitely ended in the most unfortunate and sour manner. I hope this debate will be much more engaging and enlightening.


I accept the debate
Debate Round No. 1


Several negative consequences to Imperialism; Neo-Colonialism, socio-economic oppression, Informal Imperialism and international disparity, are all causal occurrences of nineteenth century Imperialism that are ongoing problems on a global scale today. Although the advancements of technology and industry which stem from Imperialism may be considered positive, any form of Imperialism is volatile and unacceptable in the modern world. The three main atrocities which make European Imperialism predominantly negative is 1) the oppression of native beliefs and culture, 2) unhealthy living conditions and 3) the mass exploitation of resources.

The point of departure for defining Imperialism for the sake of this debate should be understood as the subordination of one society by another and the will that produces colonialism (Stuchtey). The two distinct forms of Imperialism are that of direct and indirect rule by the dominant society which maintains its rule over the colonized society through the means of colonization, political regulations and most importantly, commerce. The first form of Imperialism can be known through the doctrinated rule of the subjugated society. This is known as Formal Imperialism. Formal Imperialism involves the direct rule over a society through doctrines, territory and colonization. The origins of Formal Imperialism can be underpinned by the Treaty of Tordesillas by Spain and Portugal in 1494 (Stuchtey). This dictated the first European claim to hegemony and the will of Imperialism. Formal Imperialism can be concluded during the struggle to independence and unification of India in 1947. Imperialism, being defined only by the subordination of one society by another, can take the form of indirect rule. In this case, Informal Imperialism subdues the disciplined society to socio-economic rule absent of any official political, doctrinal and territorial declarations. We can relate twentieth century American Imperialism as the prime example of Informal Imperialism. Worldwide corporate involvement in Saudi-Arabia has influenced many changes to a multitude of foreign landscapes in the past thirty years of international relations (and has essentially driven American Industry since 1945). Collectively, the nineteenth century brought global expansion and industrialization. Europeans believed in the preservation and growth of new and old markets, and in accordance, the subjugation of lesser societies with the intention to improve both societies.

(1) The British Empire held an idea of a "civilizing mission". Holding colonies in Australia, North America, the West Indies, India, Africa and the Pacific East, Britain believed that intervention with "inferior" societies could not only improve the hegemony of the British Empire, but also improve the conditions of those inferior societies. This caused an incredibly glorified apprehending/oppression of native beliefs and culture. Understanding David Livingstone"s three principles (a.k.a. The 3 c"s) can unravel the ethnocentric ideal of superiority over other societies. Livingstone stated that in order to successfully enforce this superior ideal, Britain must establish Commerce, Christianity and Civilisation for African natives (David). This assumes that Africa was completely absent of all three before British intervention. Through a delusion of ethnocentric superiority, the British began to enforce these three ideals in African colonies during the mid-nineteenth century. In an effort to emancipate, the British Empire and its reaches oppressed Africans by forcing these three principles to change native peoples unwillingly. Once Britain had gained a variety of successful colonies from Australia and India, the Brits used this initial growth as successful rationale for continuing overseas intervention. Britain adopted the idea of "trusteeship" when North American colonies gained independence from colonialists. The British had main intentions of keeping those independent countries as economical allies only so that the independent country recognizes itself as an extension of the mother country (Stuchtey). This can be traced back to Canada and in later years, Australia. This idea of "trusteeship" served as rationale for the continuation of oppressing African colonies with Livingstone"s three principles.

The influence Christianity had contributed to the three principles during overseas affairs had negative influences within Imperialist borders. The civilizing mission was not only installed in foreign lands, but also integrated into British children at a young age. Christian altruism encouraged the acquisition of character as opposed to intelligence. Evangelicals taught British children for nearly a century that once you can control yourself, you can control others (Fanon.206). The integration of Social Darwinism in British society during the nineteenth century led to the chastisement of African native peoples (considered lesser breeds). The chastisement of Africans and mass delusion in everyday British life during the nineteenth century exposed an ethnocentric racism that should forever be deemed unacceptable. This demonstrated a negative characteristic of Imperialism. The pressure to expand Christian beliefs into children and foreign nations stemmed from international religious competition. Africa of the sixteenth through to the eighteenth centuries experienced many Muslims in Northern Africa who forced indigenous peoples into the slave trade. This led to an exaggerated thesis of the British Empire intervening into Africa to prevent Muslim conversion and market manipulation (Stuchtey). This initial religious competition favoured the European evangelical after the abolishment of slavery and industrialization during the 1830s. Once European industry and principles grew, African oppression grew as well. The multitude of occurrences involving Christian oppression and conversion of native peoples in accordance with Livingstone"s three principles have historically transformed into an unacceptable form of ethnocentric racism. This negativity exposed the pinnacle of how the Europeans oppressed the native beliefs and culture of Africa in the nineteenth century.

(2) Utilizing ethnocentrism, native peoples became more useful as economic tools for making money than a true extension of a respectful mother country that supposedly believed in "trusteeship". Within European borders, explorers, journalist and most citizens had normalized the ideal that Empires needed to expand globally. This was due to the belief that Africa was a stretch of empty space waiting to be occupied by civilization and technology constructed through the magic of European industry (Hochschild.101). This belief can also be applied to the "New World" and the profitable markets installed in India a century earlier. This negative effect of Imperialism leads to a delusion of racial superiority and socio-economic oppression for indigenous peoples.

Prior to Britain"s 1833 abolishment of slavery, all of her colonial territories were subject to some sort of forced labour. Millions of Africans were supplied to the slave trade by all surrounding countries - North Americans, Arabs and Europeans - during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries (Said.22). The mass transportation of indigenous Africans into the slave trade (subduing a whole race to forced labour for hundreds of years) can not only be viewed as a negative characteristic of Imperialism; but an excessive racist crime against humanity through ethnic cleansing and manipulation. The British Empire transported millions of African slaves over hundreds of years to its presiding colonies. Between 1562 and 1807, over three million slaves from were transported from Africa to America alone (David). This mass transportation also subdued native Africans to illness and psychological damage during long trips to a foreign land to provide labour.

(3) Neo-Colonialism and modern day monopolies have proved that Imperialism still exists in 2016. Although we have abandoned most conventional aspects of Formal Imperialism, the characteristics which make Imperialism predominantly negative are still prevalent in modern day Africa. At last, African countries have all gained political independence, yet, reparations have not been made as socio-economic oppression continues to perpetuate African life through the mass exploitation of resources. When Metropolitans installed European market into African natives, there was no direct way of giving African nations complete economic autonomy once they decolonized. Frantz Fanon believed that decolonization is the origin of new, liberated men; that the thing - nation, society or man - that is colonized becomes a significant man through the very process of decolonization, independence, liberation and autonomy (Fanon.2). Political independence has ceased to provide true liberation and autonomy for African nations. Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, a revolutionary during the 1957 independence of Ghana, believed that although Imperial powers may relinquish the appearance of oppressive rule through the political recognition of the colonized country"s independence, they maintain their hegemony through the control of international commerce and socio-economic oppression (Azikiwe). Imperialism and its incredibly negative characteristics still exist in modern day Africa through socio-economic oppression that has grown from maintaining and improving those European mines and campaigns exercised into Africa so many years ago. Informal Imperialism has shown that true freedom and autonomy will not be experienced in Africa through political and ideological independence; only through economic and industrial affairs which equalize the quality of life Africans have failed to experience in comparison to Western lifestyles. Although Formal Imperialism was always bound to foreign policy of Western Colonial states, Informal Imperialism is exclusively attributed to economic control through foreign investments (Azikiwe). Modern day multinational monopolies, such as Glencore, have reaped the resources that have pressured African civilians to the same kind of socio-economic oppression African indigenous peoples have endured for several centuries. The corruption that Africa endures today is causal to Imperialism and any of its characteristics. The modern form of Imperialism - Informal Imperialism or indirect rule - shares the negative Imperialistic characteristics of socio-economic oppression and mass exploitation of resources.

Consistent with Imperialism in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, all African mines and industries are owned and operated by multinational corporations who earn billions reaping away resources with the likenesses of copper, rubber, cocoa, timber and diamond (Guldbrandsen). The multinational corporations who maintain strongholds in African industry set up subsidiaries in all nations which manipulate invested numbers in order to move profits to low taxed territories or mines to gain more profit. This is not an illegal form of tax evasion or tax reduction, but this method epitomizes an Imperialistic disregard for the financial needs and schedules for citizens of the inhibited society who must adhere to corporate interest or disinterest in a short period of time. In addition to this injustice, most corporations who partake in the mass exploitation of resources in developing countries earn profit that far exceeds those countries" GDP"s (Guldbrandsen). Further corruption can be seen in the displacement of profit and pollution numbers created by these multinational monopolies. Many Western activists and global humanitarians are left speculative to whether multinational corporations are following the rules and regulations set out by African industrial policies.


Imperialism is when a mother country takes over a smaller country for political, social, or economic reasons. This debate will focus on imperialistic mother countries within Europe, and discuss whether the effects of these countries was positive or negative. I will be arguing that, on balance, it was positive.

My first reason for this is that 19th century imperialism benefited healthcare in colonial lands. For example, in 1803, Spain started a smallpox eradication effort in its colonies, spawning massive vaccination efforts in the Americas and the Philippines, saving thousands of lives [1]. This also happened in African colonies, as John Iliffe writes, "With the coming of European medicine, peace, and famine relief, mortality declined" [5]. European imperialists also improved sanitation to colonies. Improved sanitation has been proven to substantially decrease mortality, by 47% [6]. That means that European imperialism resulted in cutting the infant mortality rate almost in half in their colonies.

European imperialism also led to the increase in education for colonized countries. For example, Mountstuart Elphinstone of Britain greatly promoted education in India, as well as established the state education system there [2]. An increased education leads to extremely positive to results. For example, increased literacy rates leads to rapid and continuous economic growth, raises future earning potential by 15% per child, decreased infant mortality rates, and increased food security [3]. Research shows a strong connection between education and decreased mortality rates, sometimes even by 50% [4].

Imperialism lead to markets for colonial goods. For example, in Africa, the arrival of Europeans during the 19th century lead to a huge market for African goods, such as steel, cloth, jewelry, and alcohol. This was extremely profitable for local leaders [7].

Imperialism also led to protecting smaller countries from attack. Without imperialism, these countries were without major protection, and thus vulnerable to attack by larger powers. European imperialism changed that by protecting these smaller countries, thus preventing war and saving lives. For example, Portugal was able to avoid war through the 19th century due to British Imperialism, resulting in the passage of the Treaty of Windsor [8]. In short, imperialism deterred future wars from occurring.

Debate Round No. 2


Reminder: The sources I used for round 2 are posted in the comment section


I will proceed to the first round of rebuttals and refutations. I will first be listing the 5 fallacies in my opponent's sources and then continue on to listing the various theoretical flaws in my opponent's rationale. Also, I hope my opponent notes that he has not listed the actual source for his eight citation. This creates a problem for the entirety of his final point; that I may not be able to 100% certainty that Portugal avoided war due to British Imperialism and the passing of the Treaty of Windsor. There will be future rebuttal against his statement as to how the relations between Britain and Portugal pertain to the positivity of European Imperialism in the nineteenth century. Prior to rebuttals, I have listed the numerous arguments that both my opponent and myself have presented to the debate thus far.


1) The oppression of native lifestyles

2) Christianity; brainwashes next generations in metropoles and colonies

3) continuation of 1 due to technological advancement and Imperial ambition

4) Slavery

5) Neo-colonialism

6) Socio-economic oppression (during and after the 19th century)


1) Healthcare advancement

2) Increase in education

3) Colonial market

4) Colonial Security

Invalid sources:

1. The research in your third source does not apply to increasing the literacy rate in European colonies during the nineteenth century. To demonstrate an example of literacy to demonstrate the contrary to your argument, India, a major British colony epitomizing European Imperialism in the nineteenth century, had only a 12% literacy rate before their independence from British rule [1]. In congruence, underdeveloped countries - which were most often the regions controlled by Imperial rule (Africa, Indies and Pacific East specifically) – had extremely low literacy rates, some as low as 3%. Since 1870, more than 75% of the global population never experienced conventional education [2]. It is extremely disturbing to know that this figure exposes the fact that the regions which were experiencing the lowest literacy rates, and probably the worst living conditions, were the regions that were subject to the formal European Imperialism I have demystified in my original arguments.

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(refer to my album entitled 'Debate pictures')

2. The study you used in your fourth source only applies to the global population, education and development of Post-World War 2. Although there is an indisputable connection between education and the quality of health, population, fertility and mortality, there was an absence of both education and literacy in the majority of colonies subject to the evils of nineteenth century European Imperialism. The majority of these colonies were the ones who were most easily manipulated, underdeveloped, and exploited by the highest number of various European powers. These regions include Africa, the West Indies and South/South-East Asia. In conclusion, your fourth source not only disregards this fact of nineteenth century European Imperialism, but fails to show the connection between education and its benefits before 1950.

3. Sanitation methods described in your sixth source would obviously be much different than what would've been practiced in a nineteenth century European colony. In accordance, this source shows no correlation between water sanitation and nineteenth century Imperialism or colonialism. Supplementary to this is the fact that many of the regions that were once colonies still experience extremely unhealthy levels of contaminated water and sanitation methods. This is stated several times in the introduction to your sixth source. This works against your original argument because it exemplifies the contamination that continues to poison the lives of thousands, perhaps millions, of native inhabitants who live within the regions once colonized by European Imperialists in the nineteenth century.

4. The content of your seventh source describes how only "some regions of sub-Saharan Africa" were producing high quality goods that Europeans imported from colonies. When you use this source, you disregard the remaining European powers intervening and their colonies in India, the Pacific East and the West Indies. I have made a corresponding rebuttal below, pertaining to the issue of European intervention in North Africa and how Islamic Arabs had demonstrated similar Imperialistic market installment centuries earlier.

5. [8] Source number 8 is not listed and thus, until further consultation, will not be considered in the debate until it is.

Theoretical flaws and contradictions:

1. An increasing literacy rate did not synchronize to a legitimate desire to educate colonized peoples, but to improve the possibility economic ambition and prosperity. In a nineteenth century colonial setting, native peoples were learning the language of their Imperialist leaders, which applies to the oppression of native beliefs, language and culture. When there is a higher rate of literacy, industry also prospers [1.United Nations.5 ]. The goal from an imperialist perspective, which emanate from a selfish desire to require wealth for the metropolis, was that Imperialist leaders needed to teach their colonized peoples the language of the mother country to improve industrial ambitions. European Imperialists wanted to teach the language of the metropolis to communicate commerce more effectively. This was to seal the desire for more wealth.

2. There is an irony in your first statement about the Spanish investing in medical research in the Philippines and Americas to prevent smallpox. Many centuries prior to the discovery of the smallpox vaccination, Imperial conquistadors brought savage armies who had wiped out natives not only through violent aggression, but mostly by mistreatment and disease. Millions of natives had died from smallpox and fever brought on by drought, mistreatment and disease [2]. The goal from an Imperialist perspective was to deter the number of major metropolitan officials dying from smallpox to install a stronger colonial function. But did this vaccination serve as a complete reparation to the millions of natives who were abused, diseased and massacred beforehand? It is not about the vaccination, but the apprehension of natives resulting in horrible consequences.

3. In addition to the invalid information provided from sources 3 and 4, the example of a British installment of the state education system provides only one instance in a vast amount of other colonial comparisons where education was either not provided at all, or the education provided was only adequate enough to serve the needs of Imperial leaders. This was the case in most nineteenth century colonies and exemplified most effectively in the Belgian Congo after the Partitioning of Africa [3]. In this case, Belgium did not supervise or encourage any development of educating the native peoples of the Congo. From an Imperialist perspective, the influence of education, increasing the profit margin for metropolitan markets, proved beneficial for the installation and growth of foreign markets. In the specific case of the Belgian Congo, not only did King Leopold II show complete disregard for this concept (and perhaps couldn't afford to educate the colonized peoples), but also showed complete disregard for the compatibility between colonies and the metropole through literacy and education. King Leopold only provided enough ‘education’ to suffice the communication of commerce to exploit the land for selfish gain.

4. To disprove the argument upheld by your seventh source, the arrival of European Imperialism in Africa was not the first occurrence of Imperialism influencing a growing market for African goods. As early as the seventh century, Islamic Arabs had installed markets in North East Africa which also experienced an interest in steel, alcohol; and especially cloth and jewelry. When you state that this Imperialist intervention was 'extremely profitable for local leaders', you have not realized that this kind of affect also benefitted the 'local leaders' of Islamic Imperialists centuries before [4]. This proves that the installation of foreign markets in Northern Africa was solely done for the general purpose of industry and obtaining wealth, showing little regard for the health and wealth of native peoples-which can be connected to my reasoning in arguments 1, 4, 5 and 6. From an Imperialist perspective, competitive markets already existed against the Arab influence in Northern Africa before the nineteenth century.

Therefore, European Imperialists had rationale for economic intervention to either install markets where there weren't already existing markets; or compete against Arab intervention to the East to build profits against the Middle East. In some cases, Imperialist market installation was only beneficial for local leaders; who were in fact the Imperialists.

The idea of security for foreign investments is an obvious addition to Imperialism in general. This does not negate the fact that natives are apprehended from there autonomous ability to control their own profit and markets. It may also strengthen the idea that European Imperialists oppressed native beliefs and culture through a perceived European 'protection'. Installing vices upon the masses to seal economic ends of foreign markets and future profit should not qualify as 'security'.

Source listing for Round 3 – Rebuttals and Refutations:

'Invalid sources':

[1] <;

[2] <;

'Theoretical Flaws and Contradictions':

[1] <;

[2] <;

[3] <;

[4] <;



In this round I will refute my opponent"s opening arguments.

Starting with my opponent"s first argument in R2, Pro brings up that the British empire enforced their principles of Commerce, Christianity, and Civilization on the African people. This violated the African"s autonomy, as they were unwilling to change their principles.

Although violating autonomy is always a negative action, it is sometimes necessary to prevent greater suffering. By replacing African culture, and religion with Christianity, the British prevented the torture, and death of thousands of innocent people. This is because African culture and religion entailed ritual acts of human sacrifice, cannibalism, and witch-hunting. These practices led to the deaths of thousands of people. Alexander Mackay was a Scottish missionary in Buganda, and he wrote that Mtesa the Kabaka (king) of Buganda,

"had a loathsome, incurable disease, and was advised by the witch doctors to resume the practice of kiwendo - human sacrifice - to propitiate the gods. Victims taken at random, unsuspecting peasants bringing in plantains to sell in the capital, were bundled off and held in slave-sticks for the night, then publicly butchered in the morning. Sometimes 2,000 people were killed in a single day." [1]

Africans also practiced mass human sacrifice to their gods [2]. In this case, violating the African people"s autonomy was worth the amount of innocent lives it saved. Besides the application of Christianity to the African people, civilization and commerce are objectively beneficial things, in those respects the British were benefiting the Africans as well.

K.risk"s second main argument brings up the issue of African slavery. He argues that British imperialism resulted in the enslavement of many Africans, who then were put through extreme psychological and physical stress due to their slavery. African slavery was obviously a terrible event, and it was one of the darkest moments of history. But to blame European imperialism for it isn"t logical.

This is because African slavery would"ve happened regardless of whether Britain was imperialist during the 19th century. This is because slavery happened due to globalization. Due to improved ship technology, people were able to trade efficiently across the world. Thus, merchants came to Africa and traded with the African kings. These kings would trade their own slaves in exchange for goods such as firearms and clothe. If British hadn"t had imperialistic, it wouldn"t have made a difference because the slave trade was based entirely on trade (goods in exchange for slaves) and thus a result of globalization.

The only ties of imperialism to the slave trade is what Pro explains as racial superiority, and empirical expansion. The problem with the racial superiority point is that it assumes the purpose of the slave trade was to "exercise racial superiority." But that's not what the purpose was, the purpose was trade. If Britain wasn"t imperialistic, and thus didn"t feel superior to African Americans, they would have still bought them in exchange for goods from African kings because the kings were selling them as slaves.

The second point of empirical expansion doesn"t work because it wasn"t the government that was expanding. It was *private* merchants who were buying slaves from the African kings and selling them to plantation owners. It wasn"t the British government. Thus it could be called corporate expansion, but not empirical expansion because it wasn"t done by the government.

Yet, even if we accept that this argument is relevant to imperialism, it still isn"t valid because it runs on a false assumption based on the history of African slavery.

The slaves who African kings sold to the merchants were one"s that they had already enslaved.

"African kingdoms were paying with their own people. In most instances, no violence was necessary to obtain those slaves. Contrary to legends and novels and Hollywood movies, the white traders did not need to savagely kill entire tribes in order to exact their tribute in slaves. All they needed to do is bring goods that appealed to the kings of those tribes. The kings would gladly sell their own subjects...Even after Europeans began transporting black slaves to America, most trade was just that: "trade". In most instances, the Europeans did not need to use any force to get those slaves. The slaves were "sold" more or less legally by their (black) owners." [3]

There was no detriment to the slaves because they were slaves prior to being sold. Actually, it might have been beneficial because many times the African king would want to execute the slaves. This is because many of the slaves were captured during war, and instead of killing them the king could make a profit by selling them instead [4].

K.risk"s final contention deals with the lasting economic control that Europe has over Africa. He argues that Europe still has economic control over Africa due to the lasting effects of imperialism, more specifically Africa"s international commerce and natural resources. The problem with both of these claims is the same with the last contention; there is no tie to imperialism. Per the definition accepted at the beginning of the debate, corporations cannot be imperialistic. The corporations were the one"s who bought the ownership of mine"s and harvested Africa"s natural resources. They were the one"s who created monopolies, and controlled international trade. Thus, the corporations are the cause of all negative impact proposed by Pro"s argument. But since corporations cannot be tied to imperialism, the argument is irrelevant, and thus holds no weight.

Regardless of that, even if we accept the tie, the argument still doesn"t follow because Africa holds more economic control on Europe than Europe has on Africa. This is due to Africa"s deposit of diamond. Given the world"s large demand for diamond [5], and Africa being the only supplier, Africa holds powerful economic control over Europe, and the rest of the world. This is *more* than the supposed connection K.risk proposes.

Besides that, many sources argue that the economic trade was helpful for Africa as it spawned the commercial integration of Africa, centralized their politics, and exercised influence commercial trading [6].

The missing 8th citation from last round is at the bottom of my sources.


Debate Round No. 3


The points in which my opponent has expended restricts his argument only to British Imperialism in Africa (not European Imperialism as a whole). It completely disregards the majority of other colonies and their mother countries. But in order to effectively refute his refutations and continue my original rebuttals, I will reply accordingly to his limited perspective.

I did not argue that British Imperialism resulted in the enslavement of many slaves, I argued that European Imperialism was catalytic to an increase in the mistreatment and transportation of slaves [1].

Secondly, the ability to have private merchants and worldwide trade resulted in ethnocentrism for the Imperial leaders. When my opponent exposes this idea, he emphasizes that the mistreatment and enslavement of African natives was simply due to business. This works against his argument because the enslavement and mistreatment of millions of slaves just to 'buy them for the exchange of goods', then there is a negativity here; treating people as means and not as ends in themselves.

In addition to the point where my opponent explains how slaves were already slaves to the African Kings before the influence of European Imperialism, this denies the idea that European expansion made the slave trade any better. In fact, upholding a view that European Imperialism not only supported the enslavement and mistreatment of millions of indigenous peoples, but maintained (and perhaps increased) this business only for the sake of commerce[2].

In conclusion, corporations can be Imperialistic in accordance with the concept of Informal Imperialism. Informal Imperialism is the indirect rule over a subjugated society subject to the ruler's oppression of culture and socio-economics.
Neo-colonialsim and the Imperialism exploited throughout Europe's major colonies, which do not only include Africa as my opponent has limited himself to, during and after the nineteenth century.

This round, for me personally, has indefinetly been affected by the limited amount of time for which my opponent had posted too early. For the sake of this entire debate, I must reiterate that my opponent has limited himself to Formal British Imperialism in nineteenth century Africa, instead of focusing on the entirety of European Imperialism and its global influences in the nineteenth century, which was requested.

[1] Hochschild, Adam. “King Leopold’s Ghost: A Story of Greed, Terror and Heroism in Colonial Africa.” New York, NY. First Mariner Books edition. 1998.
[2] David, Saul. “Slavery and the Scramble for Africa.” BBC. np. 17 February 2011. Web. 19 May 2016.
[3] <;


In this round I will defend my opening arguments from my opponent"s rebuttals.

Pro starts by claiming that my third source does not relate to increased literacy rates in 19th century European colonies. I used that source [1] to demonstrate the benefits of increased literacy rates. These benefits exist whether or not a region was under European control during the 19th century or not, as those factors don"t affect whether literacy rates decrease mortality, or other effects.

Pro next tries to argue that British imperialism hurt literacy rates in India by citing that India"s literacy rate was only 12% before they split from Britain. Yet, this doesn"t actually prove that Britain was a cause of low literacy rates, it"s only correlation. And regardless, as long as Britain's imperialism improved the literacy from an even lower number the impact of my argument still remains. And we see that this is true, as Pro"s own source that he cite"s gives evidence for it [2], as literacy rates rose from 3.2% to 12% during British imperialism. And as I cited in R2, Britain's imperialism caused this due to Mountstuart Elphinstone"s improvements. This same logic applies to the second source that Pro brings up regarding literacy rates in European controlled countries: this first of all proves nothing as its only correlation not causation, and secondly European imperialism raised the education level from an extremely bad position to a less bad position, which is obviously good.

Pro"s second contention follows around the same logic as the first, he argues that the study showing that education decreases mortality rates isn"t valid since European colonies lacked education and it was done after WW2. But as I said earlier, European imperialism led to increased education, as I gave evidence for in R2 and Pro had no qualms with. So although the education level still was low in the colonies, it was higher than it would have been without imperialism, so the impact of the increased education still stands. And Pro"s point about being after WW2 has no bearing since Pro does not explain how or why the fact that the study was done post-WW2 study would make the conclusion invalid. Pro must give reasoning for this, but none was given, thus the argument is a bare assertion and can be thrown out.

Pro"s third contention focuses on the effects of increased sanitation. Pro argues that the sanitation methods mentioned in the study wouldn"t have existed in the 19th century, and thus the study isn"t relative. But this misses the point, the method of sanitation isn"t what is being measured, it's the effects of increased sanitation that is being measured. It is objectively true, and Pro proposed no qualms with the fact that the sanitation methods described in the study increased sanitation. The study looked at what the effect of an increased sanitation in a country does. So although the imperialists did not increase sanitation in the same methods as in the study, they still increased sanitation. Thus the results from the study can be applied to the colonies.

Pro"s fourth contention claims that my source only supports the sub-Saharan region of Africa was producing high quality goods, but the sub-Saharan part of Africa was specializing in steel if you read the source, the entire continent of Africa had many different regions that specialized in different goods, Pro misinterprets the source.

Now turning to the contentions under Pro"s section of "Theoretical Flaws and Contradictions", Pro"s first argument here is conceding that the literacy rates rose, but that it wasn"t a *legitimate* desire of the European nations. But their *desires* are not what the debate should be judged by, it's the effect. And if the effect of their *desire* ended up improving education for thousands of people and thus saving thousands of lives, then that is a positive impact. The impact of my argument isn"t diminished at all by what the European imperialists meant to do.

Pro"s second argument here is that it is ironic that the Spanish helped save lives from smallpox because they are the one"s that brought disease America"s in the 16th century. But since this was a result of 16th century imperialism, not 19th century imperialism, it isn"t relative to the debate. So this argument has no impact on the debate.

Pro"s third argument is a defensive argument against me bringing up for examples of European"s helping out colonies for education, but since I didn"t bring up any other examples this argument doesn"t really do anything. It has no impact on the debate since its a defensive argument.

Pro"s last argument is that there was already trade going on in Africa with Arabs, before the Europeans arrived. But this doesn"t have much bearing on the debate, as increased trade (the Europeans entering the market with the Africans and Arabs) would result in increased profit for the Africans, as they have more consumers that want their goods. So I don"t see how this is a negative for my side, as it's only a positive.

Peace and love

Debate Round No. 4


K.Risk forfeited this round.


Looks like my opponent deactivated, sucks to see another member go. Regardless, I won't have much of a conclusion for if the judge is good, they don't need to read conclusions to judge the debate. So I'll thank my opponent for this interesting debate!

Peace and Love
Debate Round No. 5
9 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 9 records.
Posted by fire_wings 2 years ago
How did this go past the forfeit glitch?
Posted by fire_wings 2 years ago
I would have voted for Pro if he hadn't forfeit :/
Posted by K.Risk 2 years ago
I will not have time to post my argument for round 4 until Tuesday, July 12th. I am requesting for you not to post your argument for round 3 until tomorrow so my turn does not time out. This will ensure that our debate will be complete.
Posted by K.Risk 2 years ago
My sources for round 1:

David, Saul. "Slavery and the Scramble for Africa." BBC. np. 17 February 2011. Web. 19 May 2016. <;
Azikiwe, Abayomi. "Neo-Colonialism and the changing nature of Imperialism in Africa." Global Research. Pan African news wire. 5 June 2014. Web. 19 May 2016. <;
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Posted by Hayd 2 years ago
You can't. I guess you can keep on resending the challenge every time it expires
Posted by K.Risk 2 years ago
How do I extend the expiration date of the debate challenge?
Posted by Hayd 2 years ago
The debate challenge expires in 6 days, we need it to expire in 21
Posted by K.Risk 2 years ago
Alright. It is now reserved. I look forward to debating you in 3 weeks time.
Posted by Hayd 2 years ago
I am going on vacation for 3 weeks, so I can debate this when I get back.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by tejretics 2 years ago
Who won the debate:-Vote Checkmark
Reasons for voting decision: Interesting debate, it's a pity that Pro forfeited. Anyway Con wins because he proves that the progress in technology has saved a significant amount of lives via health care, etc. and that the cultural progress created by European Imperialism replacing indigenous cultures with their own values has also been a net benefit. Pro is non-responsive to the argument that European imperialism ended barbaric practices such as human sacrifice, thus strengthening the society of Africa and similar countries as a whole. Pro's criticism of Con's study on sanitation fails for reasons Con puts forth, in that the study measured the *effects* of sanitation rather than the presence of it. Pro also is non-responsive to the fact that improved health care technologies have saved lives--at a number far more than diseases caused by imperialism caused deaths. Pro's impacts from the control corporations have over Africa today and mistreatment of slaves is outweighed by Con's impacts of lives saved. I vote Con.