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Under The Yolk of Imperialism

How the British Empire Was Built

Behind all the twaddle about the glorious British Empire stands the grim deeds of slavery, forced labour, opium smuggling, sweated factory labour, and "punitive" expeditions, the narrating of which would make volumes. However, let us briefly recall some historic facts about how the Empire was really built and how it is maintained: 

African Slavery.
It was built by white slavery, followed by Negro slavery in the West Indies, Virginia, etc., on the sugar, tobacco, rice and cotton plantations. The white slaves were Irish peasants who were transported in thousands after being driven from their land by British invaders.  

Child Labour in Kenya, British East Africa

In the "New World", the American natives had died out under the harch treatment. It was discovered that "Negroes were very good merchandise", and so Admiral John Hawkins carried across the Atlantic the first boat load of bludgeoned and chained African Negroes, torn from their homes, families killed, condemned to life-long slavery--sailing on the good ship "Jesus". Queen Elizabeth knighted Hawkins. 

No less than 8,000,000 negroes were thus sold in America and no less than 40,000,000 perished in the slave wars or in the Atlantic passage.

Forced Labour.

Virtual slavery (indentured labour) is still the basis of the Empire in Malaysia (rubber), Polynesia (cotton, copra), Nigeria (rubber, nuts, etc.). The exploitation of these once free natives supplies the profits for (among others) the notorious Unilever Combine which monopolises the soap and margarine trade. 

The children in school will not be told of the fact that in India 37,972 children work in factories and 10,265 in mills (1930 figures); of the fact that in Bombay


18 children to every 100 died in their first year of life (1929); that out of 1,735,159 born in India in one year 1,095,736 died (1929); that the women who work in the mines in India earn 2.8 rupees (3s. 8d.) for a week of 48 hours. 

No end to tales can be told of the suppression and exploitation through which the Imperialists maintain their bloody rule of profit over the struggling masses of the colonial countries and draw strength to exploit the workers here at home. 
After a series of wars with th Dutch, the Treaty of Ulrecht (1713) gave a complete monopoly of the slave trade to Britain. In 1788 they commenced to ship convicts to Botany Bay, and when the supply of convicts ran short, the notorious "Press Gang" rounded up young men. By the 1840's, they'd got their claws on India, Australia, and New Zealand and were looking for more. 

Opium Trade in China. 

After the Chinese had objected to British merchants smuggling opium into China, the "Empire" builders "civilized" them in the course of two wars (1846 and '58), and the British Empire expanded with the addition of Hong-Kong, Kowloon, and indemnities for over £5,000,000.  The sarne treaties forced the Chinese to "recognize the opium trade and permit the propagation and practice of Christianity".

Terror in India.

The Indian munity of 1857 (all opposition by oppressed peoples to Imperialist domination is "munity") was the occasion of bloody repression and terror. More "civilizing" influence!

A firm hand was necessary. A munity of Sepoys in Meerut provided the opportunity. Russell, the "Times" correspondent in India, writes that an officer of Havelock's advance guard reported to him that--
 the executions of natives were indiscriminate to a degree. In two days forty-two men were executed on the roadside, and a batch of twelve men were executed because their faces were "turned the wrong way"

when they were met on the march. All the villages in his front were burned when he halted. These "severities" could not have been justified by the Cawnpore massacre, because they took place before....

In 1882, after the Khedive of Egypt had pawned that country to the British Bondholders, Egypt was occupied to "guarantee payment"--from the peasants. 1898 saw the war of the Sudan when Kitchener made a name as a "clever General" by planting his guns on a hill and blowing up the defenceless natives from safe gun range. Then in 1900 the Boer Republics were pinched, after another bloody campaign.

Child Labour.

Every stone in Britain has been laid in blood, and in every corner there are the most terrible conditons, particularly among the children and youth.

According to the British Foreign Office, Cmd 2446, 1924, children of six and seven years in China work 13 hours a day, mostly standing, in cotton mills and earn 6d. a day. In the match factories, where white phosphorous is used, the proportion of child labour is--

British owned factories, 17 per cent., in Chinese owned, 13 per cent.; and in Japanese owned, 5.6 per cent.

In Kenya Colony (East Africa) the Government Department for Native affairs issued a document which instructed the Native chiefs and headmen, who were just their agents, "to exercise all lawful and proper influence (!?) to induce young men to go into the labour market...women and children should be encouraged to go out for such labour as they can perform". Following this 70,000 women and


Transcription Notes:
munity - mutiny

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