The Commonwealth


The Commonwealth Essay, Research Paper

Commonwealth: was founded in 1931 as an association of former British colonies, which comitted themselves to world peace, the basic human rights & the fight against colonialism.But this goals were not reality, because there were conflicts between C. members (BvsP). The problem is that the C. is much more a political than a cultural association. It tries to unite people of very different social st&ards or income. The only thing that these countries have in common is the same history of British colonialism. Some say that the C. is a useless, old-fashioned body but in reality these pact of states , gives the poorer nations the chance to get technical & scientific help from the industrialised western world. The C. is a voluntary association of 49 independent countries. In these countries the English Common law is a model for their judical systems.

The British Empire: was the largest colonial empire in history, it comprised nearly one fifth of the l& surface. Engl& was the last country to join the colonial powers, but about a century later she became the most important colonizing country. Britain s advantage:*her geographical position as an isl& & her long tradition as a seafaring nation.*The existence of a modern war fleet, that proved to be superior to galleons of other countries.*the establishment of trading links.*the development of Britain into a modern state, into a nation under a powerful monarch.=>British colonialism of the 16th to 19th century pursued economic intersts, they wanted to aim self-sufficiency (economic independence).She sought the colnies that would provide her with precious metals, raw materials, & convenient markets, to sell the manufactured products.Trade was the most influental motivation of colonization. It meant profits for the merchants & the enrichment of the Crown s treasures.Trade was soon followed by taxation & administration.

The first empire:consisted of scattered possesions:Jamaica,Bahamas,Bengal,Gibraltar;Bermudas. The colonies were conquered in wars with France & spain. The principal part of the 1E was formed by North American colonies, stretching from the East coast to the caribbean.During the 7 Years war France lost all her Canadian possesions to Engl&, the left Engl& strong indebted, therefore the tax rate was increase. The colonists answered to the taxation no taxation without representation =>they protested in the Boston tea party. The Independence of the US resulted the disruption of the First British Empire.

The Victorian Empire: the existing colonial possesions in Canada, the west Indies & India were enlarged.

India & Far East meant import of cotton,spice,tea & the export of cloth & cotton goods.In the 19th century colonies were primarily markets for British goods & only of the economic interst for the mother country, developed into the policy of imperialism. Britain enlarged her empire within a century to such an extend. Main causes for the disintegration of the Empire were: *dem&s for self-government & sovereignity *dissatisfaction with British rule & reforms *growing nationalism *disagreement between Britain & the white minority governments in South Africa. Development: Originally all colonial possesions had the status of Crown colonies(internal & external dependence). The crown colony developed into a self-governing colony with internal sovereignity, while defence & foreign affairs were still reserved for the mother country. This type of colonyfinally acquired dominion status, a dominion being a completely free nation that owes loyalty to the crown alone.

3rd world: almost all countries in the southern hemispere=> developing countries;borderline cases:Taiwan,South Korea,Brazil. North-South divide,hardest hit:African continent, South East Asia. physical features:climate:tropical & sub tropical , too hot & humid,to dry-droughts in deserts. political features:authoritarian, autocratic regimes,one-party system, radical army->civil wars,disrespect of human rights. social problems:*overpopulation*starvation,malnutrition*low life expectancy *high infant mortality*widespread of diseases & epidemics*lack of wate*lack of sanitation *poor housing conditions(slums) *migration from rural to urban areas*worklessness economic problems:*lack of raw materials or natural resources*inadequat infrastructure*lack of technical equipment,no native-born-experts,no spare parts*huge foreign depts*large agricultural sector,small industrial *low prices for goods they export. agricultural problems:*small group of rich l& owners & millions of poor peasants *destruction of the eco-system:burning tropical forests to gain farml&,soil erosion,lack of soil fertility*monocultural farming=cash crops*destruction of self-sufficient economies*misuse of fertilizers, pesticides problem from 3rd world angle:*natural resources are exploited*industrialised countries pay unfair prices ->buy raw materials cheap, refine them in their home countries,process them into finished products, sell them on the worl markets at high prices. Rich Countries: dominate world markets, dictate prices, act as if the developing countries still were colonies.1st world:waste,affluence,overproduction 3rd world:starvation & poverty.


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