Reverse colonization: Reasons to colonize Europe?

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by ToolboxHD, Sep 14, 2018 at 10:28 AM.

  1. ToolboxHD Active Member

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    Say, another region of the world becomes centrepiece and is the one exploring the world. (Most likely East Asia or the Middle East) What would be the reasons to colonize Europe?

    Obviously the Americas had land, gold, resources, Asia had luxorious and valuable tradegoods and Africa had slaves. (This is pre 1900 of course)

    What has Europe to offer? Sure it has timber, coal and minerals, but essentially it is just a fertile peninsula of Asia.
     
  2. pompejus Hertog van Gelre

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    I reality, very little. That is the reason why Europe colonised Asia and not the other way around. Asia had stuff the Europeans wanted and were willing to sail half the globe to get them, while the Europeans had very little the Asians wanted, which is why there was very little insentive for the Asians to travel to Europe.

    I would say that the reason to colonise Europe would roughly be the same reason to colonise Africa: just because its there. If you already divided the rest of the world, in the end you also want Europe. Even if there is very little reason to do it. Kinda like Afria, which consisted mostly out of worthless prestige colonies.
     
  3. Soverihn Proud Tribalist

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    A massive captive market to sell goods too. Oil, coal, timber, and mercury. Cash crop areas in the Mediterranean. Etc.

    Really, theres a ton we can extract from Europe if we're willing to wreck it like the French did West Africa
     
  4. martymcfly Well-Known Member

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    Do the Ottomans count? They invaded and occupied South Eastern Europe for 400 years.
     
  5. Lenwe Well-Known Member

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    As ugly this gonna sound, People, Slaves a lot of slaves, After all Europa have a bigger population density than Africa. A as @Soverihn say, if you are willing to wreck it like the French did West Africa, you star with the exploitation of the people here
     
  6. pompejus Hertog van Gelre

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    I would say no. There is a difference between invading something and colonising something.
     
  7. Sevarics A Bidet In Every Bathroom

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    The Barbary Corsairs definitely raided Europe for slaves so that point is validated
     
  8. Metropolis45 Member

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    France has a massive amount of arable land, so lebensraum is a decent reason for conquest if you want to displace the indigenous population. The problem with this is that by the time a power may conquer it, western Europe probably would already have a massive population capable of resisting.

    What is that difference?
     
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  9. EternalCynic ßanned

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    It's a huge market on which to dump excess manufactured goods. Also, if Europe is discovered during a period of unrest, then rival powers will have the incentive to wage a proxy war within Europe purely out of prestige.
     
  10. pompejus Hertog van Gelre

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    The way the conquered territory is treated. Also the distance of the homeland. Or you could say things like Germany colonised Alsace-Lorraine. Or France colonised the Freche Compte. That is very different from the colonisation of the America's by Spain or Britain. Or the colonisation of India and Indonesia. I would say that the Ottomans conquering SE Europe was far closer to France trying to gain the Rhine Border than France trying to gain Indo-China.
     
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  11. Aviennca's Pupil Well-Known Member

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    Actually any country with limited amounts of iron would be a good candidate for colonizing Europe. Europe is loaded with iron and so much so that any great industrializing non-European power would want to get their hands on it.
     
  12. alexmilman Well-Known Member

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    A considerable part of European territory had been colonized: on the East by the Mongols in the Balkans by the Ottomans so there is no need of a wild guessing.

    The most valuable merchandise in both cases were slaves. The GH was seemingly doing quite well by receiving tribute from its Russian colonies but, AFAIK, coal was not on the list of the items and neither were "minerals". :openedeyewink:
     
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  13. alexmilman Well-Known Member

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    "Colonization (or colonisation) is a process by which a central system of power dominates the surrounding land and its components." How the Ottomans did not dominate the Balkans for few centuries?
     
  14. Byzantine fanatic Scholar of the West and East

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    I wouldn't say it was entirely worthless. Egypt had sophisticated cotton production and factories during the Ottoman period. It was a valuable "protectorate" for the British after 1882. It also had impressive agricultural and taxation potential.

    Some parts of sub Saharan Africa also had gold, ivory and diamonds which could be immensely profitable.

    I'd say these were "worth" getting. The 'scramble for Africa', however, was not.
     
  15. pompejus Hertog van Gelre

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    If we use this definition that would mean that all conquests in history would be forms of colonisation. If you conquer something, you dominate something afterwards. That would mean that the word colonise is exactly the same as conquer, making the word useless.
     
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  16. alexmilman Well-Known Member

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    They were not unless you have an evidence that France was selling population of French Comte on the slave markets.
     
  17. Aviennca's Pupil Well-Known Member

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    @alexmilman

    Conquering is different from colonization. The difference comes from the way the conquering/colonizing power sees it's newly taken territories. The Mongols and Ottomans cared more about tribute and taxes than the resources the Balkans had to offer. Janissaries were a solution to an administrative and political problem and not due to the quality of slaves.

    EDIT: I must also add that the Ottomans only indirectly controlled the Balkans and didn't centrally manage it. This certainly isn't domination by any degree.
     
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  18. alexmilman Well-Known Member

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    Well, you may like or dislike that definition but it exists (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colonization). Of course, it also implies the settlement but the Ottomans had been settling in the Balkans (even now there are Bulgarian Turks). Distance from the homeland is not necessarily a factor: term "colonization" had been routinely applied to the expansion of the Russian Empire into the CA or Caucasus, which were just "next door". The Roman colonies were not necessarily far away from the Roman territory.

    OTOH, if we are stressing the settlement part than most of the Iberian Peninsula had been colonized by the Moors: they did settle in the area.
     
  19. EternalCynic ßanned

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    The line between colonizing and mere dominating gets blurred. India was definitely a colony of the British Empire, since Indians were never even nominally represented at Westminster and were governed by the Raj acting under the Colonial Office and not the Home Office. Ireland was much more ambiguous, since the Irish were at least nominally represented at Westminster, Irish people were heavily involved in the British Empire, and the island was governed by the Home Office. Yet it was governed in an inferior sense than Lancashire, so it was treated almost like a colony even if not in theory.
     
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  20. alexmilman Well-Known Member

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    "Resources" is a very vague word. One may consider slaves as a valuable resource and, anyway, government should mostly care about the taxes: state's control over the mineral resources is anything but an universal idea. In the case of the GH, approximately half of it territory (the Blue Horde) was in Europe and I'm not talking about the tributary states. The Mongols settled among the indigenous population and established their own administration. Why did they settle there? Because they were interested in the area's "resources": good pastures, a lot of fish, important trade routes passing through it, etc. Even in the case of the "colonies" (Russian princedoms), the natural and human resources were an important factor: you need stone and timber and a lot of skilled artisans to build the cities. Then, of course, interest in the "resources" is directly linked to the tribute/taxation: you need to know which valuables the area has to arrange for a proper taxation (most of which was not in coin).


    Except that Eyalet of Rumeli was a first-level province (beylerbeylik or eyalet) of the Ottoman Empire encompassing most of the Balkans. It had its own capital, administrative subdivisions (sanjakbeys ) and governors appointed by the central government.
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