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Justifications Of Imperialism: A Look At Texts By Rudyard Kipling, Cecil Rhodes, Karl Pearson, Joseph Chamberlain, And Friedrich Fabri. Are There Arguments Rational Or Irrational?

1140 words - 5 pages

It is sometimes eerie to think that imperialism was not only glorified, but seen as a moral duty by European imperialists of the 19th century. Today, it would be highly unlikely to assume that the majority of the population would agree with the territorial exploitation of a foreign land for monetary gain. However, in those days, most authors did not claim that it was the resources they were after, but other things. Rudyard Kipling, Cecil Rhodes, Karl Pearson, Joseph Chamberlain, and Friedrich Fabri all acknowledged the idea of imperialism and gave different 'moral justifications' as to why it should continue.Poet Rudyard Kipling glorified imperialism in his poem The white man's burden. In ...view middle of the document...

In his opinion, the justification for this is that the Anglo-Saxon race is, without a doubt, the finest and purest race of all. He says that taking foreign land, not only expands the English breed, which is, in his opinion, undoubtedly good, but also brings civility to what he thinks are the most vile kind of humans known to man. He writes: "I content that we are the finest race in the world and that the more of the world we inhabit the better it is for the human race[...] the Anglo-Saxon race more of the best, the most human, most honorable race the world possesses."" However, he does not go on to explain why said race is so grand and majestic. There is no proof to back up his claims.Karl Pearson justified imperialism with the idea of social Darwinism. He thought that Darwin's theory of "survival of the fittest" also applied to human society. In his opinion, there were inferior races such as Africans who could not progress by themselves and needed the help of the more enlightened, superior race such as the Aryans. He gives the examples of the white man almost completely eradicating the red man in North America. He sees it as a good thing because: "In place of the red man, contributing practically nothing to the work and thought of the world, we have a great nation, mistress of many arts, and able, with its youthful imagination and fresh, untrammeled impulses, to contribute much to the common stock of civilized man..."" He even goes as far as to say that white and dark man cannot co-exist, because, if that happens, mankind will cease to progress. He says that it is because the white man civilizes what he calls inferior races that mankind elevates itself to higher and higher intellectual and physical efficiency.British imperialist Joseph Chamberlain gives a more honest justification for imperialism. He argues that Britain depends on the resources and materials found in the territory it conquers, and that without these territories, Britain would suffer tremendously. He does not hide the economical benefits that England would gain by acquiring these nations. He says that alone, Britain could not possibly maintain...

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