“The exploitation of colonial resources and indigenous labor was one of the key elements in the success of imperialism. Such exploitation was a result of the prevalent ethnocentrism of the time and was justified by the unscientific concept of social Darwinism, which praised the characteristics of white Europeans and inaccurately ascribed negative characteristics to indigenous peoples. A famous poem of the time by Rudyard Kipling, “”White Man’s Burden,”” called on imperial powers, and particularly the U.S., at whom the poem was directed, to take up the mission of civilizing these “”savage”” peoples.
Take up the White Man’s burden—Send forth the best ye breed—Go bind your sons to exileTo serve your captives’ need;To wait in heavy harness,On fluttered folk and wild—Your new-caught, sullen peoples,Half-devil and half child.
Take up the White Man’s burden—In patience to abide,To veil the threat of terrorAnd check the show of pride;By open speech and simple,An hundred times made plain,To seek another’s profit,And work another’s gain.
Take up the White Man’s burden—The savage wars of peace—Fill full the mouth of FamineAnd bid the sickness cease;And when your goal is nearestThe end for others sought,Watch Sloth and heathen FollyBring all your hope to naught.
Take up the White Man’s burden—No tawdry rule of kings,But toil of serf and sweeper—The tale of common things.The ports ye shall not enter,The roads ye shall not tread,Go make them with your living,And mark them with your dead.
Take up the White Man’s burden—And reap his old reward;The blame of those ye better,The hate of those ye guard—The cry of hosts ye humour(Ah, slowly!) toward the light:—””Why brought ye us from bondage,Our loved Egyptian night?””
Take up the White Man’s burden—Ye dare not stoop to less—Nor call too loud on FreedomTo cloak your weariness;By all ye cry or whisper,By all ye leave or do,The silent, sullen peoplesShall weigh your Gods and you.
Take up the White Man’s burden—Have done with childish days—The lightly proffered laurelThe easy, ungrudged praise.Comes now, to search your manhoodThrough all the thankless years,Cold, edged with dear-bought wisdom,The judgment of your peers!
After reading the poem, address the following in a case study analysis:
Select a specific part of the world (a country), and examine imperialism in that country. What was the relationship between the invading country and the native people? You can select from these examples or choose your own:
Belgium & Africa
Britain & India
Germany & Africa
France & Africa
Apply social Darwinism to this specific case.
Analyze the motivations of the invading country?
How did ethnocentrism manifest in their interactions?
How does Kipling’s poem apply to your specific example? You can quote lines for comparison.