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.
Read the poem at the following link:
• Link (website): White Man’s Burden (Links to an external site.) (Rudyard Kipling)
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:
o Belgium & Africa
o Britain & India
o Germany & Africa
o 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.