Contemporary History

Introduction 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., which the poem was directed at, to take up the mission of civilizing these “savage” peoples.

Instructions Read the poem at the following link:

· Link (website): White Man’s Burden (Rudyard Kipling) (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

After reading the poem, address the following in a case study analysis:

· Define social Darwinism in your own words.

· Analyze the motivations and consequences that Kipling presents for undertaking the “White Man’s Burden.”

· What specific examples of ethnocentrism can you identify?

· Were the “Half-devil and half-child” peoples truly uncivilized?

Writing Requirements (APA format)

· Length: 2-3 pages (not including title page or references page)

· 1-inch margins

· Double spaced

· 12-point Times New Roman font

· Title page

· References page


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