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Encyclopedia > The White Man's Burden
The white man's burden - a satirical view
The white man's burden - a satirical view
This advertisement for soap uses the theme of the White Man's Burden, encouraging white people to teach cleanliness to members of other races
This advertisement for soap uses the theme of the White Man's Burden, encouraging white people to teach cleanliness to members of other races

"The White Man's Burden" is a poem by the English poet Rudyard Kipling. It was originally published in the popular magazine McClure's in 1899, with the subtitle The United States and the Philippine Islands.[1] "The White Man's Burden" was written in regard to the U.S. conquest of the Philippines and other former Spanish colonies.[2] Although Kipling's poem mixed exhortation to empire with sober warnings of the costs involved, imperialists within the United States latched onto the phrase "white man's burden" as a characterization for imperialism that justified the policy as a noble enterprise.[3][4][5][6] White Mans Burden is a 1996 dramatic film about racism in an alternate America where African Americans and Caucasian Americans have reversed cultural roles. ... Image File history File links The_white_mans_burden. ... Image File history File links The_white_mans_burden. ... Image File history File links A quasi-racist advertisement for Pears Soap, from the 1890s. ... Image File history File links A quasi-racist advertisement for Pears Soap, from the 1890s. ... For other uses, see Race. ... This article is about the British author. ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... McClures or McClures Magazine was a popular United States illustrated monthly magazine at the turn of the 20th century, often compared to the longer-running The Atlantic Monthly. ... Belligerents United States Philippine Constabulary Philippine Scouts First Philippine Republic several groups post-1902 Commanders William McKinley Theodore Roosevelt Emilio Aguinaldo Miguel Malvar several unofficial leaders post-1902 Strength 126,000 soldiers[1] First Philippine Republic: 80,000 soldiers Casualties and losses ~5,000-7,000[1][2] ~12,000...


The poem was originally written for Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee, but exchanged for "Recessional"; Kipling changed the text of "Burden" to reflect the subject of American colonization.[7] The poem consists of seven stanzas, following a regular rhyme scheme. At face value it appears to be a rhetorical command to white men to colonize and rule people of other nations for their own benefit (both the people and the duty may be seen as representing the "burden" of the title). Because of its theme and title, it has become emblematic both of Eurocentric racism and of Western aspirations to dominate the developing world.[8][9][10] A century after its publication, the poem still rouses strong emotions, and can be analyzed from a variety of perspectives. Queen Victoria redirects here. ... A Diamond Jubilee is a celebration held to mark a 60th anniversary. ... Recessional is a poem by Rudyard Kipling, which he composed on the occasion of Queen Victorias Diamond Jubilee in 1897. ... In poetry, a stanza is a unit within a larger poem. ... A rhyme scheme is like the pattern of rhyming like lines in a poem or in like lyrics for music. ... Rhetoric (from Greek , rhêtôr, orator, teacher) is generally understood to be the art or technique of persuasion through the use of oral, visual, or written language; however, this definition of rhetoric has expanded greatly since rhetoric emerged as a field of study in universities. ... It has been suggested that Benign colonialism be merged into this article or section. ... Eurocentrism is the practice, conscious or otherwise, of placing emphasis on European (and, generally, Western) concerns, culture and values at the expense of those of other cultures. ... Manifestations Slavery Racial profiling Lynching Hate speech Hate crime Genocide (examples) Ethnocide Ethnic cleansing Pogrom Race war Religious persecution Blood libel Paternalism Police brutality Movements Policies Discriminatory Race / Religion / Sex segregation Apartheid Redlining Internment Ethnocracy Anti-discriminatory Emancipation Civil rights Desegregation Integration Equal opportunity Counter-discriminatory Affirmative action Racial quota...

Contents

The White Man's Burden

Take up the White Man's burden--
Send forth the best ye breed--
Go bind your sons to exile
To 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 terror
And 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 Famine
And bid the sickness cease;
And when your goal is nearest
The end for others sought,
Watch sloth and heathen Folly
Bring all your hopes 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 he 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 Freedom
To cloak your weariness;
By all ye cry or whisper,
By all ye leave or do,
The silent, sullen peoples
Shall weigh your gods and you.

Take up the White Man's burden--
Have done with childish days--
The lightly proferred laurel,
The easy, ungrudged praise.
Comes now, to search your manhood
Through all the thankless years
Cold, edged with dear-bought wisdom,
The judgment of your peers.


Differing interpretations

The white man's burden - The Journal, Detroit, 1923.
The white man's burden - The Journal, Detroit, 1923.

A straightforward analysis of the poem may conclude that Kipling presents a Eurocentric view of the world, in which non-European cultures are seen as childlike. This view proposes that white people consequently have an obligation to rule over, and encourage the cultural development of people from other ethnic and cultural backgrounds until they can take their place in the world by fully adopting Western ways. The term "the white man's burden" has been interpreted as racist, or taken as a metaphor for a condescending view of non-Western national culture and economic traditions, identified as a sense of European ascendancy which has been called "cultural imperialism". An alternative interpretation is the philanthropic view, common in Kipling's formative years, that the rich have a moral duty and obligation to help the poor "better" themselves whether the poor want the help or not.[11] Image File history File links White_mans_burden_the_journal_detroit. ... Image File history File links White_mans_burden_the_journal_detroit. ... University of Detroit Mercy is the largest and most comprehensive Catholic University in Michigan. ... Progress can refer to: The idea of a process in which societies or individuals become better or more modern (technologically and/or socially). ... For this articles equivalent regarding the East, see Eastern culture. ... Manifestations Slavery Racial profiling Lynching Hate speech Hate crime Genocide (examples) Ethnocide Ethnic cleansing Pogrom Race war Religious persecution Blood libel Paternalism Police brutality Movements Policies Discriminatory Race / Religion / Sex segregation Apartheid Redlining Internment Ethnocracy Anti-discriminatory Emancipation Civil rights Desegregation Integration Equal opportunity Counter-discriminatory Affirmative action Racial quota... Occident redirects here. ... Cultural imperialism is the practice of promoting, distinguishing, separating, artificially injecting of the culture or language of one nation in another. ... Philanthropy involves the donation or granting of money to various worthy charitable causes. ...


Within a historical context, the poem makes clear the prevalent attitudes that allowed colonialism to proceed. Although a belief in the "virtues of empire" was wide-spread at the time, there were also many dissenters; the publication of the poem caused a flurry of arguments from both sides, most notably from Mark Twain and Henry James. Much of Kipling's other writing does suggest that he genuinely believed in the "beneficent role" which the introduction of Western ideas could play in lifting non-Western peoples out of "poverty and ignorance". Lines 3-5, and other parts of the poem suggest that it is not just the native people who are enslaved, but also the "functionaries of empire", who are caught in colonial service and may die while helping other races "less fortunate" than themselves. This theme may also be echoed in the Christian missionary movement, which was also quite active at the time in parts of the world under colonial rule (e.g. the Christian and Missionary Alliance). Samuel Langhorne Clemens (November 30, 1835 – April 21, 1910),[1] better known by the pen name Mark Twain, was an American humanist,[2] humorist, satirist, lecturer and writer. ... For other uses of this name, see Henry James (disambiguation). ... Slave redirects here. ... For other uses, see Missionary (disambiguation). ... The Christian and Missionary Alliance (C&MA) is an Evangelical Protestant denomination within Christianity. ...


Some commentators also point to Kipling's history of satirical writing, and suggest that "The White Man's Burden" is in fact meant to undermine imperialism. Chris Snodgrass, in A Companion to Victorian Poetry[12] describes Kipling's poetry as problematizing "imperial sensibilities with wry irony and scepticism, viewing all human endeavour as ultimately transitory". Kipling also wrote many poems celebrating the working classes, particularly the common soldier. Six months after "The White Man's Burden" was published, he wrote "The Old Issue", a stinging criticism of the Second Boer War, and an attack on the unlimited, despotic power of kings. The Norton Anthology of English Literature argues it is no satire, but in line with Kipling's strong imperialism and a belief of a "Divine Burden to reign God's Empire on Earth", that other, less Christian nations would otherwise take.[7] Still, some find Kipling's work fascinating because his pro-imperialist stance did not blind him to the less glamorous and more perilous aspects of imperialism. According to Steve Sailer, writer John Derbyshire has described Kipling as "an imperialist utterly without illusions about what being an imperialist actually means. Which, in some ways, means that he was not really an imperialist at all."[13] 1867 edition of Punch, a ground-breaking British magazine of popular humour, including a good deal of satire of the contemporary social and political scene. ... The term working class is used to denote a social class. ... Combatants British Empire Orange Free State South African Republic Commanders Sir Redvers Buller Lord Kitchener Lord Roberts Paul Kruger Louis Botha Koos de la Rey Martinus Steyn Christiaan de Wet Casualties 6,000 - 7,000 (A further ~14,000 from disease) 6,000 - 8,000 (Unknown number from disease) Civilians... The Norton Anthology of English Literature is a well-known English Literary studies supplement for many tertiary level students. ... Steve Sailer Steven Ernest Sailer (born December 20, 1958) is an American journalist and movie critic for The American Conservative, ex-correspondent for UPI, and VDARE.com columnist. ... John Derbyshire (born June 3, 1945) is a British-born author who lives in the United States and became a naturalized citizen in 2002. ...


Several parodies and other forms of critical works have used themes or quotes collected from Kipling's poem. Early examples include Henry Labouchère's poem "The Brown Man's Burden" (1899),[14] British journalist Edmund Morel's 1903 article criticizing imperialist practices in Belgian Congo,[15] and Ernest Crosby's poem "The Real White Man’s Burden" (1902).[16] Henry Du Pré Labouchere (November 9, 1831–January 15, 1912) was a prominent British politician and writer/publisher in the late 19th century. ... Edmund Dene Morel, originally Georges Edmond Pierre Achille Morel de Ville (July 10, 1873 – November 12, 1924) was a British journalist, author and socialist politician. ... Motto: Travail et Progres (Work and Progress) The Belgian Congo Capital Léopoldville/Leopoldstad Political structure Colony Governor  - 1908-1910 Baron Wahis  - 1946-1951 Eugène Jacques Pierre Louis Jungers  - 1958-1960 Henri Arthur Adolf Marie Christopher Cornelis History  - Established 15 November, 1908  - Congolese independence 30 June, 1960 The Belgian...


See also

Wikisource has original text related to this article:
The White Man's Burden

Image File history File links Wikisource-logo. ... The original Wikisource logo. ... Neocolonialism is the term describing international economic arrangements wherein former colonial powers maintained control of colonies and dependencies after World War II. Neocolonialism can obfuscate the understanding of current colonialism, given that some colonial governments continue administrating foreign territories and their populations in violation of United Nations resolutions[1] and...

Notes

  1. ^ "The White Man's Burden." McClure's Magazine 12 (Feb. 1899).
  2. ^ Pimentel, Benjamin (October 26, 2003). "The Philippines; "Liberator" Was Really a Colonizer; Bush's revisionist history". The San Francisco Chronicle: D3. 
  3. ^ Zwick, Jim (December 16, 2005). "Anti-Imperialism in the United States, 1898-1935". 
  4. ^ Miller, Stuart Creighton (1982). Benevolent Assimilation: The American Conquest of the Philippines, 1899-1903. Yale University Press. ISBN 0-300-03081-9.  p. 5: "...imperialist editors came out in favor of retaining the entire archipelago (using) higher-sounding justifications related to the "white man's burden."
  5. ^ Judd, Denis (June, 1997). "Diamonds are forever: Kipling's imperialism; poems of Rudyard Kipling". History Today 47 (6): 37. : "Theodore Roosevelt...thought the verses 'rather poor poetry, but good sense from the expansionist stand-point'. Henry Cabot Lodge told Roosevelt in turn: 'I like it. I think it is better poetry than you say'."
  6. ^ Examples of justification for imperialism based on Kipling's poem include the following (originally published 1899-1902):
    • Opinion archive, International Herald Tribune (February 4, 1999). "In Our Pages: 100, 75 and 50 Years Ago; 1899: Kipling's Plea". International Herald Tribune: 6. : "An extraordinary sensation has been created by Mr. Rudyard Kipling's new poem, The White Man's Burden, just published in a New York magazine. It is regarded as the strongest argument yet published in favor of expansion."
    • Dixon, Thomas (1902). The Leopard's Spots - A Romance of the White Man's Burden 1865-1900. . Full text of a novel by Thomas Dixon praising the Ku Klux Klan, published online by The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
  7. ^ a b Stephen Greenblatt (ed.), Norton Anthology of English Literature, New York 2006 ISBN 0-393-92532-3.
  8. ^ "Eurocentrism". In Encyclopedia of the Developing World. Ed. Thomas M. Leonard, Taylor & Francis, 2006, ISBN 0415976626, p. 636.
  9. ^ Chisholm, Michael (1982). Modern World Development: A Geographical Perspective. Rowman & Littlefield, 1982, ISBN 0389203203, p.12.
  10. ^ Mama, Amina (1995). Beyond the Masks: Race, Gender, and Subjectivity. Routledge, 1995, ISBN 0415035449, p. 39.
  11. ^ David Cody, The growth of the British Empire, Associate Professor of English, Hartwick College, (Paragraph 4)
  12. ^ Snodgrass, Chris (2002). A Companion to Victorian Poetry. Blackwell, Oxford.
  13. ^ Sailer, Steve (2001). "What Will Happen In Afghanistan?". Published by United Press International (a company owned by Unification Church), 26 September 2001.
  14. ^ Labouchère, Henry (1899). "The Brown Man's Burden" an anti-imperialist parody of Kipling's poem.
  15. ^ Morel, Edmund (1903). The Black Man's Burden. Fordham University.
  16. ^ Crosby, Ernest (1902). The Real White Man’s Burden. Funk and Wagnalls Company, 32-35.  Published online by History Matters, American Social History Project, CUNY and George Mason University.

McClures or McClures Magazine was a popular United States illustrated monthly magazine at the turn of the 20th century, often compared to the longer-running The Atlantic Monthly. ... Historical revisionism is the attempt to change commonly held ideas about the past. ... The International Herald Tribune is a widely read English language international newspaper. ... Illustration from The Clansman. ... Members of the second Ku Klux Klan at a rally during the 1920s. ... Hartwick College is a non-denominational, private, four-year, third tier, liberal arts and sciences college located in Oneonta, New York, in the United States. ... Oxford University Press (OUP) is a highly-respected publishing house and a department of the University of Oxford in England. ... Front of UPI Headquarters, Washington, D.C. “UPI” redirects here. ... The Unification Church is a new religious movement started by Sun Myung Moon in Korea in the 1940s. ...

References

  • A Companion to Victorian Poetry, Alison Chapman; Blackwell, Oxford, 2002.
  • Chisholm, Michael (1982). Modern World Development: A Geographical Perspective. Rowman & Littlefield, 1982, ISBN 0389203203.
  • Cody, David. The growth of the British Empire. The Victorian Web, University Scholars Program, National University of Singapore, November 2000.
  • Crosby, Ernest (1902). The Real White Man’s Burden. Funk and Wagnalls Company, 32-35.
  • Dixon, Thomas (1902). The Leopard's Spots - A Romance of the White Man's Burden 1865-1900.
  • "Eurocentrism". In Encyclopedia of the Developing World. Ed. Thomas M. Leonard, Taylor & Francis, 2006, ISBN 0415976626.
  • Greenblatt, Stephen (ed.). Norton Anthology of English Literature, New York 2006 ISBN 0-393-92532-3
  • Kipling. Fordham University. Full text of the poem.
  • Labouchère, Henry (1899). "The Brown Man's Burden".
  • Mama, Amina (1995). Beyond the Masks: Race, Gender, and Subjectivity. Routledge, 1995, ISBN 0415035449.
  • Miller, Stuart Creighton (1982). Benevolent Assimilation: The American Conquest of the Philippines, 1899-1903. Yale University Press. ISBN 0-300-03081-9.
  • Pimentel, Benjamin (October 26, 2003). "The Philippines; "Liberator" Was Really a Colonizer; Bush's revisionist history". The San Francisco Chronicle: D3.
  • Sailer, Steve (2001). "What Will Happen In Afghanistan?". United Press International, 26 September 2001.
  • Snodgrass, Chris (2002). A Companion to Victorian Poetry. Blackwell, Oxford.
  • "The White Man's Burden." McClure's Magazine 12 (Feb. 1899).

Front of UPI Headquarters, Washington, D.C. “UPI” redirects here. ... McClures or McClures Magazine was a popular United States illustrated monthly magazine at the turn of the 20th century, often compared to the longer-running The Atlantic Monthly. ...

Further reading

  • Outline of Sanity Alzina Stone Dale; iUniverse, 2005.

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