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Encyclopedia > White Man's Burden

The White Man's Burden is a 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. It is an instance of ethnocentrism, perhaps especially relevant because of its alignment with current and past real power structures in the world... Eurocentric view of the world used to encourage powerful nations to adopt an The term New Imperialism to the policy and ideology of imperial colonial expansion adopted by Europes powers and later the United States and Japan during the late 19th and early 20th centuries; approximately from the Franco-Prussian War to World War I (c. 1871–1914). The period is... imperial role. The term is the name of an 1899 was a common year starting on Sunday (see link for calendar). Events January January 1 - End of Spanish rule in Cuba. January 1 - Queens and Staten Island merge with New York City. January 3 - The first known use of the word automobile, in an editorial in the New York... 1899 poem by Rudyard Kipling, British author Joseph Rudyard Kipling (December 30, 1865 – January 18, 1936) was a British author and poet, born in India. He is best known for the childrens story The Jungle Book (1894), the Indian spy novel Kim (1901), the poems Gunga Din (1892) and If—... Rudyard Kipling, the sentiments of which give insight into this A world view, also spelled as worldview is a term calqued from the German word Weltanschauung (look onto the world). The German word is also in wide use in English, as well as the translated form world outlook. Weltanschauung and cognitive philosophy One of the most important concepts in cognitive... world view.

The first stanza of the Kipling poem reads:

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.

In this view, non-European cultures are seen as child-like as well as The demon Satan In folklore, mythology, and religion, a demon is a supernatural being that is generally described as an evil spirit, but is also depicted to be good in some instances. The Greek word daemon, δαίμων, appears in the works of Plato and many... demonic, with people of World map showing location of Europe A satellite composite image of Europe Europe is geologically and geographically a peninsula, forming the westernmost part of Eurasia. It is conventionally considered a continent, which, in this case, is more of a cultural distinction than a geographic one. ( National Geographic, however, officially recognises... European descent having an obligation to rule them and encourage their development until they can take their place in the world by fully adopting western ways.

The poem was originally published in the popular This article is about the magazine as a published medium. For other meanings, see magazine (disambiguation) A collection of magazines Magazines A magazine is a periodical publication containing a variety of articles on various subjects. Magazines are typically published weekly, biweekly, monthly, or quarterly, with a date on the cover... magazine McClure's in the The United States of America — also referred to as the United States, the U.S.A., the U.S., America¹, the States, or (archaically) Columbia — is a federal republic of 50 states located primarily in central North America (with the exception of two states: Alaska and Hawaii... United States. It was written specifically because after the The Spanish-American War took place in 1898, and resulted in the United States of America gaining control over the former colonies of Spain in the Caribbean and Pacific. Background For several centuries Spains position as a world power had been slipping away. By the late nineteenth century the... Spanish-American War, feeling in the US was more Isolationism is a diplomatic policy whereby a nation seeks to avoid alliances with other nations. Most nations are not in a political position to maintain strict isolationist policies for extended periods of time, even though most nations have historical periods where isolationism is popular. United States Isolationism Main article: United... isolationist than not. It was believed that had the U.S. not taken over The Kingdom of Spain or Spain ( Spanish: Reino de España or España; Catalan: Regne dEspanya; Basque: Espainiako Erresuma; Galician: Reino da España) is a country located in the southwest of Europe. It shares the Iberian Peninsula with Portugal, Gibraltar and Andorra. To the... Spain's position in the The Republic of the Philippines is an island nation consisting of an archipelago of 7,107 islands, lying in the tropical western Pacific Ocean about 100 kilometers southeast of mainland Asia. Spain (1565-1898) and the United States (1898-1946), colonized the country and have been the largest influences on... Philippines, another foreign power would have moved into the vacuum. Kipling wrote this poem specifically to help sway popular opinion in the U.S., so that a "friendly" western power would hold the A strategy is a long term plan of action designed to achieve a particular goal. Strategy applies to many disparate fields, such as: Military strategy Marketing strategies Strategic management Football strategy Game theoretical strategy Economic strategy Neuro-linguistic programming strategy Applications The best strategy is the indirect approach, not head... strategically important Philippines.

The view and the term itself are often regarded, in modern times - particularly by Multiculturalism or cultural pluralism is a policy, ideal, or reality that emphasizes the unique characteristics of different cultures in the world, especially as they relate to one another in immigrant receiving nations. The word was first used in 1957 to describe Switzerland, but first came into common currency in Canada... Multiculturalists and Liberalism is a political current embracing several historical and present-day ideologies that claim defense of individual liberty as the purpose of government. It typically favors the right to dissent from orthodox tenets or established authorities in political or religious matters. In this respect, it is sometimes held in contrast... Liberals - as An African-American drinks out of a water fountain marked for colored in 1939 at a street car terminal in Oklahoma City. Racism is the belief that race is the primary determinant of human capacities, that a certain race is inherently superior or inferior to others, and/or that individuals... racist and condescending, cultivating a sense of European ascendancy of less civilized people, or of quantifying and evaluating the value of culture. (See also Cultural imperialism is the practice of promoting the culture or language of one nation in another. It is usually the case that the former is a large, economically or militarily powerful nation and the latter is a smaller, less affluent one. Cultural imperialism can take the form of an active... cultural imperialism). However, some Conservatism or political conservatism is any of several historically related political philosophies or political ideologies. There are also a number of Conservative political parties in various countries. All of these are primarily (though not necessarily exclusively) identified with the political right. While the intellectual roots of conservatism date back centuries... Conservatives and various other right-wing groups today still have sympathy for the idea of a White Man's Burden, although most explicitly remove the idea of race from the concept. They argue that it is a responsibility of richer countries to help less developed countries. They point out that law and order are vital to the economic and cultural growth of a nation, and sometimes difficult to achieve without foreign intervention. This article or section should be merged with nation-building Nation building is the use of armed force in the aftermath of a conflict to underpin an enduring transition to democracy. [1] James Dobbins served as U.S. special envoy for Somalia, Haiti, Bosnia, Kosovo, and Afghanistan, which he cites... Nation building could be seen as an example of a modern-day "White Man's Burden".

The term "liberal guilt" is sometimes used as a modern parallel to the historic "white man's burden". It is used by some modern whites to validate discrimination or double-standards towards their own ethnic group because of their own perceived responsibility or culpability for historical wrongs.

In a historical context, the concept makes clear the prevalent attitudes that allowed Colonialism is a system in which a state claims sovereignty over territory and people outside its own boundaries, often to facilitate economic domination over their resources, labor, and often markets. The term also refers to a set of beliefs used to legitimize or promote this system, especially the belief that... colonialism to proceed. Although a belief in the virtues of empire was widespread at the time there were also many dissenters and the publication of the poem caused a flurry of arguments from both sides, most notably from Samuel Langhorne Clemens (November 30, 1835 - April 21, 1910), better known by his pen name Mark Twain, was a famous and popular American humorist, writer and lecturer. At his peak, he was probably the most popular American celebrity of his time. William Faulkner wrote he was the first truly American... Mark Twain and This article is about the writer; for the politician who was almost his contemporary see Henry James, 1st Baron James of Hereford. Henry James (April 15, 1843 - February 28, 1916), son of Henry James Sr. and younger brother of the philosopher and psychologist William James, was an American author (although... 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 the functionaries of empire who are caught in colonial service.

Kipling himself was not simply a worshiper of the power of empire. He wrote many poems celebrating the working classes, particularly the common soldier. Also, six months after White Man's Burden was published he wrote The Old Issue, a stinging criticism of the Boer guerrillas during the Second Boer War There were two Boer wars, one in 1880-81 and the second from October 11, 1899-1902 both between the British and the settlers of Dutch origin (called Boere, Afrikaners or Voortrekkers) in South Africa that put an end to the two independent... Boer War and attack on the unlimited and despotic power of kings although the Boer War itself was a fight between a colonial power and a group of colonists.

The final stanza of the poem seems to refer to events in the poet's own life:

Take up the White Man's burden —
Have done with childish days —
The lightly proffered 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!

In 1892 was a leap year starting on Friday (see link for calendar). Events January-June January 1 - Ellis Island begins accepting immigrants to the United States. January 14 - Death of Prince Albert Victor, Duke of Clarence, second in line heir to the throne of the United Kingdom of Great Britain... 1892 the long-standing A Poet Laureate is a poet officially appointed by a government and often expected to compose poems for state occasions and other government events. In the United Kingdom, it has over the centuries come to be the title of the official poet of the British monarch, appointed for life since... poet laureate Lord Tennyson, Poet Laureate Alfred Tennyson, 1st Baron Tennyson (August 6, 1809 - October 6, 1892) is generally regarded as one of the greatest English poets. Much of his verse was based on classical or mythological themes. Idylls of the King (1859) takes its subject from Arthurian romance. Later in his... Alfred Lord Tennyson died. Many important poets of the day were considered for the post and it was offered to Rudyard Kipling, British author Joseph Rudyard Kipling (December 30, 1865 – January 18, 1936) was a British author and poet, born in India. He is best known for the childrens story The Jungle Book (1894), the Indian spy novel Kim (1901), the poems Gunga Din (1892) and If—... Kipling but he refused it. Whether this was because he felt he did not deserve it or he thought it would damage his career is not certain but in this poem he seems to be reconsidering the offer and contemplating unwelcome responsibility and duty.

The poem does show that, to a large extent, colonial powers relied upon the argument that they were "civilizing" indigenous peoples A similar idea is the The term Hamitic refers to peoples traditionally believed to have been descended from Ham, one of Noahs sons. (See: Sons of Noah) Over history there have been several separate but interrelated interpretations of the term. In the Bible the sons of Ham are peoples who were traditionally enemies of... Hamitic For the computer game, see Myth (computer game). A myth is often thought to be a lesson in story form which has deep explanatory or symbolic resonance for preliterate cultures, who preserve and cherish the wisdom of their elders through oral traditions by the use of skilled story tellers. Its... Myth. The Hamitic Myth was a The Bible (From Greek βιβλιος biblios, meaning book, which in turn is derived from βυβλος—byblos meaning papyrus, from the ancient Phoenician city of Byblos which exported papyrus) is a word applied to sacred scriptures. Although most often... biblical rationalization for European exploitation in Africa, based on the supposed biblical lineage of certain African peoples.


  • "The White Man's Burden." McClure's Magazine 12 (Feb. 1899).

External links

File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. Click on date to download the file or see the image uploaded on that date. (del) (cur) 12:02, 12 May 2004 . . Dmn (5508 bytes) (Symbol for wikisource) File links...
Wikisource is a sister project to Wikipedia that aims to create a free wiki compendium of primary source texts in any language, as well as translations of source texts. Originally called Project Sourceberg (after Project Gutenberg) during the planning stages for the project, the site was officially named Wikisource on... Wikisource has original text related to this article:
  • Text of the Kipling poem (http://www.boondocksnet.com/ai/kipling/kipling.html)
  • "The White Man's Burden" and Its Critics (http://www.boondocksnet.com/ai/kipling/index.html)
  • The Black Man's Burden (http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/mod/1903blackburden.html) by Edward Morel, 1903

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