Frederick Douglass Academy by G3gt67

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									Frederick Douglass Academy                                               2.7.11
Global Studies
Mr. Murphy
The New Age of Imperialism
Rudyard Kipling: "The White Man's Burden" (1899)

Take up the White Man's burden—                            The ports ye shall not enter,
Send forth the best ye breed—                              The roads ye shall not tread,
Go bind your sons to exile                                 Go mark them with your living,
To serve your captives' need;                              And mark them with your dead.
To wait in heavy harness,
On fluttered folk and wild—                                Take up the White Man's burden—
Your new-caught, sullen peoples,                           And reap his old reward:
Half-devil and half-child.                                 The blame of those ye better,
                                                           The hate of those ye guard—
Take up the White Man's burden—                            The cry of hosts ye humour
In patience to abide,                                      (Ah, slowly!) toward the light:—
To veil the threat of terror                               "Why brought he us from bondage,
And check the show of pride;                               Our loved Egyptian night?"
By open speech and simple,
An hundred times made plain                                Take up the White Man's burden—
To seek another's profit,                                  Ye dare not stoop to less—
And work another's gain.                                   Nor call too loud on Freedom
                                                           To cloak your weariness;
Take up the White Man's burden—                            By all ye cry or whisper,
The savage wars of peace—                                  By all ye leave or do,
Fill full the mouth of Famine                              The silent, sullen peoples
And bid the sickness cease;                                Shall weigh your gods and you.
And when your goal is nearest
The end for others sought,                                 Take up the White Man's burden—
Watch sloth and heathen Folly                              Have done with childish days—
Bring all your hopes to nought.                            The lightly proferred laurel,
                                                           The easy, ungrudged praise.
Take up the White Man's burden—                            Comes now, to search your manhood
No tawdry rule of kings,                                   Through all the thankless years
But toil of serf and sweeper—                              Cold, edged with dear-bought wisdom,
The tale of common things.                                 The judgment of your peers!


1. For each stanza, provide:
               A written, prose style summary of the stanza.
               Provide two lines that you felt to be particularly important

2. Asses the entire poem, in paragraph format, in the context of the Imperial growth in the late 1800’ early
1900’s in Africa and Asia.
               How does it reflect the concepts of Social Darwinism and the Christian responsibility to
                  “help your fellow man?



Background on the poem:

Published in McClure's Magazine in February of 1899, Rudyard Kipling's poem, "The White Man's
Burden," appeared at a critical moment in the debate about imperialism within the United States. The
Philippine-American War began on February 4 and two days later the U.S. Senate ratified the Treaty of



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Paris that officially ended the Spanish-American War, ceded Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Philippines to the
United States, and placed Cuba under U.S. control.

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 euphemism for
imperialism that seemed to justify the policy as a noble enterprise. Anti-imperialists quickly responded with
parodies of the poem. They focused on the new warfare in the Philippines, the hypocrisy of claiming moral
sanction for a policy they argued originated from greed for military power and commercial markets,
continuing racial and gender inequality at home, and the special "burden" of imperialism to the working
people of the United States. The poem was not quickly forgotten.

In 1901, after two years of devastating warfare in the Philippines, Mark Twain remarked: "The White
Man's Burden has been sung. Who will sing the Brown Man's?" In December of 1903, C. E. D. Phelps used
a parody of the poem to criticize the U.S. acquisition of the Panama Canal Zone. The "white man's burden"
concept was also revived in later discussions of U.S. interventions in the Americas and during World War
I.

                                             Social Darwinism

The ideology melded the growing popularity of Charles Darwin’s “Origin of the Species”, with the belief
that Man is simply the highest and most evolved of all of the Mammals. Evolution came in direct conflict
with the prevailing Christian notion that mankind, beginning with Adam and Eve, was created by God.

Darwin proposed that through Natural Selection, animals evolve over time, and that physical superiority is
a natural outgrowth of this process of evolution. Hence, you are bound to have creatures that are predators
and those that are prey. Prey exists only for the benefit of the predator.

As one of the causes of the New Age of Imperialism, Social Darwinists adopted this philosophy to
mankind, and it became the root of a new era of exploitation. If you combine the Christian belief that
civilizing the “savages” of Africa and the Far East was a holy duty, consider that the Social Darwinists felt
that European’s, by virtue of their “natural superiority”, were simply destined by their status as the most
superior of the races to conquer those that were their inferiors. Hence, exploiting the labor of Africans or
Asians is no more problematic than a lion hunting an antelope. There is no right or wrong; the lion is
simply doing what nature intended it to do. By this same logic, the European Powers were following this
same pattern of dominance as they conquered these people, who were, as Kipling classified them, “half
devil, half child.”



Reminders for this week:

   Quiz #1 on Tuesday, 2/8/11 on the notes you have taken on Guns, Germs and Steel: “Into the Tropics”

   Your 35 Questions on the Oral History Project are due on Wednesday, 2/9/11. (Hmwk #3).
             25 of my questions and 10 of yours.

   Your assessment of the Kipling Poem, “White Man’s Burden”, is due on Thursday, 2/10/11. (Hmwk
    #4)




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