Social Darwinism And European Imperialism

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The concept of colonization was not new to European history. During the Napoleonic Wars, Napoleon conquered and liberated countries along Europe, not only gaining resources but territories, and civilizing the cultures. Similarly, European leaders believed it was their duty to colonize. During the period of 1880 to 1914, European nations began to colonize the continent of Africa. Various leaders of the nations recognized the potential of Africa. They believed that it could benefit their country economically and politically, while they implemented ideas of social Darwinism on the cultures.
Capitalistic societies encouraged establishments in other lands for economical purposes. The Industrial Revolution invented machinery and technology that
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Due to the concept of Social Darwinism, leaders and even the public believed that they were the superior race and in control. This theory led people to believe in the nation as a whole not the individual. Germans, especially, during this time period started to feel that they were more fit than other nationalities and were more evolved. Due to their nationalistic thoughts, they wanted to conquer the world and make them more like us. Darwin said, “mankind had created a society rationally designed to ensure our species’ survival.” This took the form of morality through religion, political order through laws, and the socio-economic distribution of precious resources, which the Europeans wanted to spread. This relates to Napoleon’s idea of liberating the countries that he conquered by making them more like France. The poem, the White Man’s Burden, mentions that white man take care of these backwards countries since they don’t know better. The phrase, “half devil and half child” is meant for the natives, stating that they need religion and are primitive. Countries truly believed they colonized territories generously even though they will be bad-mouthed by others. Most importantly, this poem justifies slavery, the colonization of people and even genocide all for economic reasons. Archibald Philip Primrose, a British politician mentions imperialism as, “ a race vigorous, industrious and intrepid” and only the fittest survive in this modern world. As a politician he recognized his country as the fittest brought the people together and explained the need for colonization. Martial Henri Merlin, a French viceroy in Africa, gave reasoning to Primrose’s statement. Merlin informed the public that the duty that they have was to teach them what to do. He argued that the natives didn’t know what to do with the lands since they were “firmly plunged into barbarism.” They both wanted to increase the value of

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