Race Theory As A Justification For Imperialism Essay

1200 Words May 4th, 2015 5 Pages
During the late 1800s and early 1900s race theory was used to justify the actions of European leaders. Race theory, the idea that human beings were divided into superior and inferior races, can be derived from Social Darwinism. Herbert Spencer, an English philosopher, applied the idea from before the 1850s that human beings were divided into different races with biological superiority to develop the idea of Social Darwinism (McKay, p. 697). This theory states that races that were the best adapted were superior. Race theory, or the idea of superior and inferior races, influenced the actions of European leaders during the times of imperialism and fascism. Social Darwinism and the idea of race theory became a justification for imperialism during the late 1800s. During this period of New Imperialism, Europeans were expanding into many regions in Africa and Asia. Europeans being the superior race, believed that they had the right to take control over these regions and their people. Throughout the age of New Imperialism, some nations believed that as the superior race it was their mission to civilize the inferior races. A popular idea in Europe during this time was white man’s burden which was the ideology from Rudyard Kipling’s poem “The White Man’s Burden.” “According to this view, nonwhites would eventually receive the benefits of modern economies, cities, advanced medicine, and higher standards of living” (McKay, p. 753). In addition to the English, the French believed that…

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