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Analysis of "The White Mans Burden"

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Words: 708 |

Pages: 2|

4 min read

Published: Mar 16, 2024

Words: 708|Pages: 2|4 min read

Published: Mar 16, 2024

The White Man's Burden is a poem written by Rudyard Kipling in 1899, which was originally published in McClure's Magazine. The poem was written in the context of the United States' acquisition of the Philippines following the Spanish-American War. The term "White Man's Burden" refers to the idea that it is the duty of the white, Western nations to civilize and uplift the non-white, non-Western nations. This idea was used to justify colonialism and imperialism, and it reflects the paternalistic and racist attitudes that were prevalent during the 19th and early 20th centuries.

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In the poem, Kipling implores the United States to take up the "burden" of ruling over the Philippines, arguing that it is the duty of the white man to bring civilization and progress to the "sullen people" of the newly acquired territories. The poem is filled with racist and condescending language, portraying the Filipinos as "half-devil and half-child" who need to be saved from their own "slothful" and "ungrateful" nature. Kipling's poem embodies the colonialist mindset of the time, which viewed non-white peoples as inferior and in need of Western intervention in order to progress and develop.

The White Man's Burden was met with both praise and criticism upon its publication. Some saw it as a noble call to duty, while others recognized it as a thinly veiled justification for the subjugation and exploitation of non-white peoples. However, in the present day, the poem is widely recognized as a prime example of the racist and imperialistic attitudes that underpinned colonialism and imperialism.

The legacy of the White Man's Burden is still felt today, as the effects of colonialism and imperialism continue to shape the global political and economic landscape. The idea that it is the duty of the white, Western nations to "civilize" and "uplift" non-white, non-Western nations has had far-reaching consequences, including the exploitation and subjugation of indigenous peoples, the destruction of local cultures and traditions, and the perpetuation of racial and ethnic hierarchies.

One of the most enduring legacies of the White Man's Burden is the persistence of global inequality, which can be traced back to the historical exploitation and subjugation of non-white peoples by Western powers. The unequal distribution of wealth and resources between the Global North and the Global South can be attributed, at least in part, to the legacy of colonialism and imperialism. According to the World Bank, more than 700 million people still live in extreme poverty, with the majority of them residing in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. This extreme poverty is a direct result of historical and ongoing exploitation by Western powers, and it is a stark reminder of the lasting impact of the White Man's Burden.

Furthermore, the White Man's Burden has also contributed to the perpetuation of racial and ethnic hierarchies, which continue to shape the global political and social landscape. The idea that the white, Western nations are inherently superior to non-white, non-Western nations has been used to justify discrimination, oppression, and violence against people of color. This has led to the marginalization and disenfranchisement of non-white communities around the world, and it has perpetuated a system of racial and ethnic inequality that continues to affect millions of people to this day.

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The White Man's Burden is a prime example of the racist and imperialistic attitudes that underpinned colonialism and imperialism. The legacy of the White Man's Burden is still felt today, as the effects of colonialism and imperialism continue to shape the global political and economic landscape. The idea that it is the duty of the white, Western nations to "civilize" and "uplift" non-white, non-Western nations has had far-reaching consequences, including the exploitation and subjugation of indigenous peoples, the destruction of local cultures and traditions, and the perpetuation of racial and ethnic hierarchies. The lasting impact of the White Man's Burden is evident in the persistence of global inequality and the perpetuation of racial and ethnic hierarchies, which continue to shape the global political and social landscape. It is essential to recognize the legacy of the White Man's Burden and work towards dismantling the systems of inequality and oppression that it has perpetuated. Only then can we move towards a more just and equitable world for all.

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Dr. Charlotte Jacobson

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Analysis of “The White Mans Burden”. (2024, March 15). GradesFixer. Retrieved June 21, 2024, from https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/analysis-of-the-white-mans-burden/
“Analysis of “The White Mans Burden”.” GradesFixer, 15 Mar. 2024, gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/analysis-of-the-white-mans-burden/
Analysis of “The White Mans Burden”. [online]. Available at: <https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/analysis-of-the-white-mans-burden/> [Accessed 21 Jun. 2024].
Analysis of “The White Mans Burden” [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2024 Mar 15 [cited 2024 Jun 21]. Available from: https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/analysis-of-the-white-mans-burden/
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