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Essay about Colonialism Changed the Role of the Victorian Male

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Colonialism Changed the Role of the Victorian Male One of the most famous slogans of the age of global colonization was: "The sun never sets on the British Empire." As recently as 1940, world maps showed large areas colored pink, representing regions dominated by the British. Much of Africa was pink, along with India, Malaya, Hong Kong, and other scattered territories in Asia and the Americas. The existence of an empire on which the sun never set helped instill in the individual British citizen tremendous pride, and the need to become personally a devoted imperialist. For more than 100 years, the fact that Britain was an empire had changed the British man’s life, and had instilled in him the fact that he was superior to most other…show more content…
A generation of university teachers, schoolmasters, clergymen, poets, journalists, and fiction writers concentrated their minds and energies on popularizing the cult of the new imperialism. The intellectual and social trends were many and complex, ranging from Social Darwinist works like Benjamin Kidd’s "The Control of the Topics" to Kipling’s poems and the racist songs of the music halls. There was, of course, the persistent call by Christian evangelicals to go forth and convert the pagans. Continuous, too, since the eighteenth century, were humanitarians anxious to end slavery or protect the aborigines. Even the nursery of the Victorian day was not closed to imperialism. "An ABC for Baby Patriots" published in 1899 included: C is for Colonies Rightly we boast, That of all the great nations Great Britain has the most. In the middle classes, the passion for wealth was closely connected with the desperate need for respectability. By 1880, a generation had passed into manhood with an outlook which made them ideally suited to govern the empire. In itself, wealth alone was hardly enough to make a Victorian respectable. When everyone at the time was busy making money and working to better themselves, someone with money who just laid back and enjoyed the pleasures of life was not a winner. It was said that to be a merchant prince was a far finer thing than to be a gentleman. This means
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