Concept of Imperialism

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"Imperialism was always seen as positive for Westerners, but as destructive by the peoples of Africa and Asia." To what extent does this statement appear to be true? Rudyard Kipling's "The White man's burden" seems to be an ironic condemnation of imperialism. Whilst most Westerners of the viewed imperialism as a necessary fact and as a boon to the 'savages', Kipling was a pre-contemporary in more ways than one and saw the 'Whites' as simply one more other race populating the world. The White man in his greed and folly was perpetrating needless wars and occupying another's land as well as stealing their wives, children, property, and money for the benefit of themselves. Kipling, however, was unique in that most Westerners disagreed with him. To them, they were not only doing their duty but many defined their acts as charity. They were educating the illiterate; teaching the savage the ways of Jesus Christ; showing the primitive how to till and cultivate his soil as well as manage his business; and, in all ways, positively affecting the inferior race with the gentility and keener intelligence of the superior. Others admitted their stake of personal self-interest, but pegged on the same rationalizations: they were benefitting the inferior savage by occupying his land. The fact that this seemed to be the common attitude of the period is clearly seen in literature that has become classic. Pollyanna and Tom Sawyer, for instance, are two classic productions of the period that
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