The 19th And 20th Century Imperialism

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The 19th and 20th century imperialism was substantially about the exploitation of the empires colonies and thus was not a necessarily an ‘civilizing mission’. During the 19th and 20th century European powers tried to justify their actions, by claiming that they were trying to re-educate the native population through education, this included Christian missionaries which were placed throughout Asia, Africa and Latin America. However, it became apparent that these powers gained significant wealth by commercializing items that could not be obtained otherwise. Two key examples of imperialism in the 19th and 20th century includes the Belgium Congo whereby Leopold II gained significant wealth through rubber plantations and the British…show more content…
King Leopold’s opening lines in his speech at a conference in 1876 in Brussels; "To open to civilisation the only part of our globe which it has not yet penetrated, to pierce the darkness which hangs over entire peoples, is, I dare say, a crusade worthy of this century of progress....". Subsequently Christian missionaries were placed throughout Africa, Asia and Latin America to preach and carry on the crusade against slavery. Many of these Christians devoted their lives to accomplishing their goals, however many carried with them the ethnocentric values and judgements of their compatriots who thought that non-Europeans were backwards and uncivilized. During this time evolutionary theories such as Darwinism were incorporated into imperialism by some empires in Europe. It was acquired to justify the need to civilize the indigenous populations of various continents. People were classified. People were classified as separate ‘’races along an evolutionary scale. The subjection of coloured people was considered the inevitable consequence of the superiority of white population. Others believed that extending the empire, law, order and industry would raise ‘’backward peoples’’ up the ladder of evolution to equality. Compared to the 17th and 18th century the Europeans had little care or sense of other people’s cultures. In addition, it is clear that a new sense of
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