European Perceptions of Africans, Latin Americans, and Asians

Essay by NYSpinnerDanCollege, Undergraduate September 2009

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European attitudes toward Latin Americans, Africans, and Asians in general suggested that the Europeans felt superior to them in every aspect. The European nations explored and expanded to enhance their economies and influence, even when this was done at the expense of the residents of the new territories. Therefore the actions taken leave the impression that the only well-being they cared about was their own. To offset the moral opposition from those who were less ambitious than them in this particular sense, Europeans often used the need to spread Christianity as an excuse for their actions. “If they didn’t give the Latinos, Africans, and Asians the gift of Christ, who would?”International competition had made exploration and colonization attempts in Latin America, Africa, and Asia a popular European venture, and led to a large increase in interaction between Europeans and citizens of other continents. For the most part international competition led to a decline, rather than an enhancement, in quality of attitude that Europeans showed towards these people.

Because of the increased competition, economic gains from the ventures became more important than ever. Relationships with the natives had to be profitable commercially. This disrupted the effects from the already tiny sense of compassion that the Europeans may have had towards the natives. Every possible capitalistic venture was attempted, no matter the abuse or oppression that the natives had to face because of it. There were, of course, exceptions. Some natives from these countries actually did profit from the European - these were the ones who traded goods and services directly with them. Some examples of this are the West African towns who traded slaves captured from other towns for Arab (this isn’t exactly European international competition, but the same story would occur with the Triangular Trade later on with the Americas)...