Western Imperialism and Racism

Essay by Anonymous UserUniversity, Master'sA, November 1996

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In the age of Imperialism, world powers constantly tried to expand their

boundaries. Much of the time they disregarded the native populations or created

stereotypes around them that suited their colonial needs. Imperialism brought about a

clash of cultures. Colonial European and Japanese power expanded into Asia and Africa.

The British, French, Dutch and Americans considered themselves conquerors with an

eminent right to expansion with domain over the native cultures. Their belief that they

were above the people who lived in their colonial empires not only decreased mutual

respect but also gave rise to a racist style of thinking.

First, this colonial movement wiped out mutual respect between the colonial

power and the previously sovereign state; the Europeans clung to it fiercely though.

"This was not simply a matter of domination," says John Barraclough, author of An

Introduction to Contemporary History. Although it may have been nothing more than a

crude, militaristic, undermining need for power that drove the Europeans to colonize,

they saw it differently.

Europeans saw their massive expansion at the close of the

nineteenth century as the opening of a new era. They thought they were bringing a

greater civilization to the backward, non-white, non-European world (Barraclough 65).

They saw it as their duty. If non-Europeans could not promote trade, influence

their economy and create a better (as the Europeans believed), more relevant lifestyle

then the colonial powers would have to do it for them. "It was useless to export

European skills to backward countries without at the same time introducing European

authorities to ensure their proper employment; since the native races were unable to

maintain civilized rule themselves, the government of dependencies by the imperial

powers was a necessity of the modern world" (Barraclough 65).

The Europeans sent out waves of emigrants to populate and...