3 Arguments Against Imperialism Essay

Anti-Imperialism Essay

Often times when a country has gained a great deal of power, they will invade a weaker country for any number of reasons.  This is referred to as "imperialism".  Imperialism is a controversial issue, and it is difficult to say if there are more anti-imperialists (or, people against imperialism) than there are imperialists.  Imperialism can be thought to be a reasonable path, but in actuality, creates difficulties.  Imperialism is what lit the fuse leading to the explosions that were the Spanish-American War and the Filipino Rebellion (among others).  Imperialism also instigated menacing debates that left much of the general public and even some politicians split down the middle.
In the late 19th and early 20th century, America was ending with its industrial revolution and quickly gaining power in the world.  Unfortunately, the Civil War and failed reconstruction efforts caused America to fall behind the rest of the world.  While America was cleaning up the shattered remnants of the South, Europe had all ready industrialized and staked claims in Africa and other "under developed" countries.  Spain had conquered Cuba and the Philippines.  They unjustly sent the Cuban rebels to re-concentration camps.  America vied to gain the land that Spain had claimed.  Many incidents, such as the mistreatment of the Cubans, outrageous stories (enhanced by yellow journalism) and the detonation of the U.S.S. Maine, had led to tension between Spain and America.  Things were already difficult because America wanted to gain Cuba and the Philippines from Spain.  This pressure led to the Spanish-American War.  Though the war was "easily" won, an example like this clearly states that imperialism will lead to war and not peace.
America and Spain officially ended the war by signing the Treaty of Paris.  The Treaty of Paris forced Spain to relent power over Cuba and Guam to the US.  It also allowed America to buy the Philippines from Spain for twenty million dollars.  The United States decided to keep the Philippines and not let it become a free nation.  This essentially led to the Filipino rebellion.  At the time of the Spanish-American war, the Filipino resistance leader, Emilio Aguinaldo, had wrongly believed that the Americans were on their side during the revolt against Spain.  However, America had no interest in helping the people; they only wanted the Philippines for its port location.  Newspapers emphasized this point with comments such as: "Let us all be frank.  WE DO NOT WANT THE FILIPINOS.  WE WANT THE PHILIPPINES.  All of our troubles in this annexation matter have been caused by the presence in the Philippine Islands of the Filipinos….The more of them killed the better" (primary source, book, page 600).
Imperialism sparked heated debates throughout citizens living at the time. Inspired individuals, including Mark Twain and William Jennings Bryan, whole-heartedly disapproved of imperialism.  They joined the American Anti-Imperialist League.  These intellects made it clear that imperialism was awful.  They criticized the violence created by imperialism and the obvious hypocrisy that resulted from it.  Anti-imperialists deemed imperialism a felony and claimed it was "open disloyalty to the distinctive principles of our government" (book, page 598).
Imperialism generally led to hostility and intense debates.  The American Anti-Imperialist League once said, "Let us not be misled by names. Imperialism is not a question of crowns and scepters, of names and titles. It is a system of government. Where a man or body of men, an Emperor, a President, a Congress, or a Nation, claims the absolute right to rule a people, to compel the submission of that people by brute force, to decide what rights they shall have, what taxes they shall pay, what judges shall administer their laws, what men shall govern them,--all without responsibility to the people thus governed--this is imperialism, the antithesis of free government" (primary "surprise" source).  In short, imperialism is the opposite of democracy, the system America was built on.  And the way of government America had used since it overthrew the imperialistic Great Britain.
All in all, imperialism is a truly evil thing and many people are against it.  It can lead only to war, rebellion, divided viewpoints and hardships.  Thinking about it in detail, one realizes that these atrocious consequences afflict the country that is the victim of imperialism—the country that needs all the real help it can get.

Essay on Colonialism and Imperialism - The White Man's Burden

1602 Words7 Pages

Imperialism: The White Man's Burden

In one of his most famous poems, Rudyard Kipling said, "Take up the white man's burden!" (146). He was only one of many who believed in the virtues of imperialism in the late nineteenth and the early twentieth centuries. During that period, imperialism was on the rise, and Africa was being swallowed up by competing European nations. The imperialists had many arguments supporting imperialism. They said it was beneficial and, in some cases, essential. Their arguments did not satisfy everyone, but that did not bother them. The justifications ranged from economics to social services, while touching on everything else in between (Hayes 222-3).

Kipling was one of the most talked…show more content…

Businessmen needed new markets where their goods would not be taxed (Lugard 379-81). These new markets would also create more of a demand for products which would in turn create more jobs for the Europeans back home (Chamberlain 180). The Africans also provided a cheap labor source for companies built in Africa. The natives were said to be submissive and to pick up on things quickly, which made them prime candidates for the tough manual labor they were required to perform. The combination of new markets and new labor did wonders for commercial competition (Lugard 380-2). Perhaps the Europeans realized that economic advantages alone would not be enough to convince everyone that imperialism was valuable to society. Therefore, they thought of many other justifications in an attempt to convince people.

One such justification was that they were actually helping the Africans (Rhodes 178). Kipling considered it their duty to rescue "sullen peoples" who were "half devil and half child" (146). When described in that manner, it is hard to imagine a decent person who would not want to reach out to the wretched souls. The Europeans brought new wonders of technology to Africa to try to bring it up to par with Europe (Lugard 380-1). They did bring a "material improvement" to the lives of the Africans in this manner (Chamberlain 181). The Europeans built schools, improved communications and transportation, and also brought new medicines (Greenberger 93). Still,

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