Extensive European imperialism took place between 1875 and 1914. This was a time when European countries took over many parts of Africa and Asia. According to the Modern World Issues Textbook imperialism is ” The policy of extending one’s rule over many lands.” There are many views on this topic yet in my opinion Imperialism should have never taken place.
As in the story King Mojimba Meets his first white man, the Africans were standing with outstretched arms when the Europeans arrived. The Africans went to meet the Europeans and welcome them as brothers, but the Europeans immediately began firing their guns when they arrived. There is no reason why the Europeans needed to take over parts of Asia and Africa when these people did nothing to give the Europeans reason to do so.
Everyone has something to contribute to society but the Europeans never gave anyone but themselves a chance to contribute a single thing The Europeans never gave the Africans or Asians a time to show what they had to offer. And the Europeans certainly did have a lot to offer. They had to offer their knowledge of eating, warfare, and their general knowledge of the world around them. The Europeans looked at the Africans and Asians as worthless. This was one of the reasons the Europeans did not give these groups a chance.
If there had not been the Imperialism the world would be a lot different than it is today. Asians and Africans would be much more respected and would have the same opportunities as everyone else. Even though our constitution gives all groups equal right and freedom they do not get it from the people they live with every day. There is still quite a lot of prejudice in the world. “To the Social Darwinists the anti-imperialists replied by denying that the struggle for existence applied to human groups in the way it applied to plants and animals”, (Hobson, 2A).
Although many believe that the Imperialism should never have taken place many look at another way. ” The whites, outnumbered in a harsh world, had to organize themselves and hold non-whites off”, (Chamberlain, 1B). In other words there were more Africans and Asians than Europeans. The Europeans felt intimidated by this and felt the need to fight back and take-over. The Europeans were a little cocky and said that they in fact were the best.
Europeans felt that they were able to beat any non-Europeans at war. This is argued in their defense for Social Darwinism. The people dreamed that they would do much better if “after the inferior people had die out-or had been killed off”, (Chamberlain, 1A). They however did not kill off entire groups of other races.
The arguments in favor of this European Imperialism stress that the white man is a superior being. Whether they argue Social Darwinism, duty or the defense of the white race- a strong hint of racism is felt. This is where these arguments falter. If the imperialistic behavior of European countries had been for the benefit of all and not derived from selfishness, perhaps it would have been justified. It was not, however, based on benevolence but rather the continual survival and prosperity of the “white race”. Each group, each race, has something to contribute to the total of civilization, (Hobson,
2A). Additionally, imperialism and the colonization which takes place, “did not square with the best avowed intentions of democracy” (Hobson, 2A).
There are many views on the matter. Imperialism was a very important part of our history. Many argue about whether it should have even been part of our history at all. Arguments could go on about this forever without reaching a conclusion. Imperialism in my mind should have never taken place.