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Imperialism and the Life of Manly Courage Essay

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What do Rhodes, Roosevelt, Kipling, and Sarmiento share in their vision of white men’s role in civilizing the world?

Cecil Rhodes is regarded as a powerful imperialist and a rich diamond owner. In the “Confession of Faith”, he states his view on Britain’s right to colonize countries in the entire globe. He also stresses the significance of the participation of the British people. His main principles suggest that imperialism was the opener to political and economic dominance and illuminates how nationalism in Britain caused the increment of its territories. According to him, all that was important was that the Anglo-Saxon take control of the entire universe. He wanted to do all he could just to serve his country.

In his poem called The White Men’s Burden, Kipling portrays to us the nature of attitudes that Europeans had on imperialism. The attitude was negative. Europeans considered Africans as savages and imperialism more of a burden. The poem justifies the decision by the Europeans to enter Africa and mentions that it was a way of helping the Africans. Africans are painted badly and the author seems bent on glorifying slavery. He goes ahead to mention that the whites have to go on and educate the African generation whether Africans agree or not.

Theodore Roosevelt was a former president of the United States. In his, A Strenuous Life, he is clearly against the calls for an end to imperialism. He advocates for the desire of his nation’s people to conquer and rule the world. He does this so cautiously reminding people of the other nations that pose a danger to the Americans if they do not stand tall. According to him, the other nations of the world could rise and be stronger and conquer even them if Americans do not stand to take up other lands such as they did with the Philippines.

Domingo Sarmiento’s Civilization or Barbarism is another written piece needing close analysis. In it, we learn of how an Argentine Caudillo general promoted civilization as well as the culture of the Argentines. How the Argentine people live is shown to us by the writer and he also offers his viewpoints as well as reservations regarding the lack of progression caused by a system of imperialism aimed at subduing local communities. Indeed, information from this work of Sarmiento assisted many of the European leaders to comprehend the nature of the struggle that the Argentines were going through.

Where do we see differences in these men’s thoughts about manliness and civilization and why?

There are different thoughts that come up among the men concerning manliness and civilization. Not all of them think in the same way. For instance, Cecil Rhodes and Roosevelt Theodore find imperialism as a thing of honor which the white men have to love. To them, this brings power and control all over the world. Hence, they urge their fellow countrymen to strive to rule others and conquer new lands. However, this is not the exact view of two of the other men called Kipling and Domingo. These two appear to think in the opposite direction of Theodore and Cecil. Kipling actually writes in his poem that Imperialism is indeed burdensome although speaking of Africans as savages. On the other hand, Domingo seems to encourage a move away from imperialism in an attempt at building just societies where equality is the norm. He does this by comparing the rule of a former ruler and the turmoil that follows his death later on.

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IvyPanda. (2021, March 19). Imperialism and the Life of Manly Courage. Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/essays/imperialism-and-the-life-of-manly-courage/

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IvyPanda. 2021. "Imperialism and the Life of Manly Courage." March 19, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/imperialism-and-the-life-of-manly-courage/.

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IvyPanda. (2021) 'Imperialism and the Life of Manly Courage'. 19 March.

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