According to Kipling, what was the white man's burden?

According to Kipling, the "white man's burden" is the responsibility of Western countries to "civilize" peoples in other lands through imperialism and to impose their cultural standards on them. This "burden" also involves the difficulties that Kipling believed arose from this task.

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In order to understand the meaning of Rudyard Kipling’s poem "The White Man’s Burden," it is important to understand the time frame in which this was written. The United States had just won a war with Spain and had gained control over several of Spain’s former colonies. The United States now had an opportunity to become an imperial power. This poem advocated that the United States should assume this responsibility.

The poem suggested that imperialistic countries had an obligation to show people they believed were inferior how to run a government, how to run a country, and how to live. These imperialistic countries, whose population was mainly white, needed to assume the responsibility of showing different groups of supposedly inferior people the right way to live. This was not going to be an easy job and might be met with resistance from the people these imperialistic nations were trying to "civilize." However, Kipling believed the United States needed to assume this...

(The entire section contains 3 answers and 632 words.)

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