“The White Man’s Burden” was originally composed by Rudyard Kipling in 1897 for Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee, but it was eventually published in 1899 in response to the events of the Spanish-American War. It praises and justifies a paternalistic version of imperialism through a racial ideology.
In the poem, white people are portrayed as more civilized, mature, intelligent, and rational and thus as having a moral duty to establish empires to rule over savages. The conquered peoples are described as subjugated but deservingly so as they are "Half devil and half child." While white people are assumed to be Christian, non-whites are "heathen," and thus it is the duty, according to Kipling, of the imperial nations to Christianize them.
Indigenous people are described as poor, barbaric, and uncivilized due to their own character which combines sloth and folly. They are described as sullen and violent in a way that makes the job of imperial administrators dangerous. Indigenous peoples...
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