Start Free Trial

What is the point of view of the political cartoon "Thus colonize the English" on European imperialism?

Quick answer:

The political cartoon "Thus colonize the English" critiques European imperialism by highlighting the British exploitation of African natives for wealth, while masquerading moral superiority. It portrays the British as hypocritical, pretending to care for the natives' welfare while primarily focusing on extracting resources and wealth. The cartoon, likely of German origin, uses this depiction to emphasize the moral flaws in English imperialism.

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

With this cartoon, the cartoonist is emphasizing how the British exploited natives in order to gain more wealth. It is basically a very vivid representation of how natives of colonized Africa were exploited and used. It is well known that colonial powers in Africa stripped the continent thoroughly of its natural resources and did little for the natives in return. 

I also agree that the cartoonist feels that the British had a morally superior air about them while exploiting their colonies. They are giving the African something to drink and praying for his soul as they torture him to gain wealth. The point the cartoonist is trying to make is about the hypocrisy of the British. It appears that the British believe that they are doing something good but they are actually just exploiting and harming those people for money and resources.

Approved by eNotes Editorial
An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

To understand the point of view of this cartoon, look at who it is by and think about what they would think of English imperialism.  

This cartoon is labelled as a German cartoon.  This means that it was drawn by someone from a country that was a rival of England's in the Scramble for Africa and other imperial ventures.  The Germans would want to try to make the English look bad so that they could claim to be morally better than the English.

The cartoon implies that the British squeeze their colonies hard all for the sake of money (the coins).  They pretend to be righteous (the preacher) but they are really just in it for money.

See eNotes Ad-Free

Start your 48-hour free trial to get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access
Approved by eNotes Editorial