Humanities – The White Mans Burden

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Last updated: November 9, 2019

In “The White Mans Burden” by Rudyard Kipling there are three reasons that the British used to justify their imperialistic practices towards India. These reasons are to help the people, improve their economy, and convert the people. Evidence to support the presence of these reasons is found in the poem and the text Modern World history.First, one of the reasons is that the British wanted to help the Indian people.

The British assumes that they are helping the Indian people by sharing their living with them but they’re not really helping them because they caused famines. “The conversion to cash crops reduced food production causing famine in the late 1800s.”1 The British also helped the Indian people by adopting a hand off policy concerning the Indians religion and tradition. “The British officially adopted a hands-off policy regarding Indian religion and social customs.”2 So they weren’t helping the Indians they were just taking advantage of them.Second, the British improved India’s economy because they wanted the raw materials that India had, but they didn’t know how to get the raw materials to Britain because India’s economy was so low and had no transportation. So Britain built a railroad to export the raw materials to Britain and three other countries.

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Then took products to India and sold it to the people to raise its economy. In the poem it says how the economy is better without kings and rulers.3 This is actually true because being ruled by a king you can get treated badly or the laws aren’t fair and just. This railroad helped India have a modern economy that exists today. “India became economically valuable only after the British established the railroad.

“4Third, The British were trying to convert Indian people because they thought that any religion was fine at first so they established hands off policy towards India’s religion and tradition. Soon enough they wanted to convert the bad Indian traditions and racist attitudes. “Many Indians believed that apart from controlling their land the British even tried to convert them to Catholicism.”5 This was bad especially after the British established the hands-off policy regarding this. Then the British broke the policy because they thought Catholicism was the main religion and so they threatened Indian traditional life.

“Outspoken racist attitude of most British officials threatened Indian traditional life.”6In Conclusion these are only three reasons British used to justify their imperialistic practices in India. Which were only done for selfish needs.

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