Joseph Chamberlain Essay

1288 words - 5 pages

Joseph Chamberlain can be rightly termed as the father of imperialism. Imperialism was the policy of acting as a nation's authority figure or leader, and by the establishment of economic and political hegemony over other nations. (http://www.infoplease.com) Joseph Chamberlain promoted British imperialism with full vigor; in his eyes, England was destined to control the whole world. Joseph Chamberlain was born in 1836, and at the age of 38 was elected as the lord mayor of Birmingham. He pushed for reform in the clearance of the slums and the takeover of the city's gas and electric services. He was acknowledged as a British statesman, known to some as a champion of imperialism in foreign affairs and of social reform in domestic matters. Although he was somewhat primarily responsible for the Boer war, his main focus was to create a prosperous England. He was the man behind the rise and fall of the British Empire. "The day of small nations has long passed away. The day of Empires has come." (Hopkins 22)Chamberlain was the leader of British imperialism in the 1890's. His developmental policy of imperial expansion and consolidation was influenced by the same factors that influenced the general movement towards imperialism during those times. (http://en.thinkexist.com) As this period of British imperialism ran parallel to similar movements of expansion in France, Russia and Germany, it is perhaps natural to assume that factors influencing the one may have also influenced the others. This also leads to a possibility that factors influencing old imperialism and modern day imperialism are intricately linked, if not the same. If there is a continuity of the factors influencing imperial developments in various periods of history, then this essay strives to link those factors together, endeavoring to explain the basis of modern day imperialism.Chamberlain's relentless campaign for imperialism compelled others to change their definitions about the conceptions of the Empire, and made them follow the Empire's advances more closely than ever before. Chamberlain asked the English to embrace imperialism, instilling a feeling of pride in them for mother England. He upheld England as superior than other nations and thus believed, it was their right to rule over them. He was well respected by his fellow politicians, for Winston Churchill called him "a splendid piebald: first black, then white; or in political terms, first fiery red, then true blue". (http://www.reference.com) He was the perpetrator of Britain's tough, shrewd and successful policy of first overwhelming foreign lands with British settlers, and finally forcefully taking over the land after becoming fully acquainted with the natives and their ways. "You cannot destroy the practices of barbarism, of slavery, of superstition, which for centuries have desolated the interior of Africa, without the use of force." (Strauss 3) Therefore, Chamberlain was the one who pushed for England to annex overseas countries...

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