The Influence Of Imperialism On Racism

868 words - 4 pages

This course is a great opportunity to explore the impact of imperialism. From this course, I learnt that imperialism contributed to the growth of racial discrimination. On one hand, in order to maximize profit by establishing colonies in Africa and Asia, western countries claimed that colored people were inferior and should be subjected to the whites’ control. On the other hand, imperialism led to the occurrences of wars, which caused the whites’ prejudice that black soldiers could not regulate themselves without the direction of white officers. The article The African Roots of War by W.E.B. Du Bois and the article The Rough Riders by Theodore Roosevelt can support my point of view.
In the 19th century, western countries began to expand the economy through imperialist methods such as colonization. In order to justify their seemed inhuman behaviors, imperialist countries labeled residents of their colonies as savages who were doomed to be governed by whites. At this time, industrialization not only helped capitalists to accumulate a huge amount of wealth but also increased the economic gap between the rich and the poor. Therefore, the poor were dissatisfied and demanded to get more profits. Meanwhile, Du Bois regarded the 19th century as the century of “democracy” and the 20th century as the century of “socialization of wealth” (The African Roots of War). As he believed, since the late 19th century, the voice of common people was much stronger than ever before, and laborers could played a role in enacting economic policies that satisfied their needs. Because it could generate a lot of revenues to finance the common people, overseas exploitation in undeveloped territories such as Africa were preferred by the working class of western countries. In 1884, the Berlin Conference divided Africa into several European countries’ control (The African Roots of War). In their African colonies, the imperialist countries exploited their black workers so cruelly that cost more than 100,000,000 lives (The African Roots of War). However, as tons of revenue flowed to Europe, the Europeans were so happy at their accomplishment in Africa that disregarded their appalling atrocities in Africa. Similar patterns also happened in other backward areas such as Asia, where thousands of local residents worked diligently, but virtually all of the revenue went to Europe. Because almost all of the citizens in undeveloped territories had skin colors that were darker than people in western advanced countries’, the whites gradually formed an opinion that colored people were innately inferior. The whites thus believed that different races had distinct duties, and colored people serving white people was a natural result. It is ironic because the progress of democracy gave laborers in western...

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