White Man’s Burden


White Man’s Burden
   The term white man’s burden came from Rudyard Kipling ’ s 1899 poem of that name, signifying the idea that empire was a philanthropic duty of the advanced or civilized nations. Kipling directed the injunction at the United States, which, in the Spanish-American War, had for the first time acquired overseas colonies. To many current minds, the idea is repulsively racist, and of course it does use a racial category. It is nevertheless significant that Kipling felt imperialism justified not because it served the metropolitan power but because it served humankind. Earlier generations of imperialists had been more forthrightly self-interested.
   See also <>.
   FURTHER READING:
    Mason, Philip. Kipling: The Glass, the Shadow, and the Fire. London: J. Cape, 1975.
   MARK F. PROUDMAN

Encyclopedia of the Age of Imperialism, 1800–1914. 2014.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • white man's burden — n. the alleged duty of the white peoples to bring their civilization to other peoples regarded as backward: phrase popularized by Kipling and other apologists for imperialism …   English World dictionary

  • White man's burden — Satirische Darstellung: Die Bürde des weißen (?) Mannes. The White Man s Burden (dt.: „Die Bürde des Weißen Mannes“) ist ein Gedicht von Rudyard Kipling. Das Gedicht wurde unter dem Eindruck der US amerikanischen Eroberung der Philippinen und… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • white man's burden — noun the supposed responsibility of the white race to provide care for their non white subjects • Hypernyms: ↑duty, ↑responsibility, ↑obligation * * * noun Etymology: from “The White Man s Burden” (1899), poem by Rudyard Kipling died 1936 English …   Useful english dictionary

  • white man's burden — noun Etymology: “The White Man s Burden” (1899), poem by Rudyard Kipling Date: 1900 the alleged duty of the white peoples to manage the affairs of the less developed nonwhite peoples …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • white man's burden — noun the supposed duty of white people to govern and educate other peoples, used especially in the context of European colonisation. {from the 1899 poem by Rudyard Kipling: Take up the white Man s Burden /Send forth the best you breed /Go bind… …   Australian English dictionary

  • white man's burden — white′ man s bur′den n. the alleged duty of the white race to care for subject peoples of other races in its colonial possessions • Etymology: after a poem of the same title by Rudyard Kipling (1899) …   From formal English to slang

  • white man's burden — noun The supposed responsibility of European people to govern and care for their colonial subjects ,1915: Germanys appearance as a colonizing power in Africa was greeted in no unfriendly spirit by either France or Great Britain. Each of the… …   Wiktionary

  • white man's burden — the alleged duty of the white race to care for subject peoples of other races in its colonial possessions. [after a poem of the same title by Rudyard Kipling (1899)] * * * …   Universalium

  • white man’s burden — (old use rather offensive) a phrase that was used mainly in the 19th century to express the idea that European countries had a duty to run the countries and organizations of people in other parts of the world with less money, education or… …   Universalium

  • White Man's Burden (film) — Infobox Film name = White Man s Burden image size = caption = director = Desmond Nakano producer = Lawrence Bender writer = Desmond Nakano narrator = starring = John Travolta Harry Belafonte music = Howard Shore cinematography = Willy Kurant… …   Wikipedia


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