Posted: October 27th, 2022

Essay Writing

Writing Assignment #1: Imperialism versus Anti-Imperialism

Directions: This assignment requires you think critically and answer the questions thoughtfully. Students will type a
2 page (top to bottom) minimum response answering the questions.
Use 10-12 Times New Roman Font.

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Double Space your Work. Your grade on this assignment is determined on how well you incorporate specific evidence from the documents and how well you analyze thoughtfully. You must cite properly. Any words that are not your own should be in quotations. No Outside Sources are Allowed. Points will be taken off for papers that are shorter than the 2 page (top to bottom) minimum requirement. Do Not Write the Question Out.

Document #1 Rudyard Kipling, The White Man’s Burden (1899)

Answer the following questions:

1. What is so repugnant (offensive, unacceptable) about Kipling’s poem?

2. If you were a citizen of a colonized territory, how would you respond to Kipling? Why?

Document #2 R.C. Bowman, Cartoon on the Philippines and Cuba (1901)

Answer the following question:

3. How does the cartoonist portray Cuba and the Philippines? What are the similarities and differences?

Document #3. Josiah Strong, Our Country (1885)

of the following questions:

4a. How does Strong justify the idea of world domination by Anglo-Saxons?

4b. What does he believe “inferior” races need to do to avoid extinction?

Document #4. “It’s ‘Up to’ Them.” Puck Cartoon, (1901)

Answer the following question:

5. What is the message that is being conveyed in the cartoon? What is the point of view?

Document # 5 Lewis Douglass, On Black Opposition to McKinley (1899)

Answer the following questions.

6. Is Douglass convinced that McKinley will live up to his promise to the Filipinos under American sovereignty? Why or Why not?

7. What did expansion mean to Douglass?

Document Assessment

8. Answer the Following: Should the United States have been involved in overseas expansion? Why or why not?

Modern History Sourcebook:
Rudyard Kipling, The White Man’s Burden, 1899

This famous poem, written by Britain’s imperial poet, was a response to the American takeover of the Philippines after the Spanish-American War.

Take up the White Man’s burden–
Send forth the best ye breed–
Go bind your sons to exile
To serve your captives’ need;
To wait in heavy harness,
On fluttered folk and wild–
Your new-caught, sullen peoples,
Half-devil and half-child.
Take up the White Man’s burden–
In patience to abide,
To veil the threat of terror
And check the show of pride;
By open speech and simple,
An hundred times made plain
To seek another’s profit,
And work another’s gain.
Take up the White Man’s burden–
The savage wars of peace–
Fill full the mouth of Famine
And bid the sickness cease;
And when your goal is nearest
The end for others sought,
Watch sloth and heathen Folly
Bring all your hopes to nought.
Take up the White Man’s burden–
No tawdry rule of kings,
But toil of serf and sweeper–
The tale of common things.
The ports ye shall not enter,
The roads ye shall not tread,
Go mark them with your living,
And mark them with your dead.
Take up the White Man’s burden–
And reap his old reward:
The blame of those ye better,
The hate of those ye guard–
The cry of hosts ye humour
(Ah, slowly!) toward the light:–
“Why brought he us from bondage,
Our loved Egyptian night?”
Take up the White Man’s burden–
Ye dare not stoop to less–
Nor call too loud on Freedom
To cloke your weariness;
By all ye cry or whisper,
By all ye leave or do,
The silent, sullen peoples
Shall weigh your gods and you.
Take up the White Man’s burden–
Have done with childish days–
The lightly proferred laurel,
The easy, ungrudged praise.
Comes now, to search your manhood
Through all the thankless years
Cold, edged with dear-bought wisdom,
The judgment of your peers!

Source: This text is part of the 

Internet Modern History Sourcebook

. The Sourcebook is a collection of public domain and copy-permitted texts for introductory level classes in modern European and World history.

Unless otherwise indicated the specific electronic form of the document is copyright. Permission is granted for electronic copying, distribution in print form for educational purposes and personal use. If you do reduplicate the document, indicate the source. No permission is granted for commercial use of the Sourcebook.

(c)Paul Halsall Aug 1997

R.C. Bowman Cartoons from 1900: The Philippines

Here’s Part VI of a series, resurrecting cartoons from The Minneapolis Tribune Cartoon Book for 1901: Being a Collection of Over One Hundred Cartoons by R.C. Bowman.

Josiah Strong, from Our Country (1885)

Every race which has deeply impressed itself on the human family has been the
representative of some great idea-one or more-which had given direction to the nation’s
life and form to its civilization. Among the Egyptians this seminal idea was life, among
the Persians it was light, among the Hebrews it was purity, among the Greeks it was
beauty, among the Romans it was law. The Anglo-Saxon is the representative of two
great ideas, which are closely related. One of them is that of civil liberty. Nearly all of the
civil liberty in the world is enjoyed by Anglo-Saxons: the English, the British colonists,
and the people of the United States. . . . The noblest races have always been lovers of
liberty. That love ran strong in early German blood, and has profoundly influenced the
institutions of all the branches of the great German family; but it was left for the Anglo-
Saxon branch fully to recognize the right of the individual to himself, and formally to
declare it the foundation stone of government.

The other great idea of which the Anglo-Saxon is the exponent is that of a pure spiritual
Christianity. It was no accident that the great reformation of the sixteenth century
originated among a Teutonic, rather than a Latin people. It was the fire of liberty burning
in the Saxon heart that flamed up against the absolutism of the Pope. . . .

It is not necessary to argue to those for whom I write that the two great needs of mankind,
that all men may be lifted up into the light of the highest Christian civilization, are, first, a
pure, spiritual Christianity, and, second, civil liberty. Without controversy, these are the
forces which, in the past, have contributed most to the elevation of the human race, and
they must continue to be, in the future, the most efficient ministers to its progress. It
follows, then, that the Anglo-Saxon, as the great representative of these two ideas, the
depositary [sic] of these two greatest blessings, sustains peculiar relations to the world’s
future, is divinely commissioned to be, in a peculiar sense, his brother’s keeper. . . .

There can be no reasonable doubt that North America is to be the great home of the
Anglo-Saxon, the principal seat of his power, the center of his life and influence. Not
only does it constitute seven-elevenths of his possessions, but this empire is unsevered,
while the remaining four-elevenths are fragmentary and scattered over the earth.
Australia will have a great population; but its disadvantages, as compared with North
America, are too manifest to need mention. Our continent has room and resources and
climate, it lies in the pathway of the nations, it belongs to the zone of power, and already,
among Anglo-Saxons, do we lead in population and wealth.

Mr. Darwin is not only disposed to see, in the superior vigor of our people, an illustration
of his favorite theory of natural selection, but even intimates that the world’s history thus
far has been simply preparatory for our future, and tributary to it. He says: “There is
apparently much truth in the belief that the wonderful progress of the United States, as
well as the character of the people, are the results of natural selection; for the more
energetic, restless, and courageous men from all parts of Europe have emigrated during
the last ten or twelve generations to that great country, and have there succeeded

best. . . .”

. . . The time is coming when the pressure of population on the means of subsistence will
be felt there as it is now felt in Europe and Asia. Then will the world enter upon a new
stage of its history-the final competition of races, for which the Anglo-Saxon is being
schooled. Long before the thousands millions are here, the mighty centrifugal tendency,
inherent in this stock and strengthened in the United States, will assert itself. Then this
race of unequaled energy, with all the majesty of numbers and the might of wealth behind
it-the representative, let us hope, of the largest liberty, the purest Christianity, the highest
civilization-having developed peculiarly aggressive traits calculated to impress its
institutions upon mankind, will spread itself over the earth. If I read not amiss, this
powerful race will move down upon Mexico, down upon Central and South America, out
upon the islands of the sea, over upon Africa and beyond. And can anyone doubt that the
result of this competition of races will be the “survival of the fittest”? . . .

In my own mind, there is no doubt that the Anglo-Saxon is to exercise the commanding
influence in the world’s future; but the exact nature of that influence is, as yet,
undetermined. How far his civilization will be materialistic and atheistic, and how long it
will take thoroughly to Christianize and sweeten it, how rapidly he will hasten the
coming of the kingdom wherein dwelleth righteousness, or how many ages he may retard
it, is still uncertain; but it is now being swiftly determined. . . .

Notwithstanding the great perils which threaten it, I cannot think our civilization will
perish; but I believe it is fully in the hand of the Christians of the United States, during
the next fifteen or twenty years, to hasten or retard the coming of Christ’s kingdom in the
world by hundreds, and perhaps thousands, of years. We of this generation and nation
occupy the Gibraltar of the ages which command the world’s future.

From Josiah Strong, Our Country Its Possible Future and Its Present Crisis (New
York: Baker & Taylor, 1885), 159-161, 165, 170, 178-180.

Lewis H. Douglass on Black Opposition to McKinley

November 17, 1899

The expansion of the U.S. empire fueled significant opposition among African Americans, who opposed the racism and the violence of these ventures. In 1903, in The Souls of Black Folk, the writer and agitator W. E. B. Du Bois wrote of Black revulsion to “the recent course of the United States toward weaker and darker peoples in the West Indies, Hawaii, and the Philippines.” Here is one1 account of antiwar sentiment among blacks at the time.

From Voices of A People’s History, edited by Zinn and Arnove

President [William] McKinley, in the course of his speech at Minneapolis, said of the Filipinos under American sovereignty: “They will not be governed as vassals, or serfs, or slaves. They will be given a government of liberty, regulated by law, honestly administered, without oppressing exaction, taxation without tyranny, justice without bribe, education without distinction of social conditions, freedom of religious worship, and protection of life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness.”

I do not believe that President McKinley has any confidence in the statement above. It cannot be successfully asserted that the great tariff statesman is blind to the fact of the race and color prejudice that dominates the greater percentage of the soldiers who are killing Filipinos in the name of freedom and civilization.

President McKinley knows that brave, loyal, black American soldiers, who fight and die for their country, are hated, despised, and cruelly treated in that section of the country from which this administration accepts dictation and to the tastes of which the President, undoubtedly, caters. The President of the United States knows that he dare not station a regiment of black heroes in the State of Arkansas. He knows that at the race hating command of a people who sought destruction of the nation his administration rescinded an order to send black soldiers to little Rock. The administration lacks the courage to deal with American citizens without regard to race or color, as is clearly demonstrated in the weak and contemptibly mean act of yielding to the demands of those who hold that this is a white man’s government and that dark races have no rights which white men are bound to respect:

It is a sorry, though true, fact that whatever this government controls, injustice to dark races prevails. The people of Cuba, Porto Rico, Hawaii and Manila know it well as do the wronged Indian and outraged black man in the United States….

The question will Be asked: How is it that such promises are made to Filipinos thousands of miles away while the action of the administration in protecting dark citizens at home does not even extend to a promise of any attempt to rebuke the outlawry which kills American citizens of African descent for the purpose of gratifying blood-thirstiness and race hatred?…

It is hypocrisy of the most sickening kind to try to make us believe that the killing of Filipinos is for the purpose of good government and to give protection to life and liberty and the pursuit of happiness….

When the United States learns that justice should be blind as to race and color, then may it undertake to, with some show of propriety, expand. Now its expansion means extension of race hate and cruelty, barbarous lynchings and gross injustice to dark people.


1 Lewis H. Douglass on Black Opposition to McKinley (November 17, 1899). First printed in American Citizen (Kansas City), November 17, 1899. Reprinted in Foner, ed., The Spanish—Cuban—American War and the Birth of American Imperialism, vol. 2, pp. 824—25.

Political Cartoon:
It’s ‘Up to’ Them.” Puck Cartoon, 1901. Philippines

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