Joseph Chamberlain's Speech On Isolationism

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Throughout all of history, the British Empire has been an integral part to almost every country, whether they were invaded or aided by the British. After the American Revolution, people of other countries realized that their independence was achievable causing a rift in power. The British Empire began its decline from a once great empire and superpower to a smaller country with the need to look to foreign country allies. In the early 1900’s, many British citizens were divided with their ideals. Some believed it was time to adopt the ideal of isolationism and become self-reliant, while others believed England should rely on foreign aid. Joseph Chamberlain, a conservative politician during those times, took it upon himself to become a voice for…show more content…
Addressing their fears he asks, “is it to end there? Are we to sink back into the old policy of selfish isolation which went very far to dry and even to sap the loyalty of our colonial brethren,” (1903, pg 1). By using rhetorical questions and hypophora, Chamberlain forces the audience to think of possible outcomes of isolationism, addressing the doubts that the people may have then proceeds to explain how they are wrong. He acknowledges that the people may have hesitation towards isolationism as was common during the time, so he addresses the question then immediately puts their mind at ease by using his influence as a politician and telling them what he thinks about isolationism and how rather than being a cause of trouble, it is an answer to their questions and concerns. Chamberlain then goes to ask questions that are connected to more of his concerns to get them thinking, he asks, “how long do you suppose that this proportion of population is going to endure? The development of those colonies has been delayed by many reasons...” (1903, pg 2). Following his rhetorical questions bringing to light questions and concerns about isolationism, Chamberlain does the same for expansionism but rather than explain how it is a good idea, he uses hypophora to say that it is not. He asks a question that is damning towards the idea of isolationism and then answers by explaining how expansionism is a current problem because it is already taking resources that the Empire relies on with an expansionist ideal which could be solved via the ideal of

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