The Damage Caused by Western Imperialism

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In asserting themselves through trade and through imperialism, Western cultures have damaged the world, devastating scores of cultures by imposing their own identity on them. Although colonizers have forms of assistance to offer, such as advanced technology, modern medicine, and education, colonialism has effectively subjugated and obliterated scores of people as evidenced by this list of sources and histor-ical events. Effectively, the lengthy history of European imperialism dates back to the twelfth and thir-teenth centuries, in which the Christian Western Europe embarked on a series of religiously sanctioned military Holy Crusades to restore control of the Holy Land. Gradually, over several centuries, the infat-uation of the West with imperialism swelled as a result of the Industrial Revolution and fueled by the prejudiced ideology of Social Darwinism. In a few distinctive scenarios, trade and imperialism has helped improve the lives of the “uncivilized,” but in nearly all cases, it brings death and destruction instead in the name of wealth and greed. The definition of “improving the world” includes giving technology, but does not consisting of an-nihilating entire groups of people through colonization. The West has numerous factors of reasonable “improvements” to offer: modern medical care, technology and education have numerous benefits. Eu-ropeans brought roads, railroads, schools, hospitals, improved sanitation, and better farming methods to the territories they colonized, undoubtedly increasing the population and improving its life span. The Berlin Conference involved European leaders scrambling to carve arbitrary boundaries into the African continent, paying no attention to existing ones, claiming ownership of almost eve... ... middle of paper ... ...hnson, and Northrup. The Earth and Its Peoples: A Global History, Volume II Since 1500 (4th Brief Edition). Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2008. Print. Conrad, Joseph. Heart of Darkness and The Secret Sharer. New York: Signet Classics, 1997. Print. Hawkins, Hunt. “Heart of Darkness and Racism.” Conradiana 14.3 (1982): 163–71. Rpt. in Heart of Darkness. Ed. Paul B. Armstrong. 4th ed. New York: Norton Critical Editions, 2006. 365–375. Hochschild, Adam. King Leopold’s Ghost. New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 1999. Kincaid, Jamaica. A Small Place. New York: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2000. Ondaatje, Michael. “Buried 2 Part iv.” Handwriting: Poems. New York: Knopf, 2000. Orwell, George. “Shooting an Elephant” The Essay Connection. Ed. Lynn Bloom, 3rd edition. DC Heath and Company (Lexington), 1991: 305–312. Raffaele, Paul. “Out of Time.” Smithsonian Apr. 2005: 62–70.

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