The White Man’s Burden: The United States & The Philippine Islands, 1899

TitleThe White Man’s Burden: The United States & The Philippine Islands, 1899
Publication TypeMiscellaneous
Year of Publication1929
AuthorsKipling, Rudyard
Place PublishedNew York
Abstract

"The White Man's Burden: The United States and the Philippine Islands" (1899), by Rudyard Kipling, is a poem about the Philippine–American War (1899–1902), in which he invites the United States to assume colonial control of that country.[1]

Originally, Kipling wrote the poem for the Diamond Jubileecelebration of Queen Victoria's reign (1837–1901), but it was exchanged for the poem "Recessional", also by Kipling. Later, he rewrote "The White Man's Burden" to address and encourage the American colonization of the Philippine Islands, a Pacific Ocean archipelago conquered from Imperial Spain, in the three-month Spanish–American War (1898).[2][3][4]

In the poem, Kipling exhorts the reader and the listener to embark upon the enterprise of empire, yet gives somber warning about the costs involved;[5] nonetheless, American imperialistsunderstood the phrase The white man's burden to justify imperialism as a noble enterprise of civilization, conceptually related to the American philosophy of Manifest Destiny.[6][7][8][9]

The title and themes of "The White Man's Burden" ostensibly make the poem about Eurocentric racism and about the belief of the Western world that industrialization is the way to civilise the Third World. (Wikipedia)

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