How Social Darwinism Influenced Imperialism Essay, Research Paper
Social Darwinism fueled imperialism by making imperialistic nations believe that their imperialistic ventures were a natural turn of events and not a cruel, opressionistic system of government. These imperialistic nations exploited other nations and cultures and their troops motivation was the glory of the nation and the eradication of the weaker races on earth. These soldiers believed in Social Darwinism. Also, nations were able to become imperialistic because of the support of their people. They marketed imperialism through Social Darwinism. Finally, when these weaker countries were taken over, they were brainwashed to believe that the invasion and oppression of their people were just a result of nature. These oppressed people believed this because, according to Social Darwinism, only the fittest survive. And so, the imperialistic nations would survive and multiply while the oppressed civilizations were invaded and changed.
Troops in the armed forces of these imperialistic nations justified their actions through Social Darwinism. Troops in the Royal Armed Forces of Britain invaded more land than any other empire that ever existed. The troops invaded so successfully because they had sound motivation. Their motivation was the glory of their country and their belief that by invading these countries, they were eliminating the world of weak races. The British believed that they were the highest race of people on earth and so they plundered different nations and cultures and were motivated by Social Darwinism. If these troops were not motivated by Social Darwinism, their consciences would object to their oppression of other nations. Obviously, not too many British troops had any troubled consciences about the oppression of foreign peoples. Therefore, the imperialistic nations troops motivation was the glory of their country and Social Darwinism.
Without the support of their people, imperialistic nations could not persist in invading other countries. So, imperialistic nations marketed imperialism through Social Darwinism. According to Social Darwinism, only the fittest survive to eradicate the world of weaker races. The theoretical outcome of Social Darwinism is Utopia. This is what the general public believed about Social Darwinism. So, the government spread the word that by invading these countries, they were evangelizing these savages . This is not at all true because they forced Christianity down the people s throats, which is immoral. Also, they did not educate these natives so that the British had a reason to stay in that country to evangelize and educate the people. An example of this is the colonization of the Philippines by Spain. Spaniards refused to teach Filipinos the correct Spanish so that the Spaniards could maintain a degree of superiority over the Filipinos. Also, the Spaniards called the Filipinos indios. Obviously, these Spaniards did not care about educating the Filipinos. In fact, they taught them the wrong Spanish. The Spaniards also did not care for the well being of the Filipinos because they called them indios. Therefore, in order to sell imperialism to the general public, imperialistic governments used the theory that the outcome of their Social Darwinistic invasions would come out to be Utopia. Therefore, they used Social Darwinism to market imperialism.
The oppressed people s belief in imperialism quelled the danger of revolution and insurrection for imperialistic nations. If the people of the oppressed nation believed that they were being cleansed of their dirty and evil ways, they would welcome the invaders as evangelizers. For example, in George Orwell s Burmese Days, Doctor Veraswami worships the Europeans and states that the natives were the cause of disease and suffering. This apparently isn t true because it can be proven that the Europeans brought over diseases that became epidemics to their colonies. Also, the natives couldn t have been the source of suffering if the British didn t control almost every aspect of their lives. Therefore, if the imperialistic nations could convince the natives that their presence was due to Social Darwinism and the natives accepted it, they would have relief from the worries of insurrection.
Ironically, however, despite the Europeans justification of imperialism, they fervently believed in creationism. Unofficially, the teaching of Darwinist theories was forbidden in schools. The United States went so far as to put a man on trial for teaching Darwinist theories in school. This was the Scopes Monkey Trial. So, despite their undeniable, unshakeable belief in creationism, imperialistic nations refused to stop believing in Social Darwinism as a justification for their tyrannical actions.
In conclusion, Social Darwinism fueled imperialism because it led imperialistic nations to believe that the invasion and oppression of different peoples was justified because it was a natural turn of events.