In the mid-19th-century the nations of Europe were gripped by the nationalistic view within each of their countries; at this time, imperialism was in a prime position to take hold within this ideology. Although some intellectuals and anti-imperialist parties made a case against imperialism, they were often not strong enough to prevail; as a result, their rationale repeatedly fell on deaf ears. As demonstrated by Guiseppe Mazzini, Thomas Babington Macaulay, Jules Ferry, and especially exemplified by Rudyard Kipling, leaders as well as writers promoted the use of imperialism as a status symbol and as a necessity for the betterment of their nations. Each makes a case for the utilization of colonization, not simply for their own nation’s success, but also for the betterment of their captors’ nations by extending Western culture into non-Western nation-states.
Guiseppe Mazzini best explains the imperialist point of view in conjunction with the nationalist view when he states that a nation which has superiority, but does not impose a threat, is their natural ally, while one which does impose a threat, through their strength or geographic location, is their natural enemy. This rationale can be seen as an imperialistic view, in a positive light, due to the rationale that many nations expanded into non-Western nations so that they might better protect their own country from other developing nations, internally and externally within the continent of Europe. He backs up this claim by suggesting that before a nation is able to prosper; they must first make it their own. This claim can be seen in both a nationalistic and imperialistic sense. This is because he is calling for the unity of Italy, while also imposing their rule beyond the Italian peninsula (Mazzini).
Thomas Babington Macaulay takes a very eurocentristic tone in his speeches to the British Parliament; nonetheless, he represents the attitude that prevailed in nineteenth century imperialism....
Cited: Thomas Babington Macaulay, Macaulay, Prose and Poetry, selected by G.M. Young
(Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1957), pp. 716-18; 721-24, 729.
Giuseppe Mazzini (18051872), "Europe: Its Condition and Prospects," Essays: Selected
from the Writings, Literary, Political and Religious of Joseph Mazzini, ed. William
Clark (London: Walter Scott, 1880), pp. 266, 27778, 29192.
Kipling, Rudyard. Documents: Nations Industry and Empire. Dayton: Isidore.udayton.edu,
Jules François Camille Ferry, "Speech Before the French Chamber of Deputies, March 28,
1884," Discours et Opinions de Jules Ferry, ed. Paul Robiquet (Paris: Armand Colin &
Cie., 1897), -1. 5, pp. 199-201, 210-11, 215-18.
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