Review Of Changes Western Europe History Essay

Review Of Changes Western Europe History Essay

When we started out with this undertaking, our aims had nil to make with either the enlightenment or colonialism. In fact, our current chief inquiry is the inadvertent consequence of our continual research on human rights. We were ab initio intrigued by the issue of Human Rights and our heads were set on undertaking that peculiar topic. Therefore, we were merely concentrating on that issue, its creative activity, effectivity and function in our society. But by diging deeper into human rights, we unwittingly found ourselves in the age of Enlightenment. The thoughts of Enlightenment philosophes have formed the basis of modern society, and they are the foundation on which the Universal Declaration of Human Rights rests. We wanted to cognize more about that peculiar connexion, and to which lengths this connexion extended. That is how we decided on our 2nd, and apparently concluding, essay inquiry.

However, as we started researching the Enlightenment, something struck us as rather uneven. The Enlightenment was a period of rational growing in Northern Europe ; it was when tyranny was being rejected, when blind religion was replaced by scientific incredulity and it was what led to revolutions and fundamental laws. But at the same time, it was besides the period of colonialism. It was the period wherein Empires were being built, sovereignty over foreign – and resourceful – states was claimed, and bondage was still a common pattern. The Enlightenment is a period that is known for its rebellion against bossy authoritiess, the period that is known for making the basis of human rights and the period that fought for equal relationships and just intervention from the authorities. Therefore, it contradicted our image of that epoch when we took into consideration that colonialism seemed to travel against what the Enlightenment had stood for. The Enlightenment had set criterions for the swayers, but did non uphold those criterions in the settlements.

That is how we came up with the essay inquiry: What function did the Enlightenment drama in respects to 18th century colonialism. Our aim is to happen out what the precise Enlightenment doctrines were, and how they connect with colonialism, and the intervention of the settlements. In this essay we will concentrate on the English colonization, as we regard England as one of the most interesting colonizers, seeing the fact that they established 13 settlements in America which would subsequently organize the footing of the United States of America.

To make a decision and happen an reply to our chief inquiry, we will discourse the politically, mentally, cultural and societal developments made during the Enlightenment and research the inquiry of how the western colonization was justified by its instigators, which are in the instance represented by the colonizers of England. After holding discussed these affairs we will seek for a nexus between the manner colonization was justified and how these ways of justification tantrum in the Enlightenment doctrines. This will finally assist us with replying the most of import inquiry and making a concluding decision.

What, how, and why did the Enlightenment alteration western Europe in term of SPCM?

The term ‘Enlightenment ‘ refers to a cultural historical period in the 18th century, during which an rational motion predominated the Western World. An univocal definition of the Enlightenment can be found in Immanuel Kant ‘s reply to the inquiry ‘What is the Enlightenment? ‘ . This reply reads:

“ Verlichting is heated uittreden new wave de mens uit de onmondigheid die hij aan zichzelf te wijten heeft. Luiheid en lafheid zijn er de oorzaak new wave, digital audiotape een zo groot deel van de mensen, nadat de natuur biddy reeds lang van de leiding door anderen heeft vrijgesproken, toch graag het leven lang onmondig blijft ; en dat het voor anderen zo gemakkelijk wordt zich tot Hun bevoogders op te werpen. Het is voor iedere individuele work forces moeilijk zich los Te maken ui de hem bijna tot natuur geworden onmondigheid. Dat echter een publiek zichzelf verlicht, is eerder mogelijk. Een publiek kan slechts langzaam tot verlichting komen. Voor deze verlichting echter wordt niets anders gevraagd dan vrijheid ; en wel de onschadelijkste vrijheid onder alles wat maar vrijheid mag heten, namelijk de vrijheid om van zijn rede in alle opzichten een openlijk gebruik Te maken. Het openlijke gebruik new wave zijn rede moet Te alle tijde vrij zijn, en dat alleen kan verlichting onder mensen tot stand brengen. ”[ 1 ]

Kant emphasizes that Enlightenment is a adult male ‘s outgrowth from his self-imposed immatureness. This immatureness refers to the inability to utilize one ‘s ain apprehension without counsel from another. The self-imposed immatureness is no question of age, nor can it be attributed to the deficiency of apprehension. The cause of immatureness instead lies in the deficiency of resoluteness and bravery to utilize one ‘s understanding without counsel from another. Kant summarizes this definition by the slogan “ Sapere aude! “ , which means “ have the bravery to utilize your ain apprehension ” .


Strongly influenced by the rise of modern scientific discipline and the wake of the spiritual wars during the sixteenth and 17th century, the minds of the Enlightenment were committed to corrupt positions based on ground or homo understanding merely. In France, which would turn into the Centre of the Enlightenment, the Enlightenment was instead referred to as ‘the epoch of the philosophes ‘ , and with this word a whole new type of rational was born: philosophes distinguished themselves by their religious wantonness and by merely utilizing their ain apprehension, instead than believing for person else or retroflexing another ‘s sentiment. For this ground we might besides name the minds of the Enlightenment philosophes.

The upcoming of the philosophe marks the beginning of an epoch in which urbanised civilisations want to consider themselves from the freedom keeping political relations and spiritual establishments.

The period around 1660 to 1789 is known as the age of Absolutism. Absolutism was a political theory that encouraged swayers to claim complete sovereignty within their districts, intending the swayer possessed non merely the judicial power, but besides the executive power every bit good as the legislative power. They could hence do, amend or disregard Torahs, dispense justness, create and direct a bureaucratism, declare wars and levy revenue enhancement without necessitating a formal blessing of any other governing authorization.

John Locke ( among many other philosophes ) condemned and disagreed with tyranny in every signifier. Locke ( 1632 – 1704 ) is one of the cardinal figures in the Enlightenment. In 1690 his plants Two Treatises of Government were published, in which a theory of civil society based on natural rights and contract theory were outlined. Harmonizing to this theories worlds used to populate in a province of nature stipulated by absolute freedom and equality, in which there was no authorities of any sort. The lone jurisprudence persons followed was the jurisprudence of nature, by which the persons enforced their natural rights to life, autonomy and belongings. However, people shortly began to grok the advantages of the province of nature were outweighed by its incommodiousnesss. Therefore they agreed to first set up a civil society based on absolute equality, after which they would establish a authorities with no absolute power. The authorities was merely a combined power of all members of society. “ Its authorization could be no more than those individuals had in a province of nature before they entered into society and gave it up to the community ” .[ 2 ]If a authorities misused, insulted or surpassed the authorization it had been granted, society had the right to fade out the authorities and make another. Locke argued that a authorities should be instituted to protect the natural rights of the people ( life, autonomy and belongings ) .

Although John Locke is regarded as one of the most influential Enlightenment philosophes, his thoughts would non act upon society on a whole between 1690 and 1720. They would nevertheless go an of import component in the rational background to both the American and Gallic revolutions. His thoughts sing the right of people to life, autonomy and belongings formed the footing of both revolutions which utilized this thoughts as an account for their rebelling.

Another philosophe, spread outing on Locke ‘s political survey was Charles-Louis de Secondat, baron de La Brede et de Montesquieu, who besides strongly disagreed with every signifier of tyranny. Montesquieu published his treatise The Spirit of Laws at foremost anonymously as this work was capable to censoring. In this treatise Montesquieu builds farther on John Locke ‘s Two Treatises of Government and maintains that there should be a separation of powers: the legislative, executive and judicial power should be divided among different organic structures in parliament. By carry throughing this pattern an effort by one of these subdivisions to conflict on political autonomy might be restrained by the other two powers. This procedure is besides known as ‘checks and balances, ‘ as the three powers, in theory, maintain a cheque on each other and equilibrate each other out when needed. Montesquieu called for a civil and condemnable jurisprudence every bit good, to guarantee personal security. This means he demanded the right to a free test: suspects should hold the right to be considered guiltless until proved guilty.

Matching with Locke, Montesquieu ‘s theory did non hold a direct influence on the political state of affairs around that clip. However both Montesquieu ‘s and Locke ‘s theories did hold a capacious influence on the American and the Gallic revolutions.

The 3rd large influential Enlightened mind is Jean-Jacques Rousseau. Even as John Locke and Charles-Louis de Montesquieu, Rousseau ‘s theories to a great extent influenced both the American and Gallic Revolutions. In his most of import work The Social Contract he outlines the footing for a legitimate political order within the model of classical republicanism. Classical republicanism is an early theory of democracy inspired by the governmental signifiers and authorship of classical antiquity. The theory is built around constructs such as a assorted authorities, moral instruction and a civil society. In this work, Rousseau suggests that legitimate authorization merely comes from a societal contract upon which all citizens have agreed for their common saving. The Socials contract was an understanding by which all persons surrendered their natural autonomy to each other blending the person will into the General will. This means that by fall ining together into civil society through the societal contract persons can both continue themselves and stay free. This is because give uping natural autonomy to each other and blending the person will into the general will of society, warrants that persons can non be subordinated to the volitions of others and it besides ensures that persons obey themselves because they represent, jointly, the writers of jurisprudence. Furthermore Rousseau makes a crisp differentiation between the crowned head and the authorities. He argues that sovereignty should be controlled by the people, nevertheless, the authorities which is composed of magistrates should be charged with implementing and implementing the general will.

By holding looked at three of the most influential Enlightened minds, we can reason that the Enlightenment did non carry through a direct alteration in the political relations of the seventeenth and the first half of the 18th centuries. However, mentally talking, the thoughts of the Enlightenment led people to get down oppugning the universe they lived in. They caused people to take more involvement in their personal rights, such as autonomy, equality and belongings. The Enlightenment made oppugning the right of absolute authoritiess possible and easy changed the attitude towards the bing types of authorities at that clip. As the enlightened thoughts were adopted by the people, doing a alteration in the populace ‘s outlook, the thoughts of the enlightenment did alter a batch in political relations on the long tally, get downing with the American and Gallic revolutions, which were to a great extent influenced by the enlightened thoughts. Furthermore we can acknowledge The Spirit of Laws in our ain Dutch authorities and many of Locke ‘s thoughts have formed the footing of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.


The Enlightenment is known for being the “ Age of Reason ” and hence, it ca n’t come as a surprise that it was a time-period with rapid developments in instruction. During the Enlightenment, there were three major reforms in footings of instruction: instruction was opened up to more people, the educational intents were no longer spiritual and the course of study of schools was changed.

Before the 18th century, instruction was supported by the church. After the reformation, more schools were being set up, because literacy had become more of import. The nature of these schools was spiritual and merely focused on grammar and theological affairs. Harmonizing to Protestantism, a good Christian had to be able to read the Bible in order to beef up the connexion he or she had with God. Therefore it was of import for Christians to be able to read, in order to make redemption.

It was merely during the eighteenth century, that the province began to presume duty for instruction and it was slightly secularized. Before the Enlightenment, instruction was a privilege for the rich and upper categories. But during the 17th and eighteenth century, provinces recognized that educating the people would turn them into capable citizens, and that in bend would ensue in an efficient province. The philosophes of the Enlightenment were besides in favor of public instruction, but non for the same grounds as the province. Voltaire and Diderot, for illustration, saw instruction as a agency of making critical, detached and responsible persons.

Education was no longer merely granted to the rich and upper categories, but was meant for all citizens. Education was, nevertheless, besides bound by the societal place of the people, so there was a differentiation of rank in footings of instruction. The in-between categories, for illustration, merely received an simple degree of instruction that would be utile for callings in civil service and other countries of province disposal, whilst the upper categories could bask a more in-depth schooling.

Because the nature of instruction had shifted from spiritual and church-supported to a more secular and state-supported environment, the course of study changed every bit good. The topics taught had to be utile for the province, and the topics hence changed per country. Rural countries were taught in reading, composing, arithmetic and elements from agribusiness, while schools in urban countries besides focused on topics that would be utile in civil service such as jurisprudence and commercialism.

Enlightenment minds discovered new ways of acquisition and created new systems for educating. John Locke, for illustration, believed that the head was a tabula rasa ( clean tablet ) , and that experiences would determine the head. Therefore, he believed that proper instruction would merely come out of experience. Harmonizing to him, the kid foremost learns to make through activity and, afterwards, the kid comes to understand what has been done. Another illustration is Newton, who introduced “ the scientific method ” in his Principia, in 1687, which turned into the base of all scientific developments. His theory was that in order to detect, the scientist must foremost detect carefully, so set up hypotheses based on the old observations and so prove these hypotheses.

Following to the developments for public instruction, there were besides scientific academies being set up all over Europe. The old ways of backing changed, and the frequenters no longer supported single creative persons, but alternatively the grants were given to academies. The academies had two major maps. It was foremost a manner for the rational minds to larn new thoughts, to interact with like-minded equals and to print and show their ain plants. The 2nd map of these academies was to renown the scientists. Scientists received acknowledgment, grants and honours for the plants they displayed in the academies.

But despite the reforms for instruction, it was non at a perfect province. The ideal for compulsory schooling was created, but it was non exhaustively set in action. Although the in-between categories started having instruction, the highly rural countries and lower categories were still neglected. Standards for educating misss and adult females were besides about non-existent, and during the Enlightenment, there was no alteration or reform aimed at them.

The Enlightenment gave room for new public and secular assemblies. It gave the people the chance of a societal experience outside the church, the tribunal or the household. These assemblies were held in salons, academies and cafes. Work force and adult females met at these societal assemblages because of a common involvement, whether it was in political relations, novels or scientific discipline and faculty members, and held formal treatments about their topics of involvement. These assemblies created an classless ambiance, although the members normally did portion features such as holding adequate wealth and leisure clip and they were extremely literate. It gave the nobility the room to blend with the upper in-between category, but the lower categories could non happen themselves portion of the company. Therefore, the assemblies gave room for societal blending – but merely to an extent, because non all societal categories could be included in the assemblies.

The Enlightenment was home to two musical periods. With the beginning of the 18thA century, the musical field was being reinvented. Religious and secular pieces of music were every bit popular and celebrated. The Baroque manner of music was characterised by crisp alterations, playful dance melodies, and the usage of sounds to portray emotions, complexness and tenseness. Major figures of the late Baroque period, which was traveling on during the early 18thcentury, were Johann Bach and George Handel. Bach was non a celebrated composer during his clip, although he was a musical mastermind, this would merely be recognized after his death.A A At the terminal of the Enlightenment, the Classical epoch dominated the music of the late eighteenth century in Europe. Features of Classical music were the symphonic music, sonata and the twine quartet.A A Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Franz Haydn and Ludwig van Beethoven were the major figures of the Classical epoch musical field. Unlike the other Fieldss of art and thought that were reinvented during the 18thA century, the musical field did non go peculiarly secular, although it did go worldlier.

Humanitarianism was another important development from the Enlightenment. It sought out to actively alleviate human agony and ignorance of the urban hapless, captives, slaves and kids. The motion played a noteworthy portion in the weakening of the absolutist regulation, as it was an consequence of the turning discontent over the intervention of the province towards the people, which led the people to move alternatively of accept.

The Enlightenment ‘s earliest human-centered act was the abolition of anguish. By the late eighteenth century, most European states had abolished the act, and no state could talk of being enlightened if anguish was still condoned. Before, anguish was an constituted portion of the condemnable process of finding guilt, and portion of the question. It had become the biggest method in extorting grounds, peculiarly in Italy, place of the Roman Inquisition. However, it was barbarous, and harmonizing to the Enlightened minds, it could non turn out anything. Becarria said of anguish “ it is to confuse all dealingss to anticipate that a adult male should be both accuser and accused and that hurting should be the trial of truth, as though truth resided in the musculuss and fibers of a wretch under anguish ”[ 3 ]

The Enlightened mind Cesare Beccaria sought out to reform the condemnable system of the eighteenth century. The manner captives were treated in the eighteenth century was barbarous. Punishments included decapitation, hanging, unrecorded disembowelling, combustion of the interiors, and billeting ( sometimes done by binding each of the four limbs to a different Equus caballus and so spurring them in different waies. ) The lesser penalties were besides aimed to publically mortify the felon, e.g. by puting the felon in the stocks.

Prison conditions during the eighteenth century were inhumane. “ Women were thrown in the same common ward as work forces ; first wrongdoers with hard-boiled repeaters ; unoffending civil debitors with muggers… ten twelvemonth old male childs with homosexual rapers ” .[ 4 ]The prisons were soiled, and because of deficiency of separation, diseases spread rapidly and normally resulted into decease.

Beccaria believed that the lone manner to cut down offense was to hold condemnable penalty aimed at forestalling offense, and non aimed at maximal badness of penalty. Punishments, in order to be merely, should besides be harmonizing to the earnestness of the offense. He published his theories for reform in his book, Of Crime and Punishment in 1764.

Although the humanism motion sought to contend against the unfair intervention of people, the Enlightenment philosophes had changing moral thoughts on bondage.

John Locke ‘s justifies slavery with the status that it is a consequence of offense. “ This is the perfect status ofA Slavery, whichA isA nil else, butA the State of War continued, between a lawful Conquerour, and a Captive. For, if onceA CompactA enter between them, and do an understanding for a limited Power on the one side, and Obedience on the other, the State of War andSlaveryA ceases, every bit long as the Compact endures. ”[ 5 ]In that quotation mark, Locke tries to state that bondage is just. Defenders of the province ( “ lawful Conqueror ) act in requital and self-defence when capturing slaves ( “ Captive ” ) – the Prisoners could hold far worse destinies, such as executing, but are saved from that destiny and granted a life.

“ I am disposed to surmise the Negroes to be of course inferior to the Whites. There barely of all time was a civilised state of that skin color, nor even any person, eminent either in action or guess. No clever industries amongst them, no humanistic disciplines, no scientific disciplines. On the other manus, the most ill-mannered and brutal of the Whites, such as the antediluvian Germans, the present Tartars, have still something high about them, in their heroism, signifier of authorities, or some other peculiar. Such a uniform and changeless difference could non go on, in so many states and ages, if nature had non made an original differentiation between these strains of work forces. Not to advert our settlements, there are Negro slaves dispersed all over Europe, of whom none of all time discovered the symptoms of inventiveness ; though low people, without instruction, will get down up amongst us, and distinguish themselves in every profession. In Jamaica, so, they talk of one Negro as a adult male of parts and acquisition ; but it is likely he is admired for slender achievements, like a parrot who speaks a few words obviously ”[ 6 ]

The abovementioned quotation mark is a footer to Hume ‘s “ Of National Character ” , and it shows the sense of high quality the Western Europeans feel over the African population. Hume ‘s Hagiographas show his belief that the Africans are inferior to them, and therefore they are non every bit human as the Western people, doing it all right to utilize them as slaves. The racialist worldview the people held made it possible to see slavery as non immoral, as the slaves were non seen as people and hence did non keep any self-respect nor did they merit equality.

In a period that is known for its active battle for equality, it is unusual that bondage was dealt with in a inactive manner. When Samuel Pufendorf, a German political philosopher, claimed that bondage was originally contracted, the philosophe Voltaire reacted by stating “ Pufendorf says, that bondage has been established ‘by the free consentA of the opposing parties’.If my Godhead Pufendorf will bring forth the original contract signed by the party who was to be the slave, I will acknowledge the truth of his statement ”[ 7 ]This statement of Voltaire shows he did non believe the justifications that were made about bondage. However, it did non intend that Voltaire actively fought bondage, but simply that he opposed it. In Voltaire ‘s Candide, the hero encounters a Negro slave. The slave has lost a manus and a leg, the manus was caught in the albatross and the leg was cut off after he had tried to get away. In Candide, the slave tells the supporter “ It is at this monetary value that you eat sugar in Europe. ” This brush leads to the supporter to be horrified and lose his old optimism about the character of the universe. Voltaire ‘s actions on bondage were unusually inactive, and his sentiment about it merely implicated.


Although the Enlightenment was a motion to better the equality, self-respect and quality of human life, did non repair everything but simply touched upon the surface. The Enlightenment minds did non all believe in complete equal homo rights, and when discoursing their theories of human rights, the philosophes did non include adult females or non-Europeans. The Enlightenment encouraged independent idea and its doctrines have been the inspiration for our current right systems and have planted the seeds that we have sowed in modern society.

How was western colonization justified by its instigators?

The European colonization commenced around the 1400s, and marks a new epoch called ‘the Age of Discovery ‘ , which was to happen between the fifteenth and 17th centuries. During the age of find, many European states established new trade paths, better maps and encountered new civilizations. The desire to quest for new districts can be explained through legion causes. First the Renaissance created a demand for alone and unusual trade goods including goods such spices, sugar and baccy. The scientific and proficient progresss made during the Renaissance resulted in much more seaworthy ships, which were now capable of lasting the Atlantic Ocean. Shipbuilding and pilotage techniques kept come oning in the period taking up to, every bit good as during the age of find. Previously, adventurers and bargainers had been limited to overland trade paths and minimum transportation possibilities. However, the proficient progresss refering ship building and pilotage made the trade for the demanded goods possible. Second, some European states were disturbed by the Muslim laterality of trade from the East, and wanted to happen alternate trade paths. Christians might desire to happen new land to distribute Christianity across the universe. Once these new trade paths were established the demand for more quickly increased, every bit good as the exchange of information and thoughts between the eastern and the western universe, enriching many civilizations.


The early English settlements were agricultural communities, populated by landowners for whom control over land was the key to wealth. They relied non merely on fishing, but they besides relied on the fur trade for their exports. However, the English settlements chiefly focussed on the agricultural facet which was a consequence of the demographic calamity that had struck the native populations of the Atlantic seaboard during the 16th century. By the early 17th century, a huge figure of rich agricultural land had been neglected, merely because there were no longer plenty native husbandman to till it and this might explicate why many native groups ab initio welcomed the new reachings. For this really ground, English colonizers along the Atlantic seaside had neither the demand nor the chance to derive the control over a big native labor force. To this terminal, the English colonizers shortly decided to extinguish the autochthonal people of their settlements, through ejection and slaughter, though there were exclusions. In the Quaker settlement for illustration, colonizers and Native Americans maintained friendly dealingss nevertheless in the Carolinas there was a widespread captivity of native people, either for sale to the West Indies or to work on the rise plantations along the seashore. Elsewhere attempts to enslave the native people of North America failed. When the English landlords looked for bond laborers, they hence recruited articled retainers from England or they purchased African slaves, who would frequently be enslaved for life. In contrast to the settlements of Spain and France, exogamy between the colonizers and indigens was really rare: a stiff racial division prevailed, separating all Europeans – regardless of category – from all Native Americans and Africans.

To further exemplify the relationships between the English colonizers and the Native Americans, we will look into their history. The settlements established by England between 1607 and 1733 are referred to as “ the Thirteen Colonies ” . The parts belonging to these settlements are Virginia, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maryland, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Delaware, North Carolina, South Carolina, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, A Georgia.

In May 1607 the first lasting English colony was established in a North America ( Virginia ) , called Jamestown. When the English colonizers reached Jamestown found the dominant folk of the part: the Powhatan. The Powhatan state recognised the English as owners of great beginnings of power, such as fabric, guns and tools. The Powhatan therefore sought to utilize gifts of nutrient to enlist the English as their Alliess, nevertheless the English instead wanted to go vanquishers than spouses, doing the apparently good dealingss that had been built, to unwrap the true intent of the English colonists as they ancroached Powhatan land and abused the people. The Powhatans did non appreciate the English turning off from them and from 1610 to 1611 little foraies and ambuscades brought panic to the countryside. This period is known as the First Powhatan War. However when the baccy economic system decreased, the colonists began to prehend land in earnest and to endanger the Powhatan population. In response Opecancanough, a Powhatan war leader, organized an rebellion that aimed to drive the English colonists back to their fatherland. On March 22 in 1622, his warriors killed one one-fourth of the colonist population and took another five hundred lives in the undermentioned twelvemonth. This period is besides known as the Second Powhatan War. The English responded by firing the Powhatan towns, scuppering the people utilizing trade to hammer confederations and cutting off all contact with the neighbouring states. In the terminal, the Powhatan state was forced to acknowledge English laterality.

Despite England ‘s ain benefits, the being of the Thirteen British Colonies did non last everlastingly. The Thirteen Colonies revolted because of assorted grounds, which offer a good feeling of how the English treated the Native Americans.

England required them to pay a revenue enhancement for all printed paperss, publishing the Stamp Tax. They required the indigens to pay revenue enhancements on glass, lead, paper, pigment and tea by ordaining the Townshend Acts, although some revenue enhancements were lifted after the indigens boycotted. The autochthonal people of the native American settlements had no freedom of faith and the Anglican Church ‘s faith was forced onto the people and in conclusion England issued the Intolerable Acts, empowering the British functionaries to take all agencies necessary to command the settlements, after which the settlers formed the Continental Congress, get downing to revolt.

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The chief justification for colonialism by the British was that it was for the good of the settlement. By colonising the British were making a win-win state of affairs, because colonialism would non merely be good for the wealth and power of Britain but there was a higher cause. The higher cause was the development of the settlement, and the British enterprises to run into that higher cause could be summed up in three words, by the celebrated British missionary and adventurer David Livingston, “ Civilization, Christianity and commercialism. ”

A principle used to explicate and legalize the British colonization was the civilizing mission. The educating mission meant that the “ civil ” states had to distribute civilisation to the “ barbarian ” , “ backwards ” people of the settlements. The European premise that the colored people they encountered were uncivilized was based on the difference of civilization and wonts between them. For the Europeans, civilized features were the European instruction, manners and linguistic communication. The Europeans were besides technologically more advanced than these peoples, and that supported their thought of high quality. This supported their thought of hierarchy of civilisation, with the Europeans were at the top of that dramatis personae system. The Europeans, as the technological, theological and intellectually superior, saw it as their responsibility to assist the settlements reach the advanced degree of civilisation of Europe.

By colonising the states, the Europeans believed they were taking the states under their wings. This political orientation implies that the Europeans are different than the non-Europeans and even held a superior place over the non-European states. The undermentioned verse form “ White Man ‘s Burden ” encompasses the moral justification of the European control over autochthonal populations:

“ Take up the White Man ‘s load —

Send forth the best ye strain —

Go adhere your boies to expatriate

To function your prisoners ‘ demand ;

To wait in heavy harness,

On fluttered common people and natural state —

Your new-caught, dark peoples,

Half-devil and half-child.

Take up the White Man ‘s load —

In forbearance to stay,

To veil the menace of panic

And look into the show of pride ;

By unfastened address and simple,

An hundred times made field

To seek another ‘s net income,

And work another ‘s addition.

Take up the White Man ‘s load —

The barbarian wars of peace —

Fill full the oral cavity of Famine

And offer the illness cease ;

And when your end is nighest

The terminal for others sought,

Watch sloth and pagan Folly

Bringing all your hopes to nought.

Take up the White Man ‘s load —

No brassy regulation of male monarchs,

But labor of helot and sweeper —

The narrative of common things.

The ports ye shall non come in,

The roads ye shall non step,

Go mark them with your life,

And tag them with your dead.

Take up the White Man ‘s load —

And harvest his old wages:

The incrimination of those ye better,

The hatred of those ye guard —

The call of hosts ye temper

( Ah, easy! ) toward the visible radiation: —

“ Why brought he us from bondage,

Our loved Egyptian dark? ”

Take up the White Man ‘s load —

Ye daring non crouch to less —

Nor name excessively loud on Freedom

To cloke your fatigue ;

By all ye call or susurration,

By all ye leave or do,

The silent, sullen peoples

Shall weigh your Gods and you.

Take up the White Man ‘s load —

Have done with infantile yearss —

The lightly proferred laurel,

The easy, ungrudged congratulations.

Semens now, to seek your manhood

Through all the thankless old ages

Cold, edged with dear-bought wisdom,

The judgement of your equals! ”[ 9 ]

Harmonizing to the verse form, it was a moral duty and load of the “ White Man ” , the European coloniser, to govern over the people who were described as “ half-devil and half-child ” . The verse form supports the thought that the Europeans were the superior race that had to educate and regulate over the lesser race.

Joseph Chamberlain, the colonial secretary of Great Britain, said in address at the Annual Royal Colonial Institute Dinner in 1897 “ In transporting out this work of civilisation we are carry throughing what I believe to be our national mission, and we are happening range for the exercising of these modules and qualities which have made of us a great government race. ”[ 10 ]

The abovementioned quotation mark supports the claim that the British legitimized their enlargement by seeing it as a civilizing mission, and it besides shows the high quality the British felt over the autochthonal people. By stating that the British have the qualities that make them a great government race, Chamberlain is connoting that the autochthonal people do n’t portion qualities with them, nor are they the same race. Chamberlain continues to make a differentiation between the colonisers and the autochthonal people with the undermentioned quotation mark:

“ No uncertainty, in the first case, when these conquerings have been made, there has been bloodshed, there has been loss of life among the native populations, loss of still more cherished lives among those who have been sent out to convey these states into some sort of disciplined order, but it must be remembered that that is the status of the mission we have to carry through. ”[ 11 ]

Herein he mourns the loss of life among the native populations, but describes the lost lives of the colonisers ‘more cherished ‘ .

The roots of the missional justification of colonialism can be found in the early colonization attempts by the Spanish and Portuguese. Their early colonialism was justified by their mission to change over the native populations of the settlements to Christianity. Pope Alexander VI even issued a apostolic grade which approved of the Spanish business of the freshly discovered Americas, and declared the Spanish monarchy as the vicar of God in the New World. Missionary activities were included in the civilizing mission, hence besides dragging faith into the justification of colonization.

International competition was another justification, albeit a lesser one, used for colonialism. The colonial enlargement was frequently driven by competition with the other European powers because of the commercial competition that was traveling on during the “ Age of Discovery ” . That competition resulted in the mercantilist system. The mercantilist system was aimed at doing the European state self-sufficing and economically independent and dominant. To be the most dominant Empire, the state had to strip the rival provinces of resources, and could merely make so by procuring the settlement that contained the resource. At the start, the enlargement of the British Empire was fueled by the demand for natural stuffs and new markets, to widen the British trading involvements. This would beneficial to the Empire because it would non merely unfastened new markets for the coloniser, but it would besides strip the rival states of the resources of that district.


By replying the first sub inquiry, we have found out in what ways the Enlightenment changed the European universe. The Enlightenment was dubbed the Age of Reason, because the people started believing about the universe they were surrounded with. Thingss were no longer false, but alternatively discovered and reinvented. This alteration in outlook was the accelerator for all the farther alterations in society, and was so radical for the Europeans, that they believed themselves to be Enlightened. This temperament resulted in a sense of high quality amongst the Enlightened societies of Europe.

The superior experiencing the Enlightened Europeans experienced was encouraged by the theories that were developed during the Enlightenment, during which the constitution of scientific academies were of large importance. As already stated, the academies served as a manner for the rational mind to larn about new thoughts, to interact with like-minded equals and to print, present and develop their ain plants, and were meant to renown the scientists. The greater supply of instruction led to an increasing figure of knowing and more ambitious people hiking the European economic systems. These educated people wanted to acquire to cognize the universe better, and started seeking for new universes, taking to colonization. We will lucubrate more on this topic subsequently.

Furthermore, the enlightenment created the possibilities for people to socialise outside the church, tribunal or household. At the societal assemblages which were now organized, the populace could interchange information on political relations, novel, scientific disciplines etc. These assemblies created an classless, though still elitarian atmosphere. The feeling created by these assemblies was the feeling of being intelligent or enlightened. Last humanism spread out across Europe, actively seeking for the alleviation of human agony, and ignorance of the urban hapless, captives, slaves and kids.

All these factors finally led to the common thought shared amongst the people that they were extremely civilized.

This sense of being civilized explains how the Europeans justified their manner of colonization, which was far from peaceable. As we have seen in the reply of the 2nd sub inquiry, England experienced some troubles with their 13 established settlements in America. They often made usage of African slaves and if they could, they would enslave the autochthonal people of their settlements. Small foraies and ambuscades happened from clip to clip and several wars broke out.

At first glimpse, there does n’t look to be a connexion between the Enlightenment and colonialism. Colonialism and Enlightenment seem like two contradictory constructs, but by detecting the effects the Enlightenment had on the Western civilisation of Europe, we have discovered that it has played a cardinal portion in determining the European outlook and temperament. The Enlightenment transformed Western Europe and reinvented it, and this resulted in a new sort of society. The Europeans were now a new category of inventors, intellectuals, do-gooders and philosophers. And their freshly developed finds, innovations and doctrines gave them the thought that they were better than earlier and hence better in general.

David Hume, a celebrated Enlightenment philosophe, supports our theory of high quality by showing his feelings over the difference in category of Europeans and non-Europeans, and the grounds for that in the undermentioned quotation mark:

“ I am disposed to surmise the Negroes to be of course inferior to the Whites. There barely of all time was a civilised state of that skin color, nor even any person, eminent either in action or guess. No clever industries amongst them, no humanistic disciplines, no scientific disciplines. On the other manus, the most ill-mannered and brutal of the Whites, such as the antediluvian Germans, the present Tartars, have still something high about them, in their heroism, signifier of authorities, or some other peculiar. Such a uniform and changeless difference could non go on, in so many states and ages, if nature had non made an original differentiation between these strains of work forces. Not to advert our settlements, there are Negro slaves dispersed all over Europe, of whom none of all time discovered the symptoms of inventiveness ; though low people, without instruction, will get down up amongst us, and distinguish themselves in every profession. In Jamaica, so, they talk of one Negro as a adult male of parts and acquisition ; but it is likely he is admired for slender achievements, like a parrot who speaks a few words obviously ”[ 12 ]

Therefore, it is even possible to state that without the Enlightenment, the justification of colonialism would non even exist. The political orientation, on which colonial justification rested, was the thought that the Europeans were superior, more civilised and hence had a responsibility to regulate and educate the settlements. That political orientation would non be if the sense of Western high quality was non present, and the Enlightenment was what caused that political orientation to come to life.

To reason, the function the Enlightenment played in respects to 18th century colonialism lies profoundly in the roots of colonialism and the manner it was justified. The Enlightenment was an indirect cause of the continuation of colonial enlargement, as it supported the outlook that was used to warrant it.

List of Beginnings.


David Hume. Footnote to ‘Of National Character ‘ ( 1748 ) , inA The Philosophical Works of David Hume, Volume III. Bristol: Thoemmes Press, 1996.

Judith G. Coffin and Robert C. Stacey. Western Civilizations, Second Brief Edition – Volume 1. New York and London: W.W. Norton & A ; Company, 2005.

Samengesteld en ingeleid door Cyrille Offermans. Het licht der Rede. Amsterdam: Uitgeverij Contant, 2000.

Peter Gay. De Verlichte Eeuw. Amsterdam: heated Parool Amsterdam, 1967.


Colonel Robert Green Ingersoll. Works of Robert G. Ingersoll: Tributes and Miscellany portion 12.

Encyclop?dia Britannica.

John Locke. The Second Treatise of Government ( 1690 ) .

R. Hughes. “ The Fatal Shore ” , unknown volume.

Web sites

hypertext transfer protocol: //, Rudyard Kipling, The White Man ‘s Burden, 1899

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