Primary Source – Topic # 2 – Henry Stanley

Even at the time, imperialism was the subject of great debate in Europe and the United States among social critics, political and business leaders, and writers. Arguments for and against imperialism disagreed not only about its causes but about its impact and its future.


Author: Henry Stanley

The British journalist and explorer Henry M. S ( 1841 -1904) embodied the arrogant attitudes of non- Westerners that typified many of his generation:

In his memoirs, he explained the necessity” harsh manner in dealing with Africans.

The natives rapidly learned that though everything was to be gained by friendship with me, wars bring nothing but ruin.

When a young white officer quits England ~ the first time, to lead blacks, he has got to learn to unlearn a great deal. We must have white men in
Africa; but the raw white is a great nuisance there during the first year. In the second year, he begins to mend; during the third year, if his nature permits he has developed into a superior man, whose intelligence may be of transcendent utility for directing the masses of inferior men.

My officers were possessed with the notion my manner was “hard,” because I had not many compliments for them. That is the kind of pap which may offer women and boys. Besides, I thought they
were superior natures, and required none of that encouragement, which the more childish blacks almost daily received.

From Henry M. Stanley, Autobiography, ed. Dorothy Stanley. Houghton Ml
Copyright © 1909.



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