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Grades 11-12 | Argumentative | Source-Based

Source Lexile®: BR20L-1200L

Learning Standards




Prompt: Today you will study data and perspectives on the beneficial and harmful effects of imperialism. Do the benefits outweigh the harmful effects or do the harmful effects outweigh the benefits? Write an argumentative essay in which you make a claim about whether the outcomes of imperialism are ultimately more positive or negative. Use evidence from the data and written resources to support your position.



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Source 3

"Modern progressive nations lying in the temperate zone seek to control garden spots' in the tropics. [mainly in Africa, Latin America, and Asia] Under [the progressive nations] direction, these places can yield tropical produce. In return, the progressive nations bring to the people of those garden spots the foodstuffs and manufactures they need. [Progressive nations] develop the territory by building roads, canals, railways, and telegraphs. They can establish schools and newspapers for the colonies [and] give these people the benefit of other blessings of civilization which they have not the means of creating themselves."

- O.P. Austin, "Does Colonization Pay" The Forum, 1900



Source 4


Early 20th century German cartoon entitled, "Thus Colonize the English"



Source 5

"When the whites came to our country, we had the land and they had the Bible, now we have the Bible and they have the land."  

- African proverb




Source 6


"Learning civilized ways is hard work." (British cartoon of Chinese imperialism)





Source 7

".... But today we are raising more than we can consume. Today we are making more than we can use.... Therefore, we must find new markets for our produce, new occupation for our capital, new work for our labor.... Ah! As our commerce spreads, the flag of liberty will circle the globe and the highways of the ocean--carrying trade to all mankind--guarded by the guns of the republic. And as their thunders salute the flag, benighted [ignorant] peoples will know that the voice of liberty is speaking, at last, for them; that civilization is dawning, at last, for them...."

Senator Albert J. Beveridge of Indiana, "March of the Flag" Speech given September 16, 1898 As published in Annals of America, Encyclopedia Britannica, Volume 12, 1968, pp. 198-202.







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