Africa, a nation of immense natural resources, has been the victim of imperialism for many years. Europeans, declaring themselves "missionaries of God," have worked to pursue manifest destiny and bring God to the "savage" Africans. In order to do the Lord's work, in the 19th century, European countries divided African lands amongst themselves, exploited their then still undeveloped resources, and enslaved the African people, thus furthering their own commercial interests and expanding their kingdoms. .
Even after the de-colonization of Africa, the boundaries of the newly born states drawn with no regard to tribal lands and the European and American companies that own the majority of Africa's most resourceful land, are reminders that a form of imperialism still exists. Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness and Rudyard Kipling's "The White Man's Burden" depict the 19th century belief that it is the white man's destiny through God to colonize Africa and other under-developed nations. It is up to the reader to decide how each of these works are to be taken, and whether or not they will see the horror of it all. These two publications along with a 20th century African charter demonstrate that the imperialism existing in 19th century Africa still exists to some extent today. .
Rudyard Kipling's " The White Man's Burden" was published in McClure's Magazine in February of 1899, just three years before Heart of Darkness was released in Great Britain. Upon reading Kipling's piece, it is difficult to decipher his exact intentions. It is doubtful that Kipling meant his poem to be taken seriously as a whole. He addresses some very important issues of the time, but they can be read in a sarcastic, satirical manner. .
In the first stanza, Kipling says, "Send forth the best ye breed-/ Go, bind your sons to exile/ to serve your captives need;". He seems to be questioning whether the result of civilizing these "savages", or "captives" as Kipling calls them is worth losing some of Europe's finest young men, especially since the Africans didn't ask for help.