home | many pasts | evidence | www.history | blackboard | reference
talking history | syllabi | students | teachers | puzzle | about us
search: go!
advanced search - go!

“There is hard sledding ahead for the missionaries.”

This 1915 cartoon by William Ireland in the Columbus Dispatch relies on racist suppositions to make an ironic antiwar statement. Like their European counterparts, many Americans justified imperial expansion by arguing that it would spread the benefits of “Western Civilization” to un-civilized, non-European peoples. Religious missionaries also believed that the supposedly unenlightened people of Asia and Africa needed the redemptive and uplifting power of Western Christianity. As the savagery of World War I intensified, however, the claim that Western culture or society was more “civilized” became more difficult to defend.

Source: William A. Ireland, Columbus (Ohio) Dispatch, 1915—American Social History Project.

See Also:"Won't they be edified!"