To What Extent Was Imperialism a Popular Policy in Britain Throughout the Period from 1880 to 1902?

785 Words4 Pages
On the whole, imperialism was a popular policy, although its popularity was not consistent throughout this period. The popularity of imperialism took a hit during the Boer War, but otherwise had been quite popular, mainly due to art and literature. However, this is not the only factor that made imperialism popular. Empire featured heavily in art and literature, most new material was centred on empire. Exhibition halls were very popular with the public, especially as they could be accessed by people from all classes in society. Empire was always portrayed in a heroic light; as spreading Christianity and bringing the uncivilised world into the modern world. This positive portrayal of Empire greatly increased its popularity, because the British public liked to think that they were doing good in the world, and that there was a good reason for imperialism. The increase in those who could read contributed to this, as books on Empire were numerous. For example, The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling became famous, and is still very famous to this day. Younger boys and girls also had literature aimed specifically at them – the ‘Girls Own Paper’ and the ‘Boys Own Paper’. These reached a circulation of more than half a million, full of heroic stories about British lads in Empire. As the children could relate to the characters in these stories, imperialism was made more popular amongst the young too. The press reached a massive audience in Britain at the time, spreading news of Empire to all. More people could read in the lower classes, and the owners of newspapers, such as Lord Northcliffe, recognised that this new class of people would be more attracted to pictures and sensationalised stories. As a result of this, many papers began to incorporate magazine-type stories into their newspapers, once again idolizing white men in Empire, showing bravery and moral courage. These
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