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The Empire of CivilizationThe Evolution of an Imperial Idea$
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Brett Bowden

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780226068145

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226068169.001.0001

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The Burden of Civilization and the “Art and Science of Colonization”

The Burden of Civilization and the “Art and Science of Colonization”

(p.129) 6 The Burden of Civilization and the “Art and Science of Colonization”
The Empire of Civilization
University of Chicago Press

This chapter examines how the standard of civilization goes hand in hand with centuries of European “civilizing missions” in the non-European world that evolved into full-blown colonialism. It describes some of the crimes of colonialism, and articulates how the standard of civilization and concomitant civilizing missions are implicated in the exploitation and extinguishing of countless peoples and cultures deemed to be inferior to the self-appointed standard-bearers of civilization. The chapter also argues that standards of civilization are supposed to be a relic of the past, and thus the civilizing missions that accompany them are also thought of as consigned to history.

Keywords:   civilization, European civilizing missions, colonialism, cultures, history

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