12th grade – Mortensen
The Prevalence of Imperialism
In the Modern World
Imperialism is a policy of conquering and ruling other lands usually with a motive of resources or land. Two well-known examples of imperialism lie in the movie, Avatar, and in the Belgian King Leopold’s deceitful conquest of the Congo. The two stories both have similar actions when it comes to the conquerors decisions, but it was a bit more different when it came to the native people’s reactions and way they were treated by the “imperialists” against the threat of imperialism.
The two examples used to help better understand what and how Imperialism works is in actual history, when Leopold took over the Congo; in the popular film, Avatar. Starting with Leopold’s reign of the Congo, the main motive behind Leopold’s campaign was resources. At first he wanted ivory and then he found out there was more economical promise with the invention of cars, and car tires need a lot of rubber. Leopold set out to enslave the people of the Congo to become the rubber harvesters for his economy, razed their villages to the ground for an easily obtained plantation foundation, and paid them just enough to survive. This situation in history differs from Avatar because the native people, the na’vi, were not enslaved. In Avatar, the “imperialists” in the plot are the humans and also want a precious resource called unobtanium, which also provides huge economic promise selling for twenty-million a kilo. In both examples, the “imperialists” are in it for the resources and could probably care less about the natives. The difference between the examples caring and not caring is that in Leopold’s situation, he lies to the world saying he is going to help the natives; give it civilization with schools and medicine, all of which he did not attempt. Whereas in Avatar, the scientists, which were one group (or side) of the human “imperialists” which did try to give them schools, roads...
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