The paradox of Victorian imperialism and liberal reform

Write a 4-5-page paper on this topic: the paradox of Victorian imperialism and liberal reform.


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Topic explanation: A paradox in history presents an analytical challenge to make sense of seemingly contradictory developments. (out of division can come unity; out of war can come peace, etc.) Nineteenth century Europe produced more liberal social reforms, and more liberal and democratic political reforms. than any other previous era in its history, Witness the anti-slavery movement that brought an end to King Leopold’s Congo. Yet, it was Victorians who inflicted genocide on some 8-10 million Congolese. Looking across Africa, those numbers would be greatly augmented. As a historian, what is your explanation of how both Victorian stories were true?


Instructions: Use the same paper rubric as your guide. Be sure to have a clear thesis perspective about your “angle” on this European Victorian paradox. Please use Adam Hochschild’s King Leopold’s Ghost, Peter Gay’s chapters on “Alibis for Aggression” and other class materials on what you’ve learned about Victorian politics, science, society, and culture. No addtional research is required or expected. However, if you decide to consult more sources, you must include them in your citations.

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