How Did Race Thinking Influence Imperialism

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Race-thinking was an ideology created in Europe used to make distinctions between various “races.” It encouraged nationalism and the idea of a “superior” race. While racial-thinking was a benign idea in Europe, it took on a whole new inhumane meaning after Europeans went into Africa. Hannah Arendt explores this in Origins of Totalitarianism with her “boomerang effect” theory which explains the transfer of military practices created in Europe, used in South Africa, and then later brought back to Europe by Nazis. The trip through Africa is so important regarding the influence imperialism had on European totalitarianism, because practices developed during imperialism transformed “race-thinking” into racism which later became one of the fundamental ideologies Nazis used in their justification of the Holocaust. The same contempt and disdain …show more content…
Internment camps that held women, children, and anyone who surrendered peacefully received rations that were below the bare minimum humans needed to survive. The death rate for these camps reached 45 percent, nearly doubling the rate of British camps, the same camps that inspired the Germans. Not only did the idea of pan-Germanism heighten during the German’s stay in Africa, but it now became a twisted and perverted nationalist view that not only believed that Germans were the master race, but that all other inferior races had to be destroyed.
Arendt lays down the foundation of the nature of imperialism in South Africa in Origins of Totalitarianism while Hull offers the detailed example of Germany’s military tactics there and its relationship with the Hereros in Absolute Destruction which ultimately leads us back to Europe where these two destructive forces took shape under Nazi rule in