Cecil Rhodes, Confessions of Faith

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Cecil Rhodes, Confessions of Faith (1877)
Directions: Examine the following primary source quotes carefully and completely. You will find questions based on the quotes throughout the document that you will answer 2-3 sentences.

As always, write in complete sentences.
“I contend that we are the finest race in the world and that the more of the world we inhabit, the better it is for the human race. Just fancy those parts that are at present inhabited by the most despicable [disgusting] specimens of human beings - what an alteration [change] there would be if they were brought under Anglo-Saxon [white] influence, look again at the extra employment a new country added to our dominions gives. I contend that every acre added to our territory means in the future birth to some more of the English race who otherwise would not be brought into existence. Added to this the absorption of the greater portion of the world under our rule simply means the end of all wars…”

  1. According to Rhodes, what are the benefits of adding more territory to the British Empire?

“Why should we not form a secret society with but one objective: the expansion of the British Empire and the bringing of the whole uncivilized world under British rule…For the recovery of the United States…For the making the Anglo-Saxon race but one Empire.”

  1. What is the goal of this “secret society” Rhodes suggests?


“Africa is still lying ready for us…It is our duty to take it. It is our duty to seize [take] every opportunity of acquiring more territory and we should keep this one idea steadily before our eyes: That more territory simply means more of the Anglo-Saxon race…More of the best, the most human, most honorable race the world possesses.

To forward such a scheme what a splendid help a secret society would be…A society not openly acknowledged but who would work in secret for such an objective.”

  1. In your own words, how does Rhodes portray the Anglo-Saxon race?

“Let us form a society…A Church for the extension of the British Empire. A society which should have members in every part of the British Empire working with one objective and one idea. We should have its members placed at our universities and our schools and should watch the English youth [children] passing through their hands. Just one youth, perhaps, in every thousand would have the mind and feelings for such an objective: He should be tried [challenged] in every way, he should be tested whether he is endurant [able to stay active], possessed of eloquence [articulate and persuasive], disregardful of the petty details of life, and - if found to be such - then elected and bound by oath to serve for the rest of his life in his County.”

  1. What qualities is Rhodes looking for in children for his secret society? Why do you think he’s looking for children who have these qualities?

“In every Colonial legislature the Society should attempt to have its members prepared at all times to vote or speak and advocate [support] the closer union of England and the colonies, to crush all disloyalty, and every movement for the severance [breaking up] of our Empire.”

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