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A view held in the era of Imperialism that the more developed and "civilized" peoples of Europe should, through their leadership and domination, bring civilization, modernity, wealth, and advancement to the lesser peoples of the world.

This mostly extended to non-white peoples, but various white ethnic groups subjected to this ideology were various Slavic groups in the east, Arabs, Turks, Finns, and Boers.

The ideology crated a sense of moral justification of Imperialism over many developed and long existing cultures, including long wealthy civilizations like China, Persia, Ottoman Turkey, and India.
Europeans took over Africa in the the name of the White Man's Burden among other things.
by historia February 18, 2012
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a historical ideal (sparked in the 1700s) held by SOME, not all, Europeans that they had a duty, rather a "burden", put on themselves to take care of all the other "inferior" races of the earth. This was often used as an excuse for racism, genocide, slavery, and imperialism.

Contrary to this idea is the Black man's burden which was to put up with the cruel treatment from the White man. However, seeing how both racial imperialism and slavery are over, neither the White man nor the Black man should be complaining about "burdens".
the white man's burden should be to support all the other races of the earth, and so should be the black man's burden.
by JT the man January 03, 2008
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noun/ 1) The guilt that white men and woman feel over the historical subjection of other races. For instance, the extroardinary election of Barack Obama may be due in part to guilt over the fact that blacks were forced into slavery for 300 years. Another example would be the white community's hesitation to be proud of their heritage, while most other races exhibit their pride.

2) The result in which a business, university, etc. will prefer a qualified man or woman of ethnicity over another qualified caucasian.
White Guy: I didn't get accepted into Berkeley, even though I have a 4.2 GPA.

Friend: White Man's Burden
by Eric777 January 25, 2009
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