Is or Has America been an Imperialist Power?
Without defining what "imperialism" is, I throw this question out here 1) to see what responses I get and 2) to remind me to write a hub about it. I just finished listening to a rather interesting lecture on the subject and it got me curious.
Yes America has been imperialistic at times. This is objectively so.It has also at times been altruistic and a force for good.Sometimes both at once.http://mio-cid.hubpages.com/hub/Cuba-Ozzie-Guillen-Marco-Rubio-and-the-cuban-exile-community
Of course it is. USA is the neo-Roman empire. Without war would collapse!
The American military footprint is staggering. You'd have to work pretty hard to find a country in the world without US military personnel in it. They aren't there for no reason at all and when you start to examine the machinations they perform behind the scenes to manipulate the policies and leadership of other countries, I don't see how any definition other than imperialistic is appropriate. These efforts are aimed almost solely at expanding or developing American interests which can include defending the realm (from real and imagined threats) and economic advantage. The idea of those efforts being altruistic I think are completely ridiculous. I would actually say that modern day America is the best example of Imperialism the world has ever seen. The attached map, I think, is pretty interesting (it shows the relative influence of US and Russia during the Cold War). It's pretty amazing how active the US military has been in gray and light orange countries in the past couple decades isn't it? Even a country like Mongolia which people don't very often think of just got done holding their joint annual military exercise (Khaan Quest) with the US Pacific Command.
The US in 1789 was a 13-state republic on the Atlantic coast whose western boundary was the Mississippi River. Spain and France controlled the lands to the west and south, and Britain controlled the lands to our north. Today, the US has 50 States that cover a generous portion of the continent, which includes access to the Gulf Coast and the Pacific Ocean. How is it possible to grow that much without being imperialistic? Of course, US historians who are put on tv use the polite word "expansionist" over the word "imperialistic".
Today, we have troops in over a hundred nations around the world where we have an economic interest. That seems imperialistic.
In spite of constant denial by many, yes we have been and remain an imperial power, first for territory, now for resources.
Believe it or not, this was the subject of the first research paper I did in college:"Is America Imperialistic?" My conclusion at that time was that it had been imperialistic but was not at that time (the 60's). I don't remember what I based my conclusions on, but I was eighteen at the time. What did I know. Looking back at the 60's my conclusion now seems a little ludicrous to me.
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