American Imperialism: The Spanish-American War Essay

American Imperialism The idea of American imperialist is a derivative of ideal of Marxism and the U. S. Foreign policy after the Spanish-American War. American has been considered the police of the world for years. We find ourselves on every continent in almost every country of the world. Many people have compared the United States to the Roman Empire and the fact that the Roman Empire crumbles and so will America. The idea that of America being a imperialist state is shared not only by anarchist of U.

S. government but by many nations around the world. America’s policy to uphold democracy around the world can be seen as America attempting to maintain power in foreign nations or convert other nations to our form of government can easily be misconstrued as imperialistic. In order to understand American Imperialism we must first understand the two separately; America’s foreign policy by itself, the idea of Imperialism, and finally the two together. The U. S.

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Secretary of State is the foreign minister and is the official charged with state-to-state diplomacy, although the president has ultimate authority over foreign policy; that policy includes defining the national interest, as well as the strategies chosen to both safeguard that and achieve its policy goals. The officially stated goals of the foreign policy of the United States, as mentioned in the Foreign Policy Agenda of the U. S. Department of State, are “to create a more secure, democratic, and prosperous world for the benefit of the American people and the international community. This is was is in debate, whether America is doing to much to attempt to benefit the international community, and if we are, is it in our interest of those of the foreign nation. The U. S. Foreign Policy began in 1803 with the Louisiana Purchase encompassed all or part of 14 current U. S. states and two Canadian provinces. Napoleon Bonaparte, upon completion of the agreement, stated, “This accession of territory affirms forever the power of the United States, and I have given England a maritime rival who sooner or later will humble her pride. Spain ceded the territory of Florida in 1819; war with Mexico in 1848 added the territories of Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California. The U. S. bought Alaska from the Russian Empire in 1867. (Meinig, 1993) (Godlewski, 1977) America has not bought or fought for land recently but some would say that we are enforcing our democratic ideals through the use of the military. It has been said that U. S. democracy will not work in countries such as the Middle East due to the lack of government monopolizing power.

When people hear of a government monopolizing power they automatically think that it is a bad thing. What many don’t realize is in order for a government to protect it people or enforce the law they most monopolize the power or monopolize the use of force. Without somebody controlling the use of force and somebody deciding what will be right and what will be wrong, no one is safe from anybody, and if no one can be safe, freedom does not exist. For example a monarchy used to be the chosen way for governments for centuries but no one like the power to be held by one person, such as Saddam Hussein.

This being said a single government monarchy or dictatorship is more useful if it can protect its people and enforce the law better than a democratic government can. On December 30 of 2006 the president of Iraq was executed because of the war crimes he had committed. Saddam Hussein used grotesque way to manipulate the people of his country, through the torture and killing of men, women, and children. It has also been thought that even through his inhuman techniques of dictatorship he held back a much greater evil that the U. S. forces are still battling to this day.

China is considered to have the second best economy in the world but is a dictatorship. China is not a democracy and is not considered a “free” nation but they have been successful. When people use the term “American Empire” I don’t believe they are referring to the autocratic form of imperialism but rather the economic, cultural, and territorial form of imperialism. When it comes to economic imperialism some say that the U. S. makes a point to defend its economy. And the U. S. tries to apply its economic model to the rest of the world, regardless of the consequences.

Its strategy is to impose its own standards to all countries and those who resist risk losing access to American trade markets. The Clinton administration used it as part of its shaping the world through engagement doctrine. The radically new idea is that US strategy now applies not only to the key communications technology, which the U. S. is more advanced in, but to the financial sector and economy as well. (Maillard, 2003) Cultural imperialism can be seen the easiest, when America forces it doctrine and conforms a foreign culture more to the U.

S. way. You see McDonalds in other countries you hear about culturally closed off nation now having unrestricted internet and MTV. American products across the globe is more than mere accident, Herbert Schiller defines cultural imperialism as, “The sum of the processes by which a society is brought into the modern world system, and how its dominating stratum is attracted, pressured, forced, and sometimes bribed into shaping social institutions to correspond to, or even to promote, the values and structures of the dominant center of the system. (Galeota, 2004) Cultural imperialism involves more than just consumer goods, but it involves the distribution of American principles, such as freedom and democracy. Many critics completely disagree with idea because this process may sound appealing, it masks a frightening truth and that many cultures around the world are gradually disappearing due to the overwhelming influence of corporate and cultural America. The reach of America has been ever increasing since the Louisiana Purchase. What makes the U.

S. so powerful is, not of control over great land masses or population centers, but of a global presence unlike that of any other country in history. The presents of America in all of 135 of 192 countries by many is considered Americas attempt to control as much of the world as possible and its constant political and cultural influence on other countries that we occupy. (Vance, 2004) Many consider America an empire and the evidence surly points to it. Our influence spans to every corner of the globe.

America is one of the youngest countries on the planet but yet has ranked itself as the greatest nation to exist. Many see America as this nation that forces its beliefs, political agenda, and culture on other impressionable countries by force. The public of the world may see America as this evil overbearing force but every country may see another as wrong. This doesn’t justify what the U. S. is doing as right but doesn’t constitute the U. S as some dark evil empire attempting to take over the world. Reference Galeota, J. (2004, May). Cultural imperialism: an american tradition.

Retrieved July 12, 2010, from http://findarticles. com/p/articles/mi_m1374/is_3_64/ai_n6060907/ Godlewski, G. (1977). Napoleon et Les-Etats-Amis (p. 320). La Nouvelle Revue Des Deux Mondes. Maillard, J. d. (2003, January 13). Appointment with war: united States; the dollar standard. Retrieved July 12, 2010, from http://www. hartford-hwp. com/archives/27c/595. html Meinig, D. W. (1993). The Shaping of america: volume 2. Yale University Press. Vance, L. (2004, March 16). The U. S. Global Empire. Retrieved July 12, 2010, from http://www. lewrockwell. com/vance/vance8. html


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