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American imperialism | Wikipedia audio article

American imperialism | Wikipedia audio article


American imperialism is a policy aimed at
extending the political, economic, and cultural control of the United States government over
areas beyond its boundaries. It can be accomplished in any number of ways: by military conquest,
by treaty, by subsidization, by economic penetration through private companies followed by intervention
when those interests are threatened, or by regime change.The concept of expanding territorial
control was popularized in the 19th century as the doctrine of Manifest Destiny and was
realized through conquests such as the Mexican–American War of 1846, which resulted in the annexation
of 525,000 square miles of Mexican territory. While the US government does not refer to
itself as an empire, the continuing phenomenon has been acknowledged by mainstream Western
writers including Max Boot, Arthur Schlesinger, and Niall Ferguson.==Imperialism=====Indian Wars and Manifest Destiny===Thomas Jefferson, in the 1790s, awaited the
fall of the Spanish Empire “until our population can be sufficiently advanced to gain it from
them piece by piece”. In turn, historian Sidney Lens notes that “the urge for expansion – at
the expense of other peoples – goes back to the beginnings of the United States itself”.
Yale historian Paul Kennedy put it, “From the time the first settlers arrived in Virginia
from England and started moving westward, this was an imperial nation, a conquering
nation.” Detailing George Washington’s description of the early United States as an “infant empire”,
Benjamin Franklin’s writing that “the Prince that acquires new Territory … removes the
Natives to give his own People Room … may be properly called [Father] of [his] Nation”,
and Thomas Jefferson’s statement that the United States “must be viewed as the nest
from which all America, North & South is to be peopled”, Noam Chomsky said that “the United
States is the one country that exists, as far as I know, and ever has, that was founded
as an empire explicitly”.A national drive for territorial acquisition across the continent
was popularized in the 19th century as the ideology of Manifest Destiny. It came to be
realized with the Mexican–American War of 1846, which resulted in the annexation of
525,000 square miles of Mexican territory, stretching up to the Pacific coast.President
James Monroe presented his famous doctrine for the western hemisphere in 1823. Historians
have observed that while the Monroe Doctrine contained a commitment to resist colonialism
from Europe, it had some aggressive implications for American policy, since there were no limitations
on the US’s own actions mentioned within it. Scholar Jay Sexton notes that the tactics
used to implement the doctrine were “modeled after those employed by British imperialists”
in their territorial competition with Spain and France. Eminent historian William Appleman
Williams dryly described it as “imperial anti-colonialism.” The Indian Wars against the indigenous population
began in the British era. Their escalation under the federal republic allowed the US
to dominate North America and carve out the 48 continental states. This is now understood
to be an explicitly colonial process, as the Native American nations were usually recognized
as sovereign entities prior to annexation. Their sovereignty was systematically undermined
by US state policy (usually involving unequal or broken treaties) and white settler-colonialism.
The climax of this process was the California genocide.===New Imperialism and “The White Man’s Burden”
===A variety of factors converged during the
“New Imperialism” of the late 19th century, when the United States and the other great
powers rapidly expanded their overseas territorial possessions. Some of these are explained,
or used as examples for the various forms of New Imperialism. The prevalence of overt racism, notably John
Fiske’s conception of Anglo-Saxon racial superiority, and Josiah Strong’s call to “civilize and
Christianize”—all manifestations of a growing Social Darwinism and racism in some schools
of American political thought. Early in his career, as Assistant Secretary
of the Navy, Theodore Roosevelt was instrumental in preparing the Navy for the Spanish–American
War and was an enthusiastic proponent of testing the U.S. military in battle, at one point
stating “I should welcome almost any war, for I think this country needs one”.Roosevelt
claimed that he rejected imperialism, but he embraced the near-identical doctrine of
expansionism. When Rudyard Kipling wrote the imperialist poem “The White Man’s Burden”
for Roosevelt, the politician told colleagues that it was “rather poor poetry, but good
sense from the expansion point of view.” Roosevelt was so committed to dominating Spain’s former
colonies that he proclaimed his own corollary to the Monroe Doctrine as justification, although
his ambitions extended even further, into the Far East. Scholars have documented the
resemblance and collaboration between US and British military activities in the Pacific
at this time.Industry and trade are two of the most prevalent motivations of imperialism.
American intervention in both Latin America and Hawaii resulted in multiple industrial
investments, including the popular industry of Dole bananas. If the United States was
able to annex a territory, in turn they were granted access to the trade and capital of
those territories. In 1898, Senator Albert Beveridge proclaimed that an expansion of
markets was absolutely necessary, “American factories are making more than the American
people can use; American soil is producing more than they can consume. Fate has written
our policy for us; the trade of the world must and shall be ours.”American rule of ceded
Spanish territory was not uncontested. The Philippine Revolution had begun in August
1896 against Spain, and after the defeat of Spain in the Battle of Manila Bay, began again
in earnest, culminating in the Philippine Declaration of Independence and the establishment
of the First Philippine Republic. The Philippine–American War ensued, with extensive damage and death,
ultimately resulting in the defeat of the Philippine Republic. According to scholars
such as Gavan McCormack and E. San Juan, the American counterinsurgency resulted in genocide. The maximum geographical extension of American
direct political and military control happened in the aftermath of World War II, in the period
after the surrender and occupations of Germany and Austria in May and later Japan and Korea
in September 1945 and before the independence of the Philippines in July 1946.Stuart Creighton
Miller says that the public’s sense of innocence about Realpolitik impairs popular recognition
of U.S. imperial conduct. The resistance to actively occupying foreign territory has led
to policies of exerting influence via other means, including governing other countries
via surrogates or puppet regimes, where domestically unpopular governments survive only through
U.S. support.The Philippines is sometimes cited as an example. After Philippine independence,
the US continued to direct the country through Central Intelligence Agency operatives like
Edward Lansdale. As Raymond Bonner and other historians note, Lansdale controlled the career
of President Ramon Magsaysay, going so far as to physically beat him when the Philippine
leader attempted to reject a speech the CIA had written for him. American agents also
drugged sitting President Elpidio Quirino and prepared to assassinate Senator Claro
Recto. Prominent Filipino historian Roland G. Simbulan has called the CIA “US imperialism’s
clandestine apparatus in the Philippines”.The U.S. retained dozens of military bases, including
a few major ones. In addition, Philippine independence was qualified by legislation
passed by the U.S. Congress. For example, the Bell Trade Act provided a mechanism whereby
U.S. import quotas might be established on Philippine articles which “are coming, or
are likely to come, into substantial competition with like articles the product of the United
States”. It further required U.S. citizens and corporations be granted equal access to
Philippine minerals, forests, and other natural resources. In hearings before the Senate Committee
on Finance, Assistant Secretary of State for Economic Affairs William L. Clayton described
the law as “clearly inconsistent with the basic foreign economic policy of this country”
and “clearly inconsistent with our promise to grant the Philippines genuine independence”.===21st century imperialism===
The United States has aggressively used its power to expand its influence in recent times,
seeking to enter numerous countries militarily, such as Afghanistan and Iraq; building military
bases around the world, especially in the Arab countries of the Persian Gulf; deploying
its navy in the South China Sea, widely seen as a way to contain Chinese claims in the
South China Sea; supporting the overthrow of democratically elected governments such
as Venezuela, Iran, and Syria; supporting rebel groups in Libya and Syria; continuing
the allegedly illegal occupation of the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base in Cuba; influencing the complete
blockade of countries such as Qatar; using the dominance of the US dollar in worldwide
trade to sanction rival countries such as Turkey, Russia, Venezuela and Iran; initiating
a trade war with major economic rival China; using protectionist measures against traditional
allies and fellow WTO-members, Canada, Mexico, and the European Union; and embargoing countries
such as Cuba.==American exceptionalism==American exceptionalism is the notion that
the United States occupies a special niche among the nations of the world in terms of
its national credo, historical evolution, and political and religious institutions and
origins. Philosopher Douglas Kellner traces the identification
of American exceptionalism as a distinct phenomenon back to 19th century French observer Alexis
de Tocqueville, who concluded by agreeing that the U.S., uniquely, was “proceeding along
a path to which no limit can be perceived”.President Donald Trump has once said that he does not
“like the term” American exceptionalism because he thinks it is “insulting the world”. He
told tea party activists in Texas that “If you’re German, or you’re from Japan, or you’re
from China, you don’t want to have people saying that.”As a Monthly Review editorial
opines on the phenomenon, “in Britain, empire was justified as a benevolent ‘white man’s
burden’. And in the United States, empire does not even exist; ‘we’ are merely protecting
the causes of freedom, democracy and justice worldwide.”==
Wilsonian intervention==When World War I broke out in Europe, President
Woodrow Wilson promised American neutrality throughout the war. This promise was broken
when the United States entered the war after the Zimmermann Telegram. This was “a war for
empire” to control vast raw materials in Africa and other colonized areas according to the
contemporary historian and civil rights leader W. E. B. Du Bois. More recently historian
Howard Zinn argues that Wilson entered the war in order to open international markets
to surplus US production. He quotes Wilson’s own declaration that Concessions obtained by financiers must be
safeguarded by ministers of state, even if the sovereignty of unwilling nations be outraged
in the process… the doors of the nations which are closed must be battered down.
In a memo to Secretary of State Bryan, the president described his aim as “an open door
to the world”. Lloyd Gardner notes that Wilson’s original avoidance of world war was not motivated
by anti-imperialism; his fear was that “white civilization and its domination in the world”
were threatened by “the great white nations” destroying each other in endless battle.Despite
President Wilson’s official doctrine of moral diplomacy seeking to “make the world safe
for democracy”, some of his activities at the time can be viewed as imperialism to stop
the advance of democracy in countries such as Haiti. The United States invaded Haiti
in July 1915 after having made landfall eight times previously. American rule in Haiti continued
through 1942, but was initiated during World War I. The historian Mary Renda in her book,
Taking Haiti, talks about the American invasion of Haiti to bring about political stability
through U.S. control. The American government did not believe Haiti was ready for self-government
or democracy, according to Renda. In order to bring about political stability in Haiti,
the United States secured control and integrated the country into the international capitalist
economy, while preventing Haiti from practicing self-governance or democracy. While Haiti
had been running their own government for many years before American intervention, the
U.S. government regarded Haiti as unfit for self-rule. In order to convince the American
public of the justice in intervening, the United States government used paternalist
propaganda, depicting the Haitian political process as uncivilized. The Haitian government
would come to agree to U.S. terms, including American overseeing of the Haitian economy.
This direct supervision of the Haitian economy would reinforce U.S. propaganda and further
entrench the perception of Haitians being incompetent of self-governance.In World War
I, the US, Britain, and Russia had been allies for seven months, from April 1917 until the
Bolsheviks seized power in Russia in November. Active distrust surfaced immediately, as even
before the October Revolution, British officers had been involved in the Kornilov Affair which
sought to crush the Russian anti-war movement and the independent soviets. Nonetheless,
once the Bolsheviks took Moscow, the British began talks to try and keep them in the war
effort. British diplomat Bruce Lockhart cultivated a relationship with several Soviet officials,
including Leon Trotsky, and the latter approved the initial Allied military mission to secure
the Eastern Front, which was collapsing in the revolutionary upheaval. Ultimately, Soviet
head of state V.I. Lenin decided the Bolsheviks would settle peacefully with the Central Powers
at the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk. This separate peace led to Allied disdain for the Soviets,
since it left the Western Allies to fight Germany without a strong Eastern partner.
The British SIS, supported by US diplomat Dewitt C. Poole, sponsored an attempted coup
in Moscow involving Bruce Lockhart and Sidney Reilly, which involved an attempted assassination
of Lenin. The Bolsheviks proceeded to shut down the British and US embassies.Tensions
between Russia (including its allies) and the West turned intensely ideological. Horrified
by mass executions of White forces, land expropriations, and widespread repression, the Allied military
expedition now assisted the anti-Bolshevik Whites in the Russian Civil War, with the
British and French giving armed support to the brutal General Alexander Kolchak. Over
30,000 Western troops were deployed in Russia overall. This was the first event which made
Russian–American relations a matter of major, long-term concern to the leaders in each country.
Some historians, including William Appleman Williams and Ronald Powaski, trace the origins
of the Cold War to this conflict. Wilson launched seven armed interventions,
more than any other president. Looking back on the Wilson era, General Smedley Darlington
Butler, a leader of the Haiti expedition and the highest-decorated Marine of that time,
considered virtually all of the operations to have been economically motivated. In a
1933 speech he said:I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism. I suspected I was just part
of a racket at the time. Now I am sure of it…I helped make Mexico, especially Tampico,
safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place
for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half
a dozen Central American republics for the benefits of Wall Street … Looking back on
it, I feel that I could have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate
his racket in three districts. I operated on three continents.==Views of American imperialism==
Journalist Ashley Smith divides theories of the U.S. imperialism into 5 broad categories:
(1) “liberal” theories, (2) “social-democratic” theories, (3) “Leninist” theories, (4) theories
of “super-imperialism”, and (5) “Hardt-and-Negri” theories.There is also a conservative, anti-interventionist
view as expressed by American journalist John T. Flynn: The enemy aggressor is always pursuing a course
of larceny, murder, rapine and barbarism. We are always moving forward with high mission,
a destiny imposed by the Deity to regenerate our victims, while incidentally capturing
their markets; to civilise savage and senile and paranoid peoples, while blundering accidentally
into their oil wells. A “social-democratic” theory says that imperialistic
U.S. policies are the products of the excessive influence of certain sectors of U.S. business
and government—the arms industry in alliance with military and political bureaucracies
and sometimes other industries such as oil and finance, a combination often referred
to as the “military–industrial complex”. The complex is said to benefit from war profiteering
and the looting of natural resources, often at the expense of the public interest. The
proposed solution is typically unceasing popular vigilance in order to apply counter-pressure.
Chalmers Johnson holds a version of this view.Alfred Thayer Mahan, who served as an officer in
the U.S. Navy during the late 19th century, supported the notion of American imperialism
in his 1890 book titled The Influence of Sea Power upon History. Mahan argued that modern
industrial nations must secure foreign markets for the purpose of exchanging goods and, consequently,
they must maintain a maritime force that is capable of protecting these trade routes.A
theory of “super-imperialism” argues that imperialistic U.S. policies are not driven
solely by the interests of American businesses, but also by the interests of a larger apparatus
of a global alliance among the economic elite in developed countries. The argument asserts
that capitalism in the Global North (Europe, the U.S., Japan, among others) has become
too entangled to permit military or geopolitical conflict between these countries, and the
central conflict in modern imperialism is between the Global North (also referred to
as the global core) and the Global South (also referred to as the global periphery) rather
than between the imperialist powers.===Empire===Following the invasion of Afghanistan in 2001,
the idea of American imperialism was reexamined. In November 2001, jubilant marines hoisted
an American flag over Kandahar and in a stage display referred to the moment as the third
after those on San Juan Hill and Iwo Jima. All moments, writes Neil Smith, express US
global ambition. “Labelled a war on terrorism, the new war represents an unprecedented quickening
of the American Empire, a third chance at global power.”On October 15, the cover of
William Kristol’s Weekly Standard carried the headline, “The Case for American Empire”.
Rich Lowry, editor in chief of the National Review, called for “a kind of low-grade colonialism”
to topple dangerous regimes beyond Afghanistan. The columnist Charles Krauthammer declared
that, given complete U.S. domination “culturally, economically, technologically and militarily”,
people were “now coming out of the closet on the word ’empire'”. The New York Times
Sunday magazine cover for January 5, 2003, read “American Empire: Get Used To It”. The
phrase “American empire” appeared more than 1000 times in news stories during November
2002 – April 2003. Two Harvard Historians and their French colleague observed: Since September 11, 2001 … if not earlier,
the idea of American empire is back … Now … for the first time since the early Twentieth
century, it has become acceptable to ask whether the United States has become or is becoming
an empire in some classic sense.” It used to be that only the critics of American
foreign policy referred to the American empire … In the past three or four years [2001–2004],
however, a growing number of commentators have begun to use the term American empire
less pejoratively, if still ambivalently, and in some cases with genuine enthusiasm. US historians have generally considered the
late 19th century imperialist urge as an aberration in an otherwise smooth democratic trajectory
… Yet a century later, as the US empire engages in a new period of global expansion,
Rome is once more a distant but essential mirror for American elites … Now, with military
mobilisation on an exceptional scale after September 2001, the United States is openly
affirming and parading its imperial power. For the first time since the 1890s, the naked
display of force is backed by explicitly imperialist discourse. In the book “Empire”, Michael Hardt and Antonio
Negri argue that “the decline of Empire has begun”. Hardt says the Iraq War is a classically
imperialist war, and is the last gasp of a doomed strategy. They expand on this, claiming
that in the new era of imperialism, the classical imperialists retain a colonizing power of
sorts, but the strategy shifts from military occupation of economies based on physical
goods to a networked biopower based on an informational and affective economies. They
go on to say that the U.S. is central to the development of this new regime of international
power and sovereignty, termed “Empire”, but that it is decentralized and global, and not
ruled by one sovereign state: “the United States does indeed occupy a privileged position
in Empire, but this privilege derives not from its similarities to the old European
imperialist powers, but from its differences”. Hardt and Negri draw on the theories of Spinoza,
Foucault, Deleuze and Italian autonomist Marxists.Geographer David Harvey says there has emerged a new
type of imperialism due to geographical distinctions as well as unequal rates of development. He
says there has emerged three new global economic and political blocs: the United States, the
European Union and Asia centered on China and Russia. He says there are tensions between
the three major blocs over resources and economic power, citing the 2003 invasion of Iraq, the
motive of which, he argues, was to prevent rival blocs from controlling oil. Furthermore,
Harvey argues that there can arise conflict within the major blocs between business interests
and the politicians due to their sometimes incongruent economic interests. Politicians
live in geographically fixed locations and are, in the U.S. and Europe, accountable to
an electorate. The ‘new’ imperialism, then, has led to an alignment of the interests of
capitalists and politicians in order to prevent the rise and expansion of possible economic
and political rivals from challenging America’s dominance.Classics professor and war historian
Victor Davis Hanson dismisses the notion of an American Empire altogether, with a mocking
comparison to historical empires: “We do not send out proconsuls to reside over client
states, which in turn impose taxes on coerced subjects to pay for the legions. Instead,
American bases are predicated on contractual obligations — costly to us and profitable
to their hosts. We do not see any profits in Korea, but instead accept the risk of losing
almost 40,000 of our youth to ensure that Kias can flood our shores and that shaggy
students can protest outside our embassy in Seoul.”The existence of “proconsuls”, however,
has been recognized by many since the early Cold War. In 1957, French Historian, Amaury
de Riencourt, associated the American “proconsul” with “the Roman of our time”. Expert on recent
American history, Arthur M. Schlesinger detected several contemporary imperial features, including
“proconsuls”: Washington does not directly run many parts of the world. Rather, its “informal
empire” was one “richly equipped with imperial paraphernalia: troops, ships, planes, bases,
proconsuls, local collaborators, all spread wide around the luckless planet.” “The Supreme
Allied Commander, always an American, was an appropriate title for the American proconsul
whose reputation and influence outweighed those of European premiers, presidents, and
chancellors.” US “combatant commanders … have served as its proconsuls. Their standing in
their regions has usually dwarfed that of ambassadors and assistant secretaries of state.”
Harvard Historian Niall Ferguson calls the regional combatant commanders, among whom
the whole globe is divided, the “pro-consuls” of this “imperium”. Günter Bischof calls
them “the all powerful proconsuls of the new American empire. Like the proconsuls of Rome
they were supposed to bring order and law to the unruly and anarchical world”. In September
2000, Washington Post reporter Dana Priest published a series of articles whose central
premise was Combatant Commanders’ inordinate amount of political influence within the countries
in their areas of responsibility. They “had evolved into the modern-day equivalent of
the Roman Empire’s proconsuls—well-funded, semi-autonomous, unconventional centers of
US foreign policy”. The Romans often preferred to exercise power through friendly client
regimes, rather than direct rule: “until Jay Garner and L. Paul Bremer became US proconsuls
in Baghdad, that was the American method too”.Another distinction of Victor Davis Hanson—that
US bases, contrary to the legions, are costly to America and profitable for their hosts—expresses
the American view. The hosts express a diametrically opposite view. Japan pays for 25,000 Japanese
working on US bases. 20% of those workers provide entertainment: a list drawn up by
the Japanese Ministry of Defense included 76 bartenders, 48 vending machine personnel,
47 golf course maintenance personnel, 25 club managers, 20 commercial artists, 9 leisure-boat
operators, 6 theater directors, 5 cake decorators, 4 bowling alley clerks, 3 tour guides and
1 animal caretaker. Shu Watanabe of the Democratic Party of Japan asks: “Why does Japan need
to pay the costs for US service members’ entertainment on their holidays?” One research on host nations
support concludes: At an alliance-level analysis, case studies
of South Korea and Japan present that the necessity of the alliance relationship with
the US and their relative capabilities to achieve security purposes lead them to increase
the size of direct economic investment to support the US forces stationed in their territories,
as well as to facilitate the US global defense posture. In addition, these two countries
have increased their political and economic contribution to the US-led military operations
beyond the geographic scope of the alliance in the post-Cold War period … Behavioral
changes among the US allies in response to demands for sharing alliance burdens directly
indicate the changed nature of unipolar alliances. In order to maintain its power preponderance
and primacy, the unipole has imposed greater pressure on its allies to devote much of their
resources and energy to contributing to its global defense posture … [It] is expected
that the systemic properties of unipolarity–non-structural threat and a power preponderance of the unipole–gradually
increase the political and economic burdens of the allies in need of maintaining alliance
relationships with the unipole. In fact, increasing the “economic burdens
of the allies” is one of the major priorities of President Donald Trump. Classicist Eric
Adler notes that Hanson earlier had written about the decline of the classical studies
in the United States and insufficient attention devoted to the classical experience. “When
writing about American foreign policy for a lay audience, however, Hanson himself chose
to castigate Roman imperialism in order to portray the modern United States as different
from—and superior to—the Roman state.” As a supporter of a hawkish unilateral American
foreign policy, Hanson’s “distinctly negative view of Roman imperialism is particularly
noteworthy, since it demonstrates the importance a contemporary supporter of a hawkish American
foreign policy places on criticizing Rome”.==U.S. foreign policy debate==Annexation is a crucial instrument in the
expansion of a nation, due to the fact that once a territory is annexed it must act within
the confines of its superior counterpart. The United States Congress’ ability to annex
a foreign territory is explained in a report from the Congressional Committee on Foreign
Relations, “If, in the judgment of Congress, such a measure is supported by a safe and
wise policy, or is based upon a natural duty that we owe to the people of Hawaii, or is
necessary for our national development and security, that is enough to justify annexation,
with the consent of the recognized government of the country to be annexed.”Prior to annexing
a territory, the American government still held immense power through the various legislations
passed in the late 1800s. The Platt Amendment was utilized to prevent Cuba from entering
into any agreements with foreign nations, and also granted the Americans the right to
build naval stations on their soil. Executive officials in the American government began
to determine themselves the supreme authority in matters regarding the recognition or restriction
of independence.When asked on April 28, 2003, on Al Jazeera whether the United States was
“empire building”, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld replied, “We don’t seek empires,
we’re not imperialistic. We never have been.”However, historian Donald W. Meinig says the imperial
behavior by the United States dates at least to the Louisiana Purchase, which he describes
as an “imperial acquisition—imperial in the sense of the aggressive encroachment of
one people upon the territory of another, resulting in the subjugation of that people
to alien rule”. The U.S. policies towards the Native Americans he said were “designed
to remold them into a people more appropriately conformed to imperial desires”.Writers and
academics of the early 20th century, like Charles A. Beard, in support of non-interventionism
(sometimes referred to as “isolationism”), discussed American policy as being driven
by self-interested expansionism going back as far as the writing of the Constitution.
Some politicians today do not agree. Pat Buchanan claims that the modern United States’ drive
to empire is “far removed from what the Founding Fathers had intended the young Republic to
become.”Andrew Bacevich argues that the U.S. did not fundamentally change its foreign policy
after the Cold War, and remains focused on an effort to expand its control across the
world. As the surviving superpower at the end of the Cold War, the U.S. could focus
its assets in new directions, the future being “up for grabs” according to former Under Secretary
of Defense for Policy Paul Wolfowitz in 1991. Head of the Olin Institute for Strategic Studies
at Harvard University, Stephen Peter Rosen, maintains: A political unit that has overwhelming superiority
in military power, and uses that power to influence the internal behavior of other states,
is called an empire. Because the United States does not seek to control territory or govern
the overseas citizens of the empire, we are an indirect empire, to be sure, but an empire
nonetheless. If this is correct, our goal is not combating a rival, but maintaining
our imperial position, and maintaining imperial order. In Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy
of the Mass Media, the political activist Noam Chomsky argues that exceptionalism and
the denials of imperialism are the result of a systematic strategy of propaganda, to
“manufacture opinion” as the process has long been described in other countries.Thorton
wrote that “[…]imperialism is more often the name of the emotion that reacts to a series
of events than a definition of the events themselves. Where colonization finds analysts
and analogies, imperialism must contend with crusaders for and against.” Political theorist
Michael Walzer argues that the term hegemony is better than empire to describe the US’s
role in the world; political scientist Robert Keohane agrees saying, a “balanced and nuanced
analysis is not aided … by the use of the phrase ’empire’ to describe United States
hegemony, since ’empire’ obscures rather than illuminates the differences in form of rule
between the United States and other Great Powers, such as Great Britain in the 19th
century or the Soviet Union in the twentieth”.Since 2001, Emmanuel Todd assumes that USA cannot
hold for long the status of mondial hegemonic power due to limited resources. Instead, the
USA is going to become just one of the major regional powers along with European Union,
China, Russia, etc. Reviewing Todd’s After the Empire, G. John Ikenberry found that it
had been written in “a fit of French wishful thinking”. The thinking proved to be “wishful”
indeed, as the book became a bestseller in France for most of the year 2003.Other political
scientists, such as Daniel Nexon and Thomas Wright, argue that neither term exclusively
describes foreign relations of the United States. The U.S. can be, and has been, simultaneously
an empire and a hegemonic power. They claim that the general trend in U.S. foreign relations
has been away from imperial modes of control.===Cultural imperialism===Some critics of imperialism argue that military
and cultural imperialism are interdependent. American Edward Said, one of the founders
of post-colonial theory, said that, … so influential has been the discourse
insisting on American specialness, altruism and opportunity, that imperialism in the United
States as a word or ideology has turned up only rarely and recently in accounts of the
United States culture, politics and history. But the connection between imperial politics
and culture in North America, and in particular in the United States, is astonishingly direct.
International relations scholar David Rothkopf disagrees and argues that cultural imperialism
is the innocent result of globalization, which allows access to numerous U.S. and Western
ideas and products that many non-U.S. and non-Western consumers across the world voluntarily
choose to consume. Matthew Fraser has a similar analysis, but argues further that the global
cultural influence of the U.S. is a good thing.Nationalism is the main process through which the government
is able to shape public opinion. Propaganda in the media is strategically placed in order
to promote a common attitude among the people. Louis A. Perez Jr. provides an example of
propaganda used during the war of 1898, “We are coming, Cuba, coming; we are bound to
set you free! We are coming from the mountains, from the plains and inland sea! We are coming
with the wrath of God to make the Spaniards flee! We are coming, Cuba, coming; coming
now!”American progressives have been accused of engaging in cultural imperialism. In contrast,
many other countries with American brands have incorporated themselves into their own
local culture. An example of this would be the self-styled “Maccas”, an Australian derivation
of “McDonald’s” with a tinge of Australian culture.==U.S. military bases==Chalmers Johnson argued in 2004 that America’s
version of the colony is the military base. Chip Pitts argued similarly in 2006 that enduring
U.S. bases in Iraq suggested a vision of “Iraq as a colony”.While territories such as Guam,
the United States Virgin Islands, the Northern Mariana Islands, American Samoa and Puerto
Rico remain under U.S. control, the U.S. allowed many of its overseas territories or occupations
to gain independence after World War II. Examples include the Philippines (1946), the Panama
canal zone (1979), Palau (1981), the Federated States of Micronesia (1986) and the Marshall
Islands (1986). Most of them still have U.S. bases within their territories. In the case
of Okinawa, which came under U.S. administration after the Battle of Okinawa during the Second
World War, this happened despite local popular opinion. In 2003, a Department of Defense
distribution found the United States had bases in over 36 countries worldwide.By 1970, the
United States had more than 1,000,000 soldiers in 30 countries, was a member of four regional
defense alliances and an active participant in a fifth, had mutual defense treaties with
42 nations, was a member of 53 international organizations, and was furnishing military
or economic aid to nearly 100 nations across the face of the globe. In 2015 the Department
of Defense reported the number of bases that had any military or civilians stationed or
employed was 587. This includes land only (where no facilities are present), facility
or facilities only (where there the underlying land is neither owned nor controlled by the
government), and land with facilities (where both are present). Also in 2015, David Vine’s
book Base Nation, found 800 US military bases located outside of the US, including 174 bases
in Germany, 113 in Japan, and 83 in South Korea, the total costs, an estimated $100
billion a year.==Benevolent imperialism==One of the earliest historians of American
Empire, William Appleman Williams, wrote, “The routine lust for land, markets or security
became justifications for noble rhetoric about prosperity, liberty and security.”Max Boot
defends U.S. imperialism by claiming: “U.S. imperialism has been the greatest force for
good in the world during the past century. It has defeated communism and Nazism and has
intervened against the Taliban and Serbian ethnic cleansing.” Boot used “imperialism”
to describe United States policy, not only in the early 20th century but “since at least
1803”. This embrace of empire is made by other neoconservatives, including British historian
Paul Johnson, and writers Dinesh D’Souza and Mark Steyn. It is also made by some liberal
hawks, such as political scientist Zbigniew Brzezinski and Michael Ignatieff.British historian
Niall Ferguson argues that the United States is an empire and believes that this is a good
thing: “What is not allowed is to say that the United States is an empire and that this
might not be wholly bad.” Ferguson has drawn parallels between the British Empire and the
imperial role of the United States in the late 20th and early 21st centuries, though
he describes the United States’ political and social structures as more like those of
the Roman Empire than of the British. Ferguson argues that all of these empires have had
both positive and negative aspects, but that the positive aspects of the U.S. empire will,
if it learns from history and its mistakes, greatly outweigh its negative aspects.Another
point of view implies that United States expansion overseas has indeed been imperialistic, but
that this imperialism is only a temporary phenomenon; a corruption of American ideals
or the relic of a past historical era. Historian Samuel Flagg Bemis argues that Spanish–American
War expansionism was a short-lived imperialistic impulse and “a great aberration in American
history”, a very different form of territorial growth than that of earlier American history.
Historian Walter LaFeber sees the Spanish–American War expansionism not as an aberration, but
as a culmination of United States expansion westward.Historian Victor Davis Hanson argues
that the U.S. does not pursue world domination, but maintains worldwide influence by a system
of mutually beneficial exchanges. On the other hand, a Filipino revolutionary General Emilio
Aguinaldo felt as though the American involvement in the Philippines was destructive, “the Filipinos
fighting for Liberty, the American people fighting them to give them liberty. The two
peoples are fighting on parallel lines for the same object.” American influence worldwide
and the effects it has on other nations have multiple interpretations according to whose
perspective is being taken into account. Liberal internationalists argue that even
though the present world order is dominated by the United States, the form taken by that
dominance is not imperial. International relations scholar John Ikenberry argues that international
institutions have taken the place of empire.International relations scholar Joseph Nye argues that U.S.
power is more and more based on “soft power”, which comes from cultural hegemony rather
than raw military or economic force. This includes such factors as the widespread desire
to emigrate to the United States, the prestige and corresponding high proportion of foreign
students at U.S. universities, and the spread of U.S. styles of popular music and cinema.
Mass immigration into America may justify this theory, but it is hard to know for sure
whether the United States would still maintain its prestige without its military and economic
superiority.==See also====Notes and references====Further reading==
Bacevich, Andrew (2008). The Limits of Power: The End of American Exceptionalism. Macmillan.
ISBN 0-8050-8815-6. Boot, Max (2002). The Savage Wars of Peace:
Small Wars and the Rise of American Power. Basic Books. ISBN 0-465-00721-X.
Brown, Seyom (1994). Faces of Power: Constancy and Change in United States Foreign Policy
from Truman to Clinton. New York: Columbia University Press. ISBN 0-231-09669-0.
Burton, David H. (1968). Theodore Roosevelt: Confident Imperialist. Philadelphia: University
of Pennsylvania Press. ASIN B0007GMSSY. Callahan, Patrick (2003). Logics of American
Foreign Policy: Theories of America’s World Role. New York: Longman. ISBN 0-321-08848-4.
Card, Orson Scott (2006). Empire. TOR. ISBN 0-7653-1611-0.
Daalder, Ivo H.; James M. Lindsay (2003). America Unbound: The Bush Revolution in Foreign
Policy. Washington, DC: Brookings Institution. ISBN 0-8157-1688-5.
Fulbright, J. William; Seth P. Tillman (1989). The Price of Empire. Pantheon Books. ISBN
0-394-57224-6. Gaddis, John Lewis (2005). Strategies of Containment:
A Critical Appraisal of Postwar American National Security Policy (2nd ed.). New York: Oxford
University Press. ISBN 0-19-517447-X. Grandin, Greg, “The Death Cult of Trumpism:
In his appeals to a racist and nationalist chauvinism, Trump leverages tribal resentment
against an emerging manifest common destiny”, The Nation, 29 Jan./5 Feb. 2018, pp. 20–22.
“[T]he ongoing effects of the ruinous 2003 war in Iraq and the 2007–8 financial meltdown
are… two indicators that the promise of endless growth can no longer help organize
people’s aspirations… We are entering the second ‘lost decade’ of what Larry Summers
calls ‘secular stagnation,’ and soon we’ll be in the third decade of a war that Senator
Lindsey Graham… says will never end. [T]here is a realization that the world is fragile
and that we are trapped in an economic system that is well past sustainable or justifiable….
In a nation like the United States, founded on a mythical belief in a kind of species
immunity—less an American exceptionalism than exemptionism, an insistence that the
nation was exempt from nature, society, history, even death—the realization that it can’t
go on forever is traumatic.” (p. 21.) Hardt, Michael; Antonio Negri (2001). Empire.
Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. ISBN 0-674-00671-2. online
Huntington, Samuel P. (1996). The Clash of Civilizations. New York: Simon & Schuster.
ISBN 0-684-81164-2. Johnson, Chalmers (2000). Blowback: The Costs
and Consequences of American Empire. New York: Holt. ISBN 0-8050-6239-4.
Johnson, Chalmers (2004). The Sorrows of Empire: Militarism, Secrecy, and the End of the Republic.
New York: Metropolitan Books. ISBN 0-8050-7004-4. Johnson, Chalmers (2007). Nemesis: The Last
Days of the American Republic. New York, NY: Metropolitan Books. ISBN 0-8050-7911-4.
Kagan, Robert (2003). Of Paradise and Power: America and Europe in the New World Order.
New York: Knopf. ISBN 1-4000-4093-0. Kerry, Richard J. (1990). The Star-Spangled
Mirror: America’s Image of Itself and the World. Savage, MD: Rowman & Littlefield. ISBN
0-8476-7649-8. Lundestad, Geir (1998). Empire by Integration:
The United States and European Integration, 1945–1997. New York: Oxford University Press.
ISBN 0-19-878212-8. Meyer, William H. (2003). Security, Economics,
and Morality in American Foreign Policy: Contemporary Issues in Historical Context. Upper Saddle
River, NJ: Prentice Hall. ISBN 0-13-086390-4. Nye, Joseph S., Jr (2002). The Paradox of
American Power: Why the World’s Only Superpower Can’t Go It Alone. New York: Oxford University
Press. ISBN 0-19-515088-0. Odom, William; Robert Dujarric (2004). America’s
Inadvertent Empire. Yale University Press. ISBN 0-300-10069-8.
Patrick, Stewart; Forman, Shepard, eds. (2001). Multilateralism and U.S. Foreign Policy: Ambivalent
Engagement. Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner. ISBN 1-58826-042-9.
Perkins, John (2004). Confessions of an Economic Hit Man. Tihrān: Nashr-i Akhtarān. ISBN
1-57675-301-8. Rapkin, David P., ed. (1990). World Leadership
and Hegemony. Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner. ISBN 1-55587-189-5.
Ruggie, John G., ed. (1993). Multilateralism Matters: The Theory and Praxis of an Institutional
Form. New York: Columbia University Press. ISBN 978-0-231-07980-8.
Smith, Tony (1994). America’s Mission: The United States and the Worldwide Struggle for
Democracy in the Twentieth Century. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. ISBN 0-691-03784-1.
Tomlinson, John (1991). Cultural Imperialism: A Critical Introduction. Baltimore, MD: Johns
Hopkins University Press. ISBN 0-8018-4250-6. Todd, Emmanuel (2004). After the Empire: The
Breakdown of the American Order. New York: Columbia University Press. ISBN 978-0-231-13103-2.
Tremblay, Rodrigue (2004). The New American Empire. Haverford, PA: Infinity Pub. ISBN
0-7414-1887-8. Zepezauer, Mark (2002). Boomerang!: How Our
Covert Wars Have Created Enemies Across the Middle East and Brought Terror to America.
Monroe, Maine: Common Courage Press. ISBN 1-56751-222-4.==External links==
“Imperial America” by Richard Haass, 2000 “Empire or Not? A Quiet Debate Over U.S. Role”
by Thomas E. Ricks, 2001 “The Answer to Terrorism? Colonialism” by
Paul Johnson, 2001 “The Need for a New Imperialism” by Martin
Wolf, 2001 “The Case for American Empire” by Max Boot,
2001 “All Roads Lead to D.C.” by Emily Eakin, 2002
“The Reluctant Imperialist: Terrorism, Failed States, and the Case for American Empire”
by Sebastian Mallaby, 2002 “The New Liberal Imperialism” by Robert Cooper,
2002 “In Praise of American Empire” by Dinesh D’Souza,
2002 “Empire lite” by Michael Ignatieff, 2003
“America and The Tragic Limits of Imperialism” by Robert D. Kaplan, 2003
“An Empire in Denial: The Limits of US Imperialism” by Niall Ferguson, 2003
“In Defence of Empires” by Deepak Lal, 2003

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