Gayblack Canadian Man

Foreign Policy Analysis
The Monument to the American Empire

The Monument to the American Empire

Last week I did a video on conspiracies. I only picked a few, because it was already
a 20-minute video, but I left out a rather big one that was a key plot point in National
Treasure 2. Borglum commissioned to destroy landmarks
in sacred Black Hills Mountains. Borglum? Mount Rushmore? Mount Rushmore was a coverup. Who would have thought… Mount Rushmore was a conspiracy to cover up
landmarks that led to the lost City of Gold by literally blowing up the Black Hills. Okay maybe not. But let’s talk about what this monument
to American Empire really does stand for. Mount Rushmore was originally going to be
sculpted in the Needles, a different area of the Black Hills, and be a monument to the
Louisiana Purchase, with figures like Louis and Clark. But it was switched to its current location
and to the four presidents who are most credited with massive territorial gains, preserving
the union, and founding the American Empire. Construction began in 1927 and ended in 1941. Many people know this already, but the sculpture
was originally intended to show everyone down to the waist, but a lack of funding simply
ended the project. Its location was also quite controversial,
because the site demolished parts of the sacred Black Hills… in somewhat of a final middle
finger to the native peoples whose land the American Empire was founded on. So why these four? Well I’m glad you asked that, rhetorical
version of me. Let’s start with the obvious first one. George Washington. The guy who is on the one dollar bill and
the quarter… for some reason. The first President of the United States. I can’t believe I even have to explain this. And before you could say “I cannot tell
a lie” George Washington is elected the first president of the United States. Everyone knows that, right? He was the first President of the United States. This is one of those things that somewhat
smart people like to say in order to sound smart. When you’re in elementary school, you’re
taught that he was the first president. Then you go to college and take an intro to
American History class and you find out that before the Constitution, we had the Articles
of Confederation, which had a leader named “president.” So you go around telling everyone how wrong
they are about George Washington being the first president. But if you ever bothered to actually finish
college, you’d realize what a moron you sound actually like. The Articles of Confederation established
a Congress with equal voting power from each of the thirteen states – much like the Senate
today. They appointed a leader to serve a one-year
term who was called the President of the Congress. That person had no executive power and was
not in charge of anything more than calling the Congress to order and keeping the debate
civil. Much like the leader of today’s senate,
who is also called the President (of the Senate). These people were not Presidents of the United
States. George Washington was the first and became
President in 1789. The war for independence ended six years earlier,
when he was just the Commander in Chief of the Continental Army. He didn’t sign the Declaration of Independence,
but he is considered to be a founding father because of he was a war hero who helped the
US gain its first real independent territory, and because he was the first president. He was elected unanimously. Which I’ve always found a little suspicious. Not only did he win the electoral college,
but 100% of the popular vote. You mean to tell me that not even the person
running against him voted for himself? While I have absolutely no proof of this,
this seems a little too perfect to be true and like one of those things they just washed
over in order to inspire people. But anyway. Funny enough, George Washington did not meet
one of the major requirements to be elected President. In order to be president you must:
1. Be at least thirty-five years old. 2. Be a resident of the United States for fourteen
years. 3. Be a natural-born citizen. George Washington was not a natural-born citizen,
because the United States obviously didn’t exist when he was born. Because of that obvious weirdness, they had
to add a provision to the Constitution that anyone residing within the United States at
the time of the adoption of the Constitution was to be considered naturally born. The first actual natural-born citizen to become
President was Martin Van Buren, the eighth president, elected in 1837. So what does it mean to be a naturally born
citizen? Oh god, you’re gonna talk about o- Yeah. In order to be a natural-born citizen you
must be born in one of two conditions – not both, just one:
1. Be born in the United States or one of its
outlying possessions. 2. Be born to at least one United States citizen
parent. So let’s get the obvious out of the way. If Obama was born in Kenya – he wasn’t,
he was born in Hawaii, which was part of the United States – but if… it doesn’t matter. Because his mother was indisputably American. So that alone makes him a natural-born citizen. Several other presidential candidates have
had questionable citizenship. Like John McCain, who was born in the Panama
Canal Zone, which I’ll get to later, but that’s an outlying possession so it’s
okay. Or Ted Cruz, who was born in Alberta, Canada…
his father was Cuban, but his mother was American. I wonder why nobody questioned these two guys’
citizenships, but they denied Obama’s for years… hmm, weird. Anyway, moving on. Thomas Jefferson was the third President of
the United States, and is on the two dollar bill and the nickel. Just a side note, the two dollar bill is real
currency, but it’s also not some special collector’s item, they make new ones just
about every year. Jefferson is on the monument for the Louisiana
Purchase, which nearly doubled the territory of the United States. Under the French, Louisiana existed solely
to provide food for Haiti. Haiti was a French territory which grew almost
exclusively sugar, and nothing else. So food was brought in from New Orleans. Haiti went through a slave revolt in the 1790s
and when it became apparent to Napoleon that they were going lose control of it, Louisiana
was of no further value. So he offered to sell it to the US. This caused somewhat of a constitutional crisis
in America however. Jefferson was a strong believer in a strict
interpretation of the Constitution, which did not give the government or the president
power to purchase land. But it would have been absolutely stupid to
refuse this deal. For 15 million dollars (250 million in current
dollars) the price for the 828,000 square miles was far too good to pass up ($301 per
square mile). So they said the acquisition was not a “purchase”
but a treaty, which the government was totally allowed to do. Another major issue with the purchase was
what to do with the 60,000 French inhabitants of the land, half of which were freed African
slaves. Do we make them citizens? What would that do to the democracy of the
United States – to allow so many non-Americans automatic citizenship. This argument should remind you of a current
situation facing a similar issue. Napoleon made it part of the “treaty”
that everyone currently residing in the territory must be granted citizenship, so, that issue
was put to bed rather quickly. Mount Rushmore lies in the middle of the Louisiana
Territory, and as I said in the beginning, it was originally meant to be a monument to
that purchase. The same year of the purchase, Jefferson commissioned
the Corps of Discovery Expedition, or more commonly known as the Louis and Clark Expedition,
whose purpose was threefold: 1. Explore and map the territory. 2. Find a practical route to the Pacific Ocean. 3. Establish an American presence in the territory. They established several forts on their way
westward, burying supplies along the way, and reached the Pacific coast of Oregon in
November 1805, and then walked all the way back in Spring 1806. The entire expedition took 17 months, making
140 maps, establishing diplomatic relations with 70 Native American tribes, and discovering
over 200 new species of plants and animals. Next is Lincoln, the sixteenth president,
also on the five dollar bill and the penny. The penny, a coin so worthless, if you melted
it down and sold the metals, you’d make a 250% profit. But that’s a different story for a different
time. Lincoln is on the monument for two reasons,
but they’re probably not the two you’re thinking of. Well okay one of them is probably right. First of all, let’s go ahead and talk about
your two guesses… 1. Preserving the Union. 2. Freeing the Slaves. Okay, first of all, he obviously preserved
the Union by being President during the Civil War. While I could probably make a dozen videos
on the Civil War, just really quick, this is another dumb thing smart people say in
order to sound smart: “At the beginning of the war, if you were a betting man, you
would have put your money on the South winning.” Yeah, if you were a betting man who hates
winning maybe. While at the beginning, yes, the South had
a larger army and they were fighting in home territory, the North had a much larger population,
a much more robust manufacturing industry, and most importantly, far more railroad infrastructure. Which meant that they could mobilize a much
larger army much more quickly. The war did not start over slavery per se.
Lincoln never ran on the platform of ending slavery. But the south was afraid that they were going
to eventually lose their slaves because of western expansion. According to the Missouri Compromise, states
were admitted into the union in twos, one free, one slave. But the west was running out of slave states
to admit, so they knew the end was near, so pre-emptively seceded when Lincoln was elected. The war was simply to stop the rebellion and
bring the south back into the union. But it became about slavery when the tide
began to turn against the south, two years into the war. At that point, Lincoln signed the Emancipation
Proclamation – which only freed the slaves in any territory in active rebellion against
the United States. So in the four loyal slave states (Kentucky,
Maryland, Delaware, Missouri) and the occupied areas of Tennessee and Louisiana, slavery
was still legal until the 13th Amendment was passed, two years after that. Lincoln was alive when the amendment was proposed,
but died before it passed. So did he free the slaves? Pretty much yeah, but not entirely. As I discussed in my railroad video, originally,
the first transcontinental railroad was supposed to connect Texas and Louisiana to Southern
California. But since Texas had joined the South in seceding,
Lincoln approved the central route, from Omaha to San Francisco. It was completed in 1869, thus joining the
West with the rest of the country. Before the railroad, you either had to take
a several months long journey along the Oregon or Overland trails or set sail around the
very southern tip of South America. So why was Lincoln included on the monument? 1. For bringing the South back into the fold. 2. For bringing the West into the fold. And finally, Teddy Roosevelt. Who actually hated being called Teddy, but
it did well with voters so they ran with it. He’s not on any money… but at least he
has a stuffed animal I guess? Like Lincoln, Roosevelt is also on the monument
for two reason. Firstly, like Washington, he was a war hero. He was a colonel of a cavalry unit, named
the Rough Riders, during the Spanish-American war. This is the war that really cemented the idea
of American Empire. Geez, it took you almost ten minutes to finally
talk about the thing this video is about. The Spanish-American war was when we acquired
Puerto Rico, Guam, the Philippines, and Cuba. We liberated Cuba in exchange for being able
to lease a naval base there – if you can name that naval base, ten points to Gryffindor
– which we still pay rent for by the way. We also gave the Philippines their independence…
after a few rebellions and occupation by Japan during World War 2. But before that, it was granted commonwealth
status. Which is what Puerto Rico has today. Every year, we are setting a new record in
how long the United States has gone without adding a new state. This is the longest we have ever gone…. Now this is… N- Puerto Rico is obviously next in line,
and while some people there want to become a state, it is often blocked by Congress. Why? Because about a hundred years ago, Congress
locked themselves in at 435 seats, if they didn’t they’d currently have over 10,000
seats. This means if Puerto Rico were to become a
state, it would take away seats – and electoral votes – from current states. Puerto Rico would get five seats and votes,
all of which would be democratic party seats (Taking away from: CA, TX, FL, WA, and MN). So it’s kind of easy to see why Puerto Rico
is still just a commonwealth. Not like Guam, which is an unorganized territory…
along with American Samoa, the Northern Mariana Islands, and the US Virgin Islands… and
so many Pacific islands that it would take forever to name to name all of them, and nobody
lives there anyway so I won’t offend anyone if I leave them out. But Roosevelt is also on there for building
the Panama Canal. Where John McCain was born. In order to cross the isthmus, ships enter
locks that raise the ships 85 feet above sea level and then back down. Another fun fact, the Atlantic entrance to
the canal is more west than the Pacific entrance. In exchange for construction, the United States
and Panama jointly controlled the canal until 1999, and the Panama Canal Zone, which extended
5 miles out from each side of the canal, was treated much like an overseas military base
in terms of sovereignty. But this is where the idea of American Empire
really took shape, which is why Roosevelt is the playable American character in Civilization
6. Welcome to the United States of America! Now, not only did we control a good chunk
of the North American continent, but trade across our hemisphere, and island territories
around the globe. Which set us up to become a super power after
the world wars. So the next time someone asks you why those
four people are on Mount- Wait, what about the Mexican-American war or… Hawaii and Alaska? Sigh, am I really going to have to make another
one of these? Okay fine… at least for now, you know better. Hey guys I just wanted to let you know that
I’ll be live streaming and commenting on the State of the Union address Tuesday night,
much like I did with the final debate. But if you liked this video or you learned
something, make sure to give that like button a click. If you’d like to see more from me, I put
out new videos every weekend, so make sure to imperialize that subscribe button. But in the meantime if you’d like to watch
one of my older videos, how about the one that’s been floating around for the last
few seconds?

100 comments on “The Monument to the American Empire

  1. Who in the shit learns about the articles of confederation in collage? I learned it in 5th grade

  2. Well in all fairness Kenya is half a world away… Canada is the fifty first state, and you admired John Mcain was okay

  3. The land never belonged to the natives – it belongs to the strongest.
    If it really was theirs they would have fought harder and won.

  4. Love your vids. But Guam is actually an UNINCORPORATED TERRITORY of The United States . Not "unorganized". I know this because on the 212 square mile island between the Pacific Ocean and the Philippine Sea…

  5. I'm pretty sure Washington, Jefferson, and Lincoln are on the monument because they are the three most universally popular presidents, and Roosevelt is on there because one of the guys in charge of building the monument personally liked him.

  6. Napoleon Bonaparte got 99% of the popular vote to become the Emperor of France. By miracle, his nephew Napoleon III also got 99% of the popular vote to become the Emperor as well

  7. 5:14

    Maybe because ted cruz's citizenship was questioned extensively as well…

    Simply put:
    Republicans questioned obama's
    Democrat's questioned Cruz's

    Stop implying fake shit. No need to get political.

  8. How is any of this a bad thing?
    Democracy is overrated.
    George Washington's face on the quarter is oriented much like Caesar's on a Roman coin.
    That's not a coincidence.
    Why do you find phrases in Latin such as: "E pluribus unum" or "novus ordo seclorum" on other U.S currency?
    Also not a coincidence.

  9. People who say George Washington isn't the first president are just stupid and full of alternative history. Stop it. You're dumb. Sometimes it is what it seems

  10. People did question McCain and Cruz’s citizenship and Washington didn’t get 100% of the popular vote he got 90% in 89 and 99% in 92. For a guy who’s entire channel is supposed to be dedicated to “knowing better” and snipping the bud of myths and rumors in common circulation you sure seem to make a lot of those same mistakes yourself :/

  11. First I need to apologize. I am necroposting to an older video of yours and I'm going to go off-topic immediately. I've become a huge fan of (most of) your videos, and a meta-fan (I suppose) of your overall approach, methodology and presentation. I might "remix" your attempts at humor to include less self-deprecation, but that's just a matter of taste. My QUESTION to you: beyond cranking out approachable explanatory videos and building an audience, do you have some overarching goal or motivation in creating this cumulative body of work? If so, is there a blog or Reddit post or video somewhere that elaborates on your broader mission? I would very much like to see/read such an explanation, and I strongly encourage you to create one if it doesn't already exist. Thank you for your excellent efforts.

  12. Into to this made me try and rewatch the conspiracies video the remembered you said you took it down in your 3 years anniversary video.

  13. I learned about the AOC in 5th grade. we abbreviated everything. AOC, DOI (that one's realy fun to say), BOR, etc.

  14. ah, the two dollar bill. as a kid, I thought they were so cool. still a kid, still think they're cool. my friend and I did a lemonade stand today and got three of them. I got all three 'cause my friend didn't want them. I probably won't ever spend them though.

  15. Goshdang. This one really brought out the d!psh!ts in the comment section. I want to throw a Howard Zinn book in there and watch their heads explode.

  16. "the civil war didnt start over slavery ser say"
    Each of the seceeding states declerations of secession say slavery was the exclusive reason for secession

  17. Wow I would HOPE that college wasn't the first time people heard about the Articles of Confederation…

  18. I don't understand why this guy is constantly in my recommended. I dislike his videos on site now just to get him out of my life. I don't care what the videos are about, i just click dislike and he always comes back…

  19. All 4 were Masons, which is not insignificant trivia. Same reason that Hamilton and Franklin's mugs appear on money, and neither of them was a president.

  20. You're wrong about one thing.
    Ted Cruz eligibility was questioned. But Ted having good knowledge of the law was able to make sense of everything.

  21. Please do a pennies suck video it's been too long since john green and cgpgrey's videos I need new ones to share

  22. You missed New Jersey, it allowed slavery until the 13th amendment, although reportedly there were only 16 slaves in New Jersey at the time

  23. The south would have won if it wasn't for Mexico winning the war against the french. You know 5 de Mayo. The French wanted to go up North and help the South. This is when the North made a treaty with Mexico they sent money to Mexico to help with the French.

  24. Dude tons of people have attacked Ted Cruise for his citizenship, the current president is one such example. Of course no one remembers this because he accused Ted Cruise's dad of killing JFK… So of course everyone focused on the JFK thing.

  25. Teddy: Also, national parks and trust-busting (Saving America from the predations of the monopolizing tycoons)

  26. people DID question Ted Cruz's citizenship, stop trying to paint false narratives, you're making yourself look like a fool.

  27. Just to mention, the naturalization of Washington was also true for the next six presidents as well as William Henry Harrison

  28. The US isn't an empire it's the complete embodiment of Anti-imperialisim because we literally rebelled against an empire to be a non-imperial entity.

  29. The two dollar bill is a collector item depending on its year of production and any printing oddity. A large star silver note 2 dollar bill in less than pristine condition can sell for over a thousand dollars in the currency collector community.

  30. Overall this was a well informed video. That said, McCain and Cruz didn't lie about where they were born. I believe that Obama lied about being born in Hawaii. If he understood what the legal definition of being a "natural born" is, he would have told the truth and mad is a non issue. Also, Unlike black slaves who were free because of the Louisiana purchase, the Palestinians were never slaves. Your allusion was a stretch.

  31. Lewis and Clark, Louis had been decapitated by that point…. hence the reason that Napoleon sold us the land instead of him and I kinda doubt he would have gone on such an expedition… maybe an honest mistake or maybe that's just what THEY want you to think.

  32. I've heard that the reason TR is on Mount Rushmore is that while the inclusion of GW, TJ, and AL was fairly obvious, the fourth President wasn't. Congress felt that it should be somebody from the 20th Century, and since Congress was controlled by Republicans, Theodore Roosevelt was the obvious candidate. (Besides, the mountain wasn't big enough to carve Taft's profile. *rimshot*) It's possible that if Congress was controlled by Democrats at the time, Wilson might have been the fourth head.

    Then again, maybe not. TR got the Panama Canal built, not Wilson. Also, Theodore Roosevelt was ENORMOUSLY popular, even in the 20's after he had passed away. If he had not made the mistake of saying that he had no intention of running for a third term in 1908, he probably would have won easily. In 1912, when he started his own third party, even though he didn't win, he was able to come in second and get more popular and electoral votes than the incumbent President, Taft. I think many Americans would have vehemently objected if TR didn't get the last head on Mount Rushmore.

  33. George Washington wasn't really president because he didn't actually do anything of governance. it's kinda of yes he was but no real power.

  34. announcer voice

    For tonight’s main event, witness the band taking the country by storm! On vocals, the first draft pick himself, Thomas Jefferson. On lead guitar, the radical himself, Abe Lincoln. On the drums, with America following his beat, George Washington. And, uh, Roosevelt on the bass. Introducing Mount Rushmore!!!

  35. Why are you left now. You were so good at your start even going a little far left or right to prove a valid point. Now you are "correcting" your views to stay relivent

  36. The Obama birther thing was one of the stupidest conspiracies ever. He could have been born on Kenya or the Moon for that matter, it wouldn't matter. His mother is American.

  37. Well, the leader of the government, called president, sounds very much like the president of the governed body. Obviously there are few similarities to the president of the independent USA. Half of your argument against him not having been president also fit the German president…

  38. Bill Bryson lied to me. I was under the impression that Roosevelt was on the monument because the sculptor thought his spectacles would be an interesting challenge to carve….

  39. If it was about territorial gains, it would be Thomas Jefferson and James Polk up there. Nobody else. (Maybe Eisenhower)

  40. Saying that the civil war did not start over the issue of slavery is absurd. Okay, yes the North was just trying to keep the union together at the start. But why did they have to fight a war to keep the union together? Because every southern states seceded over the issue of slavery; every one of the secession resolutions from the southern states said so explicitly. Ergo, the war was about slavery from the start.

  41. 4:41 I generally agree with your determinations but I would challenge you to look at the video that the Maricopa County Sheriff's did in forensically examining Obama's birth certificate and try to debunk that video

  42. Not to Hard To Believe, especially when they first wanted to name him "KIng" George in which he would have NO Part of, Hence Washington is the only President to have been unanimously elected by the Electoral College. In both the election of 1789 and 1792 Washington received ALL votes from the Electoral College, not the not the Popular Vote even though he was well over 90% both times… During the first election, Washington won the electors of all ten eligible states… Remember How Our Representative Republic Works ?

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