American Imperialism: Characteristics

903 Words Dec 30th, 2010 4 Pages
American Imperialism in the Nineteenth Century extended from several characteristics of America and American society, including but not limited to exceptionalism and manifest destiny. While these beliefs not only supported and manifested the perpetual effort to exploit and later completely oppress and subjugate the Native American populations within its borders, they also supported the later establishment of reservations and the practice of Native American boarding school education. But, American Imperialism extended far beyond its ever-expanding territory (Yale, 2008, Avalon Project). Rather, evidence existed in many corners of the world, like Asia, Southeast Asia, and Cuba. American Imperialism informed numerous unequal …show more content…
Moreover, it more accurately made America the oppressor and therefore deemed its founding documents and the beliefs therein invalid (Halsell, 1997, p. 1). In fact, Halsell (1997) articulates that American Imperialism is contrary to “the spirit of 1776” (p.1). Americans began increasingly questioning the American government’s actions and policies regarding the aforementioned reasons. Subjugating people in the Philippines, in China before, during and after the Opium Wars and in both the Hawaiian Islands and the Aleutian Islands clearly violated the most sacred American beliefs. More importantly, these actions violated the very principles upon which America was founded, the principles that cohesively held a nation together. For these reasons, this inspired debate and divisions among the American people and among government officials and representatives. Yet, America essentially picked up where other Colonial countries left off. For example, it assumed Spain’s role after its victory in the Spanish American war. Accordingly, it continued Spain’s military suppression of the people in the Philippines. While Halsell (1997) clearly states that many Americans counter-argued these actions contending that the Filipinos deserved freedom, American military efforts persisted from 1861 until 1899 (p. 1). Culminating in the ultimate oppression and subjugation of the Filipino population, American Imperialism denied
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