The perception of history is often crafted by the information given and the information available, however, almost too often the facts accessible are warped by the viewpoints of others before they can be properly assessed. Differing outlooks thus explicate the controversial nature of historical events and why the motives and conclusions behind certain occurrences are called into question. The Mexican American war as many American historians would call it ushers a contrary tone in Mexico as their own historians would claim the “war” as United States invasion; the difference in referral is based on the different perceptions of the conflict. In the American viewpoint, the Mexican American War was driven by economic, social and political pressures to bolster United States territories, through the annexation of Texas. In the converse, it could be argued that Mexico did not declare a formal war against the United States but rather was interested in defending their country’s territorial integrity and resisting United State’s invasion. In a Mexican viewpoint then, the war was not a result of arrogance but a consequence of defending Mexican territory from United States invasion. Nonetheless the aftermath of the war produced immense repercussions, furthering American exceptionalism, slavery, and disregard for international borders prompting the inquiry of not only the unjust methods applied but the unjustified results.
At the turn of the 19th century, the US was in a position to become the superpower it is today, after winning the Spanish American War, a new US viewpoint came to mind, the one of an imperialist. The driving forces of US imperialism in the late 1800s to early 1900s were to have new markets for goods to be sold, military expansion through new bases around the globe, and a need to uplift foreign cultures to American “standards”.
In George Washington’s Farewell Address, the first President declared to avoid “entangling alliances” and engaging internationally to not get drawn into war, which the US had followed unless it fell under certain circumstances. These certain circumstances entailed social demands and outbursts for a transition to an interventionist and almost bellicose ideology that drew in the United States to engage in foreign wars and policies.
Over the past few weeks of class, we have covered the first five chapters of our textbook, written by George Brown Tindell and David Emory Shi called, “America, A Narrative History.” Each chapter told the reader a narration of the history of America, as opposed to an expository version of America’s history. Each chapter had its own main idea over a portion of history, along with many details that cover the importance of the main idea. As a reader, one may obtain a deeper appreciation for the country 's history, prior to entering the class on the first day. The most important aspect of history, besides the battles that are fought, is the different cultures that make up today’s modern America.
As was laid out in the previous section, the United-States always had a ‘hegemonic presumption’, the conception that Latin America was inferior, a supposition that gave the right to Washington to intervene in the region’s political and economic affairs (LeoGrande, 2007:384). This second chapter will explore how the U.S. intervened in Latin America, more specifically after the World War II. Indeed, the U.S. benefitted greatly from the aftermath of the war. A subsection will be dedicated to the Pink Tide in Latin America, with a focus on the U.S. foreign policy under President GW Bush and President Obama. The overthrown Presidents of Honduras and Paraguay were part of this movement and their outset signals a reversal in the region.
The Spanish-American War of 1898 could be seen as the pivotal point in foreign policy as it marks America’s first engagement with a foreign enemy in the dawning age of modern warfare however, one could also argue that the idea had always existed in American politics.
American attitudes towards Latin America can be summed up as an extension of larger global directives, and the exclusion of foreign powers in the region. This was highlighted especially during the Cold War as US involvement was essentially in competition with the USSR. Latin America was therefore a mere pawn in the larger context of US-Soviet competition for global dominance. The actions and methods used are also characterized by the lack of an international authority, or an atmosphere of inter-state anarchy, which shaped their calculations in the endeavor to increase their influence over Latin America. When one analyzes the situation, it seems only rational that the United States treated its southern neighbors so, due to the geographical
When the thirteen colonies signed the Declaration of Independence in 1776 and became the United States of America, an international spotlight was drawn widely onto the new country. Because of this, many people from various regions of the world attempted to migrate to the United States. However, it is evident that in the early years of the new nation, it tended to exhibit xenophobic tendencies towards many nations surrounding it; this is made manifest in the 1894 political cartoon “Miss Columbia’s Schoolhouse” (Document 1). By the near turn of the century, thousands of inhabitants of various nations had migrated to the United States in a hope to escape the poor conditions of their home countries and to find opportunity in the United States. Unfortunately for the migrants, the Americans did not appreciate their presence despite the visions of the founding fathers’ hopes of the United States being a ‘melting pot’ as some would call it. In the political cartoon, Miss Columbia’s Schoolhouse is precisely this, a veritable melting pot of various cultures, but it has turned out to be far from what it was expected to be. Every individual except for Miss Columbia is seen as being indigent, barbaric, and uncivilized. Miss Columbia herself, seen as a strong embodiment of American values of freedom and democracy, is considerably larger when compared to the “others” surrounding her. It is evident through this visual appeal that American perceptions of others were that outsiders were in
Over and over again, Williams illustrates this theme of “American Exceptionalism.” Throughout the book, there are several occurrences in which the “We are the best, and all that we are doing is of benefit to the world” mentality is shown. On one hand, there is nothing wrong with being proud of roots as an American and believing that America is the greatest country, but on the other hand, using this thought process in in order to legitimize the domination and control of other nations unlike America while preaching one set of values and acting on others, is wrong. We see these actions play out time and time again as America invades and controls other countries “to help” them, however, prohibits the country from experiencing the full advantages of self-determination – a value that America claims to hold i.e. a tragedy of American Diplomacy.
During the period of time between the late nineteenth century and early twentieth century, America was going through major changes. After a revolution in Cuba against the Spanish, and America’s intervening to start the Spanish-American War, the Americans received a lot of land from their defeated opponent. America then started on the path to imperialism, gaining many more territories in a short amount of time. Such an expansion was a continuation of past United States expansionism, while also departing with past expansionism. The United States expansionism of the late nineteenth- and early twentieth-centuries was a clear continuation of the social and cultural principles of the nation’s past expansionism; however, it was more of a departure
Throughout United States history, there have been a variety of trends in foreign policy. While these international relations are all unique, some share striking similarities. American foreign policy during the early 20th century in Latin America and the late 20th century in Asia are very similar as they share an important underlying factor: imperialism.
The United States “regular[ly] resort[s] to war” on the foundation of a “militant foreign policy,” which is associated with a “hegemonic national identity.”3 According to Hixson, the militancy of foreign policy stems from western Europe whose “colonialism and imperialism…flowed from the aggressive expansion of a…worldview that apotheosized its way of life as ordered, reasoned and providentially
After the civil war, United States took a turn that led them to solidify as the world power. From the late 1800s, as the US began to collect power through Cuba, Hawaii, and the Philippines, debate arose among historians about American imperialism and its behavior. Historians such as William A. Williams, Arthur Schlesinger, and Stephen Kinzer provides their own vision and how America ought to be through ideas centered around economics, power, and racial superiority.
During the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, the United States was the most dominant power in the Western Hemisphere. European nations conceded to the United States their right of any intervention in the Western Hemisphere and allowed the United States to do whatever they wanted. The United States took this newly bestowed power and abused it. The United States intervened in many Latin American countries and imposed their policies on to these countries against their will. A perfect example of this aggression is what occurred in the Dominican Republic in 1904. The United States intervened in this sovereign nation and took control of their economy and custom houses. A memorandum from Francis B. Loomis, the United States Assistant
Two political cartoons, “School Begins” by Puck and “Uncle Sam’s Thanksgiving Dinner” by G.F Keller, both published in the late nineteenth century, avail of distinct examples in order to reveal America's attempt to civilize immigrants and non-white groups as a means of granting them social acceptance throughout the nineteenth century. “School Begins” exhibits Uncle Sam, a popular U.S. cartoon figure throughout history, as the dominant white American male in the center. In the cartoon, the class is made up of well-disciplined students studying books labeled with their state’s name, juxtaposed with the disorderly class seated in the front made up of the “Philippines, Hawaii, Porto Rico, and Cuba.” The territories are depicted as uncivilized, serving the racist and denigrating image that justified the right to govern the new territories gained after the Spanish-American War of 1898. In “Uncle Sam’s Thanksgiving Dinner”, immigrants and Americans of different backgrounds sit around a table, prepared for the feast . The groups represented at the dinner reveal unruly characteristics and stereotypical representations of each group’s food to highlight their conflicting differences in American society. By looking at how the artists utilize the exaggeration of non-white and immigrant groups, we can see the dominant civilizing narrative the U.S. secured through imperialism and assimilation, and this is salient because it exhibits a racist hierarchy that justified Western civilization