United States, World

America: An Imperialist Nation?

Could America be on the verge of another war? Has our great nation taken over countries for our benefit? The answer lies in our history and the actions of today’s military. Although the wars we have been in to take over other countries have been successful doesn’t mean we should continue this path. America is an imperialist country because of the hundreds military bases across the world and the recent war in Iraq.

The US has a long history of being an imperialist country. We see evidence of that with the annexation of the Philippines. Before the Philippines were even considered being annexed there were some debate on whether or not to annex them. The people that were for annexing the islands argued that there were business interests in thoughts of new markets and fields of investments, the United States wanted to become an empire and so they wanted to expand more. USA, especially, didn’t want to lose these islands to Japan or Germany. This shows that the people interested in annexing the Philippines only had the motivations of economics and flexing their muscles. The Spanish American war was also believed to have been an imperialist war that was covered up with a war based on liberation. After winning the war that was supposedly declared because of self defense, a treaty was signed giving the United States possession of Cuba, the Philippines, Guam, and Puerto Rico. According to the Platt Amendment passed in 1901 “the government of Cuba shall never enter into any treaty or other compact with any foreign power or powers…( Platt Amendment, 1901).” This shows that the US didn’t want Cuba or any other South American countries for that matter to be possessed by any other country. We took over a whole group of people and their land for our own used like they were property and we use them for our advantages; if that’s not a sign of imperialism i don’t know what is.

The United States Military not only has bases that control South America and the Middle East, but it has bases all across the globe. There are 800 US Military bases in foreign countries. That’s more foreign bases than any other Nation or Empire in history and the American people take it with a grain of salt. The people are used to the idea of all these bases around the globe because they are convinced they are necessary for solely the protection of our land, but this is not the case. Anywhere that there are bases we have some economic advantage. Whether it be trade and commerce, oil, agriculture or even cheap labor, America is always benefitting whereas some of these countries are not. The US also has claimed that the bases are being built to help spread democracy and help out failing countries. Where is the evidence of any country with a US Military base that has adopted democracy or even the life of an American? The answer is that there is no evidence because that is not the reason these bases were built. Imagine if Iraq or Korea or any other military had just half of the foreign bases the US has, people would go ballistic and wars would be declared over fear. The US army is constantly flexing its military muscles by building all these bases and using them to in some way take control of other countries, making America an imperial nation.

American men have and still are being sent to their deaths in the Middle East on a lie for imperialism. In 2001 a tragic and historical terrorist attack happened in New York. This attack was supposably conducted by Saudi Arabians and Pakistanis yet America went to war for 10 years in Iraq. The reason for this war is not a war on terrorism but a war for imperialism. The amount of economic growth the US gained from this war is astounding. The US gained control of  oil from the invasion of Iraq and is getting rich off of it with the seemingly small price of American lives. The US invasion of Iraq is and was a huge mistake because they have created a monster called ISIS. The US is now risking American lives and using taxpayer money on the war on terror, fighting the beast the government created with their hunger for money, power, and control. This war on terror is currently being fought by the US troops in Syria and Afghanistan and, wow shocker, Iraq. The US will never uproot their troops from a place that they make so much money off of. They will continue to send men to their deaths for power and control and they will continue to create threats that might even be too strong for even the big bad United States.  

America is an imperial nation because of the hundreds of foreign military bases and the skeptical war in Iraq. The US has and always will be an imperialist country who is greedy for money and power and will kill and lie to get it.  We need to teach our youth and our people about what our government is doing so we can do what we can to try to stop it before we end up in a big war and more precious American lives are ruined. Contact your local representative and let them know how you feel about this country’s expansion policies and war efforts.

Article by Bella Bertsch

Work Cited

Beams, Nick. “World Socialist Web Site.” The Iraq War and the Eruption of American Imperialism, World Socialist Web Site Wsws.org Published by the International Committee of the Fourth International (ICFI), 13 Apr. 2006, www.wsws.org/en/articles/2006/04/bea1-a13.html.

Hitchens, Christopher. “American Imperialism, Then and Now.” Slate Magazine, 10 Dec. 2002, www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/fighting_words/2002/12/imperialism.html.

Schools, Rethinking. “’Repeat After Me: The United States Is Not an Imperialist Country-Oh, and Don’t Get Emotional About War’.” Rethinking Schools, 6 Jan. 2012, rethinkingschoolsblog.com/2011/12/29/repeat-after-me-the-united-states-is-not-an-imperialist-country-oh-and-dont-get-emotional-about-war-2/.

One Comment

  1. I agree with the author that America has economic and geopolitical motivations to extend its influence around the world. As mentioned in the article, oil is a major cause of conflict in the Middle East. Oil from countries like Saudi Arabia fuels the entirety of the U.S. economic system. However, the argument could be made that the U.S. holds these military bases to ensure the ability to continue the spread of democracy and American government. President William McKinley argued that the Philippines needed American government and the only way to educate them was through Christianity. There are many interpretations to American imperialistic motivations, one of them being solely for economic reasons, however we cannot ignore the possibility of the United States truly seeking to spread its own values.