Blog Three: American Imperialism

Nearing the end of the 19TH century the United States begins to participate in an abundant amount of wars that happen in order to reconstruct and civilize other nations. During this period the United States began to change into an imperialistic nation. Looking back at the dates of imperialism and the structures, or actions, which have taken place, supports this position. By referring to America’s Big Stick, A Pen Warmed-Up in Hell and a previously viewed film, Savage Acts 1898-1904, draws a focus during the end of the 19TH century, informing readers of the transformation to imperialism. America had a thirst for power and disguised it with a façade of being a shoulder to lean on. By any means necessary they would seek to gain control and profit.

In America’s Big Stick T. Roosevelt continuously brings up the Monroe Doctrine and how he is in full support of its integrity. The Monroe Doctrine stated that the United States would not interfere with England, the British, as long as they stayed clear of the Western Hemisphere. Though they agreed on this matter it did not seize the United States from having access to the Western Hemisphere when they felt it was needed. Around this time, the early 1900’s, the United States thought it was their duty to go to other countries that they saw in need and to civilize them. They called it the civilizing mission and stood by their reason for doing so. Roosevelt was only concern of the security of the America’s and had no further judgment on that of Europe, only that he wanted them to stay clear while America fulfilled their “duties”, and had no real concerns of those being affected by this civilizing mission act.

In A Pen Warmed-Up in Hell M. Twain sarcastically responds to the civilizing mission. He is in total disagreement with the decisions the United States has chosen. I agree with Twain to an extent. if other countries are not doing as well as America may think it is not their duty to invade and to make decisions unless asked. The only way I would agree with the decisions the United States made is if the effects upon the other countries were affecting the America’s directly. I believe this is what Twain was trying to get readers to see. We are not the carriers of the world and should not step forward to take that position if not asked.

In conclusion, the United States were transferring into a state of imperialism nearing the end of the 19TH century. They invaded many other societies without asking and made it their own for only their benefit. Roosevelt tried to cover up for the actions of the United States, but Twain exposed it for what it really was, greed and hunger for power. How can one be an American, speaking of truth and freedom when you do not give others their voice of freedom.


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