Modern American Imperialism
By the end of the 18th century, the British Empire was one of the biggest colonial powers in the world. It had colonies in many countries across the world such as India and Australia. There were other colonial powers such as Spain, France, and the Netherlands. One of the latest countries which entered the imperialistic way was the U.S. It saw that other countries, especially Great Britain, were gaining resources, territories and most importantly dominance over the world. The U.S. started off with annexing major parts of Mexico in 1846 and continued this approach with other countries. Most people think that “imperialistic career” of the U.S. end in 1914, however, this is not really true. While some people say that the United States supports and funds many countries, I think that it is still an empire which has a serious political and economic influence on many different countries.
The U.S. supports a lot of third world countries such as Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Jordan, and Nigeria. The foreign aid helps to stabilize other nations by advocating democracy and basic human rights. As of today, the majority of people in third world countries including children are starving because of lack of money and food, and the American aid prevents mass starving. It helps to end maternal and child mortality. According to an article on the Los Angeles Times titled “U.S. foreign aid: A waste of money or a boost to world stability? Here are the facts” and published by Ann Simmons, the foreign aid helps to end maternal and child mortality. The USAID-funded programs also were able to save lives of approximately five million children and two hundred thousand mothers. This shows how effective and these foreign aid programs are. There is nothing more important in the world than helping others, especially innocent children. The countries which receive aid are also known to be corrupted and it is not a secret that authorities there enjoy their lives while “normal” people suffer. The U.S. support helps to balance the situation, and this is the biggest reason why American foreign policy is seen by the world as something crucial for the development and survival of other countries. But I still think that the U.S. does this not because of its goodwill and kindness, but because of its desire to establish its dominance over others.
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After World War ??‰??‰, the Soviet Union was able to occupy East Germany, Poland, Hungary, Bulgaria, and Yugoslavia, while the Allies occupied Western Germany. The United States saw a threat in the face of Soviet Union and dropped two atomic bombs on Japan in order to show its dominance, and shortly the arms race, also known as the Cold War started. The U.S.’s propaganda against the Soviet Union and communism spread all over the world. The United States stared funding Latin American politicians who had an opposing view against communism. It was trying to do everything in order to stop the “spread of communism”, however, the United States was just trying to gain influence. The two major events in the Cold War which show that the U.S. always tried to control other countries’ choice are Korean War and the Vietnam War. The Korean war started in 1950 when North Korean forces advanced through the “38th parallel” and attacked South Korea. Soon, the U.S. sent troops to South Korea in order to keep its influence in East Asia. The similar thing happened in the Southern region of Asia where North Vietnam attacked South Vietnam. But this time, North Vietnamese people won. The American government was not able to establish its control and oppose political views of a majority of Vietnamese people. This type of intervention not only proved that the United States is an empire which does not care about choice and sovereignty but also is guilty of killing thousands of innocent people; for example, the Agent Orange which was used in Vietnam to
defoliate forest caused multiple types of birth defects. The United States perfectly knew that the Soviet Union never was a real threat because it was economically advanced and therefore would be able to keep up with the arms race. But the U.S. still used absolutely unreasonable and false acquisitions in order to establish political influence in different regions of the world. When the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, many people thought that the United States will stop playing its political games with other countries; however, they were wrong. In the article titled “All of Them Must Close” published by The Nation magazine reporter Alice Slater, as of today, the United States has approximately 800 bases in more than 80 countries. If we compare this number to another superpower such as Russia, which has military bases in only 9 countries, it is obvious that the real goal which Imperialist America tries to reach is global dominance.
The desire to reach global dominance is not the only thing which makes the United States an “Empire”. The second objective, which is not less important than the first one, is the economic dominance. The United States always was known for its exceptional will to gain more money. One of the main ways it is able to control economic situations in other countries is oil trade control and sanctions. The countries in the Middle East such as Saudi-Arabia, Iran, and Iraq have the greatest oil reserves in the world. It is probably the most important region in the world not only because of its huge reserves but because of its geographical location, too. It is located in the middle of Europe and Asia, and the world’s most products and oil pass through it and this is the reason why the United States were always interested in the Middle East. On August 2, 1990, the United States and other European countries sent troops to Saudi-Arabia in order to expel Iraqi soldiers from Kuwait, which was annexed by Iraq. This led to the beginning of the Gulf War, which lasted for two years. After this war, the United States was able to gain control over the Persian Gulf, its major offshore oil fields and the Middle East in general. The presence of American bases in the Middle East is extremely beneficial for the U.S. because now it can block
Iran and Iraq from buying from Saudi-Arabia, which slows down their economic development. The United States also may block China’s route of getting oil, because one of a few ways China can import oil from the Middle East is the Persian Gulf, which is under the control of American Navy. But what about Russia? How does U.S. affect the Russian economy? The answer is simple sanctions. In 2014, the revolution occurred in Ukraine in order to establish “pro-European” government. As a result, its economy collapsed, and the country became divided. This led to the referendum in Crimea. Most of the people agreed to join Russia and in February of the same year Crimea was “annexed” (as the U.S. and Europe prefer to say). This was the best reason for the U.S. to show the world that Russia is an aggressor and that the sanctions are necessary to stop its further actions. These sanctions were very effective in weakening Russia’s economy. In the article on Washington Post titled “Russia keeps getting hit with sanctions. Do they make difference?”, the reporter Anton Troianovski says “The sanctions have stunted Russian economic growth and sapped the urban middle class of wealth and opportunity”. This shows America’s aggressive behavior toward other countries, especially its “potential enemies”.
The United States of America. We call it the land of justice and freedom for many reasons. We all can agree that compare to other countries, people in the United States live better lives. We have food, money, medical care, and education. Many people think that the U.S. always tries to help different countries and their citizens by providing support such as money and food; however, I think that America always was and still is an evil Imperialist country which tries to control everyone else in the world including its allies. This should be ended not only because it affects the independence of other countries and rights of its nation, but because it can be harmful to the U.S. As history shows, every empire eventually reaches its end.
- Troianovski, Anton. “Russia Keeps Getting Hit with Sanctions. Do They Make Difference?” The
- Washington Post, WP Company, 22 Aug. 2018, www.washingtonpost.com
- Slater, Alice. “The US Has Military Bases in 80 Countries. All of Them Must Close.” The Nation, 25 Jan. 2018, www.thenation.com
- Simmons, Ann M. “U.S. Foreign Aid: A Waste of Money or a Boost to World Stability? Here
- Are the Facts.” Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Times, 10 May 2017, www.latimes.com