An Analysis of America as a Modern Day Imperialistic Government

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The United States of America started as a colony of the British Empire, one of the largest empires of its time, and rebelled against them in order to obtain independence. Because of America’s roots in rebellion against an empire, the U.S. has always disliked the idea of imperialism (Hitchens). America’s image of itself has never included imperialism, but the self image of a country is rarely an accurate reflection of the country itself. The U.S., despite most Americans disliking the concept of imperialism, has always been imperialistic to some degree, and is still imperialistic today. American imperialism has changed throughout history, but it has always been a part of the foreign policy of the U.S. to some degree.

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Imperialism experienced varying degrees of significance in the U.S. throughout its history, with several notable peaks throughout the years. Early America was relatively non imperialistic, and the U.S. expanded primarily westward during this time to what it considered unclaimed land. When the U.S. developed a stronger military in the mid to late 19th century, it was able to take over European colonies in the Americas and Pacific, such as Puerto Rico and Cuba. These colonies, much like America during the Revolutionary War, were fighting for their independence from European powers such as Spain. However, when they won their wars with the help of the U.S., European imperialism was replaced with American imperialism. Some of the colonies that the U.S. gained during this time period, often called the Age of Imperialism, were allowed to become independent, like Cuba, while others, such as Puerto Rico, are still owned by the U.S. today (American). Today, the U.S. is just as imperialistic as it was during the Age of Imperialism, although imperialism has changed significantly since then.

America is considered to be the last “superpower” left in the world. This means that it has a very strong military and is expected in many ways to intervene in other countries, and often does so for its own benefit. The American military has bases in roughly two thirds of the nations in the world. This number is only rising as well, and the American military is almost exclusively used outside of the United States (Lucas). Although the U.S. may not own that much land in foreign areas, it still has a huge amount of influence in them. No longer is it required to take over an area and keep a strong military presence there in order to have control over it (Amer). The fact that the U.S. owns Puerto Rico could also be considered another way that America is still very imperialistic. In fact, American’s relationship with Puerto Rico has a lot of similarities with the relationship between Britain and its colonies in America before the U.S. was a country. For example, Puerto Ricans have limited voting rights, much like the American colonists of the 17th and 18th century. Puerto Ricans cannot vote for the president, but are still affected by his decisions just like the rest of America. This is a very direct and obvious form of imperialism by the U.S., and, along with the other forms of American involvement in foreign affairs, shows the the U.S. is still a very imperialistic country.

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An Analysis of America as a Modern Day Imperialistic Government. (2022, Sep 29). Retrieved November 30, 2022 , from

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