We hear a lot of talk these days about how America is an imperialist nation and we should be ashamed of ourselves. We start wars, we steal other people’s resources , etc etc, blah blah blah. Ok, to be precise , we’ve only started a couple of wars and we had good reason to do so. That being they were meanies and called us names and always picked us last for baseball games. The rest of the wars we’ve been involved in were brought upon us. Despite all of this, last time I checked, this is the only country we own…and we’re having a hard enough time holding on to it as it is, let alone running someone else’s country too.
Ok, Webster’s Dictionary defines Imperialism as
: the policy, practice, or advocacy of extending the power and dominion of a nation especially by direct territorial acquisitions or by gaining indirect control over the political or economic life of other areas; broadly : the extension or imposition of power, authority, or influence
Back in the 1800’s we tried our hand at a little Imperialism. We picked up the Philippines in 1898 when Spain started shit with us. We picked up a few random pacific atolls along the way, and I think we owned Cuba for a time after the Spanish-American War. Mexican-American War? They started it, we won, they ceded territory to compensate us for their aggression. We still own that territory, it’s called Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, California, Utah, Oklahoma, and Colorado. Not much of an Imperialistic legacy, but then again , our heart was never in it to begin with. That was a European thing, and we weren’t Europe…otherwise , what were all these former Europeans doing here in the first place?
The Europeans, now THERE were some pros at the Imperialism game. The British Empire wasn’t called the British Empire because the name sounded really cool. They went around the world gobbling up hunks of land that just happened to already have someone else living there. Typically , these people ended up being rather upset about all these foreigners hanging out in their hunk of dirt, go figure. The other Europeans, not to be outdone went on their own shopping sprees. Except for the French, the rest of them jumped in late and had to satisfy themselves with what was left. So you see many former colonies of Germany, Belgium, etc in African nations. The Brits had all the good seats, because they got there first. Ever wonder what the phrase, The Sun Never Sets on the British Empire means? Well, when your empire stretches around the world, there is always a portion of your Empire that is experiencing daytime. Hence the sun never sets on the Empire. For crying out loud, WE were part of the British Empire until we just got sick and tired of seeing guys in red suits rummaging around in our stuff.
So, what about us? Remember? We’re just a bunch of Imperialists. Well, let’s look at the wars we were involved in , in the 20th Century.
WW I– We got there late, brought there kicking and screaming against our better judgement. We were regarded by the Europeans as barely above servants, or hired help. They looked down upon us as cowboys and farmers who had no idea how to fight a modern war , like them. Ignoring that , if they were so good at fighting modern wars compared to us rubes, why had they spent the last 4 years shooting at each other across no-man’s land? Doesn’t seem to be all that revolutionary of a strategy. Granted the Brits figured out how to make and employ tanks, but by and large both sides fought a very unimaginative war as far as tactics were concerned. Along come these hayseeds from America, to “help out” the Europeans. After we showed them how to fight a war and win, we gained a bit of respect…for the time being. At no time did we take or acquire any foreign territory that I’m aware of during this war.
WW II– Once again, kicking and screaming we ended up fighting in WW II. This time we got in a lot earlier, after the Europeans had once again showed us their superior military tactics by having their rear ends handed to them all across Europe, by an Austrian CORPORAL. Once again we were mildly tolerated as a necessary evil to help defeat Hitler. But none of the vaunted European powers really considered us worthy of truly helping them defeat the Nazi juggernaut. And, once again, the cowboys and farmers showed these Europeans how to defeat the Nazis at the own game. As if to put a cherry on the top, we defeated Japan at the same time and took their country along with half of Germany ( biggest mistake FDR ever made was to allow Stalin to reach Berlin first. Churchill warned about it very strongly ) So here we are at the end of WW II, we are the undisputed superpower of the world, yes the Soviets were there too but we found out years later they were a paper tiger. We basically controlled half of Europe and all of Japan, and the Soviets controlled the rest of Europe. Guess which country gave it all back to the people who owned it? Bonus question, which country also dumped in billions of its own money to help these countries rebuild their economies?
Korea, Vietnam, Kuwait, Iraq, Afghanistan, the list goes on and on. We don’t take other people’s countries and keep them. If they attack us, or we are forced to go to war with them, we kick their butts from here to next Sunday. But, when the shooting is all over, we jump right in and help them rebuild, get them back on their feet, then take off. No other country in human history did that, or even now, no other country does that except us. America, the country that is called Imperialistic, is the most ANTI-Imperialist , Imperialist country in human history