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A Vigorous Foreign Policy: Anti-imperialism in America

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A history of the anti-imperialism movement
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  A Vigorous Foreign Policy:Anti-Imperialism, the Press, and American HistoryJim Drewery730: US History SeminarProfessor William PistonFall, 2014  Drewery 2  Drewery 3 “ When the war in Vietnam became obviously ugly, we did not think immediately of the crushing of the Filipino insurrection at the start of this century. Nor did we, when the movement against the Vietnam War became powerful, recall an earlier anti-imperialist movement that took shape during the war in the Philippines. !   – Howard Zinn, 1972Actually  "epublic or #mpire,  in which those words from Howard Zinn grace the Preface, was only one of several contemorary studies on the toic during the latter years of that conflict! Howard Zinnand "aniel #chirmer had not $een the only ones that recogni%ed the eerie similarities $etween $oth these wars and the resonse at home to them! &n fact #chirmer arrived a $it late on the scene as his was 'ust one of several $oo(s written on the toic during the )ietnam *ar and scholars had lenty to say on the su$'ectin the contemorary academic 'ournals as well! As the +war on terror in the new millennium $egan to ta(e on a very ugly side in 2--., many in the country were utterly shoc(ed and surrised $y the ictures and stories of shameful and criminal treatment of risoners that $egan to fill headlines around the world! However a new generation of scholars was /uic( to note the eerie similarities $etween the 0iliino conflict a century earlier, and the current American involvement in &ra/ and Afghanistan, li(e Professor Paul ramer who stated, “&ndeed, whats remar(a$le is our ersistence in suressing the memory of this earlier war, a ersistence that & thin( is all that ma(es de$acles li(e the resent one +surrising!3 2  0 or most of the last century the $rutal almost three yearlong war to suress the 0iliino insurrection was minimi%ed, if not comletely forgotten and relaced instead $y a version of history in which the #anish4American *ar was transformed into a “slendid little war3 that could $e descri$ed in acoule of aragrahs! &t $egan when the 5## 6aine was $lown u in Havana har$or, was largely decided $y "eweys smashing naval victory in 6anila, and /uic(ly finished off $y oosevelts heroic charge u “#an 8uan Hill3! Afterward the u$ans and 0iliinos were so grateful for American intervention that had 1 Zinn, Howard. Preface. Republic or Empire: American Resistance to the Philippine War  . Ed. Daniel B. Schirmer. Cambridge, MA: Schenkman Pbli!hing, 1"#$. i%. Prin&.$ 'ramer, Pal A. The Blood of Government: Race, Empire, the United States, and the Philippines . Cha(el Hill, ).C.: *ni+. of )or&h Carolina Pre!!, $-. 1. Prin&.  Drewery 4 finally heled them van/uish their #anish oressors they enthusiastically welcomed their American saviors and eagerly em$racing them as mentors of democracy and rogress! :hus America had assumed its reordained lace as a world leader, shouldering the resonsi$ility for $ringing rogress and civili%ation to these down4trodden eoles and rotecting them from the evils of the world, which in the view of many in *ashington "!! consisted chiefly of ;uroean imerialists! . :his essay will show that this a$$reviated and highly convoluted version of American history  lays retty fast and loose with facts and is in fact filled with misnomers, which have heled shae u$lichistory, meaning the collective memory of the nation!   *hile it does not attemt to reverse or discredit the diligent wor( of more e<erienced historians, it does argue that history has shown that the ower of the  ress to sway $oth u$lic oinion and national olicy cannot $e comletely discounted and that the worries of the anti4imerialists of more than a century ago, a$out how overseas e<ansion and American imerialism would lead us down a treacherous road were well founded, erhas even visionary!:o accomlish this it will first loo( into the historical conte<t from which the de$ate a$out overseas e<ansion arose, through an e<amination of the e<isting rimary sources highlighting how it has  $een viewed in the rather e<tensive historiograhy of the toic! &ndeed a toical study of this e<isting material rovides some interesting insights which have $een noted as well, while $riefly also attemting to show how the course which America chose at the turn of the :wentieth entury started a $all rolling, which was imossi$le to sto and much li(e an avalanche tearing down the side of a mountain, the full devastation of its assing often cannot $e recogni%ed until much later! 0inally it offers some new insight garnered from an e<amination of how the de$ate over American e<ansionism at the dawn of the twentieth century manifested itself within the ages of the 6issouri ress, which suggests this great national de$ate often too( a $ac( seat to other dramatic news from a$road and around the corner during the residential camaign of 19--!  /hi! had been (re+ailing +iew of di(loma&ic core for 0r!. See: Commodore 2ober& 3. Shfeld&4! 5o0age &o Africa, &he Middle Ea!&, and A!ia, 16#67166.8 !ce of the "istorian # $ilestones %&''#%&(& . *S S&a&e De(&, n.d. 3eb. 1- )o+. $19. h&&(!:;;hi!&or0.!&a&e.go+;mile!&one!; 16--<16"6;commodore<!hfeld&=.  Drewery 5  =ostalgia is a owerful force, which often clouds the ast disroortionately highlightingthe good times and lessening the devastation of the $ad, as the revailing image of the 1>9-s as the $ay Nineties illustrates! :he term was coined during the “oaring :wenties3 and really only  $ecame oular in the very deressing 19.-s! *hile it has come to con'ure u images of a  eaceful and roserous nation on the $rin( of tremendous ossi$ility, the star( reality for most of the oulation of America in the 1>9-s was a far cry from such idealistic scenes! ? &ndustriali%ation and mechani%ation had $rought a$out unrecedented changes and many more aeared to $e 'ust around the corner! #team locomotives and steel rails, along with the coious assistance of 6isters olt and *inchester, had heled tame the frontier and increased  $oth manufacturing and agricultural roduction to record levels in the closing decades of the nineteenth century! :he rails of the iron horse which had crisscrossed the nation, had also $egun to do the same on the streets of our $iggest cities and even a$ove and $elow them as well! Along those streets $uildings made of glass and steel $egan to crowd the clouds in the s(ies and inside electricity owered 6r! @tiss new elevators that whis(ed cler(s and shoers effortlessly to the very to floors in seconds! ;lectric lights also illuminated stores and offices in these monuments to rogress, and increasingly the city streets $elow! ororate e<ecutives and railroad tycoons were ma(ing fortunes, steadily getting $igger and more owerful and gaining increasing influence in the halls of government!  9 >le%ner, S&ar& B. ) "ear America Tal*in+: An )llustrated Treasur of American Words and Phrases . )ew ?ork: 5an )o!&rand 2einhold, 1"#-. 1-$<-. Prin&.@ Mo!& ci&ie! had !&ree&car! or &rolle0! b0 1664!  Bo!&on o(ened r!& !bwa0 in 16"#. Home n!. Bldg. o(ened in Chicago in 166@ wa! world4! r!& !k0!cra(er. 8E%(erience! of &he r!& Sbwa0 2ider! in Bo!&on.8 Bo!&on lobe 1 Se(&. 16"#. Proe!&. 3eb.  )o+. $19. h&&(:;;web.archi+e.org;web; $@6$""9$. Al!o !ee: BorFo, reg. /he Chicago 8G8. Charle!&on, S.C.: Arcadia Pb. $#. ". Prin& 3alker, Iame!. >if&0 ?ear! of 2a(id /ran!i&, 16-9<1"1#. )ew ?ork: Gaw Prin&, 1"16. 1@<1". oogle Book!. 3eb.  )o+. $19.. 8/he 3orldJ! >ir!& Sk0!cra(er.8 Chicago Hi!&or0 /oda0. 3BEZ.org, 1 Mar. $1$. 3eb.  )o+. $19.
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