Imperialism And Us National Identity Analysis

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For the purposes of discussion, this essay will talk about the United States and its expansionistic behaviour since the founding of the nation in 1776. The United States was born out of Imperial control and prides itself to be an anti-imperialist nation in the age of high-imperialism. In response to the article by Mary Ann Heiss on the “Evolution of the Imperial Ideal and US National Identity” and the Paul A Kramer article on “Empires, Exceptions and Anglo-Saxons: Race and Rule between the British and United States Empires, 1880-1910”, this essay will assert that the United States was be seen to be conflictual and inconsistent on all things which were Imperial, and this essay will point to the relationship between the nation’s guiding principle…show more content…
The inconsistency and conflict the United States faced with regards to Imperialism was due its national interests. According to Kramer’s article, despite the United States priding itself as a Western exception against Imperialism, some elements within the United States had tried to fashion colonialism in the late 1890s by drawing parallels with the British Empire. The race-exceptionalism argument was advanced by Imperialists on both sides of the Atlantic. According to Kramer’s argument, Anglo-Saxonism reached the height of its explanatory power in foreign policy arenas around 1898. It also provided a historical and political rationale for American overseas colonialism. This was indeed true as it was backed up with accounts of Dilke, Seeley and Theodore Roosevelt which suggests the density of Anglo-American connections in the late 19th century. The rise of the literary press-houses also served to create an imagined community of “English Speaking race”. The…show more content…
With the Anglo-Boer war going on simultaneously with the Philippine-American war, tensions between racial and national exceptionalism was evident. Many Americans viewed the British as despotic and cruel in their attempt to crush the Boers, whom most Americans saw as fighting for liberty which resonated with their national ideals. According to Kramer’s article, the decline in the Anglo-Saxon argument was also due to changing geopolitics, racial diversity of America and the political realities of Post-war Philippines. The British alliance with Japan in 1902 had changed the power balance in the Asia-Pacific region. It was also mentioned that the Pacific was no longer imagined as an “Anglo-Saxon lake”. The racial diversity of new immigrants in America which consisted of Irish, Germans and other European nations did not identify with the Anglo-Saxon exceptionalism. Moreover, the idea that Anglo-Saxonism made no sense to colonised Filipinos, and that the style of governance of the Philippines was different to that of British colonies was also argued in Kramer’s article. Hence, we can observe that the prominent Anglo-Saxon racial-exception argument in 1898 did not last long as post-war realities had set in and it was not in the interest of the United States to further an argument which did not make sense at

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