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Assignment #10 – Imperialism
Step 1: Watch – “Harvest of Empire” online
Step 2: Read – “The Empire and the People” and “War is the Health of the State,” from A People’s History
Step 3: Watch – “American Empire?” online
Step 4: Complete the Discussion Board
Discussion Prompt: The Spanish-American-Cuban-Filipino War is something very few Americans know anything about. And yet it is an incredibly important turning point in the history of our country’s foreign policy. It marks the beginning of a period of imperialism (the practice of taking over smaller countries and their natural resources for your own country’s benefit) in the United States. In 1898, we begin a long journey throughout the 20th century that sees many pitstops along the way marked by either invasion or economic domination of various countries throughout the world. And Cuba and the Philippines are not the first. The Industrial Revolution of the late 19th century brings with it the ability to make products at a faster and faster rate, thereby bringing more and more profit to the owners of these assembly line factories. However, it is soon discovered that a finite number of goods can be sold here in the United States. Therefore, in an effort to avoid over-saturating the market with goods and services and bringing about an economic depression, the wealthy industrialists begin pushing the government to find more and more foreign trading partners to which they could sell their wares. And in looking around at all of the possible trading partners, none stood out more in terms of sheer numbers of consumers, than China. China became the trading partner American business owners wanted most. And as a result of this, much of our foreign policy (how we relate to other countries) became focused on finding a way to get to China, and believe it or not, the Spanish-AmericanCuban-Filipino War became the final stepping stone we needed to solidify China as our main trading partner. If we were to look at a map of all the islands in the Pacific Ocean during this time, you might understand why. Please look at the map I’ve included in your Assignment #13 Folder. What do you notice? Any idea why we would want to control all of those islands out there in the Pacific Ocean? Any idea when the Panama Canal was built? Think it had anything to do with this? What other thoughts do you have concerning this war from your reading, Zinn’s graphic novel on American Empire, and all the far-reaching implications for us today? How does this war lead the world into World War I?
Write a response to these questions of from 150 words to 300 words