What Drives American Imperialism?

The general argument made in the Savage Acts video shown in lecture is that America looked to expand their empire overseas using the justification that it is their manifest destiny. More specifically, the Savage Acts video shows how the philippines had plans of forming an independent self government, while America had other plans. America planned on annexing the philippines in order to “educate and christianize” the filipinos.  In this Video, It is shown how America uses the idea of manifest destiny and imperialism to go out and try to civilize the “savage” and “primitive” people of the philippines and cuba . In conclusion, Savage Acts shows how America annexed the philippines and cuba in order to civilize them, but instead just took over their government and killed many filipinos.

The argument presented by the political cartoon,What the United States has Fought For, is that American imperialism has allowed the United States to civilize the savage poverty stricken citizens of the philippines, cuba, hawaii, etc. and helped them become prosperous. The author, John T. McCutcheon, makes that argument by drawing people from the annexed pieces of land that are carrying the challenges their people had to overcome with the caption “before the United States intervened in behalf of these oppressed people” followed by a drawing of the same people in suits with good health and prosperity with the caption “after the united states had rescued them from their oppression”.

Savage Acts and What the United States has Fought For both address the issue we have discussed of American Imperialism and Manifest Destiny. They are very dissimilar in the way that Savage Acts is an educational video, while What the United States has Fought For is a propaganda political cartoon. Savage Acts shows American Imperialism and manifest destiny just lead to the loss of many lives for the plots of lands that were annexed, while What the United States has Fought For says American imperialism lead to the civilization, education, and christianization of the annexed people.

In my view, Savage acts is right, because it tells the truth about what was really happening during the time that the United States were expanding their empire overseas while limiting the presences of any propaganda. More specifically, I believe that American Imperialism has other intentions besides educating, civilizing, and spreading christianity to the people, such as making money and competing to be the largest empire.

What are other reasons or factors that lead the United States to expand their empire overseas? What drives them to annex a piece of land, knowing that many lives will be lost?


Why does Hegemony ideology persist?

In one of our discussions we spoke about Lawn People by Paul Robbins. One of the topics we discussed was the Hegemony Ideology and how that had a big impact on why a majority of the people did the things that they did. Time has passed and people have gotten more educated, so why does Hegemony still persist? Is it passed down from generation to generation? This may be one of the main reasons, but it may also be that being your own self is too much work for people. Going out and being a leader is stressful for most, so they give up without really trying much. It’s a lot more easier for people to see a group of others doing something and decide that’s what they want to do; whether it’s how they act, dress, or live. In the song In My Dreams by Kid Cudi, he ends it by speaking about people not wanting to be leaders in this time and age and how people much rather just follow others. He claims that people don’t stand up to the system that controls us, meaning the hegemonic ideology that we all live by, because it is a threat to the system. One thing that strikes me is that people know that we live under this ideology that makes us do most of the things that we do, but people have such a hard time spreading this. What is one way we could make others more aware of this Ideology and help them break out of this subliminal control they live by?