English Imperialism in the Caribbean and Africa Essay
In the Caribbean and Africa regions, the language has mainly been used as the tool to colonize the people. It has been used as a major weapon in practicing imperialism.
Many nations were influenced by the colonizers by the use of the English language through which they were forced to believe and act according to the will of their colonizers. By accepting the language, natives accepted various things about their colonizers. Language was used to colonize the natives through various ways.
Use of language to colonize people
In Caribbean and Africa regions, language has played a very important role in practicing imperialism. The colonies have taken advantage of their language to expand their economic, political and social powers. In the British schools, students were forced to read the British literature only they were rarely given opportunities to read about their own communities.
The colonizers taught their own language in their colonies and therefore this restricted the learners to the culture of their colonizers.
More often, English language was used in giving instructions in most of the institutions within Africa and Caribbean. The students were not given an opportunity to study other languages in school. Therefore, the colonizers determined what these students should read. They used this opportunity to expand their interests.
For instance, the natives could not access literature which informed on how they can be independent from the western forces. This made them to remain submissive despite of the difficulties they encountered. In other words, the language suppressed their chances of rejecting the British system.
Language is closely associated with culture. A certain language reflects the culture of the original speakers. For instance, English language demonstrates the English culture. Therefore, learning a foreign language implies learning the culture of the original speakers. It became easier to control the people on adopting the culture of the colonizers.
In most cases, language has been used in Caribbean and Africa to dominate the people both in their minds and hearts (Anonymous par 3). This is one way through which imperialism has been practiced in these regions.
Language can be seen as a unifying factor. English language brought many people together. It is easier to influence people when they are united than when they are diversified. Therefore, by unifying the people, the English language assisted the colonizers to gain more influence the local community. Similarly, when people are united
English language was also used in colonization in Caribbean and Africa through passing of the English culture. Most languages carry some cultural aspects of the original speakers.
For instance, it may reflect their beliefs, ways of living and traditions. Therefore, when the natives of these regions learnt the language, they adopted some of these cultural aspects. By adopting these cultural aspects, the people became more receptive to the directions received from their colonizers.
Fanon (31) talked about the colonizing culture. According to Fanon (31), English language was used in developing the colonizing culture. That is, the situation where colonization was viewed as any other day to day encounter.
It made people to become more satisfied of the existing system and therefore low levels of opposition. When the natives accept the language spoken by their colonizers, they are forced to accept their standards.
This is because they will be able to have an effective interaction through the same language. It would have been more difficult to influence the natives if they had not accepted the English language.
In his book ‘Black face white mask’, Fanon demonstrated how the black people were made to behave like the whites (Fanon 31). Although the natives’ skin reflected their origin, it never reflected their culture. They were made to think and act like their colonizers. The languages they speak also reflect their colonizer’s backgrounds. Consequently, they acted according to the white man’s wishes.
Through the colonial language, the natives in the Caribbean and African region became alienated. This implies that they lost control of their own cultural elements. According to Fanon (32), the colonizers’ ambition to civilize the natives resulted into inert institutions which were dependent and were functioning under the supervision of their colonizers (Fanon 35).
In other words, through the language, the colonizers in Caribbean and Africa formed dependent institutions which relied on the colonizers for them to be effective.
Therefore, the colonizers managed to come with a system through which the institutions will be forced to function under their directions. This was one of the main process through which the natives became dominated by the colonizers.
By passing their languages to their colonies, the colonizers were not only creating their listeners, but also the readers and writers of their language (Mahadeo, par 6). The colonizers were able to get teachers who helped them in teachers others. In the process, these teachers pass to other natives.
In the process, the natives pass the culture of their colonizers to other natives. The literature provided to the colonies also reflected the colonizers way of living and experiences. This had a significant impact on the natives. They were made to believe on the western culture.
According to Thiongo (59), language can be destructive if it embraces only the foreign works and culture. In other words, the language can be very influential on the natives. This is because in most cases, language reflects the works and culture of the original speakers. It is important for the people to work in their own local language in order to have a successful interaction.
In the modern world, the former imperialism has also impacted on the people through language. For instance, the media reflects the western views through television, radio and other media (Thiong’o II par 5). The media has also contributed in the spreading of the cultural imperialism in the Caribbean and African countries.
Through his story ‘Decolonizing the Mind’, Ngugi believes that the western language has led to misinterpretation of the African culture (Thiongo 86). This has diverted the minds of the people from the reality. For instance, people are not able to realize that imperialism is the main cause of their suffering.
In other words, people’s vision is blurred from seeing the reality of the situation. In stead, they are made to believe exactly on the opposite.
In conclusion, this discussion has clearly shown that language was a very important tool which was used by colonizers in Caribbean and Africa. In these areas, English language was used in giving instructions to the natives in schools. The colonizers used this in selecting what the native were supposed to read.
They ensured that they don’t access any material which could enlighten them to oppose the system. By so doing, the colonizers were able to expand their political and economic powers across the region.
Fanon, Frantz. Black Skin, White Masks. London: Pluto Press, 1967. Print.
Mahadeo, Satish. “English – Colonial to Postcolonial: The Problematics of Writing in English in Mauritus.” Language, Society and Culture, 6 Apr. 2011. <https://www.utas.edu.au/>.
Thiong’o, John. “Review: Decolonizing the Mind.” The Complete Review, 2002. 6 Apr. 2011. <http://www.complete-review.com/reviews/kenya/ngugi1.htm>.
Thiong’o, John. Decolonizing The Mind: The Politics Of Language In African Literature. U.K: Currey, 1999. Print.
The Effects of British Imperialism in India Research Paper
The British Imperialism in India had its roots in the 1600s. During that period, the East India Company had started setting up its trading offices at different port cities like Bombay, Calcutta, and Madras.
The main intention was to trade in spices. Moreover, owing to the worldwide industrial revolution, Britain had become the centre-stage of development. “As a blanket term the Industrial Revolution explains little about British expansion in general at the end of the eighteenth century.” (Marshal 1985). India was very important to Britain due to the fact that for the procurement of raw material for its industries, it had to depend on India.
India was considered as “a Jewel in the Crown’. Also, India was a huge end user of British products. “The most obvious grounds for doubting the significance of manufacturing as a force behind British imperialism are provided by the course of events in India, the main field of conquest during the period in question…” (Ward 1994)
The Mughal dynasty was at its peak during that era. As such, East India Company traders were under the vigil of the Mughal officials. However, by the initial years of the 1700s, the Mughal Empire started experiencing a downfall. Taking advantage of this situation, many erstwhile small states, breaking away from the Mughal rule, parted ways and formed their own rule.
The East India Company also took advantage of this state of affairs and started chalking out plans to invade India. The Indian rulers got the indication from its sources and asked for help from the French, who also had some base in India. Finally, it was in 1757 that Robert Clive defeated the Indian & French allied forces in the Battle of Plassey. Over the years, there was an increase in the regions controlled by East India Company.
The East India Company’s power was supreme until 1858. The British government had an authoritative control over the workings of the East India Company directly or indirectly. But the British government did not interfere in the daily functioning of the East India Company. The East India Company had its own army and controlled India until the beginning of the nineteenth century.
Several restrictions were imposed on the Indians. The Indian economy came under the British government. Indian farmers were forced to produce raw material for the British industries and the Indians were supposed to buy only British goods. The raw material included indigo (a dye), jute, coffee, cotton, and tea.
One of the major plantations done in India was that of opium. Opium was sold to china and tea was purchased that was further sold in Britain. No one could start a business that competed with the British goods. For instance, the Indian handloom industry suffered a major setback due to the introduction of readymade clothes collection from Britain that was good in quality as well as economical.
There were certain factors that made Indian goods crucial for Britain. The Crimean War of 1850 restricted the supply of jute from Russia to Scotland. As a result, Bengal jute was much in demand. Similarly, the American Civil War restricted the supply of cotton to Britain. In order to keep the British textile mills running Indian cotton became very precious for Britain.
In order to ease the transportation of raw material from the remote areas to the ports and finished goods from the ports to various destinations in India, the British government started the railway network.
The Sepoy Mutiny (The First War on Independence/Great Rebellion)
By the year 1850, most of the Indian subcontinent was under the control of the British East India Company. During the years, a sense and feeling of disgruntlement started developing within various Indian factions. The people were frustrated because the British had controlled their lands. Moreover, the British were even trying to convert the natives to Christianity.
There was also a mass grudge against the racism that was being meted out towards them by the British. The situation became aggravated when word spread that the bullets/cartridges of the new Enfield rifles, which were being used by the sepoys, were lubricated with beef and pork fat.
The practical point behind this was that the religious beliefs of the two major sects in India, the Hindus and the Muslims, were impeded upon by the use of such cartridges. The Hindus consider cow sacred and the Muslims do not eat pork. The problem was that in order to use the cartridges, the sepoys had to cut off the ends with their teeth. This outraged both the communities.
In one of the instances, on 9 May 1857, 85 out of the 90 sepoys of a garrison refused to use the cartridges. Instead of dealing the matter in a diplomatic manner, the Garrison Commander jailed all the sepoys who had disobeyed. The next day i.e. 10 May 1857, when soldiers rebelled and marched to Delhi, proved to be a shot in the arm for the mutiny.
These soldiers connected with other Indian soldiers who were based in Delhi. The city of Delhi was captured and the upheaval further stretched to the northern and central parts of India. The fierce fighting continued for about a year after which the East India Company suppressed the mutiny with the help of British troops.
This mutiny is termed as the ‘Sepoy Mutiny’ and it was a turning point in Indian and British history. There were some very significant results of this mutiny. Firstly, after this mutiny, the British Government took direct control of all the affairs in India. Secondly, there was a split between the Hindus and the Muslims. Thirdly, the Sikhs became the favourite of the British. And lastly, this mutiny stimulated the racist attitude of the British.
Impacts of British Imperialism in India
British Imperialism had a large impact on India during the nineteenth century because the British modernized and industrialized India, many economic declines were caused in India due to the lack of financial benefits from the British rule, and Indians gained a sense of nationalism after the British took control over India’s government and people.
There were both negative and positive impacts on India.
- The British government controlled most of the political and economic powers.
- The Indian industries faced restrictions. As a result, the local craft started to become extinct.
- The British laid more emphasis on cash crops such. As a result, the food production dropped and there were famines throughout the country.
- The British were against the religious beliefs and customs of Indian religions. They wanted to spread Christianity.
- Due to advent of new culture, Indian culture and morals started disappearing.
- One of the major achievements of the British government in India was the laying of the railway network. It was the world’s third largest railway network.
- The railway network helped India in developing a modern economy and connecting distant areas.
- Apart from the railway network, various important roads were constructed.
- Other developments include bridges, dams, and telephone.
- The water scarcity problem was solved by the construction of dams.
- As a result of new sanitization methods, there was an improvement in the health conditions of the people.
- The advent of new schools and colleges increased the literacy percentage.
- The British troops put an end to the bandits menace and wars between small rulers.
Feeling of Nationalism
The British colonialism had great impacts on India. The British intended to make English as a local language in India. That’s the reason they built new schools and colleges. But educating people fared against the British government. There was an increase in the feeling of nationalism. A mass resentment was felt against the British rule, which ultimately resulted in the end of British rule in India.
Being a vast area, India had different languages being spoken in different regions. Due to lack of interpretation of each other’s languages, there was a communication gap. But the British government, by teaching English, finished this communication gap. The educated people all over India started communicating with each other and expressed their views.
This resulted in the unification of all the regions of India as far as the spirit of nationalism was concerned. The local educated people of different regions started spreading this feeling in their local languages.
People like Ram Mohan Roy started campaigns that demanded more modernization and a greater role in the government. Education had given new ideas to people. Ram Mohan Roy, called the Father of modern India, tried to abolish the practise of child marriage. He also tried to finish the caste system prevailing within the society.
Indians started feeling a sense of nationalism due to the fact that they were considered to be second class citizens of their own country. Top Indian Civil Services were reserved for the British only. Also, if an Indian and a British were in the same category of job, the Indian was paid less. For instance, in East India Railway, a British engineer got about twenty times more salary than his Indian counterpart.
The cultures of India & Britain were totally different. Indian culture had male supremacy. There was inequality among the two genders. “The British used the particular form which gender divisions took in India as a vehicle for proving their liberality, as a demonstration of their superiority, and as a legitimation of their rule.” (Liddle et al. 1985). The British wanted to change this culture and prove that there rule was legitimate. But this was not possible since the roots of Indian culture were too deep.
Such instances and many more of them led the way to the foundation of the Indian National Congress (1885) and the Muslim League (1906). The initial years of the 1900s witnessed demands from these groups for a self-government. In 1905, a partition was made and Bengal was separated from India. This infuriated the nationalists. It is notable that Bengal was a Muslim dominated region. The British wanted to separate the Muslims from the Hindus.
This resulted in terrorist activities. “The railway, which had previously been a secure means of transportations for women travelling alone, became a particularly unsafe environment. As moving targets, trains attracted random acts of violence.” (Procida 2002). In order to deal with this menace, the British government had to revoke its decision in the year 1911.
Indian National Congress
The Indian National Congress is one of the oldest and leading political parties of India. It was founded in the year 1885 by Allan Octavian Hume, Dadabhai Naoroji, Dinshaw Wacha, Womesh Chandra Bonnerjee, Surendranath Banerjee, Monomohun Ghose, Mahadev Govind Ranade and William Wedderburn.
Indian National Congress became the torch bearer of the Indian Independence Movement. During the years of struggle for independence, it enrolled up to 15 million members. Once India gained independence in 1947, the party became India’s dominant Democratic Party with Jawaharlal Nehru as its mentor.
Rabindranath Tagore was born on 7 May 1861 in West Bengal and died on 8 August 1941. His father’s name was Debendranath Tagore and that of his mother was Sharada Devi. His father was the honorary Secretary of the British Indian Association. Rabindranath Tagore was of an exceptional and huge personality.
His other qualities were that he was a renowned scholar, a freedom fighter, and a painter. But beyond all these, he was a modest human being. Indian Literature has colossal input of his works. He being awarded the Nobel Prize in 1913 for Gitanjali, a collection of his poems, is enough proof of his wisdom. The Indian National Anthem was penned by him. He had to travel across the region to collect rent.
During these trips, he used to meet people and listen to their plights. Gradually, he started depicting the British immorality in his poems. He wrote most of his works in Bengali, his mother tongue. In order to reach the mass public, he later translated his works.
The poems were read by a majority of people and this helped in spreading the awareness of nationalism. He mentioned the intentions of the British in his works. Being a renowned scholar, his poems and other works were read worldwide. This made other nations aware of the British atrocities and in return they started putting pressure on the British government to account for such acts.
In appreciation for his works, the Calcutta University offered him honorary Doctorate of Literature and the British government presented him with a knighthood. In 1919, the infamous Jallianwala Bagh Massacre happened where General Dyer ordered firing of innocent people. As a protest to this brutal massacre, Rabindranath Tagore surrendered the knighthood. In the ensuing years, Rabindranath visited countries like Japan and America as a devout ambassador.
Role of Gandhi
Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi is and will always be the forerunner in contributing towards the independence of India. He is also known as the ‘Father of the Nation’. Apart from his struggle for independence, Gandhi’s thoughts changed the scenario of the country and its people. The Indian National Congress will always be indebted to Gandhi because when he took over the reins of the party, he had his millions of followers behind him to support the cause. Gandhi’s path to independence was of non-violence or ‘Ahimsa’.
Come what may, Gandhi never deviated from his ideologies and the path of non-violence. This always helped him to succeed. Gandhi’s main weapon was ‘Satyagraha’. Satyagraha means submissive resistance. One of his main contributions to the India society and which helped in unifying the country was the motto of ‘Sarva Dharma Sambhava’.
It meant that all people of different religions should practice equal respect for all the religions. Gandhi was also against the industrialization being done by the British. He wanted the Indians to do their chores by their own hands instead of taking help of machines.
In the year 1942, Gandhi rejected the British offer of granting India independence if it helped Britain in World War II. Instead, Gandhi started the Quit India Movement. After the war, Gandhi held conferences with the viceroy Lord Mountbatten and Muhammed Ali Jinnah, leader of Muslim League, and it was decide to carve out a separate state for the Muslims.
Although Gandhi was against this decision yet he had to agree in the larger interest of the nation. When the news spread, violence started all over the country, especially the northern part. Gandhi started fasting and toured the riot affected areas in order to bring back peace and harmony among the people. During one such meeting, he was shot dead by a person named Godse.
Even today, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi is remembered as the pioneer of Indian independence. For some people, his ideologies might have lost with the passage of time, but still there are people who follow his thoughts and ideologies. But one thing is certain that if Gandhi would not have been involved in the struggle for freedom, India would have attained independence much later.
Liddle, Joanna, and Rama Joshi. “Gender and Imperialism in British Rule.” Economic and Political Weekly. 20. no. 43 (1985): 72. Web.
Marshal, Peter. “Early British Imperialism in India.” Past & Present. 1. no. 106 (1985): 169. Web.
Procida, Mary. Married to the Empire: Gender, Politics and Imperialism in India, 1883 – 1947. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2002. Web.
Ward, Jessica. “The Industrial Revolution and British Imperialism, 1750-1850.” Economic History Review. 47. no. 1 (1994): 44-65. Web.
Imperialism or National Protection: What is the Definition of the United States of America? Essay
What is the Definition of the United States of America?
Imperialism and national protection resemble intertwined terms where the United States of America is concerned. This essay looks at two key speeches made by the U.S. presidents Harry S. Truman during the Cold War, and George W. Bush during the first Iraq war. In these documents we witness the definition of the United States, specifically, how the United States defines itself, how it sees itself as a country, and how it views itself as a member nation of planet earth.
The United States protects its own interests, namely, resources such as oil, as well as the democratic political system, and this protectionism extends to the four corners of the earth. Foreign policy is national security, and vice versa. Where the United States is concerned, borders, and the right of nations to govern its peoples as they see fit, remain lip service items.
Let us begin with the Truman speech. The Truman Doctrine was delivered on the 12th of March, 1947, before a Joint Session of the United States Congress. Since Truman’s time, and likely before, the United States has adopted a father knows best attitude toward the rest of the world.
The United States believes that it speaks for the world, and it feels beholden to look after the world. How much of this paternalism stems from self protection? All of it. Interestingly, however, in Truman’s words, “one of the primary objectives of the foreign policy of the United States is the creation of conditions in which we and other nations will be able to work out a way of life free from coercion. This was a fundamental issue in the war with Germany and Japan.
Our victory was won over countries which sought to impose their will, and their way of life, upon other nations” (Truman 4). The irony of this statement, in light of the constant and unrelenting interference that the United States subjects numerous nations all over the world to on a daily basis, appears lost on Truman.
Truman’s speech points to one of the core tenets of the self image of the United States; colloquially, the United States defines itself as the world’s dad, in the traditional sense. It sets the rules, and it enforces the rules. The Communist threat that Truman spoke to in the Truman Doctrine was couched in terms that impressed upon Congress that the issue facing a small Mediterranean country somehow affected the United States.
In Truman’s words, “the very existence of the Greek state is today threatened by the terrorist activities of several thousand armed men, led by Communists, who defy the government’s authority at a number of points, particularly along the northern boundaries” (Truman 2). Central to the self image of the United States is the idea that other countries of the world seek their guidance and protection, which speaks to the paternalistic attitude the United States leads with in its foreign policy.
Truman speaks to the legitimizing effect that Americans have on the political processes that take place in other countries when he points to the “692 Americans [who] considered this election to be a fair expression of the views of the Greek people” (Truman 3). Certainly, the United States does not recognize its own domineering nature, and thus feels no need to correct it.
Rather, the United States tends to justify its actions as necessary, Truman details, because “the free peoples of the world look to us for support in maintaining their freedoms. If we falter in our leadership, we may endanger the peace of the world. And we shall surely endanger the welfare of this nation” (Truman 6). Foreign policy as national security, though self serving, appears to be genuinely rendered.
In 1991 George W. Bush addressed the people of the United States from the Oval Office to announce and contextualize the commencement of military actions against Saddam Hussein following the invasion of Kuwait by Iraqi forces. In this speech, Bush exhibits a little more care than Truman to present the case for war as having been decided via consensus with other nations, and only after the exhaustion of all other avenues:
This military action, taken in accord with United Nations resolutions and with the consent of the United States Congress, follows months of constant and virtually endless diplomatic activity on the part of the United Nations, the United States, and many, many other countries. Arab leaders sought what became known as an Arab solution, only to conclude that Saddam Hussein was unwilling to leave Kuwait….Our Secretary of State, James Baker, held a historic meeting in Geneva, only to be totally rebuffed (…290).
Bush also carefully asserts that “our goal is not the conquest of Iraq. It is the liberation of Kuwait,” and reminds the American public that “this will not be another Vietnam” (Bush 292). Bush elucidates that Saddam’s actions forced the hand of the world. “The world could wait no longer. Sanctions, though having some effect, showed no signs of accomplishing their objective…While the world waited, Saddam Hussein systematically raped, pillaged and plundered a tiny nation, not threat to his own” (Bush 291).
Bush also paints the United States as an equal member in this large team of concerned international interests, when he highlights that “twenty-eight nations – countries from five continents Europe and Asia, Africa, and the Arab League – have forces in the Gulf standing shoulder to shoulder against Saddam Hussein” (Bush 292).
The Bush speech also contains an interesting tactic. To address the issue of oil, widely understood to be the main reason why the United States became involved in the first place, Bush employs a sympathetic and highly credible source as his mouthpiece: the soldiers themselves:
Listen to Hollywood Huddleston, marine lance corporal. He says, “Let’s free these people, so we can go home and be free again.”…Listen to one of our great officers out there, Marine Lieutenant General Walter Boomer. He said, “There are things worth fighting for.
A world in which brutality and lawlessness are allowed to go unchecked isn’t the kind of world we’re going to want to live in.” Listen to Master Sergeant J.P. Kendall of the 82nd Airborne: “We’re here for more than the price of a gallon of gas. What we’re doing is going to chart the future of the world for the next 100 years (Bush 292).
In the United States, imperialism and national protection essentially complement each other, and function as synergistic terms. The United States protects its own interests worldwide, as opposed to within its own borders. Foreign policy is national security, and vice versa. The right of free nations to govern themselves remains conditional upon United States’ approval.
Bush, George. “Address to the Nation Announcing Allied Military Action in the Persian Gulf.” America Through the Eyes of Its People, Vol. 2. 3rd ed. Boston: Pearson Longman, 2006. 290-293. Print.
Truman, Harry S. “The Truman Doctrine.” America Through the Eyes of Its People, Vol. 2. 3rd ed. Boston: Pearson Longman, 2006. 1-6. Print.
Imperialism in India Essay
British commenced economic pursuits in India as early as 1600s with British East India Company putting up trading centers in Calcutta, Madras, and Bombay.
However, all European traders were answerable to the ruling Mughal Dynasty; unfortunately, by 1707, this ruling dynasty was collapsing rapidly as its constituent states broke ranks. Following this disintegration, the British seized the opportunity to expand their territories as they sought to dominate India. This marked the start of imperialism in India and its effects are felt even to date.
As aforementioned, British rule gained entrance into India through British East India Company. Robert Clive was the country director of this country; however, the British government that ran this company from London. As the Mughal Dynasty disintegrated, in 1757, Clive-led troops managed to overthrow Indian forces in the Battle of Plassey.
Consequently, the British East India Company assumed power and became the leading body in the country. This company’s rule flourished through dialogues and warfare as well. With time, this British rule recruited Indian soldiers into its forces and used them to overthrow rebellious leaders.
In other cases, the British would fund and support one ruler to overthrow another before overthrowing the former. By 1830s, British rule was literally ruling the whole India and this was possible because many Indians would rather submit to British rule than to fellow Indians. Above all, the ‘divide and rule’ principle worked well for the British rule.
As time went on, the British rule expanded her interests in India to entail missionary work, education and other social services. In 1813, British Christian missionaries arrived in India and this brought radical religious changes in a society dominated by Hinduism and Islam. Within no time, “English became the official administrative language of India” (Littell 1999).
The British rule embarked on a mission to make India the highest ‘rung’ in civilization ladder; a mission they called, ‘the civilizing mission’ (Bhanbhri 1985). However, British rule faced stiff rebellion in 1857, from Indian troops within British forces and this was very threatening. This rebellion came from a misunderstanding on part of Indian soldiers commonly known as Sepoys.
Soldiers were required to bite cartridge’s end before using it and when the British rule introduced new cartridges coated with vegetable, the Sepoys thought it was coated with pork and beef, something that offended them, for many were Muslims and Hindus regarded pigs as unclean and cows as sacred respectively. Moreover, the Sepoys were not happy with the fact that fellow British soldiers earned more than themselves.
The ensuing warfare left “Tens of thousands of Indians and more than 10,000 Britons dead” (Hutchins 1967). By 1858, the British regained control and immediately passed the Government of India Act, which allowed the British Crown administrators to run the country instead of the British East India Company. These new administrators changed tactic and stopped interfering with religious issues; consequently, missionary work was halted for sometime.
This move quelled the mounting tension between the British rulers and natives. More than a third of Indians remained under the rule of native rulers who worked under the British Crown. In 1877, Queen Victoria became the Empress of India through an act of parliament pushed by Benjamin Disraeli, the then Prime minister. However, in 1885, Hindus formed the Indian National Congress whilst Muslims, in 1887 formed the Muslim League and they all sought modernity and liberalization.
Changes Brought by Imperialism
The British rule came with many changes including political, economical, and social issues. On social and religious matters, the British rule proscribed Suttee, “Hindu widows burning themselves to death on their husband’s funeral pyres” (Hutchins 1967). English became the official language in India; therefore, it infiltrated the education system. Economically, India benefited largely from the British rule.
The British rule laid down the third largest railway in the world and its completion linked India with the rest of the world enabling her to build a strong economy. Infrastructure improved greatly with intense road network, dams, irrigation schemes, telephone lines, and bridges, which modernized India. Consequently, public health and sanitation improved drastically due to accessibility and improved literacy facilitated by foundation of numerous schools and colleges across the country.
The local warfare ended as the British soldiers halted infightings between local leaders. Industrial development boomed even though British rule regulated industries owned by natives. Famine was no more in India under the British rule as irrigation promoted food production.
Schools and colleges ensured that science improved. However, the country’s form of governance changed as no natives were allowed to take any significant posts in the government. Overall, the changes brought in India by imperialism were long lasting as they continue to be felt even to date.
Long Term Effects
Currently, India is linked to the whole world courtesy of the rail that the British rulers laid down. India remains one of the most industrialized countries claiming a big share of the African markets. This emanated from the introduction of industries in the colonial times. Moreover, India remains one of big players in modern science and medicine. There are numerous surgery institutions across the country and other contemporary medical institutions.
Agriculture thrives well in India through different irrigation schemes across the country. All these economic advantages initiated by the colonial rule make India the “twelfth-largest economy in world” (McGraw 2009). Currently, India has embraced cultural pluralism and syncretism, retaining some of her traditions and incorporating new ideologies. All these occurrences owe their roots to imperialism, as this was the stating point that defined how India looks like today.
By Mid 19th Century, imperialism was deeply rooted in India with the ultimate take over of British Crown in 1858. Imperialism affected India in all ways running from political arena, through social fronts to economical aspects. Introduction of English as the official language was a landmark move and the construction of the third largest railway in the world linked India with the rest of the world.
Political arena was totally changed as the British Crown took control over everything and eventually crowning Queen Victoria as the Empress of India through an act of parliament. The changes brought by imperialism in India had long-lasting effects as India remains connected to the rest of the world. Modern science and technology is fully at work in India with contemporary medical institutions running in the country.
Industrially, India is one of the most industrialized countries in the world making it the twelfth largest economy. Agriculturally, India boasts wide variety of agricultural practices. All these events owe their genesis to imperialism. The positive imperialism effects outweigh the negative ones considering the current state of events in India.
Bhanbhri, Patel. 1985. Imperialism in India. New Delhi; Jawaharlal Nehru University.
Hutchins, Francis. 1967. The Illusion of Permanence: British Imperialism in India. New Jersey; Princeton University.
Littell, McDougal. 1999. Telescoping the Times: The Age of Imperialism, 1850-1914. Web.
McGraw, Ellis. 2009. The Indian Economy in the Next Decade. Web.
American Imperialism Essay
Imperialism is the establishment of political and economic dominance over other nations. Many nations took part in colonial empires including the U.S. during the nineteenth century. America, on its own, is not supposed to be an empire. It was a rebel colony initially being the first system to dispose British rule.
Imperialism was first practiced in Samoa which motivated the rest of the America. The United States had positive motives when they got involved in the task. Their reason for participation was to control economy and compete with other industrialized nations as well as to maintain their reputation in other countries. Another motive was to obtain a constant market for gainful investments. There was also the religious motivation with the desire to introduce Christianity to foreign and traditional cultures (Streich, 2009, p.1).
Americans viewed imperialism as a way of uplifting the uncivilized people in the world in a moral way. Production was very high and America needed to protect its expanding foreign markets. Hawaii had been dominated by Americans way before the war. America had already started investing in Cuba’s natural resources while Hawaii’s best ports, already under America’s control, was used to access China for efficient trading. The state’s secretary pressured Europeans to stop blocking America’s participation in China’s trade.
America had a war with Spain in 1898 which after its conclusion, America was given the ownership of Cuba, Philippines and Puerto Rico which were previous possessions of Spain. America wanted an efficient and easier access of its navy to the Pacific and the Caribbean oceans.
A negotiation between American officials and Britain confirmed the America’s domination and regulation over the canal. A French canal company official gave Americans a central section of Panama to build the canal. He also gave America rights to take more land or use troops on Panama when necessary.
The Panamanians were to be given their independence only if they accepted the treaty, but they refused to sign it so the Americans took ownership of the canal region (Bella, 2003, p.1). The United States therefore destroyed all European empires after taking over Cuba and Philippines from Spain.
They built a navy ready for European in case they became troublesome or destabilized. In 1939 to 1945, the then American president, Roosevelt, extracted British colonies including the Caribbean and West Africa and in exchange He offered assistance to Britain during war. After years after the World War II, America was already exercising authority and power in Belgian Congo which was previously dominated by Britain, and French Indochina (Selfa, 1999, p.1).
Criticism of imperialism
Despite the fact that many Americans believed in overseas expansion, many other Americans opposed the move. They formed the American anti-imperialism league in 1899. However, their campaigns were not successful. The league argued that the imperialism policy was intimidating to personal liberty.
They argued that all human races no matter the color have the right to live and pursue happiness at all times. The group maintained that the government should obtain their rightful powers from the citizen’s consent. They insisted that forced control is criminal assault and lack of devotion to government principles.
The league firmly condemned the national administration in the Philippines and demanded an immediate stop to the discrimination against human liberty. They required Spain to initiate the process since it was one of the first countries to practice imperialism. They had the aim of forming a congress that would officially inform the Philippines of America’s intentions to grant them their rightful independence.
The group also disapproved strongly the American soldiers for being involved in an unjust war. Their arguments were based on the fact that the United States had always detested international laws which allowed forceful control o f the weak by the strong party. The obligation of nation’s citizens to support its government during hazardous moments did not fit applicably for this situation of imperialism (Halsall, 1997, p.1).
Outcome of the policy in the twentieth century
An obvious outcome is America now stretches from Atlanta the Pacific. With this entire region where there are no import and export tax barriers, it has been quite easy for America to increase its per capita. However, America was left with the heritage of oppression which is no different from slavery.
However, some positive effects have been felt especially through the Panama Canal that was constructed then which has helped improve the region’s economy. Transportation and communication services were extensively improved. Uncivilized areas got the opportunity of adopting higher livelihood values. The countries that were colonized were affected negatively as well especially in the economic sector where most of the key and productive elements are up to date owned or controlled by foreign economic agencies.
Imperialism can never be a good practice no matter the circumstances. It does not matter whether the imperialistic country has good intentions or not. If any nation at all feels the need to offer help to another country, it should do so in a better way and certainly not by controlling the other depriving them of their freedom and rights. Assistance can be offered as ideas and policies that the country should implement on its own depending on what suits the situation it is faced with.
Bella, R. (2003). Imperialism, American style. Web.
Halsall, P. (1997). American Anti-Imperialist League, 1899. Web.
Selfa, L. (1999). U.S. Imperialism: A Century of Slaughter. Web.
Streich, M. (2009). American Imperialism in the 1890s. Web.
The Influence of American Imperialism on Our Economy and American Society since the End of the 19th Century Essay
In the 18th and 19th century, European countries especially the British and the French were scrambling and partitioning the Asia and Africa continents in order to access cheap source of labor and raw materials. This was accomplished by use of military power and also by establishing investments there.
The United States of America was not involved in the scramble, the American imperialism only started later in 1898 during the Spanish American war where the United States of America saw the opportunity to gain colonies by conquering them from Spain in the Spanish-American war. At that time, many powers thought that they could be super powers only by gaining colonies. However, later, countries (USA included) discovered that colonies were not the only way for a country to gain power.
While the United States of American did not use policy of acquiring extra territories, the country has been using its might to control political and economic decisions almost everywhere in the world through the spread of capitalism (Weber, 1978).
To confirm its might, in the recent past, America has engaged in the gulf war, the NATO forces attacks on Yugoslavia, the invasion of Iraq and the continuous attacks on the Taliban as it tries to spread its imperialistic policies. Several years later especially after the Iraq attacks where the US forces were aiming at removing Saddam Hussein from power, the American soldiers are still there and the casualties from these wars have been increasing.
As a result, many people have started experiencing the negative effects of American imperialism especially the American themselves since the unemployment levels has been rising and the country is still recovering from the 2007-2008 financial crisis which led to many US companies being bailed out or collapsing with many arguing that the army in foreign lands need to be recalled (Karl, 2005).
There exist several theories that either support or criticize imperialism. According to the supporters of the Marxist theory, the trends towards expansion are not necessarily through conquering and alienation of foreign lands as most people especially political scientists like to define it but imperialism rather explains the changes which have been occurring in the political economic and also social activities as they try to advance their capitalist notions everywhere.
These sentiments support the US spread of imperialism where it has been using policies and laws which countries that need to be assisted by the country have to follow. A country which needs aid from the United States of America but does not follow the laid policies is never assisted by the US.
In another theory by Kautsky, a capitalist country such as the United States of America cannot sell all the products within their country and thus they have to look for other countries where they can sell their products especially in the less developed economies. Kautsky observed this as the reason behind colonial expansions and spreading of imperialistic policies.
He claims this was the reason for colonial expansions and spreading of their imperialistic policies. In the case of United States, rather than expanding colonies they use they imperialistic policies to access what ever they need. For example, a country cannot expect America to assist it if it has trade barriers against it even if the intention is to protect home industries.
Conservative theories supports imperialism by indicating that imperialism exists in order to preserve the social orders among the developed economies. The theory further maintains that it is usually necessary for a country to secure trade and also maintain employment levels. The United States of America has achieved this by introducing legislations which protects internal industries from effects of trade liberalization.
Finally, in political theory, imperialism helps a country by decreasing the strategic and political vulnerability of a country and the United States of America has achieved by ensuring there is manifestation of power thereby maintaining its status quo.
Influence of American imperialism on your economy
Social and political self determination from other countries has been challenging the American hegemony in different parts of the world. Other than the challenges above, as the United States of America increase its military supremacy and increase its capability of the army, the country has been accruing large debts especially due to the huge budgets which are allocated for its enormous military expenses.
In return, this has increased America dependence on foreign creditors especially from the oil producing countries. As a result, the disparity or the differences between the American army and its own weak economy has just been increasing (Knauft, 2007).
American imperialism has also affected the economy negatively. For example, the attacks on Iraq an oil producing country led to oil world volumes to decline and as a result the price of oil went up affecting the economy negatively since the high prices reduced the market basket for people all over the world (Americans included).
Positive impact of the US imperialistic policies has been in the increased trade. The US control land over seas where external production takes place, through this, it is able to engage more in international trade exporting more than it is importing thereby being able to earn more through the foreign direct investment as a result improving the economy as a whole (Cunningham, 2010).
American society since the end of the 19th century
Since the end of 19th century, American imperialism has led to most Americans living in fear of terrorist attacks. The critics of American imperialistic policies in the Arab world especially the Muslim extremists feel that Americans have been interfering with their governments when their soldiers inhabit their land.
As a result, there has been the emergence of terrorist groups targeting both the Americans and their interests in the world. As the US imperialistic policies continue, most people have lost their lives especially most of the US soldiers who went to fight in Iraq. With loss of lives, families have been left widowed and as a result this continues to increase the emotional problems which the Americans go on with suffering.
After September 11 attacks, America has seen the introduction of new regional command for defense which maintains that all the foreign acquisitions of the federal buildings to undergo security reviews in ascertaining their safety.
As the United States of America tries to protect her interests, traffic along international borders has become difficult and the exchange of students and scientific visitors has been hampered and where in the past information was viewed as the cutting edge for profitability and democratization process with the state secrets reaching historic high levels as a result it remains to be observed whether the imperatives of restrictiveness and openness will be modified and remade in a way that will allow the accumulation of capital and other resources (Steinmetz, 2005): No one is no longer safe in what used to be the Promised Land.
The impact of imperialism on people in foreign countries as well as in the US
Changes have been witnessed in the political economic and also social activities as countries try to advance their capitalist notions everywhere. Nations that needs aid from the United States of America but do not follow the laid policies are never assisted by the US.
For example, the Vietnam leader Ho Chi Minh requested US president Truman for humanitarian assistance after floods swept harvests in his country but was denied help. Vietnam was viewed as communist and US wanted to control the country due to availability of resources like iron ore, rice and oil (Zinn, 2010). Thus the people of Vietnam were left to starve.
Perkins (2007), argues that US government uses hit men and jackals to control foreign governments and their action determines who gains economically or military power. He cites nations like Egypt that became friendly to US and has since been receiving development aid.
The United States of America (capitalist country) cannot sell all the merchandises within their country and thus they have to look for other nations where they can sell their products especially in the less developed economies. Rather than mounting colonies the US employ imperialistic policies to access whatever they need.
Those countries facing trade barriers are never assisted by the US even if their main aim is shielding home industries. The US has been introducing legislations that insulate internal ventures from the consequences of trade liberalization.
Imperialism has also been assisting nations by curtailing the strategic and political susceptibility of a country; the United States of America has attained this by making sure there is manifestation of power thus maintaining its status quo.
The American imperialism has faced many challenges especially in the last century where many people have been against the advancement of its imperialistic polices. These imperialistic policies have affected the economy both positively and negatively.
Among the positive effects has been the improved economy of the country through Foreign Direct Investments gained from the excess exports while on the other side, the negative impacts have included the rise in unemployment as most of the budget concentrates on military. Socially which might affect their economic performance; Americans live in fear of terrorist attacks from people who are against their country’s policies.
Cunningham, D. (2010). Modern Imperialism and its Impact. Web.
Karl, B. (2005). The US, Iraq and the Future of Empire. Historical Materialism. Vol.13. Iss.3, pp163-192.
Knauft, B.M. (2007). Provinicializing America: Imperialism, Capitalism and Counter Hegemony In The 21st Century. Current Anthropology Volume 48, Number 6, pp 781-805.
Perkins, J. (2007). The secret history of the American empire: economic hit men, jackals, and the truth about global corruption. New York, Penguin.
Steinmetz, G. (2005). Return to Empire: The New U.S. Imperialism in Comparative Historical Perspective. Web.
Weber, M. (1978). Economy and Society: An Outline of Interpretive Sociology, Volume 2. California: University of California Press. Reprint.
Zinn, H. (2010). A People’s History of the United States. New York: HarperCollins.
American Imperialism in the Nineteenth Century Essay
Imperialism is the plan of expanding nationals’ authority by acquisition of territories, or setting up economic control over other nations. American Imperialism is attributed to economic, cultural, and political factors that influence the United States. Therefore, the following paragraphs focus on how Americans adopted imperialism in the 19th century, using all means such as surrogates to take over other countries, and how many unpopular or underdeveloped countries survived through their support.
In the 19th century, Americans came up with the idea of expansion – the west part began to purchase Louisiana, and the practice continued throughout the mid century. This raised constitutional issues about legality of land purchase. By the end of civil war, all the lower 48 states on the continent of North America were owned by the United States.
From the early years of 19th century up to the civil war, Northern American boarders were to be expanded according to the plan and debates. Events about the expansion created conflict between those that advocated for it and the ones in the opposition.
Todd (2004) asserts that United States imperialized other countries to the aim of economic benefits. Affordable labor and raw materials came from foreign countries which were meant to stimulate the America’s economy. Overseas territories were lined up with cheap labor force which allowed American’s goods to be made at a lower cost. Furthermore, America was seeking adventures in foreign countries claiming that it was a big nation and needed to do outdoor tasks of the world.
Similarly, newspaper editors increased their profits while raising public support for the imperialism in America, and nationalism contributed to the occurrence of imperialism. The nationalists called themselves jingoists, and maintained that their country was like European nations. Consequently, Americans protected its new existing territories especially the overseas territories and acquired Alaska, Midway Island, Hawaii, the Alleutian Islands, Guam, and Samoa, which extended its perimeter.
Religion was also a driving force to imperialism because missionaries wanted to convert people from their target foreign land by convincing them that they had a better religion. Missionaries Christianized the Hawaii Island, and they discovered it was an excellent sugar growing land. Their search for, and exploitation of raw materials was extended to South Africa which was rich with goldmines and diamonds, and India which had silk (Immerman, 2010).
Later, American imperialism extended to Cuba, Puerto Rico and Philippine Islands in 1899; Puerto Rico and Philippines turned out to be American colonies. The Filipinos rebelled against American rule in February 1899, and were restrained in 1902 after guerilla war. They formed Ant imperialist League since they viewed imperialism as hostile to liberty (Halsall, 1997).
Consequently, in early 20th century, writers like Charles Beard conferred that American Policy was being driven by self concern – the US did not change its foreign policy after the cold war, and was mainly focused to enlarge its control across the world.
In conclusion, even if the present world is controlled by the United States, the action depicted by the dominance is no longer imperial; its power is based on soft power which is cultural, rather than monetary force. This is observed by the widespread desire to migrate to the US and the high intake of foreign students at America’s learning institutions. The other factor is the spread of U.S music, styles, and movies. The US is viewed by some countries as the most dangerous world imperialist, but in the real sense no matter how powerful, it is no longer considered as an empire.
Halsall, P. (1997, August). American Anti-Imperialist League, 1899. Modern History Sourcebook. Retrieved from https://sourcebooks.fordham.edu/mod/1899antiimp.asp
Immerman, R. H. (2010). Empire for Liberty: A History of American Imperialism from Benjamin Franklin to Paul Wolfowitz. New Jersey: Princeton University Press.
Todd, E. (2004). After the Empire: The Breakdown of American Order. New York: Columbia University Press.
American cultural imperialism in the film industry is beneficial to the Canadian society Term Paper
Imperialism may be regarded as a situation where a nation exerts a lot of effort to influence and dominate other countries and mostly politically and economically. Cultural imperialism on the other hand is considered as the situation where the western countries dominate the media worldwide and in the process exert a lot of influences on the cultures of the developing nations that in turn conform to theirs. Imperialism has both negative and positive consequences to both the donor and recipient nations.
One of greatest advantage of the imperialism to the donor nations which are generally the western nations is its success to influence the cultures and views of the residents in the third world nations. They thus end up embracing foreign cultures since they perceive them as being more superior to theirs.
This process has necessitated the growth and expansion of the western firms and in particular American companies. The advancement of technology and especially the Information Technology (IT) has greatly boosted the concept of American cultural imperialism as a result of the enhanced integration that is associated with the advanced IT that greatly enhances globalization through e-commerce.
The high spread of the American culture in many parts of the world has become an issue of concerns to many nations as is sometime being taken as a modern form of colonialism. The American imperialism is characterized by an increased consumption of American products and the dominance of the American culture worldwide.
Many nations are complaining because of the domineering aspect of the American culture. Many nations associate American cultural imperialism as a key factor that has greatly contributed in eroding their native values and traditions. The aspect of imperialism is not a new phenomenon in the 21st century; Imperialism has been in existence since the time of the Roman emperor and also the 19th century during the period of European colonization.
The cause of the great worry on the American cultural imperialism is the impact in which it is spreading. The American culture imperialism has seen widespread proliferation of the U.S. products across the globe. Despite the complain from some nations on the domineering aspect of the American culture, some nations such as Canada are now happier due to the American culture imperialism as it has caused them more good than harm (Culture and Globalization, 2011).
The concept of the use of media to promote imperialism has been an issue of controversial for long. It has been addressed by various scholars among them Latin American thinkers who included Tomlinson who argued that globalization is a term that is used to refer to the latest phase to a process that has a long history.
He considered the concept as a process that is aimed on propagating western cultures where the developed nations dominate all the other cultures. There is a perception that the media imperialism believe that the western countries apart from controlling the international media trade , also use the same media to convey their cultures, economic values and especially capitalism and consumerism to majority of the third world countries.
According to the renowned Herbert Schiller, the idea of cultural imperialism represents the manner in which society is transformed into the modern global system. To realize this objective, the western countries use the mechanism of pressurizing, forcing and occasionally bribing in order to change the social institutions so that to conform to those of the western nations and also promote their values.
The Cultural Imperialism model depicts that the worldwide culture is predominately American culture. He considers the global culture as being conquered by graphic and visual arts such that he considers it having been greatly influenced by the current televisions, films, images and methods of advertisement (Culture and Globalization, 2011).
The popularity of the United States of America books, music and films in many countries across the global has raised a lot of interest to many diverse groups of people ranging from politicians, economists and academicians. There have also been diverse views about the impact of globalization of American culture to foreign cultures.
There is a great concern of whether the propagation of American goods in these countries is causing any influence on the domestic or international policies of these nations. Similarly, there is also a worry of whether the Proliferation of the American goods to these nations and especially American films is a threat to the traditions and values of the indigenous people.
There are many benefits that are associated with the phenomenon of globalization of both the production and distribution of goods and services. One most important aspect of globalization is its ability to give individuals access to products/services that they do not produce.
In addition, some scholars argue against globalization as it creates a challenge in consumption of locally produced goods because of availability of foreign goods at a lower cost. Some countries are successful in producing their products at a lower cost due to their advanced technology, cheap labor, energy and other factors of productions.
This helps them to sell their produce at reduced prices. Thus, availability of such commodities can cause a lot of harm to local companies that are not able to lower their cost of their goods as a result of high cost of production. Globalization also is noted to enhance international trade and in particular in cultural products/services such as TV productions, soaps and operas, music among others.
The increase of cultural trade is associated with introducing all societies to foreign cultures which have in turn enhanced mutual cooperation and peace in the diverse global society. There is a perception that exposure to the foreign culture and products is associated with changing the local cultures, traditions and values adversely. This can result to a society undermining its own cultural identity
The issue of the American cultural imperialism is a significant issue under consideration. A study conducted by UNESCO revealed that there is a high rise in the growth of cultural trade. The film trade recorded a rise from $ 47.8 billion by 1980 to a high of $ 213.7 billion in 1997.
This represents a great expansion in demand and sale of cultural goods and especially games, films and sporting goods. The united States of America have realized the demand of these products and thus have greatly invested in this area to become the leading export of culture trade and especially the films.
According to the UNESCO findings, US has become the dominant country in the production and sale of cultural goods globally and mostly in the audiovisual sector. 85% of all the movies that are sold globally are produced in Hollywood. Surprisingly, even in the Europe the U.S. movies are the one that dominate the market.
The study reveals that 80% of the movies that are watched in Europe originate from Hollywood. This is surprisingly of the cultural dominance of the American culture worldwide even in Europe. This is despite U.S being not the leading in film production as it is currently ranked the fourth largest. The three leading film producing countries in the worlds are China, India and Philippines.
The dominance of the United States of America films worldwide has thus become a controversial issue since majority of the nations are complaining that their culture is under siege due to the cotemporary increase in the American culture as a result of increased globalization supported by current advancement in Information Technology.
The reason behind the extensive adaption of the American culture and especially the American movies and TV productions is as a result of the market mechanism the U.S. has established to retain a competitive advantage over its rival countries such as India and China, but not the presumed assumptions about its conspiracy to propagate capitalism agenda. The well established American competitive edge has enhanced the sale of American cultural products worldwide.
The competitive advantages of the American products have ensured them being universally accepted worldwide and especially the American films thus dominating the market globally. The trade has also experienced some challenges such as an increase in piracy and bootlegging of the American films. This also explains why the high adaption of American movies is as a result their universal appeal worldwide, but not due to the presumed conspiracy of capitalism (Rauschenberger, 2003).
The American movies, music and other TV productions such as soap operas and sitcom enjoy the inherent advantage of being produced in America. This is because U.S. is among the countries that are leading worldwide both in technology and having the largest economy with a per capital GDP of approximately $ 37,600.
The capitalism of the American trade has also benefited their film industry greatly as it has established a competitive market economy where private individuals and firms make most of their business decisions with very minimal interference from the government in comparison to other films from other areas such as Europe or Asia that have ventured in the same industry.
American films are more flexible in their day-to-day operations such as have more flexibility in decision making processes such as; expansions lay off surplus and in the development of new products.
In addition, the American films have more advantage in being a bit ahead in the technology. The United States are regarded as the leading in the development of internet. The United States of America are thus leading in the internet development that has also enabled them become the leading in country e-commerce which greatly enhances the propagation of their products and especially in the film industry.
Thus, the U.S. cultural industry has propagated that much due to the prevailing conditions that are enjoyed by American films. The U.S. films enjoy a larger production budget, strong home returns, greater flexibility and a more advanced technology. The other factor that has enhanced the propagation of the American imperialism industry is the fact that these films are produced in English language which is among the commonly spoken language worldwide (Rauschenberger, 2003).
As earlier outlined, globalization allows firms to distribute American cultural products that range from films, books and music worldwide. The spread of these products goes hand in hand with the propagation of American culture.
To Americans a cultural industry is treated like any other industry and brings the country a lot of revenue in the form of local and foreign sales. For Canadians, cultural industries are not treated like other industries. In addition to bringing the nation a lot of returns, they create products that are responsible for the fundamental survival of the Canadian culture.
The globalization has seen countries like Canada being adversely affected by the American cultures. This is because Canada is one of the greatest consumers of the American products. In addition, the close relation that exists between America and Canada has greatly contributed to the high America cultural imperialism of the Canadians (Leonard, 2001).
Recently there have been an increased number of television productions that feature American films worldwide. Many United States companies have expanded outside the United States and particularly in Canada.
A study carried out between 1990 and 1998 revealed that the number of American films and television productions that were being produced outside U.S. has almost doubled from 14 percent to 27 percent. The same study showed that the number of U.S television films that were being produced in Canada had increased from 122 to 154.
The total value of the television productions and films amplified to over $ 3.5 billion in 1999.The major destination of the U.S. film and television productions are Canada, Ireland, United Kingdom and Australia. These countries are believed to share four characteristics that greatly boosts cross border trade and cooperation. The four aspects they share all share include; all speak English language, have very competent workforce, offer a range of incentive programs to the film sector and lastly all possess a fast growing film industry.
Despite these similar traits, Canada is by far the largest recipient of U.S. film productions. The estimated value of U.S productions in Canada is about US$ 573 million to US$ 2.24 billion by 1998. The film productions in Canada have currently greatly increased and this is closely linked with the U.S. film productions. The film and television productions in Canada have increased to as much as US$ 2.4 billion in 1999.
The industry is believed to create approximately 100,000 direct jobs in Canada alone with majority of them believed to be U.S productions. Canada has also benefited from the U.S films in enhancing its domestic film productions based greatly from the doings of the U.S film makers (Leonard, 2001).
The presence of the American films industries as identified there above have greatly assisted Canada in creation of job opportunities for its citizens. There are many films industries that have expanded their operations from America to Canada. These multinational companies have greatly boosted the Canadian economy greatly.
In addition to the job creation, they have also contributed in building the Canadian economy by the taxes they pay to the Canada government. This revenue has in turn been used by the Canada government to develop other sectors such as Canadian healthcare facilities, education and infrastructure.
These American films industries that operate in Canada has greatly enhanced the growth and development of Canadian films industries. They have done so by empowering the Canadians monetary through offering them employment opportunities. Through the money they receive as compensation for working for the American films industries located in Canada, many Canadian have saved these money and started their own film industry.
By working for these multinational companies, the Canadians have received a very important opportunities to learn from the Americans their sophisticated methods of films and TV productions. This has been a great step for the Canadian films’ since it has enabled their films productions to sell very well both locally and internationally (Leonard, 2001).
The America cultural imperialism has highly associated with eroding the values, cultures and traditions of many societies globally. There has been many complain worldwide to those that perceive the Americanization as a new form of colonization.
Such nations or individuals consider the America cultural imperialism as a mechanism that is designed by the U.S. to propagate their agenda of capitalism and individualism. Globalization has been noted to greatly boost the America cultural imperialism through the widespread adoption of e-commerce and particularly in the cultural trade.
Despite this outcry, there are some countries that have greatly benefited from America cultural imperialism. Canada is a good example of such a country that has greatly benefited from the Americanization phenomenon. The cultural trade and in particular the U.S film industries located in Canada have boosted the Canadian economy greatly through taxes paid to the government or salaries paid to Canadians employees and as a consequence of technology transfer among others.
Culture and Globalization. (30 September, 2011). Web.
Leonard, B. (2001). Migration of U.S. Film and Television Production: The Impact of Runaways on Workers and Small Business in the U.S. Film Industry. New York: Prentice Hall.
Rauschenberger, E. (2003). Examining the Mechanisms Behind U.S. Domination of the Global Cultural Trade. Web.
Imperialism or National Protection: Is it Part of the Definition of the United States of America? Essay
In the definition of the United States of America, imperialism and national protection resemble intertwined terms. This essay examines the 1991 Address to the Nation Announcing Allied Military Action in the Persian Gulf made by the U.S. president George W. Bush during the first Iraq war.
This speech exemplifies the definition of the United States, specifically, how the United States sees itself, how it views other countries, how it views itself as a member nation of the world and what role its foreign policy plays in various conflicts beyond its borders.
In the Address to the Nation Announcing Allied Military Action in the Persian Gulf, George W. Bush reveals the truth underpinning the foreign policy of the United States: the United States protects its own interests, namely, resources such as oil, under the auspices of the democratic political system, and this protectionism extends to the four corners of the earth. Foreign policy is national security; the terms are interchangeable.
The foreign policy of the United States – in the eyes of the United States government – is global in nature. Where the United States is concerned, the right of independent nations to govern themselves as they see fit remains a conditional item, conditional upon compliance to the unspoken rule that the interests of the United States take precedence over those of all the other countries in the world.
This definition of imperialism and national protection in the core values of the United States has not changed since Bush’s leadership; in fact echoes of many of the policies outlined in this speech persist in the foreign policy of current President Barack Obama.
In 1991 George W. Bush addressed the people of the United States from the Oval Office. The purpose of the Address to the Nation Announcing Allied Military Action in the Persian Gulf was threefold: one, to announce the commencement of military actions against Iraq following the invasion of Kuwait by Saddam Hussein’s forces; two, to justify the military action as a last resort; and three, to position the military action as a consensus of the United Nations, as opposed to an unsanctioned aggressive move by the United States. In this speech, Bush presents the case for the first Iraq war as having been decided via consensus with other nations, and only after the exhaustion of all other avenues:
This military action, taken in accord with United Nations resolutions and with the consent of the United States Congress, follows months of constant and virtually endless diplomatic activity on the part of the United Nations, the United States, and many, many other countries. Arab leaders sought what became known as an Arab solution, only to conclude that Saddam Hussein was unwilling to leave Kuwait….Our Secretary of State, James Baker, held a historic meeting in Geneva, only to be totally rebuffed (Bush 290).
Bush also carefully asserts that “our goal is not the conquest of Iraq. It is the liberation of Kuwait” (Bush 292). He reminds the American public that “this will not be another Vietnam” (Bush 292). Bush uses language to paint a vivid narrative; he labels Saddam Hussein as “the dictator of Iraq” (Bush 290).
Bush calls Kuwait Saddam Hussein’s “small and helpless neighbor… crushed; its people, brutalized” (Bush 290). Bush elucidates that Saddam’s actions forced the hand of the world. “The world could wait no longer. Sanctions, though having some effect, showed no signs of accomplishing their objective…While the world waited, Saddam Hussein systematically raped, pillaged and plundered a tiny nation, no threat to his own” (Bush 291).
Bush also paints the United States as an equal member in this large team of concerned international interests, when he highlights that “twenty-eight nations – countries from five continents Europe and Asia, Africa, and the Arab League – have forces in the Gulf standing shoulder to shoulder against Saddam Hussein” (Bush 292).
The Bush speech also contains a savvy treatment of the issue of American interests. In order to address the issue of oil, widely understood to be the main reason why the United States first became involved in the Iraq-Kuwait conflict, Bush employs a highly credible source as his mouthpiece – the soldiers themselves:
Listen to Hollywood Huddleston, marine lance corporal. He says, let’s free these people, so we can go home and be free again…Listen to one of our great officers out there, Marine Lieutenant General Walter Boomer. He said, there are things worth fighting for.
A world in which brutality and lawlessness are allowed to go unchecked isn’t the kind of world we’re going to want to live in. Listen to Master Sergeant J.P. Kendall of the 82nd Airborne: We’re here for more than the price of a gallon of gas. What we’re doing is going to chart the future of the world for the next 100 years (Bush 292).
Twenty years later, the definition of the United States appears to consistently blur the lines between imperialism and national protection in the realm of foreign policy.
President Barack Obama’s administration maintains a similar modus operandi to that of the first Bush administration, “threatening, several times, to attack Iran if they don’t do what the United States wants them to do nuclear-wise; threatening more than once to attack Pakistan if its anti-terrorist policies are not tough enough or if there would be a regime change in the nuclear-armed country not to his liking; [and] calling for a large increase in US troops and tougher policies for Afghanistan” (Blum 26).
The ongoing conflict in the Middle East, initiated in the Address to the Nation Announcing Allied Military Action in the Persian Gulf, lingers largely because of the problematic definition of the United States, this pervasive belief that the foreign policy of the world needs to be set solely by interests that serve and protect the United States.
In his article Obama and the Empire, William Blum points to the apparently blunt refusal on the United States to leave Iraq as an example of this phenomenon: “George W. Bush, 2006: We’re going to stay in Iraq to get the job done as long as the government wants us there. George W. Bush, 2007: It’s their government’s choice. If they were to say, leave, we would leave.
Iraqi National Security Adviser Mowaffak al-Rubaie, 2008 said his government was impatiently waiting for the complete withdrawal of U.S. troops. Barack Obama, [in] 2008 [said] we can redeploy combat brigades from Iraq at a pace of 1 to 2 brigades a month that would remove them in 16 months” (Blum 27).
The definition of the United States combines imperialism and national protection; the two terms essentially complement each other, and function as synergistic items, both in thought and action. The United States protects its own interests worldwide, as opposed to within its own borders; in fact, its borders are the world. Foreign policy is national security, and vice versa. The right of free nations to govern themselves therefore remains provisional, pending the approval of the United States.
Blum, William. “Obama and the Empire.” AMASS 13.3 (2008): 26-28. Web.
Bush, George. “Address to the Nation Announcing Allied Military Action in the Persian Gulf.” America Through the Eyes of Its People, Vol. 2. 3rd ed. Boston: Pearson Longman, 2006. 290-293. Print.
Importance of American Imperialism to the Economy and Society Essay
The histories of empire building have enjoyed renaissance from the period of 19th century. This has been epitomized by the global primacy of USA militarily, economically and culturally. It is the tradition of USA that has given a place to imperialism and especially the Marxist form of imperialism.
The influence of the USA is widely related to two aspects: its geopolitical relations and its economic mode of capital accumulation. The economic influence of USA is primarily necessitated by the internationalization of systems of production, circulation and investment, the interpenetration of private capital and the structure of the nation.
This has resulted into an integrated nature of the world economy becoming the main arena for competition among states and further resulting into geopolitical conflicts between states. It is understood that the two world wars were products of anti-imperialist conflicts.
The US imperialism in the global arena conforms to the theory by Hardts and Negri, who posited that inter-imperialism rivalries have influence beyond the transnational power cycle. Consequently, it is argued that the advent of globalization has facilitated the establishment of the US Empire.
What makes the US an indispensable player in the global economy is its resources and massive population that can provide a huge market for its products. Other factors favoring US as a dominant player in the international stage are the dominance and presence of their culture all over the world and the sophistication of its military. Notwithstanding, these reasons, the secret of US dominance is due to the use of a dollar as a global and standard currency .
World Bank and IMF as Tools of Imperialism
The World Bank, for example, has been considered as an instrument of imperialism that is used by the USA to dictate the world economy. This similarly applies to the IMF.
This is evidenced in the management of the bank whereby in the 24 member board, eight are representatives of the global powers namely: “Germany, Britain, France, China, Russia, Saudi Arabia, USA and Japan”  and the remaining sixteen slots are shared by approximately 185 member states. Consequently, US has control over the voting weight in the two organizations; with “17 percent in the IMF and 16 percent in World Bank” , its allies also hold a substantial say in the voting weight.
Though World Bank is considered as a global institution, it is only the USA that has veto power of the Bank’s critical decisions, and it is the president of the USA, who is bestowed with the task of appointing the Bank’s president. This power wielded by the US over the two monetary institutions gives them the leverage to promote their imperialism tendencies. The USA influences the global economy through their corporations.
Imperialism has also benefited US economy through having lee way for the operations of their corporations in the globe. The American multinational corporations have effectively capitalized on the American imperialism to exploit resources, advance their creativity and enhance communication to the remote parts of the world.
It is through the American corporations abroad that USA has had at their disposal all the instruments that guarantee itself stability. The USA has used their imperialism to influence international and domestic politics. This, America does to ensure that their objectives are met and not to benefit other people.
This was evident in Indonesia where America supported the activities of Mohammed Suharto, the dictator president who made use of brutality to implement policies that could benefit the interests of the USA. America only acknowledges a country as an ally if it is strategic and can serve their national interests. The USA has used the leverage they have in the World Bank to benefit their corporations and the ruling elite in developing countries at the expense of the poor.
In Indonesia, for example, they influenced World Bank to provide loans to the benefit of Indonesian rulers and US corporations. The result for this is to ensure that host countries are heavily indebted, which is the objective realized while the ruling class secure investments overseas through the assistance of the US .
Through corporations, the American society has been ruined. While the government secures them good opportunities abroad, they have destroyed the policies and the character of the Americans and the global society.
Corporations bribe politicians both at Washington and in other cities of the planet to facilitate the formulation of laws that are deceiving to the society so as to enable them to evade costs that they are likely to incur in their business operations. The laws they influence are detrimental and may include the environmental costs of exploiting resources, worker compensation and freedom to market hazardous goods or dump wastes .
American corporations have ruled the world through greed as depicted by the massive profits they marshal. This was best exhibited by ExxonMobil when it announced a record-breaking profit and second of all time profit to be announced by a US company.
This is often achieved at the expense of suffering populations of the world’s poor and the favors they receive through the influence and imperialist nature of America, which enables it to negotiate for privileges like tax breaks and trade agreement and consequently, the presence of environmental and labor laws that are crafted to their favor.
The propagation of American imperialism is often achieved by compromising the central principles that hold the American society. America and its allies who are considered paragons of democracy demonstrate several undemocratic features namely: media manipulated by huge corporations and their governments, politicians are controlled and manipulated by wealthy people who are often major campaign contributors, consequently, policies in these countries are influenced by the wealthy and more often the policies are made behind closed doors so as to avoid the public getting informed on key matters .
To demonstrate how beneficial imperialism to the American society is, USA has been abstaining on any UN vote that works against its interests and has on several occasions vetoed them. The US, for example, abstained from the UN international treaty that banned land mines when it was brought to vote in 1997.
Consequently, the US has refused to ratify various conventions that are likely to undermine its imperialism like the Rome statute establishing the International Criminal Court, 1989 Rights of the Child, International Biological Weapons Convention and the Kyoto protocol.
The increased US imperialism due to globalization has created a lot of wealth for American corporations and their owners, and consequently, enormous wealth for the country but similarly creating sharp class difference and inequalities in the world. The growing US imperialism has enhanced the expansion of its economy while simultaneously fostering the belief among a majority of the population that market can offer solutions to societal and economic problems .
Dollar as Standard Currency
The influencing of the Saudi Arabia by the United States of America under the scheme of Saudi Arabia Money Laundering Affair (SAMA) was on purpose; an agreement was coined to let the Royal Saud house to only sell oil in dollars.
This was due to the realization by the Americans that Saudi is the market controller of oil, and it could dictate similar terms for other OPEC countries. Due to this, the dominance of oil as a primary market commodity was enough assurance for the prevalence of the dollar as standard of exchange in the international economy.
Furthermore, the creation of the Bretton Woods institutions, though primarily were aimed at reconstruction of the world after World War II, US used its leverage in the body and made it an instrument to demonstrate the power of capitalism over socialism. The Bank was used to aid US Corporations and Multinational corporations that subscribed to the ideals of capitalism.
The US has used it as a whipping tool to ensure that countries align to its social and economic policies. The US has used its three instruments of imperialism, namely: corporations, IMF and World Bank to lure those countries that are rich with resources that will allow them and their corporations to exploit for the benefit of their home and industries abroad.
The trend that American imperialism is taking is no longer working to the benefit of the economy or the society. It is as a result of imperialism that American economy is deteriorating. Its military spending is spiraling at the expense of the weakening economy; in World Press Freedom List, it is going down. Its national and external debt is the largest in the world.
These realities should motivate the US society to alter the dynamics of its corporatocracy since they are at the heart inequalities in the world and changing them will be tantamount to changing the entire world.
- Perkins J. The Secret History of the American Empire: Economic Hit Men, Jackals, and the Truth about Global Corruption. New York: Penguin; 2007.
- Jones J, Wood PH, Borstelman T, May TE, Ruiz, VL. Created Equal: A History of the United States. Toronto: Pearson Education; 2010.