American Imperialism And Social Darwinism

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From about 1890 to 1918, the United States embarked on a quest to increase the worldwide prestige of the United States. The United States expanded its territories, adding Cuba, the Philippines, Guam, and Puerto Rico with the victory over Spain in the War of 1898. Imperialists who supported this expansion often used an unique brand of Social Darwinism, referred to as American Exceptionalism, to justify these acquisitions. This heightened American patriotism and American perceptions regarding race and loyalties, which, in turn, led to fears of conflicting German American loyalties during World War 1. German Americans were specifically singled out because German Americans had particularly close ties to their mother country and German Americans …show more content…
The cartoon from 1918 proved that the popularity of liquor, mostly German-made, scared Americans because many thought that with a monopoly on the liquor trade, German products would control too much of the American market. While Americans tried to mask their insecurities by saying that liquor was immoral, it was clear that most who supported Prohibition were actually against German influence on American culture. The cartoonist thought that the American love of liquor could be interpreted as a pro-German sentiment, which the cartoonist was undoubtedly afraid of. Being an employee of a newspaper company, the cartoonist took any opportunity to expound American patriotic values for fear of being branded as a pro-German writer who would unlikely be hired by any American newspaper. Just as the cartoonist was afraid of portraying anything as anti-American, so were the members of the Liederkranz. The Liederkranz’s report proved that some Germans were so afraid of being branded as anti-American during the later years of the war that they were willing to assimilate into American culture and were willing to give up some beloved cultural practices. The fact that most Liederkranz were gone by 1918 attests to the government’s efficiency at rooting out anything that could possibly be anti-American ideas. Both the Liederkranz report and the interview of Brocke proved that even the German language scared Americans and was seen as unpatriotic. This fear was probably rooted in the assumption that whatever the German Americans were saying, it was probably about a seditious topic. The American fear of people who had different cultural practices and languages was prevalent even before World War 1, and continued well after the first world war. Indeed, the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 proves that Americans were afraid enough of immigrants’

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