Spencer's Theory Of American Imperialism

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The late nineteenth century is known as “The Age of Imperialism”. This was a time that many major world powers, including the United States, sought to expand their territorial possessions. The idea of American imperialism was very popular, perhaps because U.S. citizens felt that America was exceptional compared to other countries, mainly because of its special mission to spread freedom and democracy worldwide. In order to accomplish this, America would need to exert its economic, military, and cultural influence internationally. Among the many supporters of American imperialism, there are four notable intellectuals that greatly assisted our nation into supporting this ideology, those being Frederick Jackson Turner, Alfred T. Mahan, Herbert …show more content…
Spencer was known for his sociological theories, which were linked with Charles Darwin’s theory of natural selection to create the Social Darwinism theory. Upper class people often used the Social Darwinism theory to justify American imperialism, because it allowed them to explain and justify the gap between the poor and rich social classes. The theory argued that groups of people compete with one another to get to the top – whether it be the top of economical, political, or social hierarchies – much like groups of animals and plants do. So, those that reach the top naturally deserve the spot they earned because they proved themselves to be the best adapted, and they will most likely pass the beneficial adaptations to their children. Spencer, considered the chief supporter of Social Darwinism, also invented the term “survival of the fittest”. This term was extended to address all of the nations as well, claiming imperialism was actually in the best interest of mankind because the superior nations would naturally elevate themselves and gain control over the weaker nations. Political leaders approved this idea because they could retain their status quo and justify unrestrained competition, which they saw as the way to progress …show more content…
No, our own country essentially does not go after another country’s territory and take it as our own anymore, but some of our nation’s actions are reminiscent of imperialism. For example, for many, the U.S dollar is a symbol of imperialism because if America wants to destroy another country’s economy, it can basically just cease the exchange of goods with it. Perhaps a better example that the imperialism ideology still exists somewhat in America is the fact that the U.S. has well over eight hundred military bases in more than 70 countries worldwide, proof that the U.S. still aims to be the leading military power force worldwide. Additionally, the U.S. has actively invaded Iraq, Afghanistan, Kosovo, Haiti, and Grenada, and has bombed Serbia, all which are examples of imperialistic-style military actions, even though they may have had humanitarian motives. However, it is not just the U.S. that still displays imperialistic tendencies. Numerous countries worldwide assert their power through economic and military means, such as China, Russia, India, Iran, Turkey, and

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