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How to Hide an Empire: A Short History of the Greater United States

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The people of Louisiana were as “incapable of self-government as children,” he judged, adding that the “principles of popular Government are utterly beyond their comprehension. One cannot criticize the author for omitting something that he did not intend to include in the first place, but if there is another edition of How to Hide and Empire, it might be appropriate to include at least an appendix about Native American communities at least two of which have, by treaty, rights to have non-voting members of the House of Representatives in the same way that the U. After reading this book I found myself looking more deeply into the position of Puerto Rico and its population’s viewpoints on US statehood or independence. That way, the frontier would be not a refuge for masterless men like Boone but the forefront of the march of civilization, advancing at a stately pace.

The Northwest Ordinance has become part of the national mythology, celebrated in textbooks for its remarkable offer of statehood on “an equal footing with the original States in all respects whatever. To prevent this, he proposed drawing a settlement boundary, just as the British had, and prosecuting as a felon any citizen who crossed it. At time witty, but more often quite strident this book offers a quick trip through the intricacies and ironies of America's policies toward the land and countries it has occupied over the centuries. The US strategy of establishing foreign military bases (at least eight hundred by 2019) has replaced the necessity and expense of building actual colonies. This dichotomy forms the basis for this book: Immerwahr details the often overlooked or unknown history of the US empire and aims to explore exactly how the US came to dominate global politics and the maps of the world today whilst maintaining the American belief that they are not imperialist in any way.How is it ‘hidden’ from history and the inevitable criticism that comes along with any discussion of the history of imperialism across the world? Immerwahr goes on and on with the atrocious accounts of grave crimes against humanity that occurred in all of these territories: martial law in Hawaii where executions occurred regularly, Japanese interment camps in Alaska with zero oversight. Americans might very well proclaim (and even believe in their hearts) that they are a nation built out of anti-imperialist notions, and by virtue of literally erasing all this history from their textbooks ensure that this image stays intact, but the fact is, US has been an empire and colonized millions of people since the late 19th century and continues to do so till this day. In the final chapters Immerwahr asserts that the US ‘put down the imperialist paint roller and picked up the pointillist’s brush’ (344).

This was exactly the sort of business that put Washington in favor of enforcing a British-style settlement boundary. During the Revolutionary War, Washington had left his considerable estate in the unsteady hands of his distant cousin Lund Washington. As a result, in that year only slightly more than half of the country’s land (55 percent) was covered by states. Were he alive to read this book he would probably endorse it, perhaps only regretting that he had not written it himself. His fears were confirmed in the 1790s, when backcountry men in Pennsylvania refused to pay a federal tax on alcohol and threatened armed secession.As the US features so heavily in our daily lives, this is also an important book for any student who wants to better understand the background and development of one of today’s largest global superpowers.

There’s a nice bit in this where the US decided to claim a series of islands in the Pacific, only to learn that they had claimed them as part of their territory a hundred odd years before – ‘oh, that old thing… I’d completely forgotten I ever even owned it’. The truth is that the empires (British, Russian and then US) kept taking out our elected leaders because they knew they would lose their oil monopolies. org, which seeks to inform the public about the territories and advocate for the rights of the approximately four million people who live in them.There is simply to much information crammed neatly into this 528 page book to name all of the facts and figures that blew my history-loving freaking mind, so I plan to share only a few on my favorites. I suspect this little fact might come as something of a surprise most of the 95% of the world that are not citizens of the US. Their attempts at discrediting this important reflect a denialism of the US' imperial realities that has endured throughout the history that this book summarizes. His narrative of the rise of our colonial empire outside North America, and then our surprising pivot from colonization to globalization after World War II, is enthralling in the telling -- and troubling for anyone pondering our nation’s past and future.

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