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Blog Post 9/29/20

In Zinn’s Chapter, “The Empire and the People”, talks about the desire for international economic expansion, or the lack of it from the common people. Zinn mentions that newspapers actually could have overemphasized the publics’ opinion about international relations. President Roosevelt had a wanting for taking over nations that he thought to be lesser due to race. Cuba was an example of these two combined, with the people thinking that the United States was supporting Cuban freedom but actually it was protecting its personal interests in trade. When the American ship was brought down close to Cuba shortly after, the bond of war brought a kind of identity that the United States needed. The idea of war brought both money and unity to the United States so this is why Zinn said that the country needed it.

The Crash Course episode talks about how Europe succeeded at colonizing close to all of Africa. They were able to do this by industrialization. Europeans controlled the production which allowed them to expand. The interesting problem that Europeans ran into while trying to conquer and expand was not the force of Africa, but rather the disease that Africa has had for years and years before which the common people were immune to. With the development of technology, the machine gun allowed Europe to completely wipe out African people at ease allowing for the eventual expansion into Europe. The domination that Europe had in Africa came from wars that killed a lot of people. Africa resisted Europe; however, did not have the technology to withstand Europe.

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5 Comments

  1. Delaney Demaret Delaney Demaret

    I think it is a tendency of most educational materials we’ve viewed up to this point to generalize “Africa” as a homogenous region in terms of the colonization era. I think that even this is a display of Western supremacy, and we should be hyper-critical of materials that generalize the continent’s response to colonization efforts by Europeans. Systemic European exploitation was a common factor, but African responses varied widely throughout the continent.

  2. Kayla O'Connell Kayla O'Connell

    I definitely found it interesting to read about the clashing opinions of both the people and the president. Although the war brought money and unity to the United States, the war would never have happened without the business community urging the president to do so. The media and politics still have an extremely influential role on the government’s decisions to this day.

  3. William Coben William Coben

    it is very common that Africa is generalized as a homogenous region when being taught about the colonization era. This is a common example of the western supremacy that we should be critical of, and we should also be critical of materials that further exacerbate the homogeneity of Africa as a country during that time.

  4. Christina Glynn Christina Glynn

    The conflicting ideas towards what the people of the United States wanted, and what Presidents have wanted in regards to wars, interest me. I feel this is still a prevalent problem due to the different impact that war has on the different social groups.

  5. Annie Waters Annie Waters

    I think that technological superiority in military resources is a pretty common theme in the dominant powers of imperialism. Just as European powers seeking to colonize African nations benefited from weapons like machine guns, Zinn also expresses that American troops in the Filipino war were able to take advantage through their material technology.

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