Asian American Histories

Prompt:  Imperialism


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Gary Okihiro states that imperialism is foundational to the development of the United States.  He argues that the United States originated out of a worldsystem of European imperialism, and eventually became a leader in this network.  Explain how this was so, discussing two ways that the United States emerged as a prominent nation in this regard.


“The U.S. was a consequence of that worldsystem in its origin as an extractive colony of shareholders in London.” (Okihiro, 17)


“After gaining independence, the U.S. came to dominate that global, imperial network.” (p. Okihiro, 17)


“By imperialism, I mean powers over peoples and, often, occupation of their lands and waters outside the borders of a nation-state.” (Okihiro, 18)


“Imperialism, thus, is a central feature of U.S. history.” (Okihiro, 18)


Your response should consist of:

  1. Paragraph 1: an introductory paragraph with a thesis.
  2. Paragraph 2: a paragraph in which you explain how the United States was formed out of this worldsystem.
  3. Paragraph 3: a paragraph in which you discuss one way that the US emerged as a leader in this scenario
  4. Paragraph 4: a paragraph in which you discuss a second way that the US emerged as a leader in this scenario.
  5. Paragraph 5: a concluding paragraph.









History of the United States





The history of the United States is vast and difficult to outline; however, it can be subdivided into moments and periods that divided, merged, and modified the United States into today’s nation. The country is ranked fourth biggest after Canada, Russia, and China, with its national capital based in Washington. The United States is typically young by global principles, being less than 250 years old and acquired its modern dimension only in the mid-20th century.  It was the foremost of the European colonies to disconnect effectively from its native land, and the first country to stand firm on the idea that autonomy is with the people and not with the government. Therefore, the paper discusses European imperialism as a fundamental factor that led to the United States’ formation in the old years.

The birth of the United States began in the 1500s when significant activities started with the world-system of European imperialism being a significant contributor. Imperial history started with the Europeans’ increase in their quest for Asia and their fights against Asians. It began with the ancient Greeks and accessed Spain’s and Portugal 15th century voyages of study. Thus, the United States was formed from the world-system within which flowed culture, labor, and capital. As mentioned, this resulted in the creation of the nation that later dominated the world imperial network. After colonization, similar processes of growing the country proceeded to Asia and thus controlled Mexico’s boundary. Through this dominance, the country conquered islands of the Pacific and Caribbean, making them its territories and people. Imperialism is, therefore, the primary factor that led to the rise of the United States.

The United States has been the world leader for decades with a strong gross domestic product and other wealth attributed to its natural resources and significant agricultural output. European imperialism is the primary reason for this dominance, which means powers over individuals and supremacy of their land and waters outside the boundary of a nation’s state. Imperialism is part of the more prominent American exceptionalism, which is a notion that the country is different from other nations because of its ideal global agenda of spreading democracy and liberty. The United States also became superior through exerting social, political, and economic pressure on other nations such as Japan, Austria, and Germany. Another famous example of imperialism in the current age was Hawaii’s seizure in 1898, which allowed the country to possess and manage all ports, harbors, and buildings that were previously maintained by the government of the Hawaiian Islands.

The exploitation of labor, more so from Africans, is another strategy that made the United States the world’s leader. The trans-Atlantic trade of enslaved Africans migrated to Europe and America. These slaves worked in different farms, thereby increasing tobacco and sugar production in America’s plantations. Human trafficking was a problem for those enslaved while boosting merchants and planters. America and Europe gained from human labor, while Africans continued to feel deprived. Therefore, European imperialism is the main factor that led to the rise of the United States.

In summary, the early 1500 and imperialism events have been evident in the present American culture, where dominance is fundamental to retaining the world’s power and leadership. The country’s economy is the best internationally and still outshines other significant nations such as China and Japan. However, despite the stable economy, Americans are even subjected to increased housing, child care, and higher education.




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