The Imperialism of the United States

Imperialism and the United States

Imperialism has been in practice since the early 1600s, although the comparably modern imperialism emerged in the 1870s witnessed by Great Britain's expansive empire. As the colorizations in North America began to stagger away from the imperial rule, the United States was consequently established, and the culture quickly adapted to implement the tools used by their former empire against other peoples. While the North American continent had been productive with resources while the Native peoples inhabited it due to lifestyle, the newly found United States have depleted these quickly and sought alternatives from foreign resources. Historian Donald W. Meinig dates back American imperialism as far as the Louisiana Purchase deal (Duara).

The write up will focus on the imperialistic nature of the United States close concentration on exploitation of natural and human resources.


Africa exploitation was inspired to begin by the wars to procure people for enslavement that included exportation of African population that comprised of the most strong and fit members. The slave trade that was carried out in the Atlantic Ocean included the skilled human resource of tradesmen and women who were acquired from a wide range of professionals and occupations that made a significant contribution to the African societies. The extraction of topmost skilled labor in Africa weakened the African social and political structure (Duara). Slave trade sabotaged the economic status of most countries in Africa especially Western Africa that lead to the destruction of the gold trade (laishley). The kidnapping and raiding of slaves made more profit than gold mining in western Africa. Transatlantic slave trade made Africans fight against each other to conduct raids. Slavery was accompanied by colonization of the nineteenth century. The acquisition of slaves in Africa to America was a source of cheap and reliable labor for American industries.

According to (laishley), the missions to come to Africa were to search for minerals and agricultural products. The European colonies forcibly took minerals and agricultural products at low prices to provide raw materials for European industries. Western powers supplied guns and weapons to their African colonies making it easier for them to access essential raw materials and minerals such as gold, diamond, and coppe. The extraction of oil from African countries was a major trade for the European powers. Oil was a trade with great profits in European nations as it was a rare commodity that was readily available in Africa (sherwood). The trade led to the elimination of African leaders who played hero to the resistance of colonial rule. The trade greatly led to the rise of African leaders such as Kwame Nkrumah, Nelson Mandela, Julius Nyerere as well as the assassination of others like Patrice Lumumba.

Latin America

Natural resource exploitation in Latin America and Haiti has raised controversy for modern development. The United States economically crippled the country by invading militarily and supporting dictators who collaborated to exploit resources. The dictators collaborated with the United States to ruin agriculture and the country’s infrastructure. The United States exportation of subsidized products like sugar and rice to Haiti undermined farmers’ efforts leading to the destabilization of the agriculture sector. Haiti is among largest consumers of US rice that has boosted the agricultural sector as well as the economy (lefty). The United States used Haiti’s agricultural land as plantations for the growth of their crops. Haiti's agricultural land was exploited mainly through the use of chemicals that have left the soil infertile, bare and unproductive. The exportation of rare species of trees such as palm has left Haiti with little natural resources to exploit. Haiti was rich in wood that was exported to earn the country enough foreign exchange. The forest industry has been exploited by the United States leaving the land bare and dry.


Imperialism in the Philippines by the United States was carried out in all aspects that included economic, political and ideological. Philippines were an open market for possibilities of trade to take place (San Juan). The US was searching for countries that it could make bilateral relations to increase their product market and expand a foreign market. In 1898, the US turned Philippe islands taken from Spain to their colonies (Duara). The US was then involved in a brutal war that lasted for four years leaving two hundred thousand Philippines dead. The US was later involved in setting up companies that owned sugar plantations and other crops that were grown for export. The process destroyed the subsistence economy of the Filipinos leaving them with little enough for them. The exploitation of Philippine islands lasted for 12 years before they were granted independence by the US by building a Filipino military that was based in the United States. These were strategies to keep the Filipino economy dependent on the US even after granting them independence and in protecting their interests on United States corporations.

To date, Philippine is ruled by a succession of dictators and presidents who are corrupt supportively linked to United States military (San Juan). The United States have at all times set the limit towards the foreign policy of the country to dominate the country and enable in protecting of United States interest. The United States government has indirectly supported the conflict between the Muslims and the Catholics keeping the islands poor and weakening their political system. The United States has successfully eroded the Filipino culture by imposing the capitalistic ideology on the country. The country is no longer bounded by culture but rather the religious divisions that have torn the country economically, politically and socially.

The Middle East

The United States venture into the Middle East to exploit for opportunities and resources has been faced with resistance. The Middle East is well known to have fields rich in oil. The agenda of US on the domination of the world has been confronted by direct influence by the Great Middle East Initiative. The initiative is aimed at promoting human rights and democracy in the region. The expansion of political participation and political rights in the Muslim world has been by combat and appeal of the Islamic extremist. The region is also known as a theatre for conflicts that have inhibited the entrance of the US into their territory (lefty). Also, the area speaks a rare language posing as a barrier for the United States to invade and exploit the region. The regions are rich in oil as the only raw material for export making it a precious commodity to be protected from outsiders. Most parts of the Middle East are desert limiting its ability to practice economic activities such as livestock keeping and agriculture. The region is entirely dependent on oil for employment and earning of foreign exchange.


In conclusion, the exploitation of countries, precisely by the superpowers, has turned to be of no good. The value of exploitation outweighs the benefits as it has long-lasting effects. Mineral excavation leaves the land bare, infertile and unproductive for a long time. Exploitation and imperialism have led to civil wars that have far-reaching impacts like loss of property and life. The global domination of superpowers like the United States has resulted in lasting effects such as infringement of human rights, neo-colonialism, modern-day slavery that has mutated to brain drain among other aspects. The postulations of future domination are currently being faced with resistance that has involved conflict and wars. Exploitation of weak and small states has led to the formation of corporate alliances and regional integrations that aim at protecting their member states.

Works Cited

Duara, Prasenjit. "Modern Imperialism." Oxford Handbooks Online, 2012.

laishley, roy. "Is Africa’S Land Up For Grabs?". Africa Renewal, 2009, Accessed 10 Apr 2018.

lefty, natural. "America: The Exploitation Nation". Thom Hartmann, 2010, Accessed 10 Apr 2018.

San Juan, E. "US imperialism in the Philippines." Race " Class, vol. 22, no. 2, 1980, pp. 182-189.

sherwood, marika. "The Ongoing Exploitation Of Africa". Revealing Histories Rememmbering Slavery, Accessed 10 Apr 2018.

whitney. "Natural Resources Exploitation In Latin America Violates Human Rights". Peoplesworld, 2012, Accessed 10 Apr 2018.

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