Expansion and Restriction

in Concentration Camps on the Home Front

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print October 2008 | ISBN: 9780226354767
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226354774 | DOI:
Expansion and Restriction

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This chapter analyzes the fundamental contradiction in the U.S. relationship to empire: Over the span of roughly one hundred years, a once-aggrieved colonial people came to embrace a massive program of imperial expansion and domination all their own. The nation's military might was wedded to two key value judgments: the assumed superiority of both a particular belief system and a particular economic order. An inherently supremacist activity, missionary work took for granted the inferiority of local religious customs and practices. Well-developed systems of faith, hundreds or thousands of years old, were often rejected out of hand as superstition; conversion represented the only means of elevating these lowly and unenlightened peoples. With perhaps even lesser concern for indigenous economies, capitalists sought to enhance their own—and their own nation's—financial interests in an increasingly global, competitive marketplace.

Keywords: empire; imperial expansion; missionary work; capitalists; economic order

Chapter.  9411 words. 

Subjects: History of the Americas

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