Final Paper - Final Exam Essay In explaining American...

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Final Exam Essay In explaining American history from the beginnings of the nation to the Progressive era, textbooks promote patriotism at the expense of other nationalities and attempt to cover the ever- lasting racism within the nation. Unfortunately, they continue to take the same approach while explaining events from 1920 to the present. Indeed, textbooks fuel the irrational amount of na- tionalism Americans hold while not revealing America’s faults throughout its history. Addition- ally, since 1920, American involvement across the globe has expanded and has attempted to ex- ploit nations, whether it is for political or economic benefits. However, in their typical approach, textbooks do not provide the true motive of America, but rather state America is attempting to help nations develop into democratic nations. Although America has had proud moments such as the civil rights movement and positive immigration legislation, textbooks also have the responsi- bility of presenting America’s faults such as their shortcomings in curtailing racism and their true motives behind the legislation passed and foreign involvement in the past century. In explaining America’s foreign involvement during the 1920’s, textbooks fail to mention America’s true motive in expanding its “empire” which is evident through their involvement in the Hawaii and Cuba. For example, in Hawaii, textbooks argue Queen Liliuokalani was over- thrown because of the she aimed to create a constitution that would increase the monarch’s power. However, textbooks fail to elaborate the constitution would have diminished the influence of American sugar planters in Hawaii. Essentially, Queen Liliuokalani wanted to protect her Hawaiian citizens from foreign American sugar planters who wanted to exploit their land. Never- theless, a coup was arranged where Queen Liliuokalani was overthrown and Hawaii was eventu- ally annexed (lecture, October 21). America’s involvement in Hawaii was not to prevent an in- crease in a monarch’s power, but rather to exploit and increase economic benefits. A similar ap-
proach was taken in Cuba following the Spanish-American War. After the American forces de- feated the Spanish, Cuba and the United States came to an agreement called the Platt Amend- ment. Arguably, the Platt Amendment is perhaps the most telling of America’s true motives in ex- panding its “empire”. Provisions in the Platt Amendment include protecting American property, banning treaties between Cuba and any other nation, and right to intervene (lecture, October 21). Textbooks may argue America has inserted these provisions to ensure Cuba will become a flour- ishing democratic nation like America, but as the future shows, this was not the case. America’s desire to expand political and economic power was often portrayed as promoting democratic in- stitutions to nations in desperate need. While America aimed to expand economic power outside its borders, the Great Depression certainly slowed down that process.

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