After spending the last few weeks studying the theme People, Places, and Power through the lens of the topic Labor vs Big Business, we started to learn about the themes application in other topics. The past two days in class, different groups gave presentations on the topic that they had studied. Each group had a different topic and made a presentation, a survey, and a short video. All of these topics allowed a broad idea of the theme to be formed.
This topic was about how the United States took control of many Central and South American countries. They did this out of interests to boost patriotism and the economy and assert their power. The United States invaded Cuba to boost the economy by growing crops there and showcase their powerful navy by building naval bases.
Imperialism: Europe and Africa
Acting on the belief that they were superior, due to social Darwinism, European powers met with each other and laid claims to all of Africa. They were able to conquer Africa because of their technological superiority. They went in with the sole goal of helping themselves and their economies and did not care about the Africans, millions of whom died.
Native Americans and the West
The United States kicked Native Americans out of the West as settlers expanded west. They were motivated by the need for land to farm and forced the Native Americans to walk hundreds of miles to reservations where the U.S. tried to force their culture on them. These reservations had very poor land for farming and often did not even have enough water.
It was very difficult for many Asian immigrants to enter the country as laws barred Asian laborers from going to United States, so many pretended to be wives or children of American citizens. The ones who did immigrate worked dangerous jobs at very low wages. White workers did not like that they worked for less and blamed them for their own difficulties and they discriminated against the immigrants with laws such as one that prevented them from going to white schools.
Immigrants from Europe were subject to many difficulties, discrimination, and hatred. On Ellis Island, they faced grueling interrogations and health checkups and were deported if they did not meet standards. Once in the country, they lived in cramped tenements in ghettos and had difficulty finding work.