7 October, 2012
American Imperialism: A Platform for the Conflict Paradigm
Imperialism in today’s society, where it is seen in almost every society in one way or another, is used as leverage to gain social status. The countries that implement imperialism in their diplomatic relations use the method for the same common goal: to gain wealth, power, and status. Sociologically, what is it that pins country against country? It is all propelled by the Conflict Paradigm, which “argues that the structured system of all of society is based on conflict over the goods of society (wealth, power, and status)” (Dunn, 9). In America, we still today see the Conflict Paradigm in action because American imperialism is still one of our diplomatic policies. America’s conquest for westward expansion originated at the time of the founding of The Massachusetts Bay Colony, in which John Winthrop deemed, “the city upon the hill.” The belief that “The American Way” is the right way, gained support among Americans because it fostered American ideals, such as the spread of democracy as well as the strengthening of the nation’s economy. The American Way came to foster American exceptionalism, Americans’ nationalistic support for the spread of the United States’ economy as well as its political ideals. This concept of American superiority created a surge of nationalism in which the roots of American diplomacy were solidified, especially due to the fact that throughout the 19th century as American expansion was continuous.1 Fredrick Jackson Turner’s Frontier thesis supports the claim that democracy and prosperity are directly linked to American expansion, and that America was a great country filled with “rugged individuals” as a result of expansion.2 However, as the continental frontier shrank in size, and as America began to produce surpluses in the commercial agricultural industries, America was faced with an ultimatum: in order to continue to expand economically,...
Cited: Dunn, Ruth. "Module IA—An Introduction to Sociology—A Brief History of Sociology." Brief History of Sociology (2003): 10-19. Print.
Williams, William Appleman. The Tragedy of American Diplomacy. New York: Dell Pub., 1972. Print.
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