Race and U.S. Imperialism Research Paper

Pages: 6 (2072 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 6  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: Doctorate  ·  Topic: Race


The arbitrary nature with which race was used to further the aims of U.S. imperialism is also well elucidated within the question of religion, which in itself evolved quite a bit during U.S. colonialism. As previously explicated within this document, one of the reasons that the concept of race and racism was solidified during the era of U.S. imperialism was to continue to perpetuate the notion of chattel slavery. Early on in this era, European Christians were adverse to enslaving other Christians, since one of their main reasons for justifying slavery was that indigenous peoples were heathens and not adhering to Christianity. As the country progressed, however, Christianity became acceptable for slaves to practice; in fact, it was virtually the only religion that slaves were allowed to practice. By this time, of course, the issue of race was widely used to support the notion of slavery, so that it was now acceptable for slave to practice Christianity. There are several tenets of this religion that are actually conducive to reinforcing slavery -- once those of European ancestry determined that they could reinforce the institution with racism. Christianity is a wholly passive religion; it constantly supports quiescent behavior and abstaining from actions while awaiting the presence of some invisible deity. As such, whereas it was once used to support slavery by disallowing slaves to practice it, there came a time in which it supported slavery by enabling slaves to practice it. This sort of vacillation demonstrates how arbitrary the conventions of religion in U.S. imperialism ere, a concept which also relates to the arbitrary nature of race to further imperialist desires.

TOPIC: Research Paper on Race and U.S. Imperialism When Assignment

In retrospect, it is apparent that the issue of racism played a formidable role in the completion and success of U.S. imperialism. However, it was arbitrarily utilized, and is an illusory concept that was simply employed to engender the true goals of imperialism -- capitalist expansion. It was primarily manifested as justification for exterminating Native Americans and procuring inexpensive labor via chattel slavery.


Adas, Michael. 1998. "Imperialism and Colonialism in Comparative Perspective." The International History Review, Vol. 20, No. 2 (Jun., 1998), pp. 371-388.

Blackhawk, Ned. 2006. Violence over the land: Indians and empires in the early American West. Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press.

Rifkin, Mark. 2009. Manifesting America: the imperial construction of U.S. national space. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Silver, Peter Rhoads. 2008. Our savage neighbors: how Indian war transformed early America. New York: W.W. Norton.

Shoemaker, Nancy. 1997. "How Indians Got to be Red." The American Historical Review. 102 (3).

Wolfe, Patrick. 1997. "History and Imperialism: A Century of Theory, from Marx to Post Colonialism." The American Historical Review. 102 (2): 388-420.

End Notes

1. Nancy Shoemaker, "How Indians Got to be Red," The American Historical Review, 102 (3), 1.

2. Silver, Peter Rhoads, Our Savage Neighbors,: How Indian War transformed Early America (New York: W.W.Norton), xviii.

3. Shoemaker, "How Indians," 631.

4. Ibid.

5. Michael Adas, "Imperialism and Colonialism in Comparative Perspective." The International History Review, 20 (2), 371.

6. Rifkin, Mark, Manifesting America: The Imperial Construction of Space (Oxford, Oxford University Press), 18.

7. Blackhawk, Ned, Violence Over the Land: Indians and Empires in the Early American West. (Cambridge: Harvard University… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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