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Question.How were U.S. imperialism and progressivism linked with each other in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries?  Another way to ask the question: Did U.S. imperialism effect or play a role in the development of progressivism, and/or did progressivism effect or play a role in the development of imperialism during this period?  

Source 1: 
“The Conquest of the United States by Spain”

Below are excerpts from sociologist William Graham Sumner’s famous lecture to the Phi Beta Kappa society at Yale in 1898.  Titled “The Conquest of the United States by Spain”, it offers an unflinching take on the United States’ intended efforts to spread our way of life abroad in the wake of the Spanish-American War and describes what Sumner believes will be the result of such efforts.

Spain was the first, for a long time the greatest, of the modern imperialistic states. The United States, by its historical origin, its traditions, and its principles, is the chief representative of the revolt and reaction against that kind of a state. I intend to show that, by the line of action now proposed to us, which we call expansion and imperialism, we are throwing away some of the most important elements of the American symbol and are adopting some of the most important elements of the Spanish symbol.

We have beaten Spain in a military conflict, but we are submitting to be conquered by her on the field of ideas and policies. Expansionism and imperialism are nothing but the old philosophies of national prosperity which have brought Spain to where she now is. Those philosophies appeal to national vanity and national cupidity. They are seductive, especially upon the first view and the most superficial judgment, and therefore it cannot be denied that they are very strong for popular effect. They are delusions, and they will lead us to ruin unless we are hardheaded enough to resist them.

The question of imperialism, then, is the question whether we are going to give the lie to the origin of our own national existence by establishing a colonial system of the old Spanish type, even if we have to sacrifice our existing civil and political system to do it. I submit that it is a strange incongruity to utter grand platitudes about the blessings of liberty, etc., which we are going to impart to these people, and to begin by refusing to extend the Constitution over them, and still more, by throwing the Constitution into the gutter here at home. If you take away the Constitution, what is American liberty and all the rest? Nothing but a lot of phrases.

The point which I have tried to make in this lecture is that expansion and imperialism are at war with the best traditions, principles, and interests of the American people, and that they will plunge us into a network of difficult problems and political perils, which we might have avoided, while they offer us no corresponding advantage in return.

We know that these beliefs, hopes, and intentions have been only partially fulfilled. We know that, as time has gone on and we have grown numerous and rich, some of these things have proved impossible ideals, incompatible with a large and flourishing society, but it is by virtue of this conception of a commonwealth that the United States has stood for something unique and grand in the history of mankind and that its people have been happy. It is by virtue of these ideals that we have been “isolated,” isolated in a position which the other nations of the earth have observed in silent envy; and yet there are people who are boasting of their patriotism, because they say that we have taken our place now amongst the nations of the earth by virtue of this war. My patriotism is of the kind which is outraged by the notion that the United States never was a great nation until in a petty three months’ campaign it knocked to pieces a poor, decrepit, bankrupt old state like Spain. To hold such an opinion as that is to abandon all American standards, to put shame and scorn on all that our ancestors tried to build up here, and to go over to the standards of which Spain is a representative.

Source 2


Discussion Requirements & Expectations

Throughout the class you’ll participate in several online discussions. For each one you’ll post an initial response to a question, as well as replies to two other students.

What’s the purpose of class discussions?

College classes should offer students the chance to share their thoughts and experiences. Since we don’t meet in-person, the online discussions help create conversation, build a sense of community, and allow everyone to exchange ideas.

Where can I find class discussions?

You can access our class discussions either by clicking “Assignments” in the eCampus course menu and then clicking the discussion links within the unit folders, or by clicking “Discussions” in the course menu to see a list of all discussion boards.

How do I post or reply to a discussion?

Watch this video tutorial
 to learn how to participate in discussions on eCampus.

What are the ground rules for these discussions?

Our discussions should be thoughtful, but they should also be civil and responsible. If something would be inappropriate to say to someone in person, it’s inappropriate to post to the discussion board.

Keep in mind that we all come from different backgrounds and our worldviews are influenced by things like age, gender, ethnic identity, social values, religious and political beliefs, etc. Show tolerance and respect for differences when writing posts and replies.

To read more about online “netiquette” (rules for interacting online), click “Start Here” in the course menu and review the Netiquette section of “Introduction to Online Learning”.

What are the requirements for discussions?

There are two parts of discussion participation:

1. Create an initial post in response to the discussion question

2. Read all responses from other students and write replies to at least 2 students

Note: There will be separate deadlines for the initial post and for the 2 replies. See the course calendar for all due dates.

How will my discussion participation be graded?

Each discussion will be worth 150 points:

· 100 points for the original post

· 50 points for posting both replies

I will be looking at your critical thinking, understanding of the content, and use of specific evidence. Please see the Discussion Board Grading Rubric for more details.

Initial post requirements:

· Post should be at least 300 words.

· Use both sources to answer the discussion question.

· Include specific examples, including quotations and paraphrases from the sources, to support your answers.

· Include a question for your classmates — something you don’t understand about the sources or would like their opinion on.

· Post by the due date listed on the course Calendar to receive full credit.

Reply requirements:

· Reply to 2 other students.

· Write at least 150 words for each reply.

· Provide a constructive response to the original author. For example, you could answer their question, correct inaccurate information, propose an alternative interpretation or perspective, and/or offer specific suggestions to improve their post.

· Reply by the deadline to receive credit for the assignment.

IMPORTANT: Replies that only say something like “good job” or “I (dis)agree” will not earn any points.