Aveneu Park, Starling, Australia

It’s let them escape to another realm where

It’s 1865, just after the Civil War. Much of the south is in disarray. Americans want to move westward. This is how it happened. Imagine an abandoned strip of land, with bodies among bodies lying lifelessly scattered about. This is the result of a selfish government forcefully expanding their territory. Now imagine an entity using intimidation to achieve the same goal. Both of these examples, among others, reflect different strategies pursued during American expansionism, which is commonly associated as a form of economic or territorial gain. Expansionism has resulted in many forms of government, including the United States’ government, becoming very greedy with land and economic power. For this reason and more, American expansionism was not justified. American expansionism toward the west, was not justified because Americans went on and completely demolished Native Americans way of life, even though lived a peaceful life within their tribes. The Battle at Wounded Knee was a gorey, bloody battle that was a waste of many human lives. The Native Americans were tranquilly responding to many acts of violence, by clinging on to hope that their current situation would get better. A way to deal with this stress was to perform a religious dance, otherwise known as the Ghost Dance. To many tribes, this dance let them escape to another realm where the white “terrorists” could not harm them. White settlers were alarmed by the deranged acts of the Native Americans, leading them to believe that this barbaric nonsense of a dance was a revolt against their whites kind. On a chilly December morning in 1890, Native American police decided to barge into a Sioux village and forcefully tell them to stop the dances. With the tribe rebelling, the Native American police centered in on the Sioux. Many natives belonging to the tribe were beginning to give up their guns when a shot was fired. The police drew their weapons and openly fired at the Sioux, resulting in much of the tribe being wiped out, including their leader, Sitting Bull. Ben Black Elk translated his father’s words about the tragedy at Wounded Knee. “Dead and wounded women and children were scattered along there and where they had been trying to run away.”  This battle would have been completely avoidable had the police minded their own business and not intervened at the first sign of strife. Furthermore, the whites also put the Native American children into boarding schools. These schools were designed to strip the children of their aggressive nature from their tribes, and build them up to be accepted into “civilization.” Anyone who got caught speaking in their native language, or trying to run back to their tribe, would be severely punished.  A quote from Albert J. Beveridge’s speech, “Benighted peoples will know that the voice of Liberty is speaking, at last, for them; that civilization is dawning, at last, for them.” was expressed on September 16th, while he was running for senate in Indiana, stating his biased opinion about why the United States is rightful in expanding and why the nation should keep on expanding. This excerpt from the speech delivers a racist message that Americans had to intervene with the Native Americans and their way of life. Many would argue that the whites were trying to help the Native Americans assimilate, but in reality, they were trying to eradicate the Native American culture altogether.During American expansion, parts of the American government were extremely impatient and selfish about expanding. This resulted in using violence to achieve new lands, and various other actions that would have been better off without such brutality. Such actions included the behaviors leading up to the build of the Panama Canal. Teddy Roosevelt, the current president at the time, offered Colombia a sum of money to work on a canal through Panama, a country that at the time, was part of Colombia. This canal would forever change the the way that boat would pass from the Pacific Coast to the Atlantic Coast, or vise versa. Instead of navigating a course around the most southern point of South America, a canal in an isthmus would be much more convenient. Colombia refused the money, and gambled with time to see if a better offer would come from the United States. In this time, Teddy Roosevelt became impatient, and sent troops to Panama and Colombia. This is one of the first times that the Big Stick Policy was adopted. This policy essentially states that using kind words comes first, and if that doesn’t work, bring out the reinforcements. Just like that, Colombia agreed to the canal, and received only what Roosevelt offered in the first place. Another example of the United States resorting to violence to get what they wanted would be how the U.S. territory expanded to a tiny island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean named Samoa. The problem was, Germany and Britain also had interest in Samoa as well. Samoa would provide a great coal station for incoming steamships to refuel, and the United States was willing to fight for this archipelago. Germany, Britain, and the United States all sent warships down to Samoa in 1889, but the war was averted after a typhoon struck, wrecking many of the battleships. Although no Samoans had a say in who should obtain the land, if any, Germany and America ended up splitting up Samoa between the both of them.

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