American Empire - Netflix

From shady ethics, to lustful infidelities to extortion and double-crossing to deals that turned deadly, American Empire tells the little-known stories of the men who made America what it is today, as they emerged from rags to incomprehensible riches.

Type: Documentary

Languages: English

Status: In Development

Runtime: 60 minutes

Premier: None

American Empire - American imperialism - Netflix

American imperialism is a policy aimed at extending the political, economic, and cultural control of the United States government over areas beyond its boundaries. It can be accomplished in any number of ways: by military conquest, by treaty, by subsidization, by economic penetration through private companies followed by intervention when those interests are threatened, or by regime change. The concept of expanding territorial control was popularized in the 19th century as the doctrine of Manifest Destiny and was realized through conquests such as the Mexican–American War of 1846, which resulted in the annexation of 525,000 square miles of Mexican territory. While the US government does not refer to itself as an empire, the continuing phenomenon has been acknowledged by mainstream Western writers including Max Boot, Arthur Schlesinger, and Niall Ferguson.

American Empire - Benevolent imperialism - Netflix

One of the earliest historians of American Empire, William Appleman Williams, wrote, “The routine lust for land, markets or security became justifications for noble rhetoric about prosperity, liberty and security.” Max Boot defends U.S. imperialism by claiming: “U.S. imperialism has been the greatest force for good in the world during the past century. It has defeated communism and Nazism and has intervened against the Taliban and Serbian ethnic cleansing.” Boot used “imperialism” to describe United States policy, not only in the early 20th century but “since at least 1803”. This embrace of empire is made by other neoconservatives, including British historian Paul Johnson, and writers Dinesh D'Souza and Mark Steyn. It is also made by some liberal hawks, such as political scientist Zbigniew Brzezinski and Michael Ignatieff. British historian Niall Ferguson argues that the United States is an empire and believes that this is a good thing: “What is not allowed is to say that the United States is an empire and that this might not be wholly bad.” Ferguson has drawn parallels between the British Empire and the imperial role of the United States in the late 20th and early 21st centuries, though he describes the United States' political and social structures as more like those of the Roman Empire than of the British. Ferguson argues that all of these empires have had both positive and negative aspects, but that the positive aspects of the U.S. empire will, if it learns from history and its mistakes, greatly outweigh its negative aspects. Another point of view implies that United States expansion overseas has indeed been imperialistic, but that this imperialism is only a temporary phenomenon; a corruption of American ideals or the relic of a past historical era. Historian Samuel Flagg Bemis argues that Spanish–American War expansionism was a short-lived imperialistic impulse and “a great aberration in American history”, a very different form of territorial growth than that of earlier American history. Historian Walter LaFeber sees the Spanish–American War expansionism not as an aberration, but as a culmination of United States expansion westward. Historian Victor Davis Hanson argues that the U.S. does not pursue world domination, but maintains worldwide influence by a system of mutually beneficial exchanges. On the other hand, a Filipino revolutionary General Emilio Aguinaldo felt as though the American involvement in the Philippines was destructive, “...the Filipinos fighting for Liberty, the American people fighting them to give them liberty. The two peoples are fighting on parallel lines for the same object.” American influence worldwide and the effects it has on other nations have multiple interpretations according to whose perspective is being taken into account. Liberal internationalists argue that even though the present world order is dominated by the United States, the form taken by that dominance is not imperial. International relations scholar John Ikenberry argues that international institutions have taken the place of empire. International relations scholar Joseph Nye argues that U.S. power is more and more based on “soft power”, which comes from cultural hegemony rather than raw military or economic force. This includes such factors as the widespread desire to emigrate to the United States, the prestige and corresponding high proportion of foreign students at U.S. universities, and the spread of U.S. styles of popular music and cinema. Mass immigration into America may justify this theory, but it is hard to know for sure whether the United States would still maintain its prestige without its military and economic superiority.

American Empire - References - Netflix