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The Imperialism & Racism Connection

            The Imperialism and Racism Connection.
             History gives many instances of racism being masked in clever ways, and in some cases not masked at all. The foundation of imperialism was rooted in racist beliefs and religious intolerance. During the 19th century Social Darwinism became a phenomenon in which the long standing racism against non-whites in the world was suddenly justified on biological grounds of inferiority. These justifications were used to propagate the intervention in foreign conflicts and the acquisition of territory. A belief of a nation's inability to govern themselves was the rationalization for a military presence in many cases. The association between imperialism and racism is undeniable and gives proof to the fallibility of imperialistic policies.
             A prime example of racism influencing imperialistic views is in the case of the Spanish-American War in 1898. America entered a war under the guise of good intentions of ridding a people of oppression from an occupying force. The Cuban Revolt against the Spanish occupiers was seen as a parallel to the American Revolution and many Americans sympathized with the insurgents. However, there was a different attitude within the U.S. government. The Cleveland administration said a Cuban victory might lead to "the establishment of a white and black republic," since Cuba had a mixture of the two races. And the black republic might be dominant (Zinn 303). Thus a sovereign Cuban nation-state would not be preferable to the U.S. Being that there was also an objection to a European influence in the Americas, as stated in the Monroe Doctrine, support for Spain was also not feasible. The simple solution was to take Cuba into U.S. possession and expel the Spanish. This was not in support of the Cubans as much as it was in support of the United States" desires. Upon a quick victory over the Spanish the racism toward the native Cubans, previously lost in the support of their revolt, became overt and directed the U.

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