The term “imperialism” usually refers to a sovereign imposing control over another—exporting the controlling country’s morals and values through military force or diplomatic “soft power.” American imperialism often is associated with the image of Teddy Roosevelt: intervening in the Spanish-American War with his “Rough Riders” in Cuba, supporting regime change in Colombia that resulted in an independent Panama and the canal, or presiding over the new American possession in the Philippines. American imperialism was credited as instrumental in building and expanding our nation’s economic, military, and diplomatic power. At the same time, historians and political scientists offered strong critiques of imperialism for imposing American values on others around the world.
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