A People’s History of the United States


Howard Zinn

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Imperialism Term Analysis

The system of state administration that involves the state extending its power by acquiring new territories. Zinn also uses the word “imperialism” to refer, more loosely, to the process by which the U.S. has used the pretext of war to gain access to new markets and cheap labor in foreign countries.

Imperialism Quotes in A People’s History of the United States

The A People’s History of the United States quotes below are all either spoken by Imperialism or refer to Imperialism. For each quote, you can also see the other terms and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
The American People Theme Icon
Chapter 1 Quotes

These Arawaks of the Bahama Islands were much like Indians on the mainland, who were remarkable (European observers were to say again and again) for their hospitality, their belief in sharing. These traits did not stand out in the Europe of the Renaissance, dominated as it was by the religion of popes, the government of kings, the frenzy for money that marked western civilization and its first messenger to the Americas, Christopher Columbus.

Related Characters: Christopher Columbus
Page Number: 1
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 22 Quotes

After the bombing of Iraq began along with the bombardment of public opinion, the polls showed overwhelming support for Bush's action, and this continued through the six weeks of the war. But was it an accurate reflection of the citizenry's long-term feelings about war? The split vote in the polls just before the war reflected a public still thinking its opinion might have an effect. Once the war was on, and clearly irreversible, in an atmosphere charged with patriotic fervor … it was not surprising that a great majority of the country would declare its support.

Related Characters: President George H.W. Bush
Page Number: 620
Explanation and Analysis:
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Imperialism Term Timeline in A People’s History of the United States

The timeline below shows where the term Imperialism appears in A People’s History of the United States. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 12: The Empire and the People
The American People Theme Icon
The Establishment Theme Icon
Militarism and Conquest Theme Icon
...against Spain in Cuba. While it’s true that journalists may have contributed to the aggressive, imperialistic spirit in America in 1898, it’s simply not true that the “public” supported war. Initially,... (full context)
The American People Theme Icon
Radicalism Vs. Reform Theme Icon
In the late 1890s, there was a strong imperialist sprit in America. However, some prominent Americans, such as the philosopher William James, opposed intervention... (full context)
Chapter 14: War is the Health of the State
The Establishment Theme Icon
Militarism and Conquest Theme Icon
...classes.” For the duration of World War One, socialist leaders criticized the war for being “imperialist”—an opinion as uncontroversial now as it was controversial at the time. (full context)