American Civilization

May 14, 2009

The last question

Filed under: Empire & Colony — equiano @ 8:30 am

Toward the end of the last lecture somebody asked a very good question about the role of democracy in the existence of an American empire. My response to that question– I’ve been thinking ever since– was insufficient. To that student, and anyone else is interested, I would say that the question of democracy is absolutely vital to our understanding not only of the United States and its history, but world history. In some sense the logical next step after taking a course such as American Civilization is to both broaden and deepen our studies to situate the US within a global framework. One place to begin such a project is with Ellen Meiksins Wood’s essay “Democracy as Ideology of Empire” (pdf). Good luck and I hope all of you have a pleasurable and productive summer.

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