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Journal of Transatlantic Studies

, Volume 6, Issue 2, pp 183–198 | Cite as

European lessons in imperialism: a letter to America

  • John Carlos Rowe
Article

Abstract

US neo-imperialism in Iraq and Afghanistan has its roots in European imperialism, which was closely tied with the rise of nationalism. Patriotism in many different cultural media has been crucial for the success of nationalism and thus for imperialism. Not only must intellectuals challenge the rhetoric of patriotism, but they must also offer political and social alternatives to the nation state. One example of such an alternative is the European Union, which has been designed to overcome the imperialism of Europe’s past history.

Keywords

US imperialism British imperialism nationalism patriotism Iraq war 

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Notes

  1. 1.
    In ‘The Inspiration Behind Bush’s Words’, LA Times 21 January 2005, A22, Maura Reynolds notes that ‘like many of the signature speeches of his first term, President Bush’s second inaugural address was laced with religious language, biblical verses and references to hymns’, citing five separate examples (there are many more) in his 17-minute speech.Google Scholar
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    ‘Rich Man’s War’, The Revolution Starts Now, lyrics from https://doi.org/www.steveearle.com.
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    Walter D. Mignolo, The Darker Side of the Renaissance: Literacy, Territoriality, and Colonization (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1995), 20, describes his method as ‘a pluritopic hermeneutic’, which allows the differences between Mexica (Aztec) and Spanish national knowledges, for example, to appear, thus challenging the hegemony of Eurocentric knowledge.Google Scholar
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    The first public demonstrations against HR 4437 included prominent displays of the Mexican, Salvadoran, and other flags of the undocumented workers’ home nations, but these symbolic gestures were vigorously criticised by conservative politicians. In the demonstrations around the United States on 1 May 2006, the American flag was the most conspicuous national symbol. Although protesters insisted that ‘American citizenship’ for the 11–12 million undocumented workers in the US is their political goal, they still managed to challenge unilateral conceptions of the US nation with such slogans as ‘We are Americans, too’, and ‘If God blesses America, then why do they hate US?’ The latter sign was carried by a 12-year-old boy in the demonstration at MacArthur Park in downtown Los Angeles.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Taylor & Francis 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • John Carlos Rowe
    • 1
  1. 1.English and ASEUniversity of Southern CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA

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