The Real Cost of Rubber #4

By watching the presentations of other groups topics, the theme of people, places, and power became more and more evident.

In the case of labor vs big business, it was individual people who had power over the masses. Insanely wealthy businessmen like Rockefeller, JP Morgan, Carnegie, and Pullman monopolized all the money within their corporation; giving just a few people a great deal of power. This power was then used for furthering profits, which meant abusing workers and killing them when they joined together to strike against the corporations.

In the case of Native Americans, people used their power to steal desired land in the west; forcing an entire population of people out of their homes and onto a reservation. People convinced themselves that they were doing the natives a favor by assimilating their culture onto them, when really all they were doing was stripping a group of people of their culture and identity. To make matters worse, the reservations that Native Americans were forced to walk up to 300 miles to get to was held under military control and had infertile soil and no water; proving to be completely unfit to their previous way of life.

In the case of Asian Immigration, people controlled their fellow people by not allowing them easy passage into the country and by not giving them the same oppertunies once they were here. Power was kept over the immigrants through exclusion laws like the Chinese Exclusion Laws–not allowing people the priveledge of striving toward the American Dream.

In the case of European immigration, people came to America to escape persecution when their countries pushed them away. Leaving one place that had too much power over them and coming to another, the immigrants were still controlled by others as they were pressured into Americanization.

In the case of American Imperialism, the power that America held over the countries they fought for in the Spanish-American War is what gave them the opportunity to exploit those places for their natural resources and utilize them as homes for their naval bases. Eager jingoist influence over their people, which stemmed from the use of propagandistic components like Yellow Journalism, used instances like the invasion of Cuba to unite citizens under a common cause as well as to make profit and enforce American culture. Without a people being manipulated, America would not have been able to exert their power over places like Cuba through imperialism.



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