Those of us who have spent anytime at all in Hawaii, usually on vacation, enjoying the fine weather, the welcoming water and big shouldered mountains, have some small idea that there was once a queen, with a people of her own, and that she was deposed, her kingdom taken as a U.S. territory, back in the 1880s, some time or other.  What that dot doesn’t get connected to are all the other takings in the same years when America’s imperial expansion began in earnest.

True Flag: Theodore Roosevelt, Mark Twain, and the Birth of the American Empire, by Stephen Kinzer, 2017 is a good, accessible place to start joining the dots together.  A journalist who has written The Brothers: John Foster Dulles and Allen Dulles & Their Secret World War and All The Shah’s Men: An American Coup and the Roots of Middle East Terror  Kinzer is also a member of The Watson Institute for International Affairs at Brown University.  He reminds us of the particular four years which set in motion the times and wars we are now part of.   In June of 1898, as the House of Representatives voted 209 to 91 to annex Hawaii, a now almost forgotten anti-Imperialist movement held its first meeting to push back against the newly empowered overseas expansionists.  Four years later the US conquest of the Philippines was over and the course of “benevolent” American intervention around the world was set.

Continue reading »

Print Friendly, PDF & Email