American Imperialism and the Fear Culture: Four Wars

  • Geoffrey R. Skoll


In a sense, the United States has always been an imperialist project. It began as a settler country and British colony. Once formed as its own sovereign state after its revolutionary war, it proceeded to colonize westward, destroying peoples and cultures along the way. Its extra-continental imperialism did not begin until the end of the nineteenth century. This chapter examines the growth of US imperialism and the varied forms it has taken beginning with its extra-continental expansion. The chapter presents a brief précis of three colonial wars and the Cold War that the United States has prosecuted. It reviews US imperialism in the context of the Cold War and its aftermath, which will lead to the next chapters on US imperialism and the fear culture promoted in Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, and the conversion of the Cold War to the hot war of terrorism. The discussion of the colonial wars begins with the Philippine War following the US occupation at the turn of the twentieth century. The next wars are the Korean War of the early 1950s, then the early Cold War, Vietnam War, and finally the post-Vietnam retreat. Finally, it briefly treats the turning point of 1968, which leads onto the next chapter where the significance of that year is analyzed as a new phase in the globalization of American fear culture. Each of the wars shows different uses of terror to achieve imperialist aims.


Communist Party Military Spending Tenant Farmer National Security Council Military Target 
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© Geoffrey R. Skoll 2016

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  • Geoffrey R. Skoll

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