The United States is a colonial construct. It is a settler state that, like other similar states in North America and elsewhere on the planet, is predicated on the dispossession of a large and diverse population of indigenous people, often through violence and sometimes genocidal policies. In the case of the United States, the nation and its wealth are also predicated on the transportation of human chattel across imperial networks. Establishing sovereignty over indigenous lands, some of which slaves cultivated, is partly what allowed the United States to rise in stature on the international stage by the later nineteenth century, and the acquisition of an overseas empire further enhanced and stood as evidence that the country occupied, or at least aspired to, “great power” status. The overt jingoism of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries became unfashionable by the end of the Second World War. The United States has,...

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