April 23

Blog #96 – Imperialism Debate (1898)

Before, during, and after the Spanish-American War in 1898, Americans were debating whether or not America should go beyond its borders and become an imperial empire, much like the European countries had done during the 19th Century w/ Asia and Africa.  Below are the arguments for and against imperialism and some of its proponents and opponents.

For Imperialism

People for it: Assistant Secretary of the Navy Teddy Roosevelt, Senator Henry Cabot Lodge, Alfred T. Mahan, President William McKinley, Judge William Howard Taft, Admiral George Dewey, Reverend Josiah Strong, former Secretary of State William Seward, and Senator Albert Beveridge.

Arguments for imperialism:

  1. To give back the Philippines to Spain would be cowardly and dishonorable.
  2. To let other imperial powers have the Philippines was bad business and discreditable.
  3. Granting the Filipinos their independence was irresponsible because they are unfit to rule themselves.  They need America to civilize, uplift, and Christianize them.
  4. Imperialism is good for America.  It invigorates a nation and keeps it healthy.  A slothful nation will victim to those countries that maintain soldierly virtues.
  5. Annexation of the Philippines would put America into a position to dominate trade with China and the rest of Asia.
  6. We need the markets and raw materials now.  It doesn’t matter that the Philippines are non-contiguous.  We didn’t need the purchases and additional areas in the continental U.S., but look at us now!  We produce more than we can consume.
  7. Annexation would be so easy because we already control the islands.
  8. Filipinos don’t  have to become citizens of the U.S., we will treat them as dependents (like we do with the Native Americans).  The 14th Amendment won’t apply to them.
  9. Republicans favored annexation because it made the party look good after winning the war.

Against Imperialism

People against it: Author Mark Twain, former president Grover Cleveland, Speaker of the House Thomas “Czar” Reed, journalist Lincoln Steffens, Jane Addams, former Democratic presidential candidate William Jennings Bryan, AFL chief Samuel Gompers, industrialist Andrew Carnegie, Harvard professor William James.

Arguments against imperialism

  1. Imperialism is immoral.  It repudiates our commitment to human freedom and liberty.  We instead think we know what is best for the Filipinos, and that is wrong.
  2. Nativists fear the pollution of the white American population with inferior Asian races, especially when they are allowed to move to the U.S.  Acquisition of the Philippines may require that they become citizens.
  3. Industrial workers feared the flood of additional cheap labor which would further undercut job opportunities.
  4. Imperialism puts us in the international stage of world politics and is a constant menace for war.  War carries off the physically and mentally fit and leaves behind the lesser fit.  It threatens our security, internally and externally.
  5. The “civilizing” mission some claim is really a cover for a desire to loot the colonies and their natural resources.  This misson is self-righteous and pretentious.
  6. We will inherit Spain’s task of suppressing the native peoples when they rebel.  They will NOT want our cultural ways.  We will end up like Spain – a shriveling power.
  7. Can’t we just trade without having to annex other territories?
  8. Imperialism would involve the need for a large standing army which would become a heavy tax burden.

The country chose imperialism, and the Senate voted for the Treaty of Paris, 1898, 57 to 27, one more vote needed for the 2/3 approval.

Your job:

Pretend you are a senator back in 1898 (yes, you have to do this even if you’re female – we’re time traveling, so you can pretend to be a different gender).  Pick a region of the country and a party (both parties were for expansion, especially Southern Democrats).  Which arguments hold more sway with you and why?  Explain.

300 words minimum.  Due Tuesday, April 25 by class. 

March 1

Blog #73 – Defending the Spanish American War

I would like to welcome guest columnist, former President and Rough Rider, Theodore Roosevelt.

I’d like to take this opportunity to address the next generation of future leaders who are enrolled in AP U.S. History, and remind them of their obligations towards this great nation we live in. We have to be men of action.  “The worst lesson that can be taught a man is to rely upon others and to whine over his sufferings.” 1  Sitting on our duff waiting for others to help or lead is practically a sin. “To sit home, read one’s favorite paper, and scoff at the misdeeds of the men who do things is easy, but it is markedly ineffective. It is what evil men count upon the good men’s doing.” 2   We must remember that we are the greatest nation, the greatest race on all the earth, and that “Greatness means strife for nation and man alike. A soft, easy life is not worth living, if it impairs the fibre of brain and heart and muscle. We must dare to be great; and we must realize that greatness is the fruit of toil and sacrifice and high courage… We are face to face with our destiny and we must meet it with a high and resolute courage. For us is the life of action, of strenuous performance of duty; let us live in the harness, striving mightily; let us rather run the risk of wearing out than rusting out.” 3   Keep these thoughts in mind when choosing a career, when facing your own destiny.  Don’t back down.  Grab it and never let it go.  

A few years ago, quite a few now, I must say, I was involved in fighting the Imperial Spanish Empire and freeing the Cuban people.  It was the greatest time of my life.  But the naysayers and the weak-willed looked upon America’s victory in 1898 as a betrayal of American values.  To them, I say, you are wrong.  “If we are to be a really great people, we must strive in good faith to play a great part in the world.  We cannot avoid meeting great issues.  All that we can determine is whether we will meet them well or ill.  [In 1898] we could not help being brought face to face with the problem of the war with Spain.  All we could decide was whether we should shrink like cowards from the contest or enter into it as beseemed a brave and high-spirited people; and once in, whether failure or success should crown our banners.” 4  And as you can see, we had prevailed mightily as a people.  

As for the territories we have won, questions arise as to who will govern them.  “We cannot avoid the responsibilities that confront us in Hawaii, Cuba, Puerto Rico, and the Philippines… I have scant patience with those who fear to undertake to govern the Philippines, and who openly avow that they do fear to undertake it or that they shrink from the expense and trouble of it.  But I have even scanter patience with those who make a pretense of humanitarianism to hide their timidity, and who care about “liberty” and “consent of the governed” in order to excuse themselves for their unwillingness to play the part of men…if we shrink from the hard contests where men must win at hazard of their lives and at risk of all they hold dear, then the bolder  and stronger peoples will pass us by and will win for themselves the domination of the world.” 5  

I hope that I have set the record straight with regards as to our entry into the arena of the world.  You may not agree with what was done but look at all that has been accomplished since this time.  Americans have not shrunk from their duty.  They have fought tyranny around the globe and won.  I am proud of what we have started.  


Your job:  Take a look at the Imperialism debate handout (on the back of the notes why we got into the Span-Am War + vocab), read over both sides of the debate, and respond to President Roosevelt’s brief address here as to whether you agree with him or not.  Please keep in mind the context of the time period (1899-1901).

Due Wednesday, March 4, by class.  300 words minimum.  


1. http://www.theodore-roosevelt.com/images/research/speeches/trhnthopb.pdf

2. http://www.theodore-roosevelt.com/images/research/treditorials/o151.pdf

3. Address at the opening of the gubernatorial campaign, New York City (October 5, 1898)

4. “Governor Roosevelt Praises the Manly Virtues of Imperialism, 1899” Major Problems in American History.

5. Ibid.

September 10

Blog #39 – Should we celebrate Columbus Day?

Christopher Columbus is credited with having discovered the New World in 1492, not necessarily America.  How people interpret this fact is the subject of intense historical and cultural debate across the world.  The day honoring the discovery, October 12, is a national holiday, but for some historians and cultures, this day is marked as one when Spanish imperialism and genocide of the Native Americans began.

Those who want to discredit Columbus Day usually start with the wave of violence, slavery and genocide of the Native Americans that began after his “discovery.”  On the island of Hispanola (Haiti / Dominican Republic), the sailors left there after his first voyage were tasked with finding gold and silver and soon tried to put to work the natives of the island.  In subsequent voyages, he searched Central and South America for gold, and the communicable diseases like smallpox and measles that the Europeans had would also wipe out – intentionally or not – the Native populations.  Conquistadors Hernan Cortes and Francisco Pizarro exploited divisions among the ruling tribes, Aztecs and Incas respectively, to conquer vast empires.  It’s estimated that something like 90% of the 100 million Native Americans who lived in the New World were wiped out by disease, war, and famine brought on by discovery. 

But was this all Columbus’ fault?  His defenders say, of course not.  Diseases act in random ways and are influenced by many things including stress, food (or lack thereof), poverty and other cultural or economic factors.  Discovery could have brought some of these conditions on, but they weren’t necessarily the primary cause.  Columbus is also given credit for having been a visionary, having convinced the Spanish monarchs to provide him with three ships to sail the Atlantic in search of a newer, quicker route to Asia around the earth.  In fact, Columbus failed in his attempt to find that quicker trade route to Asia.  It would be Magellan who would circumnavigate the globe.  And, Columbus is being blamed for what came in his wake – the Spanish conquistadors, the destruction of Native peoples, and even the African slave trade since that was linked with the opening up of the New World.  Too much, much too much indeed, to put on one man’s shoulders. 

Another way of looking at this is that when we celebrate Columbus Day, we celebrate America.  Should we acknowledge both the good and the bad that come with America / Columbus?  Or is it more patriotic to revel in America in a “Team America” way with unquestioning loyalty? 

Your answer should be 250 words – due Thursday 9/13/12 by the beginning of class. 


Bigelow, Bill. “Zinn Education Project.” Zinn Education Project. N.p., 2003. Web. 19 Aug. 2012. <http://zinnedproject.org/posts/1497>.

Horwitz, Tony. A Voyage Long and Strange: On the Trail of Vikings, Conquistadors, Lost Colonists, and Other Adventurers in Early America. New York: Picador USA, 2009. Print.

Madaras, Larry, and James M. SoRelle. “New Worlds for All: Indians, Europeans, and the Remaking of Early America.” 1997. Taking Sides. 13th ed. Vol. 1. Dubuque, IA: McGraw Hill Higher Education, 2009. 25+. Print.

Madaras, Larry, and James M. SoRelle. “Virgin Soils Revisited.” 2003. Taking Sides. 13th ed. Vol. 1. Dubuque, IA: McGraw Hill Higher Education, 2009. 33-40. Print.

February 5

Blog #31 – Cultural Imperialism

I want to put before the topic that might seem so subtle to you that you may not have noticed it, but if you ever get to travel outside the country, I want you to be on the look-out for it.

When we think of imperialism, we usually think of more powerful countries taking over weaker countries and exploiting their resources.  It has been that way probably since even before Columbus, but they just called it feudalism back then.

The concept of cultural imperialism has been linked since the 1980s to globalization when Harvard business professor Theodore Levitt stated that “the world’s needs and desires have been irrevocably homogenized” 2.  In essence, because of the reach of some dominant American corporations, people from around the world were able to buy and want the same kinds of products and Coke, Pepsi, McDonald’s, Hollywood, Nike, and the Gap could cater to those needs.   And this was being realized back in the 1980s.

In 1999, in Seattle, the World Trade Organization held its annual conference there but was greeted with some of the most violent, chaotic street protests ever seen in the United States.  Many of the 50-100,000 protesters were protesting the inherent unfairness of free trade agreements between the U.S. and other countries and what those agreements would do to the indigenous workers.  Were these workers being subjected to slave labor conditions?  Were children under 10 working?


Pics of the WTO protests in Seattle, 1999.






In 2000, Naomi Klein published a book called No Logo that examined the pervasive marketing of brands and how companies like Nike, Starbucks and others were reinventing themselves as companies who didn’t make stuff anymore but marketing ideas.  Nike could outsource the making of its shoes and become “the idea of transcendence through sports” while Starbucks was the “idea of community” (Klein).  After listening to Howard Schulz’s biography Forward  on CD(CEO of Starbucks), I can tell you that concept is EXACTLY what they’ve been trying to sell for the past decade.

Klein also discusses how stealth marketing has been done inside of schools (a cultural imperialism at home, if you will) with pop machines, computers, fast-food restaurants in school cafeterias, athletic gear on school sports uniforms, Gatorade all over the place, to getting kids and schools to promote a product like Coke in order to win $500 (Klein 87-95).  Why do schools allow this?  Because many schools are chronically underfunded and have to find money wherever they can.  Companies pay schools for the insertion of their logos all over school grounds.  Cell phone companies pay for the towers at Falcon Field.  And none of this counts any of the self-promotion that kids do on their own when they wear A&F or Aeropostale or even Old Navy clothing with the logos blazing right back at ya.  Kids are walking billboards, willing participants in promoting their favorite brands.  You would think that the companies might give you a discount when you buy the sweatshirts / t-shirts that have logos on them b/c you’re doing them a favor.

In 2004, a magazine called The Humanist sponsored an essay contest for high schoolers and a 17 year old named Julia Galeota won with her entry “Cultural Imperialism: An American Tradition” 2.  In it, she discussed how American corporations aren’t really tailoring their brands to fit other countries; what they are really doing is swapping out American faces for local actors – “insert indigenous celebrities or trends to present the facade of a customized advertisement” 2.  For instance, MTV has been located in 45 different countries.  A 1996 survey showed that 85% of middle class teens in those 45 countries indicated that they watched MTV every day, with “manufactured stars singing in English to appeal to American popular tastes” 2.

Galeota also discusses the pervasive use of satellite TV news.  When countries allow their citizens to import news like CNN (150 million households in 212 countries), they are importing American values, politics, and stories of “our economic and military superiority” 2.

Questions (do both): 

1. Can there be an up-side to cultural imperialism?  If so, what is it and why?  If not, why not?

2. How do you think other countries can preserve their own culture and identity without being overwhelmed by the American consumer tsunami (metaphor, work with me, o.k.?)?

Due Tuesday, February 7 by class time. 

300 words total when you are finished.  Minimum word count, of course.



1. https://wikis.nyu.edu/ek6/modernamerica/index.php/Imperialism/CulturalImperialism

2. http://www.thehumanist.org/humanist/articles/essay3mayjune04.pdf

3. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cultural_imperialism

4.Klein, Naomi. No Logo: No Space, No Choice, No Jobs. New York: Picador, 2010. Print.



February 15

Blog #12 – 1st Rotation – APUSH students take over the blog!


This is a fake picture, but I still thought it was pretty cool.

Please choose one of the following questions to answer for your blog.  These questions come from your colleagues, so enjoy. 

1. Do you feel that Theodore Roosevelt’s plan of consumer protection is American or anti-American? Teddy passed various laws such as the Pure Food and Drug Act and the Meat Inspection Act. The government took on a new role, becoming more involved in people’s lives. But does more government ‘interference’, as some would call it (others have called it socialism!), represent American values? Would you have done anything differently?  – Fred A.


2. Muckrakers played in big role in politics when they began to write in the early 1900s.  Today, journalists also find sources of corruption and abuse to publicize – 60 Minutes, Dateline, regular newspapers and magazines + bloggers.  Identify sources of muckraking today and compare reactions and effects of the writing with the previous generation of muckrakers.

– Also, TR did not like the muckrakers because he felt that they just talked trash and didn’t make any suggestions or try to help fix things and were just critical and negative. Do you believe that today’s muckrakers are just a negative source like TR did or do they do a good job of exposing corruption and abuses?  – Eleanor C.


3. Nike is like Standard Oil in how they monopolize the shoe and clothing  industry. But Nike is also like any other type of monopolistic business in the Progressive Era. Nike pays young kids in Asia to do very hard labor for very low wagesjust do it. It is much like how things used to be here.  Do you belive it is ethical what Nike is doing to young kids in Asia? Why or why not?  – Declan G.


4. Do you think that the reasons America began imperializing overseas in the 1890s (new markets, manifest destiny, naval power, and Anglo-Saxon superiority) are legitimate reasons to expand?  Why or why not?   If not, why do you think more people weren’t protesting America’s imperialist policies?  – Claire F.


5.  If you were going to cast a movie about the late 1800s business tycoons like Rockefeller, Carnegie and Morgan, who would you cast and why?  – Patrice B.andrew_carnegie

6.  Compare our federal government today to the federal government during the progressive era.  Do you feel the (federal) government should be more or less involved in social issues such as the Headstart Plan* and environmental regulations**?  If more, what else do you suggest the government do? If less, what do you suggest the government not do?  – Lucy B.

*A simple summary of the Headstart Plan can be found by clicking the link.

**There have been environmental regulations proposed such as the US federal government forcing every citizen to have only fluorescent lightbulbs in their homes in two years (fluorescent lightbulbs, the ones with mercury in them, conserve energy, but are a health and environmental risk)

7. Teddy Roosevelt had a strong sense of conserving the environment for future generations before he became president and enacted laws during his tenure.  Today, when we talk about saving the environment, people mention global warming and debate whether or not it’s a hoax.  It seems to me that this debate just distracts from the overall point that we could be doing more, like TR, to help conserve natural resources since as Americans, we consume more energy and stuff, per capita, than other people in the world.  What can we do to help make the planet a better place to live in?  – Elizabeth B.


8. James Cameron’s Avatar was a tremendous hit last year, but it also had amazing plot similarities to the 1990 Western, Dances With Wolves.  Both are sagas about Americans imperializing another land and shoving people off of it, regardless of the consequences to the native (Navi) people.   If you’ve seen either movie, can you view either one as a critique of American imperialism?  Why or why not?  – David B.avatar-dances

9. If you could go back in time and decide whether America would go to war against the Spanish in 1898, would you?  Why or why not? Please explain.  – Raven G.

10.  Imperialism is a form of government that Americans shunned. We have stood and fought against it in World Wars 1 and 2, yet we are imperialists ourselves and are dependent on other countries for our personal comfort and economy. Would you be true to America’s democratic roots and fight imperialism?  Or would you be an imperialist that  conquers and controls other countries? Why do you believe so?  – Braxton A.


 11. After the Spanish American War, America liberated the Philippines from Spain, but didn’t grant them independence.  If you had to decide back then, would you rather see America as a laid-back nation that watched over the world, or would it be better to become an active world power, helping other nations (which sometimes came under the banner of imperialism)?  Why? – Larry G.


12. What do you think the implications of the US foreign policy are now that Egypt’s old president, Hosni Mubarek, is out of office?  Remember that Egypt has control of 5% of the flow of oil through the Suez Canal and because we are allies w/ Egypt.  – Kaylee B. Banner seen in Egypt recently.

13.  What business/society problems are around today that muckrakers would or should attack?   How would they attack them- would it be through articles still? What results might these exposes bring?  Explain.  – Lizzie D.

 14.  In the last half century, the US has entered many countries under the mission of “spreading democracy”.  Do you think this is a form of imperialism and is it fair for us to force our values on other countries?  Why or why not?  – Cameron

15.   In 1960 during the height of the Cold War, the United States placed a partial embargo on newly-communist Cuba.  Then, after the Cuban Missile Crisis in the fall of 1962, President Kennedy enacted a travel ban to Cuba for US citizens. The ban, currently the world’s longest-standing embargo, still allows us to export goods to Cuba, but we can’t get bring anything back.  Since the Cold War is over and Castro is almost dead, should the US lift the embargo with Cuba?  Why or why not?  – Evan D.What is "the irresponsible vote"?  Is that kinda like the voters who call in on American Idol?


16. The Women’s Suffrage movement took a long time to impact national laws to get women the right to vote.  Do you think if this would have taken place in current times that the suffrage amendment would have been easier or harder to pass?   Would current events overpower the suffrage movement or would the Women’s Suffrage movement be at the top of the list?  Why?  – Stephanie D.

From Britain's The Daily Mirror in 1904

From Britain's The Daily Mirror in 1904

17.  How do you think American life would be different if President McKinley hadn’t been shot in 1901? Would Teddy Roosevelt ever have become president? Would we still have national parks?  Explain.  – Katie D.

18.  What are some of the problems of our progressive income tax (where the rich pay a higher tax rate than the middle class or poor)?   Do they outweigh the benefits?  Why or why not?  – Ben C.


19. There were three main candidates during the election of 1912: Woodrow Wilson, Theodore Roosevelt, and William H. Taft. Each president had many views and approaches to the United States problems. Some were different from one another, and some were shared by two or all three. If you lived back in 1912 and were eligible to vote, which candidate would you have chosen and why?  – Erick D.

20. Why would U.S. companies outsource jobs back in the early 1900s and now if so many people here need jobs here?  – Alex C.how-theyre-acting

21. If Teddy Roosevelt was magically transported to the present day, what do you think his opinions would be of today’s politics, policies, and the wars in Iraq and Afganistan?  Why?  – Rachel G.

Blog #12 is due Monday, February 28 before class.

250 words minimum.

November 10

Blog #6 – Was the War of 1812 the 2nd American Revolution?

The War of 1812 is called America’s 2nd War for Independence by our textbook, “but a footnote to the mighty European conflagration…with huge consequences for the United States” (Kennedy 222).  The reasons are numerous:

1. America, as a young nation, gained a newfound respect from the European belligerents through the “hot breath of their [ships’] broadsides” and the defeat of the British army at the Battle of New Orleans (Andrew Jackson video).  This was a diplomatic and military victory for our country (222).   After the defeat of Napoleon at Waterloo in 1815, Europe receded into a “peace of exhaustion…[with a] return to conservatism, illliberalism, and reaction” (222). 

2.  “Sectionalism…was dealt a black eye” and exhibited the “folly of sectional disunity” in which the biggest casualty was the Federalist Party b/c of its association with New England’s support for the British.   In a way, the war helped unify the country by getting rid of one party and ushering in the Era of Good Feelings. 

3. American manufacturing exploded b/c of the embargo, and in a sense, this war gave America a stronger sense of economic and diplomatic independence and less dependent upon European manufactured goods. 

4. Kennedy, et. al. felt that  the development of American nationalism was the “most impressive by-product” of the war.  This nationalism showed itself in a national literature like Washington Irving and James Fenimore Cooper.  A tide of national pride also helped with the renewal of the Central Bank of the U.S. in 1816 and more capital was invested in the burgeoning economy. 

These are all good and valid reasons why they call the War of 1812 another American war for independence.  But, these reasons are all short term gains for the United States and neglect much more severe long term effects that have more dramatic consequences for the country. 

1.  By the time of the Civil War, the American military was still a small force but was much better educated because of the West Point Academy where most of the CW officers were trained.   That a ragtag band of Americans won at New Orleans in 1815 is testament to not only the great leadership of Andrew Jackson but of poor leadership of the British generals as well.   These West Point grads were seasoned on the battlefields of Mexico and out West fighting the Indians as America grasped to the Pacific Ocean for land. 

2. Sectionalism never died, it predominantly moved South.  I think that this is the most ridiculous of their arguments – that sectionalism faded away. Yes, the Federalist Party died, but the Whig Party emerged within 15-20 years after disagreements over federal spending projects.  

 – Sectionalism soon flared up in 1819 and 1820 when it was time to figure out what to do w/ Missouri and the rest of the Louisiana territories when determining their slave status.  It would rear its ugly head almost every time slavery came up – the tariff issue in 1832-33, the Mexican War, the Wilmot Proviso, Compromise of 1850, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Kansas-Nebraska Act, Dred Scott decision, Lecompton constitution, Lincoln-Douglas debates, Brown’s raid on Harpers Ferry, and then the 1860 Election w/ 4 candidates. 

3. Though American manufacturing grew stronger during the war, the British dumped their excess cheap goods on the American market in a crude version of economic warfare.    The economic battle eventually led to the tariff fight of 1828-1833 and America’s first brush w/ nullification and secession. 

4. Nationalism is an important aspect of a country’s development like a nation’s literature or its economy.  However, the Central Bank was dismantled by Andrew Jackson in the 1830s soon to be followed by the Panic of 1837.  The loss of this bank may have hindered the development of American capitalism before and after the Civil War and could have prevented or forestalled the Depressions of 1877 and 1897. 

5. Overall, America’s main goal of this war at the very beginning was to capitalize on Britain’s attention being directed at France and therefore we had hoped to seize Canada as part of our next great American land grab.   Since that goal was thwarted by 1815, American attention turned southward towards Mexico, Cuba and other territories.  Remember, the Mexican War didn’t start because innocent American soldiers were fired upon while they were walking along the Rio Grande River.  They were acting on direct orders of the president to invade the disputed border area of Texas when they were fired upon.   The War of 1812 set a dangerous precedent in American foreign policy with our country acting as the imperialist.  We have invaded smaller, weaker nations to exploit their economic, geographic or physical resources since the Mexican War, and it could have started in 1812 if the Canadians hadn’t stopped us. 

6. Lastly, the War of 1812 left the Native Americans to fend for themselves with the American government and the ever-expanding U.S. ppopulation.  Our need for land rubbed against Indian sovereignty, and as historian Robert Remini explained in his book, Andrew Jackson and His Indian Wars, the removal of the Native Americans from the East Coast was also a homeland security issue.  3 times in the past 75 years had various native tribes risen up amongst us and sided with American foes when those European forces invaded our shores (F & I War, Revolution, and 1812).  To prevent this internal security threat from happening again, reason said that they needed to be moved far away from the coast where they wouldn’t be much of a threat (and as an added bonus, more valuable land was freed up for settlement in the process). 

What do you think? 

Was this War of 1812 a 2nd war of American independence?  Or was the war the beginning of American expansionism / opportunism that flew in the face of Washington’s advise to stay out of foreign entanglements?  Or is there another interpretation for the war of 1812 that could combine both? Explain. 

200 words minimum.  Due Friday 11/12/10.