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How to Hide an Empire: A Short History of the Greater United States

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We don't commemorate those attacks because we don't consider those territories to be American soil--only they were.

The government accepted control of its first territory in 1784, when Virginia gave up its claims to a large swath of land north of the Ohio River.Particularly, the first half to two thirds of the book is very engrossing - the details of the events the author is describing are truly horrific and I was frankly appalled that I didn’t know any of it. Dixon wrote his own work on this theme, a novel entitled The Clansman, which was quickly adapted into a stage play. At time witty, but more often quite strident this book offers a quick trip through the intricacies and ironies of America's policies toward the land and countries it has occupied over the centuries. It encourages a shift in perception from the traditional idea of the US to considering and understanding the impact that American expansionism had upon the occupied territories. The US maintained its empire by codifying standards for everything--from screws to instruments and to stop signs.

When combined with increased global trade, synthetics development (discussed below) and other ‘empire killing’ technology it ‘rendered colonies unnecessary’ (279). In effect,” wrote James Monroe, who drafted the ordinance, it was “a colonial government similar to that which prevail’d in these States previous to the revolution. It’s a testament to Immerwahr’s considerable storytelling skills that I found myself riveted by his sections on Hoover’s quest for standardized screw threads, wondering what might happen next.Moreover, Congress’s discretionary authority meant that until territories became states, the federal government held absolute power over them. One difficulty with the book is its major focus on the Puerto Rico, the territory about which Americans probably know the most, at the expense of the Pacific territories such as the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, of which many are probably unaware. Even after they gained legislatures, the governor retained the power to veto bills and dissolve the legislature. The synthetic materials developed are now part of our daily lives from synthetic rubber in tyres and rubber seals to the plastics of milk bottles and crucially in plastic packaging which revolutionised food preservation and hygiene.

Thanks to him, traffic lights have all the same rules and "Now the half-inch nuts screw into all the half-inch bolts. Whether or not the US empire proves to be overreach, whether blow back ever becomes so intense that even US citizens start to notice the legacy of their empire, or if peak oil eventually makes pointillist empires no longer viable and therefore forces empire builders back towards territorial expansion are things we will have to watch and see. As the US features so heavily in our daily lives, this is also an important book for any student who wants to better understand the background and development of one of today’s largest global superpowers. How to Hide an Empire: A History of the Greater United States" is a great starting point for making the US public aware of the US' contradictions as an "empire of liberty" (a phrase once used by Thomas Jefferson to describe the US as it expanded westward beyond the original 13 colonies).

The settlement was situated on the far side of the Appalachians, which for more than a century had formed a barrier—in law and practice—to British settlement in North America.

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