"American Progress, John Gast (1872)." Wikimedia Commons. Accessed January 30, 2018. https://commons.wikimedia.org /wiki/File:American_progress.JPG.
Walter LaFeber’s The New Empire exposes "white" America’s drive for economic conquest by delineating imperial expansionism (alternatively, encroachment) as an outward-gazing product of the Industrial Revolution. In contrast to settler colonialism as articulated by Moses Finley, LaFeber traces the American empire’s quest to acquire new overseas markets and investment opportunities free from the constraints and responsibilities of total administrative dominion. American foreign policy has always been capitalist in nature, made to support trade agreements and monopolies that bolster the domestic economy. Finley similarly articulates the role of policymaking in colonization. In this way, are modern imperialism and colonialism necessarily bureaucratic? Are they are inherently exploitative (as Finley also proposes)? Indeed, Richard Hofstadter’s “Cuba, the Philippines, and Manifest Destiny” describes a process of “benevolent imperialism” wherein the myth of American exceptionalism and democracy informs and inspires a paternalistic intervention in other countries.