Professor KC Johnson
Study Questions-Manifest Design
1. What role does the availability of military protection have in Hietala’s theory of expansionism? Does this seem to be consistent with the importance of the military to foreign policy in the Allison book?
2. Does Hietala do a convincing job attributing America’s new found interest in Hawaii, China and the German States to their jealousy of the British Empire? Or is American involvement simply a result of the desire to build new commercial relationships? (Ch. 3)
3. Hietala comments that the American’s seem to emulate British behavior in their dealings with the Chinese, and in turn were not as unique and benevolent as they thought.
Is Hietala implying that condescension toward non-white has become apart of American foreign policy?
4. In his argument against the overly simplified concept of manifest destiny, Hietala tries to make the case that national security was the main point that drove expansion and foreign policy making. However it seems that the expansion question was divisive not unifying. Was the desire for national security at the heart of overcoming sectional, party and class conflict? Agree or Disagree
5. What role did the fear of Blacks and Native Americans have in the quest for expansion? Do you think that the concentration on these two groups in the book was overstressed?
6. Was Texas’ ability to become a separate empire exaggerated by the Democratic Party of the 1840’s, or is this a proactive step toward a foreign policy during this period?
7. How intertwined did domestic and foreign policy seem during the 1840’s?
8. In Ch 6 the book raises the question of whether democracy is compatible with empire building. “Empires traditionally entailed militarism, colonialism, and exploitation- practices that were anathema to self determination and self government, the basic features of the American system” What are your views on this?