Why Was Mark Twain Anti Imperialist

Historical Context

Mark Twain was an American novelist and humorist, best known for being an anti-imperialist. His renowned work, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, was published in 1876, the same year that the US declared its independence from Great Britain. Twain was an avid abolitionist and an outspoken critic of slavery, so it is no surprise that he was also passionate about ensuring that the nation did not repeat the mistakes it had made in the past. He saw imperialism as a new form of oppression, and he became a leader in the movement against it.
Twain was born shortly after the Mexican-American War and was a firm believer in the American dream of equality and justice for all. He had seen first-hand how the US government had disregarded the rights of people in other lands through its colonialist policies and warfare. This led him to become a fervent supporter of an anti-imperialist stance. He supported the idea that the US should not have to impose its values on other countries and should not be able to do so by force. He felt that the US should pursue more diplomatic means of achieving its goals and that war should only be a last resort.

Failure of the US Government

Twain believed that the US government had failed its citizens and its duty to foreign countries. He viewed the government’s policies of occupation and control as morally wrong, and he spoke out against them. He likened the US government’s policy of imperialism to the ancient empires of Babylon and Assyria, believing that it had become a “repressive, domineering force.” He argued that the US should focus on helping its own citizens first, before trying to help other countries.
Twain was also highly critical of the US government’s involvement in foreign wars. He wrote a scathing essay called “To the Person Sitting in Darkness” in 1901, in which he criticized the United States’ imperialist policies. Twain argued that the US government was making a mockery of its “missionary zeal” by warring in other countries to “impose a government of our choice” on them. He also warned that the US was creating more enemies than it was helping by its policies.

Reflection on Political Events

In addition to his writing, Twain was also very vocal in his criticism of the US government’s imperialistic ambitions. He gave many public speeches, wrote several articles in newspapers, and even wrote a series of letters to the New York Times in 1901 that criticized the US government’s involvement in the Philippines-American War. His sermons and writings proved to be incredibly influential, and some of his ideas found their way into Congress.
Twain’s views obviously had an effect on the decision-makers in Washington, as they started to stray away from imperialism in the following years. In 1905, he was invited to the White House to speak to President Theodore Roosevelt about US foreign policy. He used this opportunity to voice his opinion about the US’s imperialist ambitions and even handed a petition to Roosevelt that called for the US to pull out of the Philippines.

Larger Global Movement

Mark Twain’s anti-imperialist stance was part of a larger global movement at the time. In the early 1900s, there was a wave of anti-imperialist sentiment sweeping across the world, as more and more countries felt the oppressive effects of colonization. Twain saw the US government’s actions overseas as contributing to the problem, and he became a leader in the movement against American imperialism.
Twain was joined by a number of prominent voices who were all passionate about their beliefs. William Jennings Bryan, a former presidential candidate and a Congress member also opposed the US government’s imperialistic actions. Annie Besant, an Irish-born politician and social activist, was a proponent of Indian independence and was a vocal critic of Britain’s colonial rule. Finally, Ernesto Bolivar, a Mexican revolutionary leader, was a passionate opponent of Spanish colonization in the western hemisphere.

Influence of Mark Twain

At the time, Mark Twain was the most high-profile voice in the anti-imperialist movement. His books, essays, and public speeches were seen as influential in shaping the policy-makers’ attitudes. After World War I and the Treaty of Versailles, colonialism became less popular and countries around the world began to reassess their foreign policies. Mark Twain’s anti-imperialism gave the movement a prominent voice, and his words had a lasting effect on US policy.
Twain’s writings and public speeches were so influential that many universities recognize him as one of the first American public intellectuals. He is still remembered today for his views and his impact on US foreign policy, and his writings are still quoted to this day. His call to reject imperialism and seek diplomatic means of achieving peace is still relevant and applicable to foreign policy decisions today.

Legacy of Anti-Imperialism

Mark Twain saw himself as a patriot, and he believed that patriotism came in the form of thinking critically about one’s government and fighting for what one believes is right. Twain believed that the US should not impose its will on foreign nations and that it should focus on helping its own citizens first before looking beyond its own borders. His views on imperialism still resonate today, and his legacy lives on as a reminder to always challenge the status quo.
Twain’s views on imperialism have had an impact beyond the US and are now global in scope. Countries around the world have adopted similar policies and shifted away from war and conquest, in favour of diplomacy and negotiation. He was an early leader in the anti-imperialist movement, and his ideas still impact US foreign policy decisions today.

Intersection of Economics and Morality

Mark Twain saw imperialism as a moral issue as well as an economic one. He argued that it was wrong for the US government to impose its will on other countries and that it should pursue more diplomatic means of achieving its goals. He also argued that the US government should focus on helping its own citizens first, before trying to help other countries.
Twain believed that the US’s economic might made it more powerful than other countries, and as a result, it had a moral obligation to use its power responsibly. He feared that if the US did not use its influence for good, then it would set a dangerous precedent for other countries. Twain was an ardent believer in international cooperation and the power of diplomacy, and his views are still highly relevant today.

Importance of Anti-Imperialism in Society

Mark Twain’s views on imperialism remain relevant today, as countries around the world grapple with the concept of power and responsibility. His words have had a lasting impact on US foreign policy, and he is still seen as a leader in the anti-imperialist movement. His writing and public speeches gave a prominent voice to the anti-imperialism movement, and it is still often quoted today.
Twain’s views on imperialism should still be taken into account when making foreign policy decisions today. He served as a reminder of the importance of critically evaluating one’s government and rejecting imperialism as a means of making foreign policy decisions. He was an ardent believer in the power of diplomacy and the idea that countries can cooperate and make peace without resorting to violence.

Dannah Hannah is an established poet and author who loves to write about the beauty and power of poetry. She has published several collections of her own works, as well as articles and reviews on poets she admires. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English, with a specialization in poetics, from the University of Toronto. Hannah was also a panelist for the 2017 Futurepoem book Poetry + Social Justice, which aimed to bring attention to activism through poetry. She lives in Toronto, Canada, where she continues to write and explore the depths of poetry and its influence on our lives.

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