By Michael Adas
Lengthy earlier than the U.S. grew to become an immense strength in worldwide affairs, american citizens believed of their superiority over others as a result of their inventiveness, productiveness, and fiscal and social overall healthiness. U.S. expansionists assumed a mandate to “civilize” non-Western peoples through difficult submission to American technological prowess and layout. As a vital part of America’s nationwide id and experience of itself on the earth, this civilizing undertaking supplied the explanation to displace the Indians from a lot of our continent, to construct an island empire within the Pacific and Caribbean, and to advertise unilateral—at instances military—interventionism all through Asia. In our age of “smart bombs” and cellular war, technological flair is still preeminent in validating America’s worldwide venture. Michael Adas brilliantly pursues the background of this project via America's international kin over approximately 4 centuries from North the USA to the Philippines, Vietnam, and the Persian Gulf. the assumption that it really is our correct and future to remake international societies in our photograph has persevered from the early a long time of colonization to our present campaign to implant American-style democracy within the Muslim center East. Dominance by way of layout explores the severe ways that technological superiority has undergirded the U.S.’s guidelines of unilateralism, preemption, and interventionism in overseas affairs and raised us from an impoverished frontier country to a world strength. not easy the long-held assumptions and imperatives that maintain the civilizing venture, Adas provides us a vital advisor to America’s prior and current position on this planet in addition to cautionary classes for the longer term. (20070301)
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Additional resources for Dominance by Design: Technological Imperatives and America's Civilizing Mission
And like so many of the writers who promoted exploration and settlement, the future governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony had not yet set foot in the new lands. ” In Winthrop’s view, the Indians’ failure to render the land productive violated both God’s purposes and the inexorable propensity of human societies to advance through their steadily increasing domination of nature. He concluded that the Indians’ contravention of biblical injunctions for “the sons of men” to “replenish and subdue” the earthly realm that God had created to ensure that they would “increase and multiply” compelled migration from England’s overcrowded and overworked lands to the New World.
It is not surprising then that the main supporters of Perry’s expedition were prominent middleclass merchants, manufacturers, and expansion-minded politicians. Perry’s samurai counterparts shared many of his values, including the premium he placed on self-control and maintaining personal dignity, and they would surely have admired his military accomplishments. But their responses to him and to his nation’s demands were dictated by their determination to defend a dying feudal order. Their opposition to trade concessions and reluctance to open Japan to Western influences were premised on their conviction that warding off the foreigners was essential for the preservation of the rigid social divisions, hierarchical institutions, and isolation that had secured dominance for the families of the military aristocracy for centuries.
For the English settlers, plowed fields, d o m i n a n c e b y d e s i g n 44 fences, and cows in the pasture were themselves vital signs of civilization. 23 It was essential to the growth of colonial economies based on the production and sale of timber and wood by-products. Though iron products, both imported and increasingly manufactured locally, were also important, the material culture of early Anglo-American society was overwhelmingly oriented to wood. Housing (for humans and domesticated animals), furnishings, storage containers, and many household, handicraft, and farming implements were made primarily of wood.
Dominance by Design: Technological Imperatives and America's Civilizing Mission by Michael Adas