In contrast to Wesseling's book of scholarly essays, Scott B. Cook's is a short text frankly aimed at the undergraduate history market. It attempts to cover in 161 pages the phenomenon of "high" imperialism during a twenty-year period from 1880 to 1900. To do so, it is necessarily selective. The scramble for Africa is there, of course, as are three case studies: King [End Page 238] Leopold's Congo, Hawai'i, and British India. The French, Dutch, and German empires get short shrift. But at least by bringing in Hawai'i and the United States, this book breaks with the old tradition that makes imperialism out to be a purely western European phenomenon. To do justice to the global nature of this phenomenon, future works will somehow have to include not only the Netherlands, but also Russia and Japan.
Follow on Twitter Last month I had the pleasure of participating in a joint workshop staged by the and research clusters at the Royaumont Foundation near Paris. The two days showcased a range of projects assessing how study of the past can inform contemporary and future policy-making and cultural debates- from the use of colonial heroes in modern Africa, to how digitisation is reshaping understanding of museums, and the links between modern and historical anti-slavery movements.My own focus was on the challenges facing film archives and how this affects the future of imperial history. For the historian of imperial trade networks – film provides a fascinating, and in many ways under-used resource. As the most popular form of entertainment for much of the twentieth century (there were over 30 million cinema attendances weekly in Britain in 1945), it was also widely seen as a harbinger of the ‘Americanization’ of global culture. Yet at the same time, Britain was at the forefront of the development of the non-fiction film, and sought to promote documentary film networks across the empire and globally. Many of the film-makers who made films for bodies such as the Empire Marketing Board such as Basil Wright, Norman McLean and Paul Rotha went on to play an important role in the early publicity activities of UN agencies such as UNESCO and the FAO. 
“As a result of the ever worsening crisis of the world capitalist system and the ceaseless wars of aggression, the proletariat and people of the world are suffering intolerably from the ever-rising levels of oppression and exploitation and are driven to fight for national liberation, democracy and socialism against imperialism and reaction,” Sison continued, adding that this shows the need for “the study and application of the teachings of Lenin, especially in the less developed countries like the Philippines, Venezuela and the rest of Latin America.”
A former colony itself, the early United States expressed its opposition to Imperialism, at least in a form distinct from its own , through policies such as the . However, beginning in the late 19th and early 20th century, policies such as ’s interventionism in Central America and ’s mission to "make the world safe for democracy" changed all this. They were often backed by military force, but were more often effected from behind the scenes. This is consistent with the general notion of hegemony and imperium of historical empires. In 1898, Americans who opposed imperialism created the to oppose the and Cuba. One year later, a war erupted in the Philippines causing business, labor and government leaders in the US to condemn America's occupation in the Philippines as they also denounced them for causing the deaths of many Filipinos. American foreign policy was denounced as a "racket" by , a former American general who had become a paid spokesman for the far left.
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, and others, believed that the revolution could only succeed in as part of a . Lenin wrote extensively on the matter and famously declared that . However, after Lenin's death, established '' for the Soviet Union, creating the model for subsequent inward looking Stalinist states and purging the early Internationalist elements. The internationalist tendencies of the early revolution would be abandoned until they returned in the framework of a in competition with the Americans during the . With the beginning of the new era, the after Stalin period called the "thaw", in the late 1950s, the new political leader Nikita Khrushchev put even more pressure on the Soviet-American relations starting a new wave of anti-imperialist propaganda. In his speech on the UN conference in 1960, he announced the continuation of the war on imperialism, stating that soon the people of different countries will come together and overthrow their imperialist leaders. Although the declared itself , critics argue that it exhibited traits common to historic empires. Some scholars hold that the Soviet Union was a hybrid entity containing elements common to both multinational empires and nation states. It has also been argued that the USSR practiced as did other imperial powers and was carrying on the old Russian tradition of expansion and control. once argued that the Soviet Union had itself become an while maintaining a socialist façade. Moreover, the ideas of imperialism were widely spread in action on the higher levels of government. Non-Russian Marxists within the Russian Federation and later the USSR, like Sultan Galiev and Vasyl Shakhrai, considered the Soviet Regime a renewed version of the Russian imperialism and colonialism.
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By the 18th century, the extended its control to the Pacific, forming a common border with the . This took place in a large number of military invasions of the lands east, west, and south of it. The took place after Polish nobility from the wrote the . The war resulted in Poland being absorbed by Imperial Russia as a colony until 1918. The southern campaigns involved a series of , which began with the , resulting in the acquisition of as a protectorate. Between 1800 and 1864, Imperial armies invaded south in the , the , and the . This last conflict led to the from their lands. The over the took place in the 16th and 17th centuries, and resulted in the slaughter of various indigenous tribes by Russians, including the , the , the , and the . The Russian colonization of Siberia and treatment of the resident indigenous peoples has been compared to European colonization of the Americas, with similar negative impacts on the indigenous Siberians as upon the indigenous peoples of the Americas. The extermination of indigenous Siberian tribes was so complete that a relatively small population of only 180,000  are said to exist today. The Russian Empire exploited and suppressed hosts during this period, before turning them into a special military estate in the late 18th century. Cossacks were then used in Imperial Russian campaigns against other tribes.
Not a maritime power, and not a nation-state, as it would eventually become, Germany's participation in Western imperialism was negligible until the late 19th century. Prussia unified the other states into the in 1871. Its Chancellor, (1862–90), long opposed colonial acquisitions, arguing that the burden of obtaining, maintaining, and defending such possessions would outweigh any potential benefits. He felt that colonies did not pay for themselves, that the German bureaucratic system would not work well in the tropics and the diplomatic disputes over colonies would distract Germany from its central interest, Europe itself.
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The next big setback was the Iraq war. When Saddam Hussein’s fabled weapons of mass destruction failed to materialise after the American-led invasion of 2003, Mr Bush switched instead to justifying the war as a fight for freedom and democracy. “The concerted effort of free nations to promote democracy is a prelude to our enemies’ defeat,” he argued in his second inaugural address. This was more than mere opportunism: Mr Bush sincerely believed that the Middle East would remain a breeding ground for terrorism so long as it was dominated by dictators. But it did the democratic cause great harm. Left-wingers regarded it as proof that democracy was just a figleaf for American imperialism. Foreign-policy realists took Iraq’s growing chaos as proof that American-led promotion of democratisation was a recipe for instability. And disillusioned neoconservatives such as Francis Fukuyama, an American political scientist, saw it as proof that democracy cannot put down roots in stony ground.