9-Commerce, Coercion, and America’s Empire

This week, I was very entertained with the readings as I never would have imagine reading about the effects of the banana market. Thinking about it, I never realized how much banana is available for consumption today in america. Since bananas are only grown in warm climat, it is almost miraculous that they are available to us all year long. That being said, since they are available (and they are easier to handle than other fruits) it is no wonder that there was a sudden boom in this market.

It is undeniable that the United States played a crucial role in this market. It is equally undeniable that they helped make advancements in terms of commerce and even employement. But I wonder what would have happened if the United States had not been the ones in control. Would these Latin American countries have been able to tap into the industry and prosper? Or would they have been unable to benefit from the potential? Considering the problems that Latin America faced, I believe they would have been unable to. Mainly because I feel they lacked the cooperation from the various people (in different social classes) that would have been necessary to make it work.

On another note, I had never before thought of the United States as an empire. I realized this week that this is probably because the United States does not have colonies. Instead they either incorporate the land/people into their country or they form beneficial ties with them.

In any case I feel like they do have imperialistic tendencies because they tend to want to have control. Other countries, like Canada, adopt policies to protect their economy and culture from that of the united states. In Canada’s case, it is more about remaining seperate and being able to identify themselves without the United states. For Latin America it seems different. Through the readings, I get the feeling that it is a fear for their power as well as respect for it. I find that Latin America has a hard time deciding whether they want to be like the US ¬†or be completely seperate. When they talk of technology it is more likely the first option but in terms of culture it is more likely the second. In any case it is nearly impossible to completely eiminate the United states presence in culture as is demonstrated through disney’s cartoons. During this period in time, it is also economically hard to seperate from the United states as the countries become dependant on them.

My question for this week is; are ties with the united states more beneficial or more harmful?

2 thoughts on “9-Commerce, Coercion, and America’s Empire

  1. I also found the banana stats to be fascinating. I didn’t know that the fruit was so heavily genetically modified and that so much US intervention made the banana what it is today. It’s definitely the most purchased fruit in my house. And I think you have a point that Latin America was so disorganized and lacked cooperation from all groups that they could not have capitalized off this industry the way that the US was able to.

  2. I think thinking about America as an empire is incredibly interesting, to be a hegemon states need land as well as power, and like it or not the United States is founded on colonialism and the exploitation of labour. Although they did not have nay colonies in Africa they still did exert dominance over many states even if it was just ideologically

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