Ethnicity, Race, and American Foreign Policy: A History

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UPNE, 1992 - History - 270 pages
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Throughout U.S. History, from the nation's founding to the present, ethnic groups of diverse origins have attempted to influence American foreign policy. In Ethnicity, Race, and American Foreign Policy, Alexander DeConde departs from the traditional view of policy as driven by economics to explore the ways in which ethnoracial groups have played an important, and often determining, role in our country's foreign affairs. Reaching as far back as the Colonial era and examining events as recent as the 1991 war with Iraq, DeConde forcefully argues that, while ethnoracial considerations have always influenced American foreign affairs, ethnic groups have shaped policy only insofar as the Anglo-American elite has permitted them to do so. Less powerful groups, Americans of African, Asian, European, Hispanic, and Middle Eastern descent, have exerted considerable pressure on the government with only mixed results. DeConde assesses their perceived as well as their actual influence, and explores public reaction to their lobbying. He demonstrates how some ethnic groups, particularly the Irish and the Jews, have enjoyed comparative success in this arena, while others, such as African-American and Hispanic groups, have been unable to wield political power commensurate with their numbers. Illustrating a clear pattern of Anglo-American dominance in foreign affairs, DeConde goes on to explicate a foreign policy shaped largely by British-American racism and ethnocentrism. From the Revolutionary and post-Revolutionary eras, when Anglo-Americans showed a marked distrust of their French-Canadian and South American neighbors, through the nineteenth century ambivalence about expanding into nearby territorieswhen it meant extending citizenship to Asians and South Americans, into the twentieth century, a period in which we have repeatedly gone to war against people of color, DeConde contends that ethnoracial considerations have often taken priority over morality, ideology, and other factors in determining American foreign policy. DeConde's clear and lucid study sheds a disconcerting light on the familiar history of American foreign policy.
  

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Contents

UNMISTAKABLY ENGLISH
10
RACISM AND EXPANSION
27
ETHNIC TRANSFORMATION 744
44
HYPHENATE HYSTERIA
69
AMERICANIZATION QUOTAS AND WAR 799
101
PLURALISTS AND LOBBYISTS
128
ETHNORACIAL RESURGENCE 7157
157
IN PERSPECTIVE
188
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About the author (1992)

DeConde is Professor of History, Emeritus, at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

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