The American Empire and the Fourth World

The American Empire and the Fourth World

eBook - 2003
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How should citizens of the world respond to the emergence of the United States as the planet's sole superpower and the military, commercial, and cultural centre of a new kind of global empire? This question poses the central dilemma of our time: How can we elaborate a global rule of law based on principles of equality and democracy when the world's most powerful polity seemingly acknowledges no higher authority in the international arena than its own domestic priorities? For Anthony Hall the answer lies in the concept of the Fourth World, an inclusive intellectual tent covering a wide range of movements whose leaders have sought to implement alternative visions of globalization to those that have prevailed since the Columbian conquests began in 1492. Its basic principles include recognition of the inherent rights of all peoples to self-determination and a more just approach to the formulation and enforcement of international law.The American Empire and the Fourth World argues that the current imperial role of the United States began at its founding. The Royal Proclamation of 1763, which offered a qualified recognition of Aboriginal and treaty rights, infuriated many Anglo-American colonists. Their resulting sense of grievance was articulated in the Declaration of Independence which proclaims the "inalienable rights" of "all men" even as it accuses King George III of having "endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers the merciless Indian savages." The United States has never faced, let alone resolved, this fundamental contradiction in its founding document. This failure manifested itself in the lawlessness and militarism that characterized US treatment of Indigenous peoples in the most formative phase of the country's frontier expansionism. The exclusion of "savages" from the republic's founding ideals of human equality came increasingly to permeate US foreign policy, culminating in the ethnic and religious prejudices colouring the so-called War on Terrorism. The American Empire and the Fourth World presents comparative accounts of policies toward Aboriginals that have done much to shape the interconnected histories of the United States, Canada, Latin America, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, and many other countries. The volume introduces a larger literary project entitled The Bowl with One Spoon.
Publisher: Montreal ; Ithaca : McGill-Queen's University Press, c2003
ISBN: 0773523324
Characteristics: xlv, 683 p. (online resource)

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