…..Stromberg’s analysis of the importance of the Spanish-American War as a “trial run” for American imperialism is an astute analysis, but the real trial run actually occurred more than thirty years earlier during what Stromberg called the U.S. government’s war against “internal independent nations,” i.e., the Plains Indians.
That is where the real template of American imperialism was set, with its demonization of the Indians as inhuman “wild beasts”; the mass murder of everyone and everything, women, children, and animals included; and the policy of unconditional surrender. Indeed, it may even be argued that the War to Prevent Southern Independence was inself a “trial run” for the twenty-five year war on the Plains Indians.
Sherman’s War of Extermination
As soon as the War to Prevent Southern Independence was concluded the U.S. government commenced a new war against the Plains Indians. On June 27, 1865, barely two months after the end of the war, General William Tecumseh Sherman was given command of the Military District of the Missouri, which was one of five military divisions the government had divided the country into.
There was never any attempt to hide the fact that the war against the Plains Indians was, first and foremost, an indirect subsidy to the government-subsidized transcontinental railroads. Railroad corporations were the financial backbone of the Republican Party, which essentially monopolized national politics from 1865 to 1913, beginning with the election of the first Republican President, the renowned railroad industry lawyer/lobbyist, Abraham Lincoln of the Illinois Central……