History of US Imperialism – FULL SERIES OUT NOW

In the last 10 months, the Peoples School for Marxist-Leninist studies has been doing a series of classes on the History of U.S. Imperialism, going from the origins of US imperialism in the mid-late 1800s all the way up to the present day in 2024. We covered the domestic and international developments and discussed so much history that this series should be regarded as an outline for further research and future classes, and not as an in-depth history. There were 9 episodes in this series, and each one will be linked below with a description of the class. Enjoy and please help us by sharing this education and inviting people to the PSMLS!

Origins, 1800’s-1914

We started with the origins of U.S. Imperialism focusing on the period of the late 19th and early 20th century before the First World War. We covered the development of American capitalism after the American Revolution and the period of massive monopolization succeeding the American Civil War and into the “Guilded Age.” We then covered the Spanish-American War, Annexations of Samoa and Hawaii, Philippine-American War, Banana Wars and more around the turn of the 20th century, leaving the class off at 1914, where we would pick up the next class with the start of the supposed “Great War” of WW1.

World War 1 (and the interwar period), 1914-1939

This class delved into the American intervention in WW1, further development of American imperialism and the role of the United State in the interwar years, where we failed to intervene in the Spanish Civil War, Italian invasion of Ethiopia and . It also briefly covered the socialist response to World War 1 and compared US vs Soviet foreign policy in the years leading up to WW1.

World War 2, 1939-1945

This is the third part of our series on the History of US Imperialism, this time on American Imperialism during and immediately after WW2. During this time the United States was an imperialist power that gained from its participation in, and played a progressive role in, the United Front with other allies, including the Soviet Union, to defeat the fascist Axis powers. We’ll also cover how American businessmen collaborated with the Nazis, and how the United States and other western imperialists absorbed Nazis after the war.

Dawn of the Cold War, 1945-1960

Continuing our series on the History of U.S. Imperialism from where we left off at the end of WW2, we will be delving into the early years of the international struggle between Western Imperialism and the world Communist movement following the end of the Second World War up to 1960. This included happenings domestically, such as severe repression of the Communist movement, the Civil Rights movement and its connection to the Communist movement, and the movement against conscription. This class also covered international events, such as the U.S. military interventions in Greece, Korea, Iran, Guatemala, Cuba and more, as well as the nuclear flashpoints, what was happening in Germany, US-Soviet Relations etc.

Height of the Cold War, 1960-1975

This class explores U.S. Imperialism in the 15 year period between 1960 and 1975, from the US response to the Cuban Revolution all the way to the Fall of Saigon, during the Height of the Cold War, where tensions were at their highest, battles were at their bloodiest, coups were at their most plentiful and the world came the closest to nuclear conflict.

End of the Cold War, 1975-1991

This class covers the events and developments between 1975 and 1990, the supposed end of the Cold War. We’ll cover the interventions in Grenada, Libya, Panama and more, as well as other interference abroad, such as the Iran-Contra Affair, the propping up of the Mujahideen in Afghanistan, and the extent of US involvement with the counter-revolution throughout the Eastern Bloc.

Rise of American Unipolarity, 1991-2005

With the last class leaving us at the end of the Cold War and the counter-revolution in the Soviet Union, we will now cover the subsequent rise of American unipolarity. This class spans from 1991-2005. First we will address the counter-revolution in the USSR and counter-revolutions across the world at the beginning of the 1990’s, as well as US/NATO intervention in Iraq, Kuwait, Bosnia and more during the decade. The second section will cover the September 11th terrorist attacks and the beginning of the so-called “War on Terror” with the launch of invasions in Afghanistan and Iraq as well as expanded intervention abroad. Lastly we will address the domestic and trade issues of the time, such as NAFTA, the PATRIOT ACT, the Democratic Party change under Clinton and more.

Height of American Unipolarity, 2005-2020

This class covered events from 2005 to 2020. This includes the various wars and interventions under the second term of George W. Bush, and under the presidencies of Barack Obama and Donald Trump. We will touch on Libya, Syria, Yemen, Donbas, and more. We will also address the domestic conditions during this time, such as the repression against whistleblowers like Julian Assange, the 2008 financial crisis, the immigration crisis, civil rights struggles and more. This class is the second to last in our nine class series on U.S. Imperialism.

Fall of American Unipolarity, 2020-Present Day

This covers events and developments from 2020 to the present day. It focuses on the failure of American Imperialism abroad and the return of multipolarity in the world. This is an incredible milestone for our PSMLS as we complete a nine class series on U.S. Imperialism, starting from the very origins of it in the late 19th Century all the way up to the present moment.