"Astoria and Empire" by James P. Ronda Book Review

Reviews the book "Astoria and Empire" by James P. Ronda, which relates the role of Astoriain in shaping the American's vision of western expansion and imperialism.
# 151645 | 1,690 words | 1 source | APA | 2008 | US

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This paper explains that James Ronda in "Astoria and Empire" details the evolution of John Jacob Astor's project called Astoria Empire, a vast trade network extending from Western Europe and the American Great Lakes to the Northwest and across the Pacific to Russia and China, Although Astoria failed, the author cites that Ronda argues that Astoria was vital in determining the future of the United States. The paper concludes that this book demonstrates that history is not based solely on facts but also is shaped by people's own biased interpretations.

From the Paper:

"Moreover, long after Astoria, imperialist Americans found in a carefully crafted memory of Astoria a convenient tool for establishing a rationale and a legitimate basis for territorial expansion. In addition to the promise of commercial and scientific potentials, Astoria also represented a principal symbol of American's western dominion. Although Astoria Empire lasted only seven years, the messages that it carried would inspire and shape Americans' view of the West. Two decades after the failure of Astoria, in his Astoria, Washington Irving argued that the enterprise could become "the watchword in a contest for dominion on the shores of the Pacific." In a letter to Astor in 1813, Jefferson also predicted that Astoria would become "the germ of a great, free and independent empire" (327). Furthermore, when meeting with British ambassador Canning, secretary of state John Quincy Adam firmly asserted that the nation was pioneering "to all the shores of the South Sea". All of these people deemed that the Astorian post was not merely a trading house, but a colony that would compete for Pacific sovereignty.
"Although it ended with an unfortunate failure, Astoria evolved into a national symbol that utilized by people to advocate western expansion. Senator Thomas Hart Benton was one of the most important figures in advocating and shaping Astoria as a symbol for American imperial dreams."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • James P. Ronda, Astoria and Empire (Lincoln: University of Nebraska, 1990).

Cite this Book Review:

APA Format

"Astoria and Empire" by James P. Ronda (2012, August 22) Retrieved July 10, 2020, from https://www.academon.com/book-review/astoria-and-empire-by-james-p-ronda-151645/

MLA Format

""Astoria and Empire" by James P. Ronda" 22 August 2012. Web. 10 July. 2020. <https://www.academon.com/book-review/astoria-and-empire-by-james-p-ronda-151645/>