Vol. 1 No. 1 (2020): Global Connections

The Marshall Islands and U.S. Imperial Relations

Published May 14, 2020


The United States has detonated dozens of atomic bombs in the atolls of the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) which have affected the livelihood and health of both the Marshallese people and their land. This paper analyzes this event and its aftermath, including the overarching theme of U.S.-RMI relations as exemplary of American neo-imperialism and their subsequent client state relationship based on economic and military dependency. The notion that the U.S. has violated the human rights of the Marshallese people according to the UN Declaration of Human Rights is also explored, as well as the use of foreign policy as an instrument for expanding America’s modern empire and sphere of influence in the Asia-Pacific region. The U.S. perpetuates its disregard for Marshallese’s human rights by dismissing those still affected by the nuclear tests, in addition to continued military testing on the islands. These theories draw on evidence from peer-reviewed journal articles, news articles, and documents from official government sources.