Imperialism Essay

784 words - 4 pages

During the nineteenth century, America started looking for expansion generated by the increase in population, wealth and industrial production, the United States territory not only expanded westward it gained possession of several distant lands. Thus, creating the United States of today."By 1895 an expansion program supported by a small but growing number of American politicians, publicists, navel officers, and businessmen gave a specific direction to expansionist currents and reinforced the appeal of the imperialist idea. This generally included the annexation of Hawaii, the acquisition of one or more base areas in the West Indies and the construction of an Isthmian s Canal across Central America to facilitate navel and mercantile movement between the Eastern United States and the Pacific Ocean. Some also aspired to the peaceable annexation of Canada, while others wished to challenge British political and economic leadership is South America. Virtually all limited their ambitions to the western hemisphere, and most to areas traditionally within the sphere of American interests. The peace treaty with Spain provided fro American possession of Puerto Rico, the Philippines and Guam. Hawaii had already been separately annexed, and Cuba was subjected to a three-year military occupation followed by a theoretically sovereign independence in 1902. Cuba became a self-governing protectorate of the United States, with the latter nation retaining important governmental control and the right of military intervention at its discretion under the terms of the plat amendment of 1901" (americanforeignrelations). As America was going through this imperialistic growth, events were taking place else ware."The most fundamental explanation of the global imperialism of the nineteenth century was that of the Western world, containing a relatively small minority of the worlds people, had achieved a virtual monopoly of effective power. The development of the nation-state enabled the effective mobilization of a society's resources, and coincided with the growth of modern science and industrialization. The latter developments created societies of unprecedented wealth and armed them with weapons of unparalleled destructiveness, while the steamship, the railroad, the telegraph, and the oceanic cable greatly diminished the distances that separated the western world" (Americanforeignrelations). "The modern city was the product of industrialization. Cities contained the great investment banks, the smoky hills and dingy sweatshops, the spreading railroad yards, the grimy tenements and sparkling mansions, the new department stores and skyscrapers. People came from places as near as the countryside and as far as Russia, Armenia, China and Japan. By the end of the nineteenth century America had entered a new urban age, with tens of millions of urbanites, and urban landscape, and a growing urban culture"(Davidson)."Industry and agriculture of the United States had grown beyond its need for consumption. Business and political figures believed that the foreign markets were essential to further economic growth, promoting a more aggressive foreign policy allowing America to gain dominance over foreign markets, materials and investment outlets" (Academic kids). "Each nation sought to establish an Asian sphere of influence in which its commercial and military interests reigned. The secretary of state circulated the first of two "open-door" notes among the imperial powers. He did not ask them to give up their spheres of influence in China, only to keep them open to free trade with other nations. Japan and most of the European powers agreed with this open door policy. The ceaseless search for resources led all manner of people and their money west, including foreign investors. As raw material flowed out of the region, capital flowed in, mostly from the East and from Europe. Foreign investments varied from industry to industry but generally came in two forms: direct stock purchases and loans to western corporations and individuals" (Davidson).After looking back at Americas turn toward imperialism with the economic expansion and industrialization, becoming a world power and national pride. To meet its needs the strategy of seeking economic dominance over foreign markets and materials emerged. This imperialism has created the nation that we have today.ReferencesAcademic Kids (2005). History of United States imperialism. Retrieved 9/5/2008, from Foreign Relations (2000). Imperialism. Retrieved 9/12/2008, from, , Delay, , Heyrman, , Little, , & Stoff, (2008). Nation of Nations (6th edition). U.S.A.: McGraw Hill.Fordham Edu. (1977). Modern History sourcebook. Retrieved 9/4/2008, from (2000). US History timeline. Retrieved 9/2/2008, from


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