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American imperialism was viewed as a better foreign policy as compared to the Monroe Doctrine. Imperialism consisted in using military takeovers, signing treaties and lending money to underdeveloped nations in order to acquire control over them. American leaders strived for goodwill, better retention, and enlarged markets all over both the western and eastern hemisphere (Wait, 2003). However, they were not successful enough due to the fact that the impact there actions had led to rebellions and resentment. The American imperialists intended to expand cultural, political, and economic power over states that were underdeveloped.
The Path of American Imperialism from 1870 to 1914
Imperialism in the United States started by the end of 1890 because the border line that had been settled in those new territories had to be instituted, and it could, therefore, not be in the continental US since no land was left. At that time, Alaska was yet to be settled as it had been already discovered, but there was still much to discover in that region. In 1898, following provocations in Cuba, such as the USS Maine’s sinking, alleged to be caused by Spanish saboteurs, the US population was provoked by the newspaper articles published by Pulitzer and Hearst informing the people that the Spanish were undertaking acts of violence against the Cuban people, and, it is clear that this eventually led the nation into war (Dallal, 2001).
America was forced to enlarge its territories in the other regions in an effort to battle with the European states that had already taken control over a bigger portion of the globe with Germany being the number one rival. Therefore, the nation had to establish a Navy in a bid to battle with the entire globe, and it was able to establish a large Navy that would fight any rival (Dallal, 2001). The state almost entered into a war with Germany over Samoa. Finally, Germany surrendered Samoa to the US. The United States in Hawaii sought to capture the islands in an effort to acquire the resources. The islands offered instead a fueling and a coaling station for the Pacific fleet near China.
Benefits of America’s Imperialistic Actions
The imperialistic actions of the United States brought benefits to the citizens of the captured nations. First, economic development was significant in that those nations would be in a position to provide their products and services for more regions of the world, and their citizens were able to acquire jobs in the US factories. Second, there was the benefit of presence of the huge military. Therefore, the people in those areas felt safer after the US troops were settled there. They became useful during the World War I (Wait, 2003).
However, the disadvantages appeared to prevail over the benefits in that several of those areas were against any aid from America; thus, anti-Americanism appeared to develop. For instance, Cuba experienced a trade impediment, and the country went through political disorder brought by the Spanish-American War (Wait, 2003). American troops were in most instances violent and usually employed threats in order to maintain control and peace. In Cuba alone, over 200,000 citizens died due to the war and diseases at the time of those conflicts.
The people of the captured regions did not like the actions taken by America. Many of the people were made American citizens, but they were not happy with the situation since for many years they were devoid of American help; hence, they thought they were not important to the country. This provoked all the violence and uprisings that took place in the occupied territories, including the hatred for America until now (Wait, 2003).
Moral Implications of American Imperialism
A great number of Americans approved of the persistent expansion; particularly, once the land to the west was seized, they wanted their country to continue it. They accepted such expansion of new land in nearly the same manner as the Spanish did by taking over territories and establishing Spanish missions (Quirk & Scharnhorst, 2006). America also saw the necessity to civilize the countries that were still underdeveloped. This involved some sense of racial superiority. Nevertheless, American imperialism was often pushed by prospects for trade and economic growth. The islands acquired in the Pacific offered the United States the base required for guaranteeing economic relations in Asia.
Integrating the areas in the Pacific also permitted America to set supply ports in an effort to establish the state’s Navy. The American politicians, as well as the public, did not want their state to overpower other countries. They also opposed the America’s control over Philippines and Cuba. This implied that Americans desired to establish political and economic connections across the globe, but they did not want to be like Great Britain. Anti-imperialists thought that America’s task was to assist in setting free the areas that were meant for Spain, but did not mean to take control over them (Quirk & Scharnhorst, 2006).