American Imperialism: in the Nineteenth Century Essay

American Imperialism In The Nineteenth Century Vadis Fields His 204 Professor Kevin Owens February 27, 2010 Imperialism is a policy of extending a country’s power and influence through diplomacy or military force. Imperialism is the control of one or a number of countries by a dominant nation. The control may be political, economic or both. It indicates a degree of independence in the subordinate nation. This discussion will cover why the policy was adopted, how it was rationalized, some of the major events of this time, and what countries did the United States become involved with.

Imperialism was promoted by monopolizing the external trade of the subordinate nation. The imperial power takes raw materials from the colony and sells its finished goods in return, discouraging the development of any manufacturing company that may compete with its own. The Anti-Imperialist League did not agree with the way the United States controlled the other nations. The American Anti-Imperialist League was founded in 1899, after the United States occupied Cuba, Puerto Rico, and the Philippine Island. The Anti Imperialist League was founded “in order to campaign against the annexation of the Philippines. (Carl Schurz 1913) There were many policies that the League was trying to put in place. The league protested and stated that, “the policy known as imperialism is hostile to liberty and tends towards militarism. ” (Carl Schurz 1913) They contended that all men are entitled to life, liberty, and happiness. They accused the government of being “disloyal to the principles of government and called it criminal aggression. ” (Carl Schurz 1913) Another policy that the league attacked was “the policy of the present national administration in the Philippines that seeks to extinguish their spirit of 1776. (Carl Schurz 1913) The league wanted the government to cease the war against liberty and grant the Philippines the independence that was rightfully theirs. We as Americans were not only fighting for the Philippines liberty, we were fighting for our own liberty against the races. The United States is such a diverse country, the people felt like hostages in their own country. The imperialism of 1898 shows how the government elaborated in history, culture tradition, customs, racism, and law. This was shown by the seizing of Cuba from Spain; annexing Hawaii, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Philippines.

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These millions of people were treated like aliens in their own land. Eric Love put it this way, “the government demonstrated that racism had the opposite effect: that the relationship between the imperialist of the nineteenth century, the racist structure, and conviction of their time was antagonistic not harmonious. ” (Eric Love 2004) I agree with Eric, lets take a look at how the United States overtook or manipulated the other countries. The kingdom of Hawaii was an independent island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.

During the nineteenth century first American missionaries and American businesses began to play a major role on the island. The island was powerful for their fruit companies such as Dole Pineapples. The island became a republic in 1894, and in 1898 Hawaiian President Sanford Dole agreed to his nation annexation by the United States. The republic ended in 1900 and the country became territory of the United States. With the Spanish American war the United States increased its international power. The Spanish American war took place in 1898.

The treaty of Paris (1898) ended the Spanish American war giving the United States the possession of the Philippines, Puerto Rico, Guam, and Cuba in exchange for 20 million dollars. The Philippine American war (1899 -1913) is one of the most diplomatic examples of the United States imperialism. The Philippine’s were glad to get rid of the Spanish rule, just to find out that the United States were not prepared to grant them much autonomy than Spain had. The main reason that the United States went to war with Spain was for the purpose of acquiring a naval coaling station.

As stated throughout this discussion, imperialism was adopted to gain control of international trade. This policy rationalized other countries because it kept them from becoming competitive. Through this policy, the United States took possession of Cuba, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Philippines. The tactics that the United States used or their alterative motive was a war against criminal aggression. The American Anti-Imperialist League tried to fight against the tactics that the United States used. Carl Schurz said, “No man is good enough to govern another man without that other’s consent.

When the white man governs himself, that is self government, but when he governs himself and also governs another man, that is more than self government – that is despotism. ” (Carl Schurz 1913) The events that took place during this time were the overtaking of many countries and the establishing power in trade. Imperialism is a policy of extending a country’s power and influence through diplomacy or military force. It is also the control of one or a number of countries by a dominant nation. During these times the United States was a dominant nation and still is.

I have shown throughout this discussion why the policy of imperialism was adopted, how it was rationalized, some of the major events of this time, and the countries that the United States became involved with. I have taken from this discussion a better understanding of American Imperialism in the 1800s. References: Love, E. (2004) Race over Empires: Race and the US imperialism 1865 – 1900. University of North Carolina Press, Chapel Hill. Retrieved February 26, 2010 from uncpress. unc. edu Schurz, C. (1913) Modern History Source Book: American Anti – Imperialist League 1899 vol 6 Edition. Fredrick Bancroft, New York: G. P. Putnam’s Sons

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