Throughout the years, the United States government had made drastic changes in its foreign policies. The few decades from 1880 to 1910, which saw five different presidents all with very distinct foreign policies, were no exception. As a country, the United States progressed from being a country only concerned with expanding its territory out west, to being a country on the verge of becoming involved in the First World War.
During the 1880's and 1890's, the United States focused on broadening their territory and expanding their country westward. During the early part of the decade, a vast amount of land was disappearing due to the fact that millions of people were moving west looking for gold mines and new farmland. The government was
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The Spanish-American War began in 1895, with the Cuban Revolt against Spain. Grover Cleveland, who was president at the time, attempted to keep the United States in a neutral position, but once McKinley took over as leader of the country he made two promises to the American citizens: that he would protect American businesses, and that he would free the Cuban people. He formally protested to Spain, who immediately backed down, fearful of American intervention. On April 25, 1898, following the explosion of the USS Maine, congress declared war on Spain. During the war, American forces claimed the Philippines from Spain. The Teller amendment left the control of the government in Cuba to the Cuban people. On August 12, 1898, the Treaty of Paris ended the war, leaving the United States with Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Philippines; and recognizing Cuba as an independent nation. It was important for the United States to gain power of Puerto Rico, because they were able to maintain a presence in Latin America, and they were able to protect the Panama Canal, which was being built across the isthmus of Panama. The Platt amendment was passed, granting independence to Cuba, but saying that the United States had the right to prevent foreign powers from going into Cuba. In 1899, John Hay wrote the Open Door Notes, which referred to European and Asian powers that were taking over China. These notes stated that each nation must respect the