Ethnocentrism: The Role Of American Imperialism In The 19th Century

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In the 19th century, the idea of manifest destiny was rampant throughout America and Europe. This term describes the right for a country to extend its land and rule outside of its borders. America started imperializing later than Europe since they had to deal with the Civil War, but afterwards, America felt a strong need to start expanding. (Lynn). American Imperialism emerged as a result of the country’s ethnocentric views and their desire to join the global sphere of influence and maintain it by trying to surpass the amount of imperial European states. Ethnocentrism was very popular in the late 1800’s, and prompted America to make a move toward imperialism. However, this mindset does not infuse with the concept of imperialism well. Ethnocentrism …show more content…
China was the first to open trade with Japan, a major accomplishment in trade. America was very quick to equate themselves in trade. Millard Fillmore sent Commodore Matthew Perry as a diplomat for Japanese trade negotiations. Perry appeared in Japanese harbors with steamships that Japan did not have access to with superior guns to intimidate them. Hopefully, this would impress Japan and make the more open to trade, but it did the exact opposite. The Japanese government refused to speak with the Americans. Perry, in an attempt to make the Japanese give in to their deal threatened to attack if they did not sign the proposed treaty of Kanagawa. This tactic was coined as gunboat diplomacy. (History.com Staff). During the Spanish American War, America claimed to their citizens that they wanted to relieve Cuba of Spain’s harsh rule, when really they had their focus on taking it over for their own benefit. Modern historians say the sinking of the Maine, which led to America declaring war, was actually just an accident caused by the crew that America molded into propaganda for war, presumably to get involved in the spoils of war, and to expand. Secretary of State James G. Blaine expressed America’s true intentions for Cuba in 1881. He said, “Cuba must necessarily become American and not …show more content…
The doctrine in and of itself benefits North and South America and prevents European states from spreading to the Western Hemisphere. The Doctrine was established after the War of 1812 to stop Britain from trying to reclaim America ever again, and furthermore it would justify Amreican imperialism. The Monroe Doctrine stated that any attempt by Europe to colonize the U.S. would be taken as an act of aggression. (Foner). But, America did not expect the places they colonized to have the right to take their colonization attempts as aggressive. This is a double standard. Since the Monroe Doctrine was an official established set of restrictions, America had a legal right colonize and reduce the risk of Europe exceeding any further in their

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