The Causes Of American Imperialism In The 1890s

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1. Imperialism in the 1890s reflected both continuities and changes from earlier American history, as America continued to expand but do change in the ways the expand, as well continued to have similar reason toward imperialism. To begin with, America continued to believe that i was their destiny to expand into areas and promote democracy and civilization. While previously in history this idea was called Manifest Destiny, the Americans now justified their imperialism with the idea of American Exceptionalism which was the idea that it was America’s destiny to spread democracy and civilization. The difference here is that, while previously America conquered through land, and just moved west on their own land, now the Americans started to increase …show more content…
Economically, an example is seen through their dealings with Hawaii. In 1876 the United States signed a treaty with Hawaii, which let American markets have free access to Hawaiian sugar without paying for sugar. Furthermore, when Queen Liliuokalani showed her frustrations at these treaties, the U.S overthrew the queen and annexed Hawaii. The patriotic mission is also seen through this scenario as America need HAwaii as a strategic point to help take over the Philippines. Their conquering of the Philippines was motivated by the ideals of Patriotism as well as the idea that Americans needed lands to create more enterprises. We can further see remnants of American imperialism for economic benefit, when the US created the Panama Canal. In order to achieve this, the US assisted an independence movement which allowed the Panamanians to separate themselves from Colombia. However, the people who worked on this canal were told to have pride for what they were doing for the United States, by Theodore Roosevelt. Economic self interest was also seen when the US intervened in the Mexican Revolution. At first, Mexican dictator Porfirio Diaz was kind toward American companies, but eventually he started to fear the power of large corporations and thereby nationalized many of the resources. This would lead to the US to back Francisco Madero, a man more friendly toward US economic interests. When Madero forced Diaz to resign, many poor Mexicans started to demand change and the weak Madero was eventually killed. leading to new control. Obviously this posed a significant issue to the US which then moved into Mexico, occupying the port of Veracruz and indirectly assisting Venustiano Carranza, the leader who best fit the US interests. Overall, we can see that US extended their influence in certain countries for economic self interest, as seen by their influence in Colombia, Hawaii, and Mexico.

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