Self Interest Dbq Analysis

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The United States was more based on self-interest at the start of the early 20th century, but became more driven on idealism at the end of the time period. Starting with William McKinley, America’s foreign policy began with the benefits for American commerce and imperialism, at the expense of nations like Cuba, Hawaii, and the Philippines. Theodore Roosevelt continued much of this scheme of self-interest with the Panama Canal and the Roosevelt Corollary, but started a few more idealistic trends in foreign relations with handling Japan and Russia. Finally, Woodrow Wilson began to lead the United States towards a more idealistic approach to foreign policy, with stopping dollar diplomacy, his relations with Mexico, and handling the start of World …show more content…
The Hawaiian Islands were the first of the nations the United States sought after, due to its center for sugar production. The McKinley tariff, raising barriers against Hawaiian sugar, pushed the United States towards annexing Hawaii mainly for the product. Queen Liliuokalani defended Hawaii against the Americans, but was overthrown in 1893, leading up to the year of annexation in 1898 (Doc G). The map of America’s influence and overall empire was expanded, and continued to expand when the Cubans revolted against Spanish rule due to the crippled sugar production from the McKinley tariff. The insurrectos of Cuba tried to drive out the Spanish using scorched-earth methods, while Butcher Weyler tried to crush the rebellion. The United States looked for Cuba as a way towards securing the Panama Canal. Due to the explosion of the U.S.S. Maine in Havana Harbor, and the ridiculing by Spanish minister Dupuy de Lome ridiculing McKinley, the United States was hoping to go to war with Spain. From this fervor, McKinley was decisive with the commercial and strategic interests of Cuba, not only as a supplement to war, but as a helping for the election of 1900. The yellow press also continued to spark war tendencies through sensational stories and atrocities against the …show more content…
The U.S. Navy, in spite of the Spanish, was controlled by John D. Long and Theodore Roosevelt, having much control over the seas, and the capture of Manila with Emilio Aguinaldo as a Filipino insurgent helping them. The Rough Riders, which also included Roosevelt’s leadership, were volunteers that went to Cuba to battle at El Caney and San Juan Hill. The American army did not stop there, and took over Puerto Rico with the command of Nelson A. Miles, before Spain signed the armistice. This gave to America Guam, Puerto Rico, the freedom of Cuba, and the Philippines, which were much more of a problem, in which McKinley decided to keep the Philippines making the U.S. seem more like an imperialistic nation. This sprouted the Anti-Imperialist League, made of big names like Mark Twain, Samuel Gompers, and Andrew Carnegie, with the Filipinos wanting freedom and un-american America denying that privilege. Rudyard Kipling’s “The White Man’s Burden” also suggested that America was, by self-interest, assimilating the Philippines as if they were an uncivilized nation. The way the United States dealt with their new additions to the empire also expressed the benefits to America at the expense of the other nations. The Foraker Act gave Puerto Ricans only a limited degree of popular government in 1900, which thankfully changed

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