Why The United States Was Imperialist During The Years 1880-1920

735 Words Sep 26th, 2016 3 Pages
This essay will examine if the United States was imperialistic during the years 1880-1920. In the years 1880-1920 the theories of Charles Darwin were being explored by many Americans and applied to the characteristics of societies. Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution gave and explanation and proof to the ideas of American exceptionalism and nativism, nativism being the belief that native born Americans are superior and more highly evolved that all foreign equivalents. Also, during this time period in the year 1890 the Bureau of the census officially declared the internal frontier was closed. The west was a place of rapid expansion and potential for great economic growth through unlimited markets and business opportunities and now the it was no longer available. The idea of American exceptionalism and nativism were used to justify the need to look abroad and acquire more land. Americans felt that they were superior to most other foreign nations, and more evolved, so it was natural that they should lead them. This statement is important because it gives the Americans a blanket they can use to invade and take over other countries for various reasons (usually economic) without any guilt or remorse. The notion that Americans were superior to other countries and that other countries needed to be saved was supported by the president during this time period. President Theodore Roosevelt was contemptuous of races and nations he considered inferior. When the US did not…

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