Good Example Of «domestic Sources Of American Expansion In Imperialism 1865-1900» Research Paper

Type of paper: Research Paper

Topic: United States, America, War, Armed Forces, Army, Spain, Economics, Philippines

Pages: 7

Words: 1925

Published: 2020/11/14

The American empire is a term referring to the political, economic, military and cultural influence of the United States. The concept of the American empire was first popularized as a result of the Spanish-American War of 1898. The term imperialism was coined in the middle of the XIX century. The first was widely applied to the United States by the "anti-imperialist American League" that was founded in 1898 against the Spanish-American War and subsequent occupation by the US troops on Philippines after the Philippine-American War. In the view of historians such as William Appleman Williams, Howard Zinn, and Gabriel Kolko, American imperialism traces its origins not to the Spanish-American War, but to the purchase of Jefferson's "Louisiana" or even oppression of Native Americans and the "American Revolution" and continues to this day. Writer Sidney Lens argues that the United States since independence, have used political, economic, and military means for dominance over other nations. So let’s analyze how has begun the American imperialism and were the sources for it.
Until the late nineteenth century, the US government and the Americans themselves were not interested in affairs outside of the United States. The main areas of policy of that period were: economic development and settlements on vast territories in the West. Isolationism has continued after the end of the Civil War, the more that nothing could threatened the United States in the Western Hemisphere.
In the late nineteenth century, has prevailed the belief that the territory of the United States was given by God and that the mission of all Americans was that the Americans should spread democracy and democratic values to other countries and peoples. It should also be noted that with the economic growth and the increase of industrial production US manufacturers needed more mineral resources and more markets. Also, with the growth of the economy and trade have increased integration processes that have required a strong navy to defend the United States' interests in the world. These reasons were the main factors for the expansion of the United States in the last decades of the nineteenth century. It was a combination of American idealism and the need to defend their interests, and of course the desire for profit.
n the second half of the nineteenth century among the European countries was a new wave of colonialism and imperialism in Africa and Asia, where they have occupied new territories and countries, as well as conducting economic expansion and exploitation of the local population. For example, the British economists of the time wrote that imperialism is the dominant factor in the politics of the period.
New horizons such as an investment location, mineral deposits and new markets were the things that western imperialist countries were looking for. Starting from 1880, Great Britain, France, Netherlands, Spain, and Germany have used its armed forces and Christianity for expansion in the depths of Asia and Africa and for the exploitation of other peoples. Thousands of Christian missionaries have also provided help in the expansionism. Along with European countries, the United States has had a need to expand its influence. The main supporters of the idea of expansionism in the United States were Theodore Roosevelt, senators Albert Beveridge and Henry Cabot Lodge, as well as the captain of the United States Navy Alfred Mahan.
Captain Mahan was supporter of the build of a strong navy and in his writings and statements he strongly promoted the idea of dominance at sea and strong US Navy. He has believed that a modern economy cannot exist without a strong navy, the colonies and overseas bases. He also believed that control of the Caribbean Sea and the channel between the Pacific and Atlantic oceans are vital to the United States and are extremely important. Theodore Roosevelt has promoted his ideas, which at that period was working in the Navy. Thanks to their joint efforts by 1896, in the United States were built 11 battleships which were the basis of the new Navy of the United States.
It should be noted that the imperialists of that time as an argument for the expansion have used the racial superiority and the various theories supporting this idea. Researchers of that time have used Darwinism to show the advantage and superiority of their nation over weaker nations and thereby justify exploitation and conquest of new territories. Such researchers were John Strong and John Fiske that in 1885 released their works "American Political Ideas Viewed from the Standpoint of Universal History "and "Our Country: Its Possible Future and Its Present Crisis". In these works they have argued that the destiny of Anglo-Saxon people is to dominate.
In 1866 the Secretary of State William H. Seward predicted the dominance of the United States in the Pacific Ocean, with the main vector of this dominance was the northern coast of the Pacific Ocean. Secretary of State Seward has also tried to get the Alaska and took the opportunity, when he learned out that Russia wanted to sell it. Thus, in 1867, the US government bought Alaska from Russia for $ 7 million. Many people were skeptical about this purchase and criticized the action of the Secretary of State Seward, but history has proven him right. Subsequent Secretaries of State has continued policy of the control of the key ports in the Pacific by the United States.
The particular interest to the United States because of their strategic location and harbors has had Hawaii and Samoa. In 1878, the Samoans have signed an agreement with the Government of the United States under which Pago Pago became a naval base of the US Navy, all trade concessions were transferred to the United States and Samoa actually passed under the protectorate of the United States. (Samoa couldn't resolve any disputes with other states without the participation of the United States). In 1879, the Germans and the British signed the same agreement with the other islands of Samoa. In 1889, according to the agreement was established a joint protectorate of the United States, Germany and Britain over all the islands of Samoa.
The situation with Hawaii was radically different. In Hawaii, there were great numbers of American Christian missionaries and American sugar planters. Also, Hawaii was more important from the strategic aspect for the United States. In 1875, with the Hawaiian Kingdom was signed an agreement according to which the Hawaiian sugar delivered to the US duty-free in exchange Hawaii pledged not to transfer their territory to other countries. As a result, in Hawaii there was a rapid increase in the production of sugar and American planters have become the new elite on the islands.
Also, it should be noted that the increase in production was carried out by means of immigrants from Asia, mainly Chinese and Japanese. By the end of the nineteenth century, Hawaiians have become a minority in the islands. In 1890 the United States government abolished duty-free and has introduced incentives (subsidies) to sugar producers in the United States, which led to an economic crisis in Hawaii and revenue losses of American planters in the islands. In 1893 the American planters rebelled against the monarchy and sent a request to the US government about the annexation of Hawaii by the United States. They were guided primarily by their economic interests and have wanted to recover their former incomes using American subsidies. However, the United States refused to annex Hawaii because of the lack of popular support. However, already in 1898 Hawaii was joined to the United States during the presidency of McKinley.
Talks about expansionism were for a long time in American society, but a spark that gave a powerful impetus was not in the Pacific Ocean, but in the Caribbean Sea. This spark was the Cuba. Cuba was the oldest Spanish colony and large market in which time to time Cubans began uprisings against the government of the Spanish metropolis. However, the paradox is that American companies trade and invest in the Cuban economy more than Spain. In 1895, Cuba began a guerrilla war and a new uprising against the Spanish authorities. In 1896 Spanish command began to use violent repression and torture against Cuba's partisans and civilians killing tens of thousands of Cubans. These events were described in detail in US newspapers, such as the New York Journal and the New York World. Describing the cruelty and brutality of the Spanish soldiers, the authors of the newspapers' articles have encouraged the American public to demand decisive action from the US government.
The reason for the declaration of war was explosion of the battleship Maine that sank in Havana on February 15, 1898. On April 1, President McKinley asked Congress for the authority to use military force in Cuba. On April 20, the US Congress declared the independence of Cuba and demanded the withdrawal of the Spanish Army and Navy from the island. The war with Spain lasted less than half a year. The first victory was the Battle of Manila Bay in the Philippines. After this the Philippine nationalists have revolted on the islands and in the end the Spaniards surrendered to American forces, and the Philippines were to become independent. In addition to the war in the Philippines and Cuba, American troops have landed in Puerto Rico. According to the peace agreement signed on August 12, 1898, the United States have annexed Puerto Rico, the Philippines were occupied by US troops and had to eventually gain independence, and Cuba have become an independent country.
However, the US did not recognize the independence of the Philippines and December 10, 1898 United States bought the Philippines for 20 million dollars from Spain. According to the Treaty of Paris was signed in 1898 after the Spanish-American War, the Philippines were under the auspices of the United States, which caused dissatisfaction among Filipino Republicans.
The immediate cause of the war between the United States and the Philippines, served as the incident night on February 4, 1899 at San Juan's Bridge, near Manila. American soldier shot a Filipino, who came to the base of US soldiers. Soldier has tried to stop a Filipino, but he did not speak English, so an American soldier had to take action.
Just a couple of hours later has started a real fighting. The US Army quickly defeated the poorly armed and untrained army Republicans, commanded by Emilio Aguinaldo. The battle took place near the capital of the Philippines. In this battle, 12,000 Americans defeated the army of 15 000 Aguinaldo, losing only 50-60 people were killed and 225 wounded (Filipinos have lose 2,000 killed and wounded). Aguinaldo defeat seemed inevitable. However, Aguinaldo managed to escape with the remnants of his troops in inaccessible northern mountains.
August 11, 1899 America was sent 11,000 soldiers to stop the Republican Army. However, the guerrilla war was in full swing, so in the early stages of the war the US Army suffered heavy losses. The US military has thwarted anger on civilians, mass executions. Initially in the Philippines were based only 40,000 American soldiers, but over the next two years, the army had to be increased more than threefold.
On March 23, 1901, Americans captured Aguinaldo. On April 1, 1901 in Manila, Aguinaldo vowed to recognize the authority of the United States over the Philippines and pledged their loyalty to the US government. Three weeks later, he publicly appealed to his fellow men, urging them to lay down their arms. However, the resistance has ended only in 1913.
Summarizing all the mentioned above it should be stated that major reasons for the American imperialism were American society and belief of the uniqueness of the American nation, and development of the economy. American imperialism was inevitable because the United States has reached such development of the economy that they have needed new resources and trade markets for their goods. The beginning of the American imperialism was the Spanish–American War. After this war, the role of the United States in the world considerably changed - on the world stage has appeared another influential player and the United States became an imperial power.

Works Cited

Friedman, Thomas. The Lexus and the Olive Tree: Understanding Globalization. London: Macmillan Publishers, 2012.
George Brown Tindall, David E. Shi. America: A Narrative History. New York: NORTON & COMPANY, 2013.
Oxford English Dictionary. Oxford English Dictionary. 2015. 15 2 2015.
Sidney Lens, Howard Zinn. The Forging of the American Empire. LOndon: Pluto Press, 2003.
The newspaper of The Johns Hopkins University. Historian Paul Kramer revisits the Philippine-American War. 10 4 2008. 15 2 2015.
Williams, William Appleman. Empire As A Way of Life: An Essay on the Causes and Character of America's Present Predicament Along with a Few Thoughts about an Alternative. New York: Ig Publishing, 2006.

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