Since the American Revolution, American Imperialism has been a part of the United States since the late Nineteenth century. Imperialism is a practice which powerful nations or people seek to expand or control weaker nations or people. This idea was not supported by all Americans. The Anti-Imperialist league was founded in 1899; they believe that we should not be involved of the affairs of other nations. Most Americans however found that Imperialism is a necessity in order to take over other people’s countries by taken over pieces of their land in order to build a country that would be the power house among nations.
The United States role expanded as an imperialistic nation, to derive economic benefits. Overseas provided a cheap labor force, also plenty of raw natural resources which fueled the United States economy. Other nations also sought power and practiced Imperialism. To understand why most Americans believed Imperialism was necessary, we first must understand it and the ideology behind it. There are three reasons why Imperialism is supported by Americans, first there is economic reasons, providing materials to factories and manufactured goods.
There is a desire to be great the great power, to be great you must control power around the world. Beliefs in moral superiority, the ability to rule less able countries. The United States was never isolated from the rest of the world. The US was an active member in world affairs, trade making that possible. During the period of the 1890’s the US became the most important industrial power in the world. Markets and areas had to be found to obtain raw materials. Other areas of the world were also looked at as potential customers for US products.
The US military was growing and expanding where they lacked the ability to go before. The presidency of Theodore Roosevelt gave the US major military, economic, and imperialistic power. It can be said that imperialism was rationalized; this was done by denying that foreign policy amounted to imperialism. American Imperialism was rationalized by new markets, businesses in the US wanted to sell products and gain resources in new markets that were not available in America. By the use of naval stations across the pacific the US could reach places like China.
Manifest Destiny is the extension of the U. S. from Atlantic to Pacific, to spread liberty and civilization which is America’s destiny. America wanted European powers to respect the US, great powers were only considered for nations that owned colonies. Jesus was part of rationalization, spread Christianity to all. The U. S. saw imperialism as a rescue effort for other nations from imperialism. The U. S. wanted to end European influence, so interference was seen as the right thing to do. This ended up letting nations separate.
This policy started in the 1820’s and was called the Monroe Doctrine. However companies, with assistance from the U. S. began to economically dominate other nations extracting wealth. Americans and Europeans built economic, political, social infrastructure in less developed land. Law and order was also brought by Europeans. Control of other countries can be obtained in a lot of ways, not just war. The Spanish American War, American interest would be best if Spain was out of the Western Hemisphere, the Philippines would be won providing the US with a strategic base in the Pacific.
While many Philippines were happy to be rid of Spanish rule, guerrilla fighters soon discovered that they were not granted much more autonomy than Spain had. American forces went to war against the insurgents and eventually victory was obtained. In Hawaii the powerful fruit companies played a major role, the island became republic and the Hawaiian President agreed to his nation’s annexation by the US. In November of 1898 the Anti-Imperialist League was founded, this was to oppose the United States expansion. The league opposed the annexation of Hawaii.
Some league members agreed with American economic expansion, it was the country’s economic goals that were the problem. It was argued that economically it would be better to achieve goals through free trade, instead of political dominance. It was believed that Imperialism was an unjust, ineffective and unnecessary way of obtaining economic goals. The outcome of this foreign policy going into the Twentieth Century was Anti-Imperialists lost its significance. The 1900 Presidential elections caused problems for the League, particularly over the endorsement of William Jennings Bryan, a renowned anti-imperialist.
The Anti-Imperialist League became just a shadow of its former self. Although several members opposed intervention of the US entry into WW1 they did not object. The Declaration of Independence will be supported and defended. Without consent, Americans will not govern another, liberty belongs to all man in every land, and if we deny freedom to others we will deny ourselves. I do not believe that the United States should have adopted the Imperialism policy. Why would taking over countries be necessary? To be superior and to get materials cheaper? Instead it should be fair work and not stealing others rights and power. Everyone should be able to work with their nation and able to organize and control their own country.
http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/American_imperialism http://www. ihr. org/jhr/v13/v13n4p4_Ries. html http://ignoranceisfutile. wordpress. com/2008/09/07/the-first-truth-about-us/ http://www. knowledgerush. com/kr/encyclopedia/American_Imperialism/ http://www. fordham. edu/halsall/mod/1899antiimp. html Platform of the American Anti imperialist League,” in Speeches, Correspondence, ard Political Papers of Carl Schurz, vol. 6, ed. Frederick Bancroft (New York: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1913), p. 77, note 1.