In the 1890’s, imperialism became a universally known word. Business understood imperialism as a chance to expand their commerce and extend free trade, however, laborers understood imperialism as a distraction from the true issues of their needs, and the government saw imperialism as a chance to expand on America’s interest. Imperialism meant taking Cuba for the millions of dollars that its trade and land offered. Cuba still lies under the Americans imperialistic rule.
While there are effects of greater economy and a land of free trade, the methods by which this expanse was gained were in my opinion, reckless. The foreign trade accounted for billions of dollars in the American economy. When the government intervened in Cuba to hold American interests, it held the millions of dollars invested there. Not only did America, in a sense, become stronger but more than that, it looked stronger. When America held the largest world trade market, America became a powerful super power.
The American interests were not as spectacular to those who did not directly benefit from the interventions of the nation. For years, laborers rebelled and received only minimal attention. Factories, labor abuses, and strikes still caused thousands of deaths, but no popular uproar could be heard. The laborers had lost their deal. They were no longer important enough to be considered news against the war with Cuba. President McKinley thought it was wise to spread the fortune and good interests of Americans to the Philippine nations.
The Americans took them all to educate the Filipinos, and uplift and civilize them, and Christianize them. It seemed that McKinley’s sole purpose for the brutal treatment of the Filipinos was to civilize them. It was this idea that was presented and accepted by the American public. It was not accepted so lightly by the Filipino people. The idea of a country across the Pacific ruling them was unthinkable. They rose in revolt against the United States. Everything about the war was twisted to make the Filipinos appear as the aggressors.
In reality, America fired the first shot, yet the good people of the Philippine nations paid the price. Racism and paternalism plagued the American public. Imperialism offered a sense of power for the American people. As jobs were on the rise, inflation was as well, but the Americans saw the new employment opportunities only. As imperialism continued, so did the racism, and it increased. War became an important factor for gaining this imperialistic view of the world.