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American Imperialism Essay

921 words - 4 pages

American Imperialism has been a part of United States history ever since the American Revolution. Imperialism is the practice by which large, powerful nations seek to expand and maintain control or influence on a weaker nation. Throughout the years, America has had a tendency to take over other people's land. America had its first taste of Imperialistic nature back when Columbus came to America almost five hundred years ago. He fought the inhabitants with no respect for their former way of life, took their land, and proceeded to enslave many of these Native Americans. The impact of the 1820's and 1830's on American Imperialism is undeniable. Although the military power was not fully there during this time period, their ideals and foreign policy were made known by as early as 1823.
The Monroe Document of 1823 is the best known United States policy toward the Western Hemisphere. After Declaring the United States interest of the western hemisphere, it warned Europe to not interfere with any new developing nation. Because the United States was such a young nation, it did not have the power to back up what the Monroe Document was expressing, however this document is very important to comprehend because it proves that although federal actions may not strongly show Imperial actions, the mindset of Americans during the 1820's and 1830's was clearly intertwined with basic Imperialistic views and policies. Just over forty years later, this policy was used to justify the sending of United States troops into Mexico in 1866, as well as the purchase of Alaska in 1867.
The booming industrial economy and market revolution was another case of imperialism as the United States was producing more goods than it could consume. This "revolution" transformed a subsistence economy of scattered farms and tiny workshops into a national network of industry and commerce. Greater mechanisms and a more robust market economy raised legal questions dealing with the regulation of monopolies. Revolutionary advances in manufacturing and transportation brought increased prosperity to all Americans, but they also widened the gap between the rich and the poor. With this expansion of modern advancements, including Cyrus McCormick's invention of the mechanical mower-reaper, the completion of the Erie Canal, the first railroad, and John Deere's steel plow, it was no question that the united states was modernizing itself, and imperialism was ingraining itself as a quality of American society.
Jackson's democrats were committed to western expansion, even though this expansion inevitably meant confrontation with the current inhabitants of the land. More than 125,000 Native Americans lived in the forests and prairies east of the Mississippi. Although many tribes strongly resisted white encroachment on their land, other tribes such as the Cherokees made remarkable efforts to learn the ways of the whites. The Americans were once again sticking to their imperialistic style, and leaving...

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