Changes In Us Foreign Policy Between 1880 And 1910

1180 words - 5 pages

Throughout the years, the United States government had made drastic changes in its foreign policies. The few decades from 1880 to 1910, which saw five different presidents all with very distinct foreign policies, were no exception. As a country, the United States progressed from being a country only concerned with expanding its territory out west, to being a country on the verge of becoming involved in the First World War.
During the 1880's and 1890's, the United States focused on broadening their territory and expanding their country westward. During the early part of the decade, a vast amount of land was disappearing due to the fact that millions of people were moving west looking for gold mines and new farmland. The government was encouraging this move to happen in such ways as the Homestead Act of 1862 that gave 160-acre plots of land to settlers for an extremely low price. As people moved in that direction, more towns were built, leading to the need for railroads that spanned across the country. The very last spike of the transcontinental railroad was driven in during 1869, paving the way for easier travels across the country. There was a huge increase in commercial farming, which led to a market boom. This market increase caused an international market that was filled with competition. This international trading between a select few different nations was about the extent of the United States' foreign relations in the 1880's.
In 1893, the United States experienced its first major depression in the Panic of 1893. The stock market crashed, which led to a fall in the banking system. The depression caused many businesses to look overseas, and because of this foreign trade was an astounding $1.4 billion by 1900. The depression ended just one year later, but it had a severe and lasting effect on the American economy. In 1896, right in the midst of the country's severe depression, William McKinley was elected as the 25th president of the US, thus beginning the period commonly known as "The Gilded Age". The United States was starting to export goods that they produced on a larger scale, due in large part to the rise in factories, as well as the growth in the steel, oil, and railroad industries. During this time, there was a huge amount of new inventions and industrialization within the country. Because of these new techniques and developments, the United States was proving itself to be a major industrial power. Around this same time, there was a massive rush of immigrants into the country. They came from all over the world; from places like Ireland, England, Italy, Russia, Greece, Mexico, and Asia. Any of these immigrants completely broke their ties with the "old country" once they moved to America. The increase in immigration, led to a rise in Nativism. Organizations were formed whose main purpose was to prevent more people from entering the country, including the American Protective Association (APA) and the Immigration Restriction League...

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