Foriegn Policy And Expansionism Essay

1456 words - 6 pages

Before World War I an expansionist fever battled its way through the government after the Depression. Tension between idealism and self-interest that had trotted alongside Americas domestic history had also guided its’ foreign policy. When the Europeans came and settled, in what they believed to be India, their motives included greed, glory, and god. Similar to the intentions of the early Europeans, expansionism brought with it reflections of profit, patriotism, piety, and politics. (Nash and Jeffery 604) One of America’s main goals was to create a model society for which others would follow by example. Since the beginning of the 17th century Thomas Jefferson had begun the expansionist movement with the purchase of the Louisiana Territory in the early 1800’s. The goal of expansionism was mainly for soil rich with nutrients for agriculture but also included self-profiteering and natural resources such as coal and oil. Not until the end of the 17th century did America expand beyond Central and South America caused by increasing conflict with Europeans, and the pressure to stop imperialism and communism, took Americans over to Europe in inevitable conflicts that continue today. Despite the depression American factories produced more than enough products and even expanded their businesses so they could make their own products at cheaper rates. By the 1900’s America was number one in world manufacturing and exports tripled and was mainly traded with Europe rather than Asia. As exports increased, inflation of prices decreased, so it was opportune for Americans to increase in trade investments. Naval expansion was also important if Americans wanted to be in control of a peaceful world which coincidentally also led the United States into World War I.
After the sinking of the Maine in Havana Harbor, and an increase in hostility in Spain, America decided it was finally time to wage war against the Spanish government to help the Cubans revolt. Although it was said that the United States had no intentions of annexing Cuba according to the teller amendment, and Cubans were weary of contracting debts of gratitude expecting no help from Americans. Some people opposed the Spanish-American war believing that it contradicted American ideals of expansionism. They believe that steps and postwar planning was a must and that any other actions taken toward war were unconstitutional and unprecedented. They knew that occupying a foreign land without consent was a violation of American ideals and made them look imperial, but money was also a big issue. Social reforms at home demanded money and energy from the American people and setting order in other countries before setting order within America was a waste of time and efforts. During this era Roosevelt was a key influence in foreign policy affairs, he believed that in order to be strong as a nation required the physical fitness of each American. According to his bias toward Social Darwinism life would always be a...

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