The United States: 1865 1917

1329 words - 5 pages

At the end of the 1770’s, the United States was a small nation constituted of farmers. Nevertheless, after almost 100 years, the United States became an expanded country across the continent. During that time, Florida, Texas, New Mexico, Oregon, Louisiana and California had already formed part of the United States’ territory, either through acquisition, mediation or annexation. By the time of the 1860’s, the U.S. economy was growing, conduced by modern developments in transportation and communication from the Pacific Coast to the Atlantic Coast and an extensive incursion of immigrants that caused a boom of urbanization and industrialization all over the country. Nonetheless, the consolidation of industrial revolutions and massive productions created a large surplus of goods that could not be consumed by the people in the United States. In consequence, the United States had to create a new way to expand their territories in foreign markets, so they could absorb the excess of the U.S. goods. However, in a time when France and Great Britain were “the two major imperialist powers,” the U.S. needed a strategy that would help it to compete on the world stage as a global power. As a result, based on ideological arguments, strategy concerns, and economic designs as its main reasons, the United States entered in a new era where its principal goal was the creation of an Imperialistic Empire. (Goldfield Page 614, Prof. Michael McKeown)
The first reason under which the United States decided to emulate the model of Imperialism was based on its ideological and religious arguments. These started with the Rationales’ beliefs that America’s ideas and institutions were superior compared with any other country in the world. For example, some Americans called what was known as Social Darwinism, which began with the Anglo-Saxons expressing that they were a superior race that should predominated over other people. At this point, what they were trying to do was to justify their idea of Imperialism. Related to Social Darwinism was the Ideological Christianity, which was trying to convert people in many countries to make them Christians. However the most outstanding example is Manifest Destiny, which was the belief that the U.S. was blessed by God to conquer the world from the Pacific to the Atlantic Coast and from the North to the South of the continent. Eventually, with the West already settle, this belief was already a reality and now, they were looking for new frontiers. By this time, “the presence of religious arguments in the U.S. foreign policy”1 fortified William McKinley’s idea of expansion as the new president on the Imperialist platform. (Prof. Michael McKeown, U.S. Department)
A second reason was the U.S. strategic concerns. From 1660 to 1776, Captain Alfred Mahan wrote the book “The Influence of Sea Power”, which made reference to the reasons of why Great Britain was the most powerful country of that period. According to him, the rising of the British...

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