American Expansionism - Essay

1556 Words Mar 11th, 2012 7 Pages
American Expansionism The 1840s and 1890s saw an expansion of American territory, as a result of several economic, political, and cultural factors. In both cases of American expansionism, the Americans believed that we must expand our borders in order to keep the country running upright. Also, the Americans believed that the United State, being one of the strongest of the nations, had a need to become even stronger. This is shown in the "manifest destiny" of the 1840's. Apart from the similarities, there were also several differences that included the American attempt to stretch their empire across the seas and into other parts of the world. Opponents of expansion in the 1840s did not oppose gaining new lands, but opposed the possible …show more content…
In 1893, a small group of sugar and pineapple-growing businessmen, aided by the American minister to Hawaii along with heavily armed U.S. soldiers and marines, deposed Hawaii's queen. Subsequently, they imprisoned the queen and seized 1.75 million acres of crown land and conspired to annex the islands to the United States. The businessmen who conspired to overthrow the queen claimed that they were overthrowing a corrupt, dissolute regime in order of advance democratic principles. They also argued that a Western power was likely to acquire the islands since Hawaii had the finest harbor in the mid-Pacific and was viewed as a strategically valuable coaling station and naval base. In 1851, King Kamehameha III had secretly asked the United States to annex Hawaii, but Secretary of State Daniel Webster declined, saying "No power ought to take possession of the islands as a conquest...or colonization." But later monarchs wanted to maintain Hawaii's independence. The native population proved to be vulnerable to western diseases, including cholera, smallpox, and leprosy. By 1891, native Hawaii's were an ethnic minority on the islands.
Americans also pushed for an "Open Door" trading policy in China, which stated that all major powers, including the United States, should have an equal right to trade in China. Efforts to expand American influence abroad were motivated by
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