American Foreign Policy in the 1890's Essay

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American Foreign Policy in the 1890s American foreign policy during the 1890s was based on many factors that each acted as an individual justification for our country’s behavior as a whole. Racism, nationalism, commercialism, and humanitarianism each had its own role in the actions America took against other nations.

Most Americans were extremely racist during this time period. The predominant culture in the country was white, Anglo-Saxon, Protestants, aka WASPs. They scorned the now free black people and all European immigrants that came to our nation. They gave anyone with the slightest differences a very hard time, whether they were citizens of America or not. If they did such things to their fellow countrymen, their reactions to
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That’s where the humanitarianism applied.

Americans figured that when they entered the smaller, weaker, foreign nations and practically took them over, that they were doing that nation’s people a favor, regardless of whether or not those people were content with their current lifestyle and government. This practice was basically the Americans’ way of rationalizing the fact that they were now becoming what they had been opposed to most, the Europeans.

Nationalism also had a part. Much like racism, Americans felt their country was superior to all other countries. Maybe not in power or economy, but in morals. Americans had a very strong sense of pride in their country. They had defeated the British, one of the biggest world powers, to gain their independence, and they also proved to the world that they could thrive and live on. That gave them a very arrogant attitude, especially towards any type of action made by the Europeans. It directed their conduct to seem superior to all others.

Americans were also driven by greed. Commercialism was a major factor in their foreign policy. Americans knew that by engaging in the same practices that the successful Europeans had, they could also gain money and prestige. Keeping in mind that they wanted to seem superior to the Europeans, they conjured up these fake rationalizations as to why they chose to take over these small island countries. The truth was, many Americans had invested in these countries, and the
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