American Imperialism Essay examples

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The United States of America had begun its political life as a colony of the British Empire. However, as the 20th century dawned, the nation quickly found itself as one of the world’s leading imperial powers. Historians have proposed various reasons for this change in the American psyche. Historians from the progressive school of thought argue that economic interests dictated American foreign policy; while academics of the Conservative or older patriotic tradition advocate that the nation's brief foray into imperialism represented a “great aberration” from typical American isolationism. A third school led by Julius Pratt, applied Social Darwinism to the country – stating that a combination of religious and humanitarian components motivated …show more content…
This need for new markets had pushed the nation into conflict with other imperial powers. Exempli Gratia Beard, a champion of the progressive school, stated that the desire for profits had pushed Americans into war with Spain over Cuba (Grob, page 165).
The Spanish-American War was fought mainly for economic reasons. The United States' primary motivation for entering the war was “purely economic” (Spanish-American War). The United States had a vested interest in Cuba – almost fifty million dollars invested in the island nation. Additionally, America had a sound trade history with Cuba: trading more with the Spanish colony than its motherland (Cuba). The rotting Spanish Empire provided a hindrance to American business interests. Tariffs and trade fees were especially troublesome to American businessmen. After the war, America had successfully the profitability of their investments. This was done through the Platt Amendment. This amendment had essentially dictated Cuba's economic policy: allowing Americans to check Cuban national debt and foreign treaties (Platt Amendment).
A second theater of the Spanish-American War was the Philippines. Although the United States initially had ambivalent feelings toward the Pacific island nation, the nation ultimately moved to incorporate the territory for economic reasons. Acting under the facade of protecting the native people from atrocities committed by Spanish colonists, the United States government annexed
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