Essay about American Imperialism

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The years after the Civil War were the years of great economic expansion in the history of United States. With the increase in production by industries, the demand for resources increased rapidly and because the land under the control of the United States could not fulfill this demand, the only option was to expand the territorial area. In 1867, the United States purchased Alaska from Russia and in the same year, it annexed Midway Islands. Until 1890s, the expansion was restricted to west and did not go further the nation’s boundaries. But the decade of 1890s, the period between 1893 and1903 was a turning point in the history of United States, marked with the expansion of America for the first time outside its main land. Even though policy …show more content…
In a treaty with the Spain, the US acquired the Philippines, Puerto Rico, and the pacific island of Guam. Overproduction and under-consumption during the Panic of 1893 demonstrated the need for foreign markets if the economy were to recover again, which heightened the belief that more assertive foreign policy was indispensible to encourage American exports. “To meet the challenge the country had no apparent choice but to reconstruct its economy or compete for foreign markets and points of strategic significance, especially in the Pacific.” Another problem that emerged during this depression and could be solved by expanding the markets was the discontent caused by unemployment after the Panic of 1893. The new markets would work as a ‘safety valve,’ which by improving the economy of America would reduce the domestic problems.
Proponents of imperialism believed that the colonial holdings, as strategic assets, were of high value in the on-going quest for maritime supremacy. One of the supporters of imperialism was Alfred Thayer Mahan, who argued that a large fleet of ships, protected by a powerful navy, is required for successful international trade. He believed that colonies “facilitate and enlarge the operations of shipping and tend to protect it by multiplying points of safety.” Influenced by theses ideas, James G. Blaine urged president to try to acquire
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