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Imperialism Essay

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Imperialism could be considered as a defining characteristic of America in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Imperialism is defined as “a policy of extending a country's power and influence through diplomacy or military force” (Imperialism and Immigration). When it comes to imperialism in America, I must say that other factors were more influential than social Darwinism. Although I do agree to a certain extent that social Darwinism did play a big role, things such as expansionist objectives, European activity, and economic opportunity overall had a bigger part in the movement.
Expansionist objectives became well known and a widely shared view in the 1830s, and by 1893 Americans were ready to expand past the United States. Frederick
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This expansion of Europe then became concerning to Americans, if Europe kept expanding, they would gain more power, and with more power, we couldn’t be sure that we would be able to protect ourselves or our ideas (Imperialism and Immigration). This worry then led to the ideas of Alfred Thayer Mahan who thought that we needed a much stronger navy to protect ourselves. Mahan believed that the United States could use sea power in two different but beneficial ways, one was for peace which meant commerce with other countries as well as being able to build ports for our ships, and then our men could refuel and rest, and the other reason simply put, was for war. Mahan even states “The influence of the government will be felt in its most legitimate manner in maintaining an armed navy, of a size commensurate with the growth of its shipping and the importance of the interests connected with it” (Mahan 1890). These worries of European activity and the worries of building up our own economy became the driving force behind building a stronger navy to be able to pursue imperialism, not social Darwinism.
Furthermore, economic opportunity for the United States had a huge role in the push for imperialism. With growing concerns of Europe expanding in size, the US began to be further concerned about the potential
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