Reasons for the U.S. Turning to Imperialism at the End of the 19th Century

1278 Words Nov 5th, 2011 6 Pages
Essay Question: Why did the U.S. turn to Imperialism at the end of the 19th century?

Imperialism is "the creation and maintenance of an unequal economic, cultural, and territorial relationship, usually between states and often in the form of an empire, based on domination and subordination.” (Johnston 375) By the 1890s, many Americans leaders started to have new attitude towards imperialistic adventures abroad. There were numerous reasons for the U.S. to turn to Imperialism at the end of the 19th century, mainly the economic, political, strategic, and humanitarian motives. Various industrialists as well as investors including bankers and the new wealthy class feared that the United States would soon produce more than it
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An initial indication for American attitudes toward the use of force abroad was demonstrated in Hawaii. In 1893, encouraged by the Harrison administration and assisted by the U.S. Marines from the cruiser Boston, pro-American sugar planter overthrew Queen Liliuokalani and requested the annexation of Hawaii by the U.S. After that, President Grover Cleveland sent a commission to Hawaii to determine the wishes of the Hawaiian citizens concerning their future, Last but not least, the idea of racial superiority from Social Darwinism and, ironically, the moral responsibility to civilize and “uplift” the “inferior races” of Africa and Asia accounted for the increased American interest in foreign frontiers in the 1890s. In his book Our Country, Josiah Strong stated that God had appointed Anglo-Saxons to be their “brother’s keeper.” Furthermore, Kipling bolstered the idea of the “White Man’s Burden”, the duty of white people to help and educate people who lived in “undeveloped civilization”. Senator Albert J. Beveridge of Indiana also suggested that the opening of the frontier would free the American spirit. Right before the Spanish American War or the Cuban War for Independence 1898, American public opinion was heavily influence by the “Yellow Press”. Sensationalized stories about “butcher” Weyler and the horrendous human conditions in concentration camps were published and spread throughout the U.S. For
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