Why Did The United States Begin Turning Its Attention Towards The Pacific During The Nineteenth Century?

1508 WordsApr 13, 20177 Pages
Why did the United States begin turning its attention towards the Pacific during the nineteenth century? The Asia-Pacific experienced monumental change throughout the nineteenth century and saw the United States establish itself as a prodigious power. Economic expansion and geographic opportunities coupled with the determination to export the highly-regarded values of ‘liberty fostered this development. This (outline main arguments) Economic opportunities Firstly, the Asia-Pacific region offered the United States a chance to grow economically, secure valuable resources and expand trade. At the outset of the nineteenth century, the majority of the United States was concentrated in North East due to European migration across the Atlantic…show more content…
If the US were to exert financial and military influence in the Asia-Pacific, it needed to turn take advantage of the best opportunities possible. America sought to grow diversify its imports in order to bolster the domestic economy. California’s acquisition in 1848 and its reliance on horticulture, compelled the state to initiate contact with East Asia. Fruit trees, camellias, sugar and roses were all imported through trade in the Pacific. Whaling in the Pacific also presented itself has an economic opening to be tapped into. The population of whales in the Atlantic Ocean began to diminish and gave the New England Whalers a mandate to journey to the West Coast. Eventually this practice made its way to Hawaii in 1826 and became the most thriving industry within the Island State. Nonetheless whaling deteriorated towards the end of the nineteenth century was due to various factors. Eric Jones in his book Coming Full Circle: An Economic History of the Pacific Rim, attributed this to “the overexploitation of the whale population, the side effects of the U.S. Civil War, the destruction of thirty-three ships by pack ice in 1871, and the substitution of inorganic for organic oil.” Despite this fall, Whaling played a defining role in enlarging America’s economic involvement with the Pacific. The ‘Guano’ industry, being the accumulated excrements

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