American Imperialism is the idea of the United States taking over smaller countries for certain interests. American’s chose to be isolationists throughout their early history until 1898 when President McKinley became president of the United States. This led to Americans having an influence in the Philippines, Puerco Rice, Cuba, Hawaii, and trade influences in China. This American influence led to controversy among American citizens on whether American Imperialism was the right thing to do.
Imperialists wanted the American government to continue to take over smaller nations for several reasons while Anti-alienists wanted the government to continue in the practices of isolationism. American Imperialism was supported for the idea to spread democracy and gain trade interests while it was opposed due to the idea that America cannot oppose European Imperialism yet practice Imperialistic ideas. Many American Imperialists felt that the American government should carry out in taking over smaller countries in the Caribbean and the Pacific Ocean to further spread democratic ideologies.
Don’t waste your time!
Order your assignment!
Imperialists thought that the cultural beliefs and government of these smaller nations was inferior to the cultural and political aspects of American life. These ideas that American beliefs should be spread led to Americans changing Hawaii from a monarchy to eventually becoming an American state in 1959. Albert Bridged Justifies the American government’s acts to govern countries like Hawaii and the Philippines in “The March of the Flag: “Would not the people of the Philippines prefer the Just, humane, civilizing government of this Republic to the savage, bloody rule of pillage and extortion from which we have rescued them? (Bridged). This statement from US Senator Bridged explains the thought process of an Imperialist reasoning the idea of spreading democracy to other smaller nations in the Pacific Ocean. This idea that the people in Hawaii and the Philippines should be governed by the United States is directly from the interpretation that they could not govern themselves. Due to these theories about the people in the Pacific Ocean, many American Imperialists believed that the United States government should have continued in their territorial expansion of the Pacific Islands.
American Imperialists Justified their demands of continuing to seize the lands of there self-governed nations for new trading markets and natural resources. Americans that supported Imperialism felt that the American economy needed foreign markets to sell extra product that was being manufactured in the United States. This led to a substantial amount of interest gaining natural resources, selling American-made products, and taking land for interests in Latin America. The main interest to acquire land in Latin America was to build the Panama Canal.
The United States did this by taking advantage of the people in Panama that were looking for a better economy in Panama and protection from Columbia. The rights given from the Panamanian to the American government were, “gave the United States control and use of lands and waters in perpetuity, placing Panama at a disadvantage and as a protectorate country’ (U. S. Interests 1). This gave the United States all rights to the Panama Canal, allowing the American government to tax as they wish any boat that would want to pass through the canal.
American imperialists promoted all of these actions with the Justification that it was in the best interests for the United States of America. American Anti-alienists opposed Imperialism due to our actions of conquering Latin American lands for our interests is equivalent to what we prevented European countries from doing in the Monroe Doctrine. By influencing other smaller countries for economic marketing opportunities, we would be contradicting our protection of these countries from European Imperialists’ same economic interests.
This contradiction is questioned by William Jennings Bryan in “First Speech Against Imperialism”: “Shall we abandon a Just resistance to European encroachment upon the Western Hemisphere, in order to mingle in the controversies of Europe and Asia? ” (Bryan). Bryan is referring to the United States trying to interfere with spheres f influence in China from European powers to have equal opportunities in the trading market.
While the American government was fighting for trading rights in Asia they were also blocking trade from anyone besides themselves in Latin America. This led to a strong push from Anti-alienists in America to return the American government exhibiting isolationist policies in foreign affairs. American Imperialism was supported for the idea to spread democracy and gain trade interests while it was opposed due to the idea that America cannot oppose European Imperialism yet practice Imperialistic ideas.
Although both Imperialists and Anti-alienists had a Just reasoning for imperialistic or being an isolationist, the American government continued to practice Imperialistic ideas throughout its surrounding smaller countries in the Caribbean and the Pacific. Trade interests gained while supporting Imperialism helped to bring natural resources for industrialization in America and it opened up new markets to sell American- manufactured products but it also led to people being forced into a government that they did not choose. This can be displayed as defying democratic ideologies that the people decide their outcomes in government.