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Imperialism

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Imperialism

Between 1890 and 1917, the United States took possession of Hawaii, the Philippines, Puerto Rico, Guam, and Samoa. It established protection over Cuba, Panama, and the Dominican Republic, and had armed interventions in many of these countries. As well as in China, Mexico, Haiti, and Nicaragua. No one knows why America started to become involved in the worlds affairs. The United States started to become an imperial power in the years after Spanish-American War.

The appearance of the United States as a major player in the Central America and Asian islands was related to the growth of the American economy in the end of the nineteenth century. Between the end of Reconstruction and the beginning of the First World War, the islands of rural America slowly disappeared as social and economic changes brought about the modern, industrial United States. During these years, the American economy was transformed from one based on small, family-owned businesses to one dominated by a network of large corporations.

Clearly, economic imperatives, political requirements and commercial ambitions all came together to shape the course of American expansion after 1890's. American expansion is due to the Industrial Revolution and it resulted in an overproduction by American manufacturers. American industry in the late nineteenth century was driven by technological advances in electricity and communications. Industrial leaders like Andrew Carnegie and John D. Rockefeller argued that the health of American industry depended on expansion. Failure to establish new foreign markets for the output of U.S. Goods would result in an industrial slowdown. Rising unemployment would produce further social unrest and feed the growth of radicalism that could uproot political and economic institutions. American businessmen then looked to Latin America, and especially to China, as new outlets for American-made products. Although politicians, businessmen, and farmers spoke regularly of the need to find foreign markets for American goods, they did not determine the course of U.S. diplomacy. The China market, for example, proved largely to be unhelpful to the U.S.

Some people thought that by pursuing wars in Latin America and Asia, Americans could return the nation to a political order in which strong men governed and homebound women proved their patriotism by raising heroic sons. Such interpretations demonstrate that the issues surrounding American foreign policy and imperialism in the years from 1890 to 1917 are important and show that America was acting imperialistic.

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