American Imperialism

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During the late 19th and 20th century, the United States pursues an aggressive policy of expansionism, extending its political, military, and economic influence across the globe. The events during this ‘age of imperialism’ laid the foundation for America’s international power while simultaneously defining the use of the these powers. The policy that the United States implemented at this time is known as Big Stick Diplomacy which was to speak softly but carry a big stick. This meant that the United States would ask for something or take a stance on an issue and if another nation refused or went against the United States, then the military would be summoned to ‘resolve’ the issues. This domineering foreign policy defined the politics of American Imperialism that was especially prevalent from 1890-1913. The United States’ influential powers came from a strong military and naval force. The naval force had been bolstered under Teddy Roosevelt when he was Assistant Secretary of the Navy. The American naval force saw rapid growth to become the 5th most powerful navy by 1898 and according to Captain Alfred Thayer Mahan’s The Influence of Sea Power upon History this strengthened navy was necessary as control of the seas was the key to world dominance and empire. The United States would get to showcase its naval prowess in defense of economic interests in Cuban sugar that was threatened by Spain’s Reconcentration from 1896-1898. The exaggerated Yellow Journalism on the Reconcentration, the De Lome Letter, and the blowing up of the USS Maine which was believed to have been done by the Spanish all combined to pull America into the Spanish-American War. The US saw its influential international power become stronger in the wake of tremendous... ... middle of paper ... ...Destiny and extended its international influence 10,000 miles from the Puerto Rico to the Philippines. This aggressive expansion policy with its extensive addition of territory was stimulated by both political and economic interests in these foreign islands. The United States could definitively be defined as an empire as it coerced people to live under American government as it sought to extradite wealth from these island nations that became territories and protectorates by military and political force. American Imperialism would continue into the presidency of Woodrow Wilson who was initially an anti-imperialist in rhetoric but invaded more countries than any other president. The prevalence of American Imperialism from 1890-1913 saw the United States expand its borders as well as political, economic, and military influence in international affairs across the globe.

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