The spread of American institutions was a major cause of western expansion in the United States. According to editor of the New York Sun (Document H), American expansion will lead to the spread of the American ideals of democracy, liberty, and republicanism to the West and the “Mexican race”. The spread of democracy and American ideals was commonly used as a Casus Belli, that is a cause of or “excuse” for war, for past and future wars. This is clearly reminiscent of the War Hawks call to invade Canada. This also served as the first case of it being used for American imperialism which the Mexican-American War is the first act of.
In order to acquire new territories, the United States implemented methods of expansionism and later imperialism in the first and second phases, respectively, of its expansion. These two means of self-establishment had several striking similarities between them. Through expansionism in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, the main logic behind annexation was for the country to grow and establish itself within its continent. Of course, the desire for increased political power in new states led to conflicts such as Bleed... ... middle of paper ... ...eign they may be to American values. On paper, it was now lawful for the United States to forcefully implement American traditions upon newly annexed foreign citizens under the reasoning that their lives would be bettered by such imperialistic control over their own customs.
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.
Following the Reconstruction Era, the United States debated imperialist policies based on economic, social, military, and political beliefs which ultimately propelled the country to achieving a dominating international reputation. The movement for U.S. expansion and imperialism was spurred on by political and economic factors such as the desire for a navy, the Spanish-American War, and political parties. Countries began creating established navies by using the new technology and resources of the 19th and 20th centuries. In the international field, England dominated the sea in trading, colonization, and war (1). The U.S. Navy, though, was still experiencing the growing pains of the Civil War and extended periods of peace.
A New Form of Expansion Before the start of the Spanish-American War of the late nineteenth-century and World War I in the early twentieth century, the United States had encouraged expansion as being a way of gaining power. For example, the Frontier thesis, conveyed that it is through the expansion of new lands that humanity would continue to progress. Also the United States portrayed its impatience to expand through Manifest Destiny: the desire to expand from sea to sea with the goal to own and cultivate as much land as possible. However, as the late nineteenth and early twentieth century appeared, America experienced a change. It grew from an ambitious, power-seeking country, to the beginnings as the wealthiest and a superpower.
The United States of America had begun its political life as a colony of the British Empire. However, as the 20th century dawned, the nation quickly found itself as one of the world’s leading imperial powers. Historians have proposed various reasons for this change in the American psyche. Historians from the progressive school of thought argue that economic interests dictated American foreign policy; while academics of the Conservative or older patriotic tradition advocate that the nation's brief foray into imperialism represented a “great aberration” from typical American isolationism. A third school led by Julius Pratt, applied Social Darwinism to the country – stating that a combination of religious and humanitarian components motivated expansionism.
Yet they did contain new ideas about where to go, how to carry these policies out successfully, and why expansion was justified, which can be understood in the political, economic, and geographical aspects on the expansion One of the main differences in the early expansion belief of the Manifest Destiny and the later belief of the 1890's and early 1900's was that the land, for the most part and at least officially, belonged to the Americans. It started with the fruits of the Louisiana Purchase, to the lands that would later be ceded to America in the Mexican American war. The progression went right from East to West, all the way to the California seaboard. Still the sentiment of expansion had lived on, even after the Turner Proclamation declaring the West, 'closed.' This sentiment lived in the form of jingoism, or extreme patriotism by national policy.
"Sometimes she purchases the mighty morsel, sometimes she forms it … by the natural increase of her own people, sometimes she "annexes," and sometimes she conquers it ("Manifest")." The rise of American Empire received support because in many ways it seemed a proper product of past American history and tradition (Healy 47). Several American ideals -- such as: expansionism, progress, mission, and racial inequality -- were some of the main assumptions held of imperialism (Healy 34). The idea of Manifest Destiny had been with Americans long before the term was coined by John L O'Sullivan in 1845 (Sanford 26). American had been an expansionist nation since its earliest days (Brinkley 604).
Westward Expansion and Imperialism Throughout most of the nineteenth century, the United States expanded its territory westward through purchase and annexation. At the end of the century, however, expansion became imperialism, as America acquired several territories overseas. This policy shift from expansionism to imperialism came about as a result of American's experience in the Spanish American War and the Congressional debates that followed the American victory. After temporarily resolving the problems of Reconstruction and Industrialization, Americans began to resume the course of expansion. The horrors of the Civil War had interrupted the original Manifest Destiny that began in the 1840s.
Manifest destiny is the idea that Americans had, and have, the inherent right to expand the United States from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean. As we know, this eventually happened, but it took a lot of time, money, blood, and effort in order to achieve this divine goal. We take for granted the size and span of our country, when for a good part of the 19th century, we shared the land mass with Spanish Mexico. It’s important to understand what drove us to pursue this goal, and the struggles that we encountered in obtaining, exploring, and settling the land. Europeans, for centuries, have been obsessed with the idea of conquest.