Woodrow Wilson and Theodore Roosevelt's Imperialistic America Essay

Woodrow Wilson and Theodore Roosevelt's Imperialistic America Essay

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American taking part in imperialism gained its motion from both economic and cultural justifications that stemmed from America's history of expansion; American imperialism only varied slightly in the first few generations of presidents as we will explore sampling from Theodore Roosevelt's presidency on into Woodrow Wilson's presidency. American's previous western expansion became the breeding grounds for American imperialistic justification. Though cultural justifications were used to keep the public interest in support of imperialism economic justifications were viewed as more important throughout the history of imperialism, even in uniting the similarities of Theodore Roosevelt's and Woodrow Wilson's imperial agendas.

The most predominate justification for imperialism, at least for business America, was to expand its economic interests throughout the world. First off, as the American domestic market for manufactured goods seemed to be shrinking many American business interests started search for ways to keep their businesses expanding; the best way to do this was to rival European imperialism and thus rival European markets (Hewitt, 622-624). Additionally, during the 1870s and 1890s the economy cycle was characterized with booms then busts but it wasn't until the depression of the 1890s did America see its greatest economic contraction; this led political and business leaders alike to search for foreign markets and create them (Hewitt, 623). Furthermore, not only were business leaders looking to sell their goods overseas by acquiring territories as a launch pad into new markets, an example of this was acquiring Guam and the Philippines to have easier access into the Chinese Market, but business leaders also looked to acquire te...


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...nvestment there (Hewitt, 635). Though Woodrow Wilson tried to be a diplomatic imperialist, with so many abroad American business interests at stake, many times he couldn't venture from Theodore Roosevelt's imperialism agenda of using military might.

Cultural justification was the face, or appearance, of Imperialism while economic justification was its body, or prime mover. This was characterized in its birth on through the first generations of presidents that got to wield the power of imperialism; this was demonstrated by presidents always being willing to use American military might, even if a president such as Woodrow Wilson vowed he was against this, as soon as America's economic standings were put at risk. American imperialism got its acceptance in the minds of American's, both on cultural and economic justifications, from the western expansion that preceded it.

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