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History and Political Science - Essay Example

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After the civil war, while most of Europe was busy colonising and expanding and strengthening their borders America focussed within and tried to build up its infrastructure and reap economic harvests. …
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History and Political Science
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History and Political Science

Download file to see previous pages... There were many factors at the end of the 19th century that saw a shift towards American Imperialism. Kennedy Cohen-Bailey in his book, The American Pageant outlines the period and covers the various aspects that led to the Great War of 1914 and America’s involvement. This article reviews the book under the following subheadings: The Spanish American war and the aftermath. The legacy of President Roosevelt and the effect of his presidency on America A comparison of the presidency of Theodore Roosevelt. Taft and Wilson and who was the best among the three? The end of World War I and the decisive factors that lead to the end The Spanish American war and the Aftermath The US had for the most part of the 19th century strictly adhered to its non-colonization policies and even at the onset only acquired contiguous territories. Most of it was brought about by the need to expand the trade borders of the American people. America was linked in many ways to Cuba than just at the time of the war. Cuba was one of the major producers of sugar and major suppliers to the USA. The Wilson-Gorman tariff imposed on Cuba by America to protect the sugar growers in America invariably raised the price of sugar and the Cuban economy suffered as a result. The misrule by the Spanish of its colony in Cuba created a lot of unrest. The Cubans fought the 10year battle of independence from 1868 to 1878 and tried to drive the Spanish away by destruction of property including cane fields and blowing up of passenger trains. The situation peaked when Spain sent tyrant General Wyeley in 1895 to Cuba. Wyeley took it upon himself to crush the rebellion and opened up re-concentration camps, imprisoned and isolated the Cuban revolutionaries from the Filipino revolutionaries in their war of independence. Many perished and “died like dogs” (Bailey, 629). from unsanitary conditions in the camps. The American people rose against this atrocities to the Cubans and wanted war but the then president Grover Cleveland was against it and even motioned to strike against congress if they were to declare war against Spain and send troops to Cuba. This resolve however did not last very long as there were many other factors at stake than America was unwilling to admit to at that time. US also had a stake in the war because it was not really comfortable with having a European colony that close to its own borders. The unrest in Cuba was straining US trade relations in the region and threatening US investments in Cuba. There was also fear that its access to Panama would affect future sea trade routes. The anti-colonisation policies of the US went a long way in selling the concept of a free Cuba to the Americans. What cinched the deal however was the journalistic trend of the time, which focused more on justifying the concept of war. There started a spate of graphic imagery and reports of atrocities adding fuel to the situation and feeding the insatiable hunger of yellow journalism. Eventually Wyeley was removed from his position and sent back home. In February 1988, the USS Maine, which was on a friendly mission to take Americans in Cuba to safety, blew up in the Havana harbour with the loss of 260 American lives. The cause for the explosion still remains unknown. Reports have even said that the blow up was due to mechanical failure and not a case of sabotage. But sensationalised news articles blamed the Spaniards for it and the fate of history was sealed, War had begun. President Mc Kinley forced by circumstances and party loyalty consented and under Theodore Roosevelt’s command of the military, the American’s over threw the Spanish from Tampa, Florida and gave armistice to the Cubans in August 12, 1898. The war was a forgone conclusion although not evident. Spain’ ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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