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What motivated the United States to pursue an Imperialist policy during the 19th century - Essay Example

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More specifically, it will try to look into factors that facilitated imperialism and the effects of American imperialism policy.
Imperialism has been defined as the practice, policy or advocacies…
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What motivated the United States to pursue an Imperialist policy during the 19th century
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American Imperialism Policy This paper will seek to examine the American Imperialism Policy in the 19 century. More specifically, it will try to look into factors that facilitated imperialism and the effects of American imperialism policy.
Imperialism has been defined as the practice, policy or advocacies that aim at extending the powers and the domination of a country. This is usually by acquiring territories directly or through the process of gaining control over the economic and political lifestyle of other areas indirectly. More specifically, it is the process of imposing or extending of power, authority or influence. (Fouskas and Bülent, 2005 p 1)
The factors that motivated the American policy of Imperialism in the 19th century can be grouped into military, political and economic interests. In the 1890s, America saw the emergence of new navalist’s ideologies, which were greatly advocated for. Alfred T. Mahan, a former president at the Naval War College argued out the need for America to battle out for naval supremacy in the world. Mahan pointed out that foreign commerce was crucial to the survival of any great nation and for a powerful country in the world; thus, there was a need to protect the sea routes. According to Mahan, all these could only be achieved by having a strong naval force. A powerful navy would facilitate the acquisition of colonies and overseas naval bases and oil fields
In the early 1890s, America experienced an overproduction of commodities by industries. Majority of the prosperous business people and government officials saw the only solution to the crisis as the finding of new markets for American products outside the North American continent. Americans, thus, targeted territories in Middle East, Africa and Latin America.
In the beginning of the 19th century, France, Germany and Great Britain were expanding their political powers and influence in the world through various means. One of such ways was the acquisition of territorial regions in Africa, the country of China and other areas of the globe. This made American policy makers to advocate for America to join other European Countries in acquiring colonies for it not to be left behind politically, economically as well as militarily. (Ramos, 2007 pp 30-31)
American Imperialism Policy had both positive and negative impacts.
Positive impacts
Imperialism led to the strengthening of the American navy. Imperialism allowed the navy to establish ports in Pearl Harbor, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba and Hawaii. These ports made it possible for America to compete with European countries. America was able to expand its territory. Military forces were easily deployed to counteract any emerging threats. The acquisition of foreign markets boasted the economy of America.
Negative effects of imperialism
Many of the countries that America annexed rebelled against the presence of the foreign power. The presence of foreign powers led to the development of bitterness and mistrust. This led to frequent conflicts between the American administration and the Natives. The Philippine-American war for instance left 24,000 people dead and did cost America $400 million dollars. The annexation of Cuba by America contributed to the conversion of many Cubans to communism which endangered the lives of Americans by housing the Soviet nuclear missiles during the crises of Cuban missiles.
In conclusion, the American Imperialism policy, generally, had positive impacts on America. Many American territories remained prosperous. The Supremacy of the American military was maintained and has remained a super power to date. American troops were able to counter coups in Grenada and Haiti. The presence of Americans in Philippines made it possible for Taiwan and South Korea to remain as independent countries. (talktank.wordpress.com, 2011)
Work Cited:
Fouskas, Vassilis and Bülent Gökay. The new American imperialism: Bushs war on terror and blood for oil: Praeger Security International Series. Edition illustrated. Greenwood Publishing Group, 2005, p 1.
Ramos, Efrén Rivera. American Colonialism in Puerto Rico: The Judicial and Social Legacy. Markus Wiener Publishers, 2007, pp 30, 31.
talktank.wordpress.com. The First American Empire and Imperialism. (2011). Retrieved 26th November 2011 http://talktank.wordpress.com/2011/02/09/the-first-american-empire- and-imperialism/ Read More
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