American History 2020 - Essay Example

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The Spanish-American War of 1898 was a major turning point for America because it is the period when America as an independent country started to flex its own muscles in the area of international relations. In other words, America was no longer just a former British colony but a…
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full Spanish-American War of 1898 (American History 2020) 31 March The Spanish-American War of 1898 was a major turning point for America because it is the period when America as an independent country started to flex its own muscles in the area of international relations. In other words, America was no longer just a former British colony but a new global power in its own right due to its industrial, financial, and agricultural might. One factor which motivated America to embark on an international expansion was articulation of its Manifest Destiny political principle which mandates America to go on acquisition spree of territories (OSullivan, para. 2). This principle reconciled American democratic ideals with its colonialist tendencies for which it fought against former mother country of Great Britain.
It was used to justify territorial acquisition and transfer or absorb people of other nationalities. American businessmen wanted new markets for their manufactured products so Manifest Destiny emboldened American political leaders to pursue expansionism. The expansionist strategy went on for a century and continues even today in its foreign policy (Kinzer 552) by sometimes acting unilaterally in matters of international concern.
American imperialism snared for the country various overseas territories such as Cuba, Hawaii, the Philippines, Guam, and Puerto Rico but a key distinguishing feature of this imperialism was its benevolence, unlike European imperialism that merely exploited the people and resources of the colonies they had grabbed and colonized (Conrad 72).
Unlike what Great Britain did to India or Portugal to parts of Africa as the foremost proponent of the trans-Atlantic slave trade. America tempered its imperialism with the ideals of democracy, freedom, liberalism, and progressivism by spreading the benefits of democracy, capitalism, assimilation, and universal free education to all its colonies (Miller 28).
Works Cited
Conrad, Robert Edgar. Children of Gods Fire: A Documentary History of Black Slavery in Brazil. University Park, PA, USA: Penn State University Press, 1994. Print.
Kinzer, Stephen. Overthrow: Americas Century of Regime Change from Hawaii to Iraq. New York, NY, USA: Henry Holt & Company, 2006. Print.
Miller, Stuart Creighton. Benevolent Assimilation: The American Conquest of the Philippines, 1899-1903. New Haven, CT, USA: Yale University Press, 1982. Print.
OSullivan, John L. “The Great Nation of Futurity.” The United States Democratic Review 6.23 (1839): 426-430. Print. (note: re-print). Read More
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