Does Imperialism Really Work Essay Research Paper

Does Imperialism Really Work? Essay, Research Paper

Period 3 Novermber 9, 2000

Does Imperialism Really Work?

Imperialism is a policy by a stronger nation to create an empire by

dominating weaker nations economically, politically, culturally, or militarily. It

doesn’t work for the most part. It strains relations between countries and generally

creates bad feelings. Almost every time the United States got involved in a foreign

place it caused trouble. The main times that strained relations occurred were

durring the late eighteen hundreds in Latin America and the far east. Hawaii, for

example, was annexed when the government that was in place there was working

perfectly fine. The Filipino people rebeled against the United States forces when

they became a territory of the U.S. Cuba was helped toward independence by the

U.S., but they also put an amendment in their constitution that limited their trade

and involvement with countries other than the U.S. very greatly. I agree with the

statement “Imperialism usually causes strained relations between the countries


The United States involvment in Hawaii was definetely an example of

imperialism causing strained relations. The original reason that the U.S. got

involved with Hawaii was for trade. They were also leasing Pearl Harbor from

them as a naval fueling station. The king of Hawaii was forced to sign a revised

constitution that essentially gave the U.S. control of Hawaii. In 1891 his sister

came to power. She opposed U.S. control in Hawaii and because of this was

removed from power. Shortly after this Hawaii was annexed by the United States

with little thought to how the natives felt or whether they could govern themselves.

The Hawaii annexation is a good example of strained relations caused by


The Phillipines also didn’t respond well to American imperialism. When

the U.S. bought the Philipines from Spain at the end of the Spanish-American war,

they justified themselves by saying that the Filipino people were unfit to govern

themselves. They also said that if the U.S. hadn’t taken over someone else would

have. When the Filipinos found out about this they felt that they had been stabbed

in the back. They had fought with the American troops against Spain durring the

Spanish-American War expecting to get independence in the end. Now they had a

new owner instead. A vicious war broke out between the U.S. and the Philipines

that lasted over three years. That would be a definite example of strained relations.

America’s involvement in Cuba was also not as friendly as most would have

liked for it to be. After Cuba had been having problems with Spain for a while,

America got involved to protect their trade interest. After the Spainsh-American

War got it’s independence, but because of the chaotic environment at the time,

President McKinley installed a military government there. It remained there for

three years. When the Cuban government finally did start to draft a constitution

the U.S. made them include a bunch of provisions outlined in the Platt

Amendment. The provisions included not letting the Cuban government enter in

any foreign agreements, Cuba must allow the U.S. to have two naval bases on the

island, and Cuba had to give America the right to intervene whenever they felt it

was necessary. All of these things couldn’t help but cause some strained relations

between Cuba and the U.S.

The statement “Imperialism usually causes strained relations between the

countries involved” is definitely true. America’s involvement in the far east and

Latin America are good examples of this. When the U.S. annexed Hawaii they did

it without even consdering the well being of the natives of the islands. The

Philipines was expecting independence when they helped America in the Spanish-

American War, but instead they got a new owner. Cuba was helped toward its

independence by the U.S. but then the Platt Amendment was added to their

constitution limiting their contact with countries other than America. Any one of

these things would be enough to get on a person’s nerves. For the most part

nothing good comes from imperialism.


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