American Imperialism Essay, Research Paper
The Motives of American Imperialism
America was a growing nation throughout the Glided Age, the era referred to the decades from the 1870s to the 1890s where America struggled to battle corruption in a morally deteriorating society. Imperialism was a new way out of the corruption, and a way to turn America around. ?Growing into a leading nation, the United States hoped to further its international standing by emulating European nations that were expanding their influence throughout the world. During the 1870s, the U.S. “new imperialism” was directed towards finding access to resources, markets for surplus production, and opportunities for overseas investments. Although the U.S. did expand its influence in other countries, it preferred market expansion to the traditional European territorial colonialism.? Economic, political, and religious expansion help develop America to become a leading nation.
After a long depression during the mid-1870s, the United States needed to climb out of the hole they dug themselves into. To do so America focused on the growth of their industry. In the following twenty years America accomplished on what they intended on. The number of workers employed in industry, and the number of manufacturing plants all more than doubled. These industry growths helped spur the debate about the United States engaging in commercial expansions around the world. Senator Beveridge was one of the men that touched upon the economic realities affecting the industries. ?Today we are making more than we can use. Today our industrial society is congested; there is more capital than there is investment. We do not need more money-we need more circulation, more employment. Therefore we must find new markets for our produce, new occupation for our capital, new work for our labor.? Because of the excessive amounts of manufacturing goods, crude materials, and food America produced, they started to look over seas for market trade. The exports of the United States led to even more demands for commercial overseas markets by American farmers, manufacturers, and investors. This was just one of the factors America was motivated for American Imperialism.
A fine example of an American industry that was seeking new opportunities for investment was the Railroad. Because of the railroad industry linking their tracks from east to west, Entrepreneurs looked forward into overseas lands. Where the lands were calling out for the means of transporting. The ?virgin? land across the seas stimulated the mind of the entrepreneurs because they saw this as an opportunity of a great deal of wealth and power. The expansion of the railroad industry was another reason why people eagerly looked forward to overseas markets.
When the United States started to expand their markets overseas, the religious and political institutions took advantage of this opportunity to spread their beliefs and power. The church, for example, really took this opportunity by the hand. When America decided to trade with the China market, the Christian church saw this as an opening to ?save? the Chinese people. Teaching them about the Bible, God, heaven and hell. These missionaries not only brought the belief of Christianity over the seas, but also brought schools and hospitals. As more and more missionaries came to China with arms wide open, the more the Chinese people looked for aid and protection provided by the American government. In 1900, missionaries asked more military assistance to help put down the Boxer Rebellion, an attempt by a group of Chinese rebels to expel foreign influence from China. The rebellion seized to a stop. The missionaries managed to save millions of lives because of their actions. This inspired the many missionaries, but the million of bodies that were saved were looked upon as consumers by the American businesspeople. Because of the great masses of people in China, the American businessmen encouraged the establishment of American presence politically and economically.
The Spanish American war resulted in the annexation of the Philippines. Why did the United States do it? The reason why is simple. America decided to help the Philippines in their coup, not to help the Philippines but to help themselves. After the United States celebrated its victory over Spain, and setting the Philippines ?free,? America turned around and took hold of them. President McKinley, fearing ?anarchy? decided to annex the country. ?There must be two Americans: one that sets the captive free, and one that takes a once captive?s new freedom away from him, and picks a quarrel with him with nothing to found of it on; then kills him to get his land.? The intentions of the President in the Philippines was not to ?uplift? the country, but to make a profit of them. The countries natural resources and its location would help improve the power of the United States and also increase the flow of money.
In conclusion, America was head over heals for power. To obtain the power America needed to expand and rise in power. Imperialism was the solution to their problems. Economic interest was the key reason for America?s imperialism. Expanding their economic interest would cause an increase in the flow of money, and where money goes power follows. This power is what America was seeking for.