Imperialism And Its Motives Essay, Research Paper
Imperialism and Its Motives
Imperialism began to grow just before the turn of the twentieth century. During this time America s businesses were growing and need more markets. The United States was becoming a world power, and with that some people felt there came obligations. The United States economic growth and powerful figured led to incidents overseas that caused war, especially the Spanish-American War.
The nation was growing. Industry was doing well. Businesses were booming. The United States began to shed its old attitude of isolationism, for the prospect of the rest of the world as its market. The navy of the nation was the fifth best in the world so be had naval strength. People were advocating expansion for religious reasons. They wanted to spread Christianity and conform the culture of the world to American standards. An example of the wants during this time was a book written by Josiah Strong called Our Country and Its Possible Future and Present Crisis. To expand the nations influence over the world we needed open markets, open routes, and to show strength.
The Spanish-American War was the prime example of showing what the United States was doing with its new power and economic standing. Strong figures came to the forefront to support the engagement of this war for a list of reasons. Among some these reason were the fear that if Spain had control over Cuba then the shipping routes would be disrupted. America hid behind the noble reasons of being sympathetic to the Cuban patriots who were fighting for their independence and to stop the Spanish from using reconcentration camps. Chief among the leaders were Henry Cabot Lodge, the influential senator from Massachusetts, Theodore Roosevelt, the Assistant Secretary of the Navy, and Captain Alfred Mahan, author of the book called The Influence of Sea Power Upon History, an influential work calling for and adding the use of the American naval bases around the world, especially in the Pacific. Roosevelt once told a friend, I should welcome almost any war, for I think this country needs one. Lodge was an even more outspoken booster of American imperialism. When President Cleveland did not annex Hawaii in 1893, In the interests of our commerce and our fullest development, we should build the Niguraguan canal, and for the protection of that canal and for the sake of our commercial supremacy in the Pacific we should control the Hawaiian Islands and maintain our influence Samoan…. Commerce follows the flag and we should build up a navy strong enough to give protection to Americans in every quarter of the globe…
The war cries from the outside were from the two most powerful newspaper leaders in American history, William Randolph Hurst and Joseph Pulitzer. Tabloid headlines depicting Spanish atrocities again Cubans became commonplace, and the influencial papers of both men were out doing each other in the sensationalized screaming of the war. The expansionists doctrine that had grown out of the Manifest Destiny also sold newspapers, so the papers of both men were soon honking war! When the artist Fredrick Remington went to Cuba to send back pictures for Hearst s papers he told his boss that he could not find a war, You furnish the pictures. And Hurst responded in a fury, I ll furnish the war.
The events of the war were inevitable. The Spanish-American war events began quickly, and so did other related events. The motives of control and taking power began on January 25 when the battleship Maine arrives in the Havana Harbor to protect American interests. On February 9th President McKinley is mocked concerning this situation by the Pulitzer and Hearst newspapers. On February 15 the Maine battleship explodes and 260 crewmembers die spurning propaganda for the war. Remember the Maine! To hell with Spain! was the battle cry. On March 9th, Congress appropriates fifty million dollars for national defense for the war. On March 27th President McKinley offers Spain a way out of the war for many under certain conditions. The conditions included the stoppage of the reconcentration camps, arbitration to settle the rebels in Cuba. The military and the banking support this. Spain shows a willingness to submit to the conditions. But warhawks and expansionists apply the pressure to advance with the war. McKinley declares that he wants on April 11th. On April 19th Congress adopts a war resolution for rebel takes over and Spain troop removal. On April 22 passes an act for the first Voluntary Army Act. This begins the RoughRiders. On April 23rd 125,000 soldiers. On April 24th Spain Declares War. On May 1st Dewey begin the secret attack that last seven hour upon the request of Theodore Roosevelt. After this war fever breaks out. On May 12th bombards San Juan Puerto Rico. On May 19th with the assistance of Aguinaldo the U.S. takes control of the Philippines for a short while. On May 29th the United States fleet blockades the Spanish fleet in Santiago Harbor. On June 10th 647 marines land at Guantanamo Bay which begins the invasion of Cuba. On June 24 the first land battle the RoughRiders are successful in helping the invasion, which bring popularity to Theodore Roosevelt. On July 1st we lose to the Spanish and disease take a toll in the American position in the war. On July 3rd Spanish fleet is destroyed. On July 4th American troops take the deserted Wake Island in the Pacific. On July 8th Admiral Dewey takes Isla Grande near Manila. On July 10th U.S. troops take last attack with no resistance. On July 17th Santiago surrenders. On July 25 Puerto Rico is taken over by the U.S. troops. On July 26th Spain requests peace and McKinley announces that Cuba will have independence and the U.S. will have control over Puerto Rico. On August 6th an agreement was signed. The United States had walked away with free trade routes, free movement in these territories, and a new sense of power with the grand rewards of reconciliation of this war.
The events of the Spanish- American War showed that self-serving, imperialistic motives were behind the tree of noble causes. The want of growth provoked a war. The people and the propagandists made the war possible and are forever written in the history books about the not needed Spanish-American War.