Growth and Imperialism

Growth and Imperialism With the growth of the industrial revolution and technology in America, the desire for imperialism became more evident. I will explore the cause and effect of Imperialism, what other countries were involved, and the views of supporters as well as the detractors of this policy. Imperialism was birthed from the ongoing explosion of technology and industry. The Monroe Doctrine of 1823 broadened the ideas of imperialism to increase the power of the young United States and prevent Europe from interfering in any of the affairs of the Western Hemisphere.

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The world was getting larger and was quickly accommodating the growth. Power and control of America was not enough for imperialists who wanted to expand this supremacy to other nations. The focus of Imperialistic efforts was Europe and Latin America. Cuba, Puerto Rico, and the Philippine Islands soon became entrenched with American concentration. Africa and China also eventually became victim to imperialistic endeavors. The ambassadors of imperialism gained followers by rationalizing the conquest.

Many Americans believed in the policy as it would undoubtedly spread Western influence on ideas, values, religion and products (Davidson, Delay, Heyrman, Lytle, Stoff, 2008). Implementing Western ideals became an infectious motive for the United States. With the growth of the United States industrialized economy, there was an abundance of goods that America could not consume itself. Therefore, imperialism was an attempt to look for various markets abroad.

Alfred Thayer Mahan was a navy captain who exploited a theory that was a branch of imperialism called “navalism” (Davidson, Delay, Heyrman, Lytle, Stoff, 2008, pg. 613). This concept rationalized the overall need for imperialism and foreign concern. In order for United States to be a great nation, suggested Mahan, it must have powerful ships for foreign trade purposes. Mahan believed that wealth and respect for the nation would be sought and won if navalism took quick effect, and many Americans adapted to this extravagant view.

Much like the conquering of the Indians and the attempt to modernize their ways of life to fit American standards, many protestant missionaries continued this belief in regards to other countries (Davidson, Delay, Heyrman, Lytle, Stoff, 2008). Spreading Christian beliefs among seemingly barbaric cultures would be a mission of apparent good will and was highly accepted. This was an agenda of imperialism to civilize the rest of the world. Race relations were a significant factor of justification where imperialism was concerned.

Social Darwinism took rise and the beliefs that Anglo-Saxons were the predominant race became a popular notion. Many Americans that fit in this standard agreed on this philosophy and took heed to the idea that they should fulfill the prophecy of taking charge of the rest of the inferior world (Davidson, Delay, Heyrman, Lytle, Stoff, 2008). Imperialism soon succeeded to encompass the realistic outcome for the United States. Although many of Americans adopted this policy, others opposed it strongly.

While a militia of propaganda elicited following of this national imperialistic ideal, The American AntiImperialist League of 1899 paved the way for antagonism of such a policy (Halsall, 1997). The American AntiImperialistic League believed that “the policy known as imperialism is hostile to liberty and tends toward militarism, an evil from which it has been our glory to be free” (Halsall, 1997, pg. 1). This proposed that imperialism had the purpose of imposing standards on others without the moral right to do so. The enforcers of this league condemned the policy of imperialism and were against much of what it stood for.

The league did not agree with sacrificing soldiers for the function of imperialism, nor did they adhere to the seemingly destructive concept of imperialism. The belief that other nations had every right to seek and uphold civil liberty of their own, and gain independence without the United Sates intervening was the main focus of this League and all others apposed to imperialism. The policy was referred to as “criminal aggression” and was fought with as much fervor as imperialists fought to achieve it (Halsall, 1997, pg. ). The outcome of this foreign policy going into the twentieth century was that of success with revamping the overseas empires of other nations. Weak countries were easily commanded while other less persuaded countries were forced into submission or aggressive agreements by use of military force or economic influence. Military take-over was one of the most common ways in which America would possess another country, but economic force was also a very effective means of gaining control of other economical markets.

By the twentieth century, imperialism was perfected in regards to policies and procedures, and created more barriers that were originally set out to eliminate. Perhaps the central motivation for imperialism was the growth of the United States. The expansion of political, social, and economical aspects of American life was rapidly changing to adapt to the enormous demands brought forth by new developments in the industrial and technological fields. The nation was becoming more powerful and proposed for that power to extend to other parts of the world.

Despite opposition to the policy of imperialism, the overall consensus was that it was a positive move, and that succumbing to the American standard was thought to be in the best interest of all nations, and more definitely enabling the betterment of United States as a whole. References Davidson, Delay, Heyrman, Lytle, Stoff. (2008). Nation of nations: a narrative history of the American Republic (6th ed. ). Boston: McGraw Hill. Halsall, P. (1997). Modern History Sourcebook. American Anti-Imperialist League, 1899. Retrieved October 4, 2008, from http://www. fordham. edu/halsall/mod/1899antiimp. html.