United States Imperialism (WW1) Jessica Fross
During WW1 the
United States followed the policy of Imperialism. Imperialism occurs when a
stronger nation extends their military, economic and/or political control over
weaker territories. During WW1 the U.S. had extended itself to Cuba, Guam,
Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Samoa, Alaska, the Philippines, the Panama Canal Zone, and
the Midway and Wake islands. Although the somewhat forceful methods of imperialism
are believed to be a bad thing today, it was once thought to be a good thing by
the majority of U.S. citizens and business leaders.
Imperialism was supported by many U.S. business leaders because it was extremely helpful to our nations economy. One reason the big businesses liked Imperialism was they wanted more trading between nations. The Philippines was our farthest over-seas extension, it was 7000-8000 miles away from U.S. borders. The second reason businesses favored Imperialism was because it allowed the U.S. to gain more raw materials. In Alaska, for example the U.S. discovered tons of oil underground after purchasing it for only 7 million dollars.
This effective policy was accepted by the U.S. citizens for a variety of reasons. First, the U.S. had a rising demand for military strength. After reading a book by the naval officer Alfred T. Mahan, the U.S. believed that it needed a large navy to become a world power. In response to this belief the U.S. built 2 new types of cruisers and expanded its military force too. Second, the U.S. had a strong feeling of American superiority. We wanted to spread our christianity and our free government (democracy). Under the philosophy of social darwinism we also felt the racial superiority of whites, which was another trigger for Imperialism.
Hawaii was one of the victories for American Imperialism during World War 1. It began with a trade policy on Hawaiian sugars. Soon after that the U.S. had built a naval base on one of Hawaii's coasts. Then, a few years later, congress proclaims Hawaii an American territory. In conclusion American Imperialism, although forceful, was very helpful in the long run. It extended American trade boundries, allowed us to become a world power and we aqquired two new states (Hawaii and Alaska).
~~~~ Source of information : Classroom World History Books and http://www.boondocksnet.com/