Nineteenth-Century and Early Twentieth-Century United States Expansionism Essay

The United States has been an expansionist country throughout the decades of history. Excet for the Civil War and the Reconstruction period, the United States acquired huge amount of land, establishing a powerful world influence, and finally developed current territory. Not only that, US started looking outside of the nation and the era of imperialism began with the reinforcement of expansionism. The early twentieth-century US exansionism is a continuation of late nineteenth-century expansionism in some aspects. With exploring the newfound land of America, the concept of “Manifest Destiny” emerged.

Manifest Destiny,” is the belief that Americans are given the right to all of the land between the eastern and western seaboards. In 1983, one of the earliest cases of imperialism started with the expanding of the colonies past the Appalachian Mountains, to current day Mississippi. With the Louisiana Purchase, and the joint occupaiton of Oregon, respectively in 1803, and 1818, America’s newfound imperialism continued. This expansion did not stop until they controlled the entire current day continental United States.

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After the expansion inside the nation, its expansionism did not stop there; the US then set its newly superior sights on the foreign countries, such as the Philippines, Puerto Rico, Guam, and Hawaii. By the time, America was full of pride, thought America itself knew what is best for the rest of the world. From the English poet Rudyard Kipling’s pem, imperialists within the United States understood the phrase “white man’s burden” as a characterization for imperialism that justified the policy as a noble enterprise.

Both of expansionism and imperialism before and after 20th Century eventually caused conflicts. During expansionism, as they desired more free slave states, a series of violent events occurred such as the Border War. This characteristic is shown in imperialism more incessantly. They face revolts in such countries like Cuba and the Philippines by people who are against Americans control. Another significant similarity between expansionism in late 19th century and imperialism in 20th century is racism. When Americans started to expand its territory, they didn’t look after Native Americans and ignored them.

A decade later, with the “criminal aggression” in the Philippines, racism was reflected in new expansion. The American Anti-Imperialist League asserted that the blood of the Filipinos was on American hands, and Americans resented the betrayal (Doc D). Josiah Strong, a prominent Congregationalist minister from Ohio, thought that America needed to claim as many of the unoccupied lands of the world, as it could, in order to further the Anglo-Saxon race (Doc B). At this time, president Roosevelt employed the foreign policy using his new naval Power. This was extremely aggressive.

He was inspired from Alfred T. Mahan’s The Interest of America in Sea Power that claims the United States needed to exand for military and economic reasons (Doc C). However, on the other hand, there were quite few characteristics those classify two different periods. The departure of imperialism from expansionism is more obvious than its continuation. First of all, for expansionism, there was not as much problem as imperialism becuase it was expanding domestically. Meanwhile, it was more complicated for later because those countries America wanted to conquer were foreign territories and it led rebellions.

Before America started looking outside of the nation, countries like Germany, Britain, Japan and Russia had already controlled most of the world (Doc A). Inspired by them, America felt a necessity to be a part of the power. Furthermore, the process of gaining new land was pretty different, too. When America was expanding, it extended the territory by contracting treaties and simply purchasing the land. Contrastively, America invaded and forced foreign nations to be a dependenct of it while it was imperializing. It is surely shown in annexation of Hawaii in 1898 which finally made people of Hawaii unhappy and resist against the United States.

America has repeatedly proven that it was an imperialistic nation, when it came to the creation of this country, and has foreshadowed that it will continue to police the world even if iut means taking control of another country. The early twentieth-century US expansionism was simultaneously a departure from it. US expansionism only switched views from national to internaional in are affairs, between the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, remaining other view same. They both brought the expansion of the territory and caused the growth of the country.

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