American Imperialism

Throughout history, American imperialism has referred to the economic, military, and cultural influence of the United States in foreign countries.

Key Takeaways

Darwinism and social evolution America's exceptionality AFL-CIO U.S. imperialism

Expansion and Power

This is the term for the economic, military, and cultural influence of the United States on other countries.The concept of an "American Empire" was popularized by James K. Polk and popularized through the remainder of the 1800s.Because of industrialization, American businessmen sought new international markets for selling their goods during this time.Additionally, the growing influence of social Darwinism led to the belief that the United States was intrinsically responsible for introducing concepts such as industry, democracy, and Christianity to less developed "savage" societies.In combination with other factors, these attitudes steered the United States toward imperialism.

A bald eagle symbolizes how U.S. dominance extended from Puerto Rico to the Philippines in an adage entitled "Ten Thousand Miles from Tip to Tip.".By contrasting the USA in 1898 with the USA in 1898, the cartoon illustrates how the United States developed.

The premise that the United States is different from other countries by spreading liberty and democracy throughout the world is partly at the core of American imperialism.This theory can be traced back to the 1800s French observer Alexis de Tocqueville, who believed that the United States was an exceptional nation, progressing on a path that was without limit.

It is difficult to pinpoint exactly when American imperialism began.According to historian Donald W. Meinig, America's imperial behavior began with the Louisiana Purchase.He describes this as, "an aggressive encroachment of one people on territory belonged to another, resulting in the subjugation of that people." Here, he is referring to U.S. policies toward Native Americans, which were intended to reshape them into a people more suitable for imperial purposes.

Among the children holding books labelled with various U.S. states is Uncle Sam lecturing four of his children, labelled "Philippines," "Hawaii," "Puerto Rico," and "Cuba.".American Indians hold books upside down, a Chinese boy stands at the door, and a black boy cleans a window.The blackboard reads, "The consent of the governed is a good thing in theory, but rare in practice.. the USA must govern its new territories with or without their consent until they can govern themselves."

Regardless of its origin, American imperialism reached its height in the late 1800s and the years following World War II. During this "Age of Imperialism," the United States exercised political, economic, social, and cultural control over many countries, including the Philippines, Cuba, Germany, Austria, Korea, and Japan.The annexation of Hawaii in 1898, bringing the United States possession and control of all port facilities, buildings, harbors, military equipment, and public properties that had once belonged to the Hawaiian government, was one of the most notable examples of imperialism in the 19th century.A coup d'état led primarily by American citizens who opposed Queen Liliuokalani's attempt to establish a new constitution forced the reigning monarch of the Kingdom of Hawaii to abdicate on January 17, 1893.Hawaiians become the 50th state of the union after this action in 1959.

Opposition to Imperialism

In 1898, the American Anti-Imperialist League formed in the United States to oppose American annexation of the Philippines.The League also argued that the Spanish-American War was actually a war of imperialism disguised as a war of liberation. .Independence Declaration, George Washington's Farewell Address, and Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address.Despite being part of an older generation, the Anti-Imperialist League lost to progressives due to public opinion, the 1900 election, and the actions of Congress and the president, since most younger progressives who were just coming to power supported imperialism.

The Spanish-American War

In 1898, Spain and the United States fought for three months in the Spanish-American War.

Learning Objectives

Analysis of the Spanish-American War

Key Takeaways

The expansionist view


The Spanish-American War took place in 1898 between Spain and the United States.The intervening Americans in Cuba's ongoing War of Independence led to the event.Spanish possessions in the Pacific led to U.S. involvement in the Philippine Revolution and the Philippine-American War.


In Cuba, there had been rebuffs against Spanish rule for decades, and the Americans closely followed the situation.The abolition of slavery in 1886 saw many former slaves join the ranks of farmers and workers, many wealthy Cubans lost their property, and number of sugar mills decreased.During this period, only the most powerful companies and plantation owners remained in business, and U.S. financial capital began to flow into the country.Politically it remained a Spanish territory, but economically Cuba became dependent on the United States.Around the same time, Cuba experienced the rise of labor movements.

In 1881, revolutionary José Mart* moved to the United States after his second deportation to Spain in 1878.A large Cuban exile community in southern Florida mobilized his support.The Cuban politician wanted a revolution and independence from Spain, but also fought against U.S. annexation of Cuba, which many Americans and Cubans wanted.

American public opinion grew more angry at Spanish atrocities in Cuba in 1897-1898.When the American battleship Maine mysteriously sank in Havana harbor, political pressures from the Democratic Party forced Republican president William McKinley into a war he did not want.Spain responded by rejecting the United States' ultimatum that demanded Cuba be forfeited immediately.Spain, then Washington, declared war on each other.

The War

Although Cuban independence was the main issue, the 10-week war was fought both in the Caribbean and the Pacific.The mighty American navy allowed U.S. expeditionary forces to land in Cuba, where a Spanish garrison already suffering insurgent attacks and destroyed by yellow fever was under attack.

A swift and decisive war erupted between the United States and Spain.Not one single American reverse occurred in the war's three-month duration.On the Sunday following war's declaration, Commodore George Dewey of the six-ship Asiatic Squadron (then based in Hong Kong) steamed to the Philippines with his squadron.The entire Spanish armada was intercepted in Manila Bay by Dewey and destroyed.

Because these forces possessed numerical superiority and overpowered Spanish infantry units in many of the battles, as well as some spirited defenses on the San Juan Hill, the Spanish were forced to surrender Santiago de Cuba and Manila.After two obsolete Spanish squadrons were sunk in Santiago de Cuba and Manila Bay, Madrid applied for peace.A third, more modern fleet was called home to protect the Spanish coasts.

The Treaty of Paris

A treaty negotiated on favorable terms for the United States ended the war in 1898 with the Treaty of Paris.Following their purchase from Spain, it allowed American control of Cuba for a short time and continuous colonial control over Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Philippines.With Spain's Empire defeated and collapsed, there ensued a movement of philosophical and artistic revaluations of Spanish society known as the "Generation of '98." The winner gained several island possessions spanning the globe, which sparked a rancorous debate over expansionism.

Legacy of the War

The Fatlera of Uncle Sam: A satirical drawing published in La Campana de Gràcia (1896), criticizing U.S. policy toward Cuba.

America entered world affairs during the war.During the Spanish-American War, the United States exhibited an isolationist foreign policy, which argued that a nation's interests are best served by keeping other countries in the dark.As a result of the Spanish-American War, the United States has played an active role in various conflicts across the globe and entered into many treaties and agreements.Through the 1920s, the United States entered a period of economic growth and technological innovation that lasted through the Panic of 1893.As well as redefining national identity, the war offered a solution to the social ills plaguing the American mind, and set the tone for subsequent news reporting.

Also, the Spanish Empire ended with the war.The invasion of Napoleon had caused Spain to decline as an empire in the early nineteenth century.The loss of Cuba caused a national trauma because peninsular Spaniards had an affinity for the country, which had been seen more as a province than a colony.There remained merely a handful of overseas holdings for Spain: Spanish West Africa, Spanish Guinea, Spanish Sahara, Spanish Morocco, and the Canary Islands.

Markets and Missionaries

A certain kind of evangelism known as Progressive Era evangelism included political, social, and economic messages that challenged adherents to improve their society.

Key Takeaways

This is the social gospel AMI (American Missionary Association) An evangelical Christian

The Social Gospel Movement

In the early twentieth century, the United States and Canada were dominated by a Protestant movement known as the Social Gospel.It applied Christian ethics to issues of social justice such as poverty, racial tensions, crime, alcoholism, child labor, inadequate labor unions, poor schools, and war.

During the Progressive Era in the United States prior to World War I, the Social Gospel was a religious movement that fought injustice, poverty, and suffering.Social Gospel activism was particularly active in Denver, Colorado.His leadership of the Methodist People's Tabernacle spanned 1885 to 1910.In addition to his free dispensary for medical emergencies, he established an employment bureau, a summer camp for children, night schools for extended learning, and English language classes.First Congregational Church's Myron Reed became a spokesman for labor unions on issues such as workers' compensation.A middle-class congregation encouraged Reed to move on after becoming a Socialist, and he established a nondenominational church.A Baptist minister named Jim Goodhart established a job bureau and provided food and lodging at a mission he ran for tramps and hobos.In 1918, he became director of public welfare for Denver and city chaplain.Besides these Protestants, Reform Jews and Catholics contributed to Denver's social welfare system in the early 20th century.

Walter Rauschenbusch and Dwight Moody


New York City Baptist pastor Walter Rauschenbusch was a defining theologian for the Social Gospel movement.Rauschenbusch was concerned with the selfishness of capitalism and promoted Christian Socialism supporting labor unions and cooperatives.

.Pastor Moody believed the poor were too picky when receiving charity based on his own experiences.Moody insisted that a focus on social aid distracted people from the life-saving message of the gospel.

Rather than concentrate on solutions to the problems of the city, Rauschenbusch adopted a Socialist approach that terrified the middle class, the primary supporters of the Social Gospel.The traditional revival style of Moody was extremely effective in influencing middle-class Americans who were moving to the city with the intent of saving them from the city.

The American Missionary Association

New York's American Missionary Association (AMA) was a Protestant group fighting for abolition. .Members and leaders were both black and white and mainly affiliated with Presbyterian, Congregationalist, and Methodist churches.

It published The American Missionary magazine from 1846 to 1934.This publication helped establish antislavery churches.Owen Lovejoy was among the Congregational ministers of the AMA who planted 115 antislavery churches in Illinois before the American Civil War, aided by a substantial migration of individuals from the East westward.Despite its prominence in the United States for its anti-slavery work and its commitment to the education of freed men, the AMA also participated in missions in a number of foreign countries.Missionary work in East Asia was especially active in the nineteenth century.


Social Gospel was historically short-lived, but continued to influence the policies of most mainline denominations in the U.S.Some started social reform programs, resulting in the formation of the Federal Council of Churches in 1910. Though cooperation regarding social issues often led to accusations of socialism, most began social reform programs.In the Social Gospel, a strong sense of leadership by the people led to women's suffrage, and the emphasis it placed on morality led to prohibition.Lyndon B. Johnson, according to biographer Randall Woods, was able to transform social problems into moral ones by absorbing Social Gospel themes from childhood.This explains his commitment to social justice, as exemplified by the Great Society, and to racial equality.As a type of Christian internationalism and nation-building, the Social Gospel explicitly inspired his foreign-policy approach.

The Open Door Policy

Using the Open Door Policy, China aimed to make the Chinese market available to all countries equally.

Key Takeaways

Policy of transparency MONROE DIPLOMA

The 'Open Door Policy' is a U.S. doctrine established in the late nineteenth and the beginning of the twentieth century, exemplified by Secretary of State John Hay's letter dated September 6, 1899, addressed to the major European powers.

It was based on a desire to trade with Chinese markets, but pledging to protect China's sovereignty and territorial integrity from partition also appealed to those who were opposed to imperialism.This policy had little legal backing, as it served primarily as a vehicle to mediate the competing interests of the colonial powers without much input from China, which led to lingering resentment among Chinese, who later saw it as a symbol of national humiliation.

Formation of the Policy

.Following the Spanish-American War of 1898, the United States expanded its Asian presence, hoping to advance its commercial and political interests in China with the newly acquired territory of the Philippine Islands.It feared losing access to the Chinese market if the country were divided because other powers had much larger spheres of influence in China.

Rockhill devised the Open Door Policy for the purpose of protecting American interests in China.In 1899, U.S.Secretary of State John Hay sent notes to the major powers (France, Germany, Britain, Italy, Japan, and Russia), asking them to declare formally that they would support Chinese territorial and administrative integrity and would not interfere with the free use of the treaty ports within their spheres of influence in China.Under the Open Door Policy, all nations were able to penetrate the Chinese market equally.

In response, each country attempted to avoid Hay's request, claiming that it could not commit to anything until the other nations complied.At the end of July 1900, Hay announced that every power had granted in principle consent.It should be noted that despite the Open Door Policy mentioned in many treaties made after 1900, competition among various powers for special concessions within China, such as railroad rights, mining rights, loans, foreign trade ports, and so on, continued unabated.

The Monroe Doctrine

The Monroe Doctrine was a U.S. foreign policy regarding the dominance of the Americas in 1823.A further effort by European nations to colonize North or South America or interfere with their affairs would be considered an act of aggression, so the United States would have to intervene.Meanwhile, the doctrine stresses that the United States would neither interfere with existing European colonies nor meddle in European internal affairs.It was published in 1823 at a time when nearly all Spanish and Portuguese colonies in Latin America had achieved independence from the Portuguese and Spanish Empires or were nearing independence.

Newspaper cartoon about the Monroe Doctrine.

The first time the doctrine was stated was in President James Monroe's seventh-annual State of the Union Address to Congress.1850 was the year when the Monroe Doctrine was coined.In the late nineteenth century, Monroe's declaration was regarded as a defining moment in U.S. foreign policy.Ulysses S. Grant, Theodore Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, Ronald Reagan, and several other U.S. presidents would invoke it.

Its intent and impact remained largely unchanged for more than a century. .As the doctrine asserted, the Old and New Worlds should remain distinct spheres of influence, since they were made up of independent nations.

The Monroe Doctrine is characterized by themes of American exceptionalism and Manifest Destiny, which describe the United States' right to exert its influence over the rest of the world.Multiple times throughout the nineteenth century, the Monroe Doctrine was used to justify American intervention abroad. This was most notably the case throughout the Spanish-American War and with the annexation of Hawaii.

The Philippine-American War

There have been three major wars between the Philippines and the United States, both of which resulted in the colonization of the Philippines by the United States.

Key Takeaways

Revolt in the Philippines of 1896 Philippines War A.A.I.L.

.After the Philippine Revolution of 1896 and the annexation of the Philippines by the United States, the First Philippine Republic sought independence.

Following the Spanish-American War, the United States took possession of the Philippines after the First Philippine Republic objected to the terms of the Treaty of Paris.


Battle of Manila: Battle of Manila, February 1899.

A war between U.S. and Filipino revolutionary forces erupted on February 4, 1899, and quickly escalated into the 1899 Battle of Manila.According to historical documents, the First Philippine Republic declared war against the United States on June 2, 1899.United States victory in the war officially ended on July 2, 1902.The Katipunan however continued to lead some Philippine groups in combat against the Americans. .A decade later, the Moro people and Pulahanes people were defeated at the Battle of Bud Bagsak on June 15, 1913.

Philippine soldiers: Filipino soldiers outside Manila in 1899.

During the US war with and occupation of the islands, the cultural landscape of the islands would be altered.

The Philippines Organic Act of 1902 was passed by the U.S.Parliament, Filipinos initially had very limited rights to self-government including the right to vote for some elected officials such as members of the Philippine Assembly.However, it wasn't until 14 years later when the U.S. passed the 1916 Philippine Autonomy Act (the "Jones Act") that the United States agreed to provide for eventual independence, along with more Philippine control for the time being over the Philippines.Upon enactment of the Philippine Independence Act in 1934, a limited form of independence was established as the Commonwealth of the Philippines in 1935, establishing the path to Philippine independence (originally scheduled for 1944, but interrupted and delayed by World War II).Finally, the Philippines gained independence in 1946 after World War II and Japanese occupation.

American Opposition

Several Americans, including William Jennings Bryan, Mark Twain, Andrew Carnegie and Ernest Crosby of the American Anti-Imperialist League, expressed strong opposition to the annexation of the Philippines.As a result of the United States' replacement of Spain as the colonial power in the Philippines, anti-imperialist movements saw the United States as a colonial power.Anti-imperialists on racist grounds resisted annexation. .Support for the war decreased as news of atrocities committed in subduing the Philippines reached the United States.

The Banana Wars

During the early 1900s, the United States conducted a series of military invasions and occupations in countries in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Key Takeaways

Franklin Corollary U.S. Fruit Corporation

.Spanish-American War in 1898 ushered in this time of conflict, which ended with the Treaty of Paris, which gave Cuba and Puerto Rico to the United States.As a result, the United States conducted military interventions in Cuba, Panama, Honduras, Nicaragua, Mexico, Haiti, and the Dominican Republic.Following President Franklin D. Roosevelt's withdrawal of troops from Haiti in 1934, the conflicts came to an end.They were fueled, in large part, by economic factors.U.S. interventions and the preservation of American commercial interests in the region led to the "Banana Wars.".

Advert for the United Fruit Company Steamship Service from 1916.

Among its most prominent ventures was the production of bananas, tobacco, sugar cane, and a variety of other products throughout the Caribbean, Central America, and the northern part of South America.Moreover, the United States had advancing its political interests, maintaining a sphere of influence, and controlling the Panama Canal, which was extremely important to global trade and naval power.

Panama and the Canal

A canal was started in 1882 by Ferdinand de Lesseps, but by 1889, frequent landslides, equipment slippage, and mud caused the effort to fail, and Lesseps filed for bankruptcy.American.president Theodore Roosevelt persuaded Congress in 1902 to take over the abandoned works, during the Thousand Days' War in Colombia.During the war, Panamanian Liberals attempted several times to seize control of Panama and possibly achieve full autonomy.A collaboration between conservative Colombian and U.S. forces suppressed liberal guerrilla groups such as Belisario Porras and Victoriano Lorenzo during the Mallarino-Bidlack era.Roosevelt proposed controlling the canal, but Colombia refused by the middle of 1903.After this, they changed tactics.

.Secretary of State.It gave the United States sovereignty over 50 miles of land on either side of the Panama Canal Zone and allowed the construction of a canal.The United States would build a canal in this area, then administer, fortify, and defend it for eternity.

Honduras and American Fruit Companies

US troops were deployed to Honduras, where the United Fruit Company and Standard Fruit Company controlled the country's banana export sector and other land holdings and railways in 1903, 1907, 1911, 1912, 1919, 1924, and 1925.Octavia.Henry named Honduras "banana republic" in 1904.

The first decade of Honduras' history was marked by political and economic instability.As a result, 210 armed conflicts were fought between independence and the rise to power of the Carias government.American involvement in the country contributed to this instability.

As the first company to sign an agreement with Honduras, Vaccaro Brothers Company (Standard Fruit Company) was involved.Cuyamel Fruit Company then followed.In addition to a government contract, the United Fruit Company obtained its subsidies from the Tela Rail Road Company and Truxillo Rail Road Company.

There were several paths that led to the nation of Honduras signing a contract with the American companies. .The ultimate motive behind acquiring a contract was to completely control the banana industry, from production to distribution.Because of this, American companies would finance guerrilla fighters, presidential campaigns, and governments.


.As well as controlling the flow of immigrants and refugees from revolutionary Mexico (pacificos), the Americans fought the Border War from 1910 to 1919 to fight rebel raids into their territory.In 1914, however, the occupation of Veracruz by the United States was not about protecting the border; it was intended to cut off the supplies of German munitions to the Mexican government of Mexican leader Victoriano Huerta, whom the United States had supported.leaders refused to recognize.Aside from the regional power balance, the United States was also concerned about the situation in Germany prior to World War I.The Germans were actively arming and advising the Mexicans, as evidenced by the 1914 SS Ypiranga arms-shipping incident, Lothar Witzke's base in Mexico City, and the 1917 Zimmermann Telegram. The German advisors were also present at the 1918 Battle of Ambos Nogales.The United States occupied Mexico twice during the Mexican Revolution: once during the temporary occupation of Veracruz in 1914, and once between 1916 and 1917 when.general John Pershing led a nationwide search for Pancho Villa.

Other Countries

.By 1904, Theodore Roosevelt had published the Roosevelt Corollary to the Monroe Doctrine asserting that the United States might intervene if Latin American and Caribbean states failed to pay their international debts.President William Howard Taft and his secretary of state Philander C. Knox pursued a “peaceful and economic” Dollar Diplomacy foreign policy from 1909 to 1913, although this was backed by force.Most often, these military interventions have been conducted by the U.S. Marine Corps.The Marines were called upon so frequently that in 1921, a Small Wars Manual was written, The Strategy and Tactics of Small Wars.Occasionally, U.S.Navy gunfire troops were used.