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Foreign Policy Analysis
American Imperialism

American Imperialism


Hi and welcome to this video lesson on American
Imperialism, in which the young USA acts like the honey badger and just takes what it wants. Before we just jump into Imperialism, we need
first need to understand a few things. Number 1 Manifest Destiny. This term was coined to describe
a philosophy that began in the early 1800s. Many leaders argued that the United States would inevitably span from one ocean (Atlantic) to another (Pacific). That’s why Lewis and Clark were sent to explore
the west. it was, among other things, part of an agenda
and PR campaign to popularize this expansionist view. International Reputation is our second point. America was still competing with Great Britain. American leaders were still very much aware that the US was the new kid on the block of world powers. They had just had it out with Britain again
during the War of 1812. They were desperate to prove to the world that America was here to stay. Growing Population and Economy. The American population growth rate was astronomical at this point in time, more than doubling in
the 30 years from 1790 to 1820. The booming economy and workforce provided
even more incentive for not only westward growth, but global growth as well. The industrial revolution which began in the second half of the 19th century only made this more necessary in the eyes of many. So, now that we’ve laid a foundation for American
Imperialism, let’s actually talk about! First, a timeline: In 1845, President Polk reasserted American dominance in Oregon and Texas. In the same year, O’Sullivan coined the term Manifest Destiny. In 1848, President Polk offered to buy Cuba from Spain for $100,000,000. A few years later, in 1856, the Guano Act was passed, and Baker Island, Howland Island, and Jarvis Island all became annexed by America in 1867, the midway Islands were also annexed. in 1890, the McKinley Tariff was passed In the same year, Admiral Mahan published his book on the needs for a strong navy, inspiring Theodore Roosevelt. In 1893, the Hawaiian Queen was overthrown. In 1898, the USS Main was sunk, and the Spanish American War began In the same year, Hawaii was annexed, And the Philippine Islands, Puerto Rico, and Guam were placed under American control. In 1899, American Samoa and Wake island were annexed. In 1901, Theodore Roosevelt became president. In 1903, Panama Seceded from Colombia. In 1907, The Great White Fleet displayed the strength of America’s navy. In 1914, the Panama Canal was finished. In 1917, the Virgin Islands were annexed. So, American power was growing. They had a navy that rivaled that of Britain’s fleet. They declared many uninhabited, as well as
inhabited, islands territory of the US. They also influenced international treaties and handily put former European powers in their place. (take that Spain). But what was really gained from all of this? For America, international respect, new global markets for trade, and territorial expansion,
a continuation of Manifest Destiny. What did the world get out of this? Well, American products being shipped around the world gave new people access to goods they had not yet had, but, perhaps more importantly was the draw of America to those people. Immigration skyrocketed during the turn of
the 20th century, as people hoping to escape disease, poverty, oppression, and more, flocked
to the US. American leadership found their rise amongst the world powers a confirmation of their philosophy and right to expand, as was usually the attitude
in the preceding centuries. However, toward the end of the 19th Century,
voices of a different opinion grew louder. Some argued that it was wrong to declare American control over territories over which protection of the Constitution would not extend. Proponents of Imperialism often asserted that American control would only benefit these small territories or countries, and that beating other, less generous imperial powers, was of the essence. People like Alfred Thayer Mahan, an Admiral,
held this position for he believed that the U.S. economy would soon need additional outlets
for the massive amounts of industrial and commercial goods being made in the States. Mahan considered that guaranteeing access
to these new international markets was vital to America’s continued growth. The realization of this policy came with Theodore
Roosevelt forcefully intervening in Latin America to protect trade interests. This became known as the Roosevelt Corollary, which President Taft followed up with Dollar Diplomacy, the goal of which was to create
stability abroad, and, through this stability, promote American commercial interests: How convenient! “The tremendous growth of the export trade of the United States has already made that trade a very real factor in the industrial and commercial prosperity of the country. With the development of our industries, the
foreign commerce of the United States must rapidly become a still more essential factor
in its economic welfare. The diplomacy of the present administration has sought to respond to modern ideas of commercial intercourse. This policy has been characterized as substituting
dollars for bullets. -President Taft So American power was exerted internationally, which became a problem during World War I. Woodrow Wilson greatly desired to remain neutral during the European conflict. This became an issue when Germany attempted
to convince Mexico to turn on the US. This revealed the difficulty of being engaged
in international commerce. When something big went wrong abroad, it would
be impossible to avoid. This greatly reduced the desire of American leaders to annex small nations around the world, but no so much that ended American
international involvement, which would actually escalate in the following years, with WWII
and the Cold War. Thanks for watching this intro to American
Imperialism Until next time, happy studying.

1 comment on “American Imperialism

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