I. Roots of Imperialism
1. Ideological Arguments
* Scholars, authors, politicians and religious leaders provided interlocking ideological arguments for the new imperialism. * Some used Darwinism which they believed the US should engage in struggle for wealth and power with other nations. * Others belief in racial inequality.
* To Americans, the industrial progress, military strength, and political development of England and US were proof of an Anglo-Saxon superiority that carried with it a responsibility to extend the blessings of their rule to less able people. * American missionaries promoted expansionist sentiment where religious groups increased the number of Protestant foreign missions six fold from 1870 to 1900. * Missionaries pursued a religious transformation that often resembled a cultural conversion where they promote trade, developed business interests, and encouraged westernization through technology and education. 2. Strategic Concerns
* Other expansionists were motivated by strategic concerns. * The geography of America convinced Americans that the US had to develop new policies to protect and promote its national security and interests. * Alfred Thayer Mahan emphasized the importance of a strong navy for national greatness in his book, The Influence of Sea Power upon History. * Mahan proposed that the US build a canal across the Isthmus of Panama to link its coasts, acquire naval bases in the Caribbean and the Pacific islands to protect the canal, and annex Hawaii and other Pacific islands to promote trade and services the fleet. * Mahan’s program was a group of nationalistic Republicans. * Theodore Roosevelt promoted Mahan’s idea when he became assistant secretary of the navy in 1897. 3. Economic Designs
* All Americans favored economic expansion through foreign trade. * Policy promised national prosperity: larger markets for manufacturers and farmers, greater profits for merchants and bankers, more jobs for workers. * In 1844, US negotiated a trade treaty with China and 10 years later Japanese opened their ports to American products. * In the 19th century, economic expansion caused many Americans to favor more government action to open foreign markets to American exports. * Exports grew nine fold between 1865 and 1900.
4. Seward and Blaine
* William H. Seward and James G. Blaine laid the foundation for a larger and more aggressive American role in world affairs. * Seward possessed an elaborate imperial vision where his concerns were to open East Asia to American commerce and establish American hegemony over the Caribbean. * Seward purchased Alaska from Russian in 1867.
* Seward’s policy of expansion went too far and congressional opposition frustrated his efforts to obtain Haiti and the D.R. and to purchase the Danish West Indies. * Blaine was less thoughtful than Seward and he worked to extend America’s commercial empire in the Pacific. * He sought to insure US sovereignty over any canal in Panama. * Blaine called for the establishment of a customs union to reduce trade barriers in the First International American Conference in 1889 but this plan was rejected by the Latin American nations. 5. Hawaii
* In 1842, the US announces its opposition to European control of Hawaii. * Hawaii was sought as a key way station in the China Trade and where New England missionaries and whalers were active. * Treaties in 1875 and 1887 integrated the islands into the American economy and gave the US control over Pearl Harbor on the islands of Oahu. * The McKinley Tariff Act of 1890 closed the U.S. market to Hawaiian sugar producers. * American planters seek annexation to US and in 1893, they overthrew the queen. * Republicans strongly supported annexation b/c they think it’s a larger part of expansion and Democrats opposes it. 6. Chile and Venezuela
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