19th and 20th Century Us Expansionism Compared to Past Expansionism

Topics: United States, Cold War, Philippines Pages: 3 (901 words) Published: March 22, 2008
From the beginning of its time, America has held the desire to expand. Manifest Destiny, the belief that the United States has a mission to spread its beliefs and culture, had held true since the formation of the country. Between 1776 and the start of the twentieth century, expansion had always been something on American’s minds. The only difference in each individual case was the place we sought and the time. Other than that, the reasons behind it were more or less very similar. Three main reasons led to annexation of new land and imperialistic dreams: the belief that we had a duty to spread our culture, the belief that it was a mission from God to spread Christianity, and finally, that we should take hold of any opportunities that pass us.

Before the late nineteenth and early twentieth century imperialistic movement, America focused mainly on expanding to the west. It began in the seventeenth century when the first white settlers wanted to look to the interior of the new land to get away from the civilized world. The land was unlike anything settlers had come across before. The image of the land was pure and unsettled. However, many tribes lived on them. Throughout the years the Indians had been pushed further and further west to get out of settler’s ways. They soon became a problem because they did not know whether they should grant them citizenship or not. In the mid 1800s severe fighting took place between the whites and the Indians. The Dawes Act in 1887, for example, took away much of what they knew and later they were forced to become assimilated into American culture or pushed aside into Indian reservations.

During the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, however, expansionism was finished inside America and more focused on foreign lands. This was not only true with the United States, however (Document A). Other nations wanted pieces of other lands as well. This is true, for example, in the case of Samoa. Great Britain and Germany were interested in...
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