19th Century American Imperialism & 20th Century War

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19th Century American Imperialism & 20th Century War

Captain Alfred Thayer Mahan couldn’t have said it any better, “No nation had ever become great without control of foreign markets and access to the natural resources of foreign countries” (Kinzer 33). Throughout the years, America has had an astonishing obsession with the idea of global imperialism. One can’t help but ask the following question: what sparked this sudden obsession with global imperialism? Even though there are many different factors that helped spark this sudden movement, the biggest single factor was the industrialization of the world’s major industrialist societies, such as England, United States, Japan, and Germany. The sudden explosion of industrialization sparked a huge consumption of the earth’s natural resources, and initiated the need for expansion. Throughout the late 19th century up until today, America has approached global imperialism in a number of different ways. Methods such as deception, intimidation, fear, and violence have all been used throughout the American conquest in order to expand this imperialistic society. America had to start expanding and had to take over weaker countries. “Americans had to look to faraway countries, weak countries, countries that had large markets and rich resources but had not yet fallen under the sway of any great power” (Kinzer 34).This paper will primarily focus on the reasoning provided by Kinzer’s book Overthrow. America has become the imperialistic society it is today because of the rapid 19th century industrialization and the constant American hunger for natural resources, territory, and global domination. “Whether they will or no, Americans must now begin to look outward. The growing production of the country demands it” (Kinzer 33).

During the late 19th century, America enjoyed a successful conquest of Hawaii, Cuba, Philippines, and Nicaragua. Hawaii, which has always embraced a history of tradition and culture, was faced with the...
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