American Expansionism in the 19th and 20th Centuries

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American Expansionism During the 19th and 20th Centuries

Expansionism in America during the late nineteenth and early twentieth century shared many similarities and differences to that of previous American expansionist ideals. Either way most Americans believed that we must expanded beyond our borders to make America appear as a strong nation. Americans believed that the U.S. was a strong nation, we just needed to prove so by taking whatever land we pleased and call it ours. This idea was displayed during the 1840’s “Manifest Destiny” movement and during the “Darwinism” years in the late 1800’s early 1900’s. Besides the similarities, there were several differences that included America actually taking over other parts of the world such as Puerto Rico, Hawaii and the Philippines.

Throughout history, America has presented itself as a defiant or stubborn nation that would do as it wanted at whatever cost. This was prevalent when America went to war with other countries including Spain to gain land or to just prove a point. During the earlier years of expansionism, Americans pushed the Natives aside to get the territory they needed. The Americans believe that the land was created by God that was given to them. This same idea continued in the early 20th century (1900) as Americans looked across the seas for new territory. That idea is executed in document E when Senator Albert J. Beveridge delivered a speech to Congress in 1900, saying that, "...and thanksgiving to Almighty God that He has marked us as His chosen people, henceforth to lead in the regeneration of the world..."

Opposed to America’s anti-imperialistic beliefs, expansionism now became more of a world competition than of gaining territory. Other countries including Germany, Portugal and Belgium were gaining the remaining uncontrolled territories like Africa; America needed to do the same. The cartoon presented in document "A" shows how all the European countries were picking away at the...
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