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U.S. Foreign Policy in the Late 19th Century

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U.S. Foreign Policy in the Late 19th Century

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  • August 2005
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The United States, from its inception had a lust for real estate. From the original chants of "manifest destiny" to the calls for the annexation of Indian territories, America has been driven to acquire land. In this country's youth, land was needed for economic expansion; however, by the end of the 19th century, the entire continental United States had been in possession and the citizenry of this country turned their eyes out to sea. The United States no longer sought new lands to farm and work nor did they need new areas for their geological resources; the motives had changed. The United States was now driven by the temptations of world power and political supremacy. The self-absorbed citizenry looked upon their intrusion into foreign areas as a moral obligation; to spread the words of democracy and Christ throughout the world. The Spanish-American War in the final years of the 19th century perfectly demonstrated this "new" imperialism. In addition the American intrusion into Chinese affairs during the Boxer rebellion was also proof for the new motives which governed the international attitude. By the end of the 19th century Spanish forces in Cuba were in an all out battle with nationalist rebels. The Spanish army had tortured and killed thousands of innocent Cubans in their efforts to maintain control of Cuba. The American "Yellow Press" under the leadership of Pulitzer and others wrote horrific articles about the war in Cuba and called for the imposition of the United States into the matter under the flag of moral obligation. President McKinley and his war hungry Congress saw this as a perfect opportunity to have a "nice little war" and bolster the status of the United States in the international community. The war with Spain also gave McKinley am excuse to invade the Spanish controlled Philippine islands, an important naval site which would give the United States a voice in the Far East. After, the United States Navy massacred the meek Spanish...

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