With the growth of the industrial revolution and technology in America, the desire for imperialism became more evident. I will explore the cause and effect of Imperialism, what other countries were involved, and the views of supporters as well as the detractors of this policy.
Imperialism was birthed from the ongoing explosion of technology and industry. The Monroe Doctrine of 1823 broadened the ideas of imperialism to increase the power of the young United States and prevent Europe from interfering in any of the affairs of the Western Hemisphere. The world was getting larger and was quickly accommodating the growth. Power and control of America was not enough for imperialists who wanted to expand this supremacy to other nations. The focus of Imperialistic efforts was Europe and Latin America. Cuba, Puerto Rico, and the Philippine Islands soon became entrenched with American concentration. Africa and China also eventually became victim to imperialistic endeavors.
The ambassadors of imperialism gained followers by rationalizing the conquest. Many Americans believed in the policy as it would undoubtedly spread Western influence on ideas, values, religion and products (Davidson, Delay, Heyrman, Lytle, Stoff, 2008). Implementing Western ideals became an infectious motive for the United States.
With the growth of the United States industrialized economy, there was an abundance of goods that America could not consume itself. Therefore, imperialism was an attempt to look for various markets abroad. Alfred Thayer Mahan was a navy captain who exploited a theory that was a branch of imperialism called “navalism” (Davidson, Delay, Heyrman, Lytle, Stoff, 2008, pg. 613). This concept rationalized the overall need for imperialism and foreign concern. In order for United States to be a great nation, suggested Mahan, it must have powerful ships for foreign trade purposes. Mahan believed that wealth and respect for the nation would be sought and won
References: Davidson, Delay, Heyrman, Lytle, Stoff. (2008). Nation of nations: a narrative history of the American Republic (6th ed.). Boston: McGraw Hill. Halsall, P. (1997). Modern History Sourcebook. American Anti-Imperialist League, 1899. Retrieved October 4, 2008, from http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/mod/1899antiimp.html.