Reasons why US became an imperial power
March 12th, 2014
Throughout the history its been argued whether the United States had been expansionistic oriented or not, due to its limited presence only in the North American continent. In the late nineteenth century, the United States emerged the drive in expanding to the outside of the continent. The idea of imperialism in the Philippines became popular under the parole of protecting the world from Spanish rule, which was just a cover-up for the real reasons for the presence on these islands. This policy caused much controversy among politicians as well as the citizens. There were many reasons behind these imperialistic urges. One of the main reasons is that the United States sought to expand to foreign markets, and needed the Pacific islands as refueling stations for their ships. The other important reason for the expansion was to spread the Christianity among the heathen (Carnes page 576). In addition, the final reason for these imperialistic urges is that the U.S. had the necessity to annex some overseas properties.
The important event for this time was sinking of the U.S. battleship, Maine. It is known today that Spanish did not have anything to do with it, but it had been fabricated by yellow journalism at that time that way the people believed that Spanish actually did it. (H 1002 Lecture, 03/06/2014). Even though this event happened close to Cuban coast, thousands miles away from Philippines, it played a crucial role in making decisions to move forward and occupy the islands in the Philippines. The U.S. led by Navy General George Dewey's and his fleet, consisting of six brand new warships four cruisers and two gun boats (Carnes page 583), sailed into Manila harbor. The little bit larger Spanish fleet was completely taken by surprise. Several of the Spanish ships were so old and rotting that they could barely float.