U.S. Foreign Policy from 1890-1914

Topics: United States, Puerto Rico, Economy of the United States Pages: 2 (752 words) Published: March 17, 2005
McKinley's presidency starting in 1896 restored American prosperity through the use of higher tariffs and the return to a gold standard. Foreign nations became dependent on the United States' prosperity because economic problems, such as crop failures, were affecting their stability. This along with many other factors developed America's strong sense of nationalism. The concept of social Darwinism was applied not only to domestic concerns, but to foreign concerns as well. Americans felt that their previous abilities to empower themselves over the Native Americans set as a precedent for their capability to influence foreign nations. America looked beyond its borders for new markets because after the closing of the frontier, a fear of possible resource depletion swept through the nation. America's desire to colonize foreign nations was driven by economic intentions especially in Hawaii and Samoa, Cuba, and Puerto Rico.

The United States' involvement in trade with China made the importance of Hawaii and the Samoan islands evident. These islands acted as a stop for ships in the midst of their journey to Asia. American influence on the islands existed by America's growing population settling there. For these two reasons, the United States' navy looked at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii as a permanent naval base and Pago Pago in Samoa. American settlers in Hawaii gradually drew the power away from Hawaiian leaders causing struggles for power. King Kamehameha became dominant over rival Hawaiian communities and acted hospitable toward American merchants. American trade with Asia flourished causing missionaries to travel through Hawaii and William Hooper of Boston to establish sugar plantations there, with many Asian immigrants working them. Americans' presences in Hawaii halved the Hawaiian population through disease and destroyed their religion and culture. In 1898, a disputed annexation of Hawaii was confirmed to restore a dwindling situate in the sugar trade. America wrested...
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