African American History Dbq Imperialism

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In the beginning of the 19th century, the United States had minimal interest in becoming an empire who controlled overseas countries. Instead, Americans decided to just use Manifest Destiny on their own continent as their form of expansion. In the late 1800s, the frontier was announced to be “closed”, so Americans were forced to look overseas in order to expand trade by looking for new markets. After America made the decision to support Cuba in its revolt against Spain during the Spanish-American war, the United States gained its own colonial empire when it defeated Spain in 1898. Once the war ended, Americans had to debate between becoming an imperialist empire or remaining in isolationism. The national debate over imperialism became a major political issue, and greatly influenced the election of…show more content…
Imperialism was an illegitimate policy because of the consequences that could affect the country and lead countries to war. In some ways it was perceived as if imperialism was the right thing for the United States to participate in. In 1898, E. E. Cooper, African American editor of the Washington, D.C, wrote a newspaper article titled Colonial American to support African American military service in the Spanish-American War of 1898 (Doc1). His article was written after the Plessy v. Ferguson decision which created the “separate but equal” doctrine. Cooper believed that with the wars fought to obtain new colonies, more African Americans would be able to fight and the U.S. could become a multiracial brotherhood and white people could stop being racially prejudice. Cooper believed that imperialism gave African Americans a chance to have equality in America. Another example that demonstrated the positivity of imperialism was a statement attributed to President William McKinley which was directed towards an American church group in 1899 (Doc3). His purpose was to justify his decision to take the Philippines for the U.S. rather than give the Philippines their

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