Imperialism Dbq Analysis

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In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the United States began to grow into an empire. Within the United States, policies of both expansionism, the policy of territorial or economic expansion, and imperialism, the policy of placing a nation under the political, military, or economic control of another nation, were considered. The United States’ first large step toward an empire came with the Spanish American War, a war fought because the United States wanted to buy Cuba from Spain during the Cuban revolution. However, after the war, the United States did not gain Cuba. Instead, it later gained Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Philippines from Spain, beginning the process of turning the United States into an imperialist power. The United…show more content…
Cooper, argues that overseas expansion is positive because it will unite Americans around a common cause, helping to bring whites and blacks together. Cooper’s purpose in Document 1 is to promote expansionism as a way to unite Americans and to create a more unified culture in America. Cooper’s purpose is significant because it supports overseas expansion because of expansion’s domestic cultural benefits: overseas expansion will create a more unified United States. Document 3 also supports overseas expansion because of its potential social impacts. In it, President William McKinley argues that overseas expansion will be culturally beneficial to the Philippines because it will educate and Christianize Filipinos, improving Filipino culture. McKinley’s point of view is that of a white, powerful president attempting to shape public opinion. McKinley’s point of view is significant because it reveals that the upper echelons of American society supported expansionism not only because of its potential economic benefits but also because of its cultural implications. Document 5 corroborates with Document 3. In it, Theodore Roosevelt argues that the United States must control the Philippines because the…show more content…
Document 7 is an image of an eagle stretching itself to reach the Philippines, Panama, and Puerto Rico, all areas where the United States expanded. The Document is captioned “this is an awful stretch”, indicating that expansionism will stretch the United States to its breaking point, ruining it. Document 2 also exhibits concern for the United States if expansionism is promoted. It is from a speech by William Graham Sumner in which he argued that expansionism will ruin the American concept of liberty by denying conquered people liberty. The context of Sumner’s speech was a period of United States expansion into new territories as well as limitations of the rights of the citizens of these new territories. The context of Sumner’s speech is significant because it highlights the real threats to democracy and liberty that occurred as a result of expansionism. Expansionism denied people their rights, opponents voiced well founded concerns over its impacts on the essence of America. Document 4 voices concerns over expansionist war and its impacts on Americans. In document 4, the author, Jane Addams, states that expansionism will promote war and violence, destroying America in the process. Addams purpose is to highlight the darker potential social impacts of overseas expansion. Her purpose is significant because it reveals that not all potential

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