United States Expansionism

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To what extent was late nineteenth-century and early twentieth-century United States expansionism a continuation of past United States expansionism and to what extent was it a departure? It was in the late 19th century that the United States entered an era of imperialism. Expansionism was very popular during this time period and the United States was not excluded from its rising trend. The country joined the other world powers in expanding their influential grip over the smaller and less developed nations of the world. Small crops of protest did emerge in response to the growing imperialist power, notably the American Anti-Imperialist League, but they had no large impact on the growing policy of expansionism that continued throughout the time…show more content…
The clergyman Josiah Strong claimed that God especially trained the “Anglo-Saxon race” as it was their job to take care of the world’s future in which the whites would eventually emerge as the superior race. This followed in line of thinking with “The white man’s burden” that had been created by Rudyard Kipling. America was expected to continue expanding because of the closing of the frontier in the west. It was naturally expected that due to the “survival of the fittest, America would continue to expand in expressing its dominance. Senator Beveridge also used divine justification in his speech to the congress upon why the United States would not be leaving the Philippines and continue to exercise control over it. He declared that God had chosen them, the white Anglo-Saxons, as his chosen people. He also employed tactics of Social Darwinism when he spoke of how it was their duty to lead the regeneration of the world. Expansionists and imperialists of the time used God and other divine reasoning to justify the intrusions made into foreign…show more content…
Their efforts were not successful on a large scale because of the great momentum the movement had taken up in the end of the 19th century. The political cartoonist Thomas Nast, renowned for exposing the infamous misdeeds of Boss Tweed, created the cartoon depicted in Document A. It shows the great powers England, Germany, and Russia divvying up the world into their spoils bags, which parodies imperialism and shows its viewed immorality. Nast’s drawing is an attempt to detach the United States from similarities to the expansionist nations by showing the injustice of their actions. More blatant in desire against expansionism and imperialism was the American Anti-Imperialist league, who attempted to dissuade the Americans from continuing to pursue overseas ventures, especially in the Philippines. It was their claim that the expansionists were destroying the “America institutions”, the constitution. On these grounds they tried to prevent the further war and bloodshed in the Philippines and other countries that might bear the same fate in the future if America continued to expand. (Docs A, D) The departure from expansionism was relatively small during this time period while its continuation and progression flourished. It was not in the mentality of the people at the time to stay within ones’ borders and the United States was following the trend of imperialism on its
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