The term American Imperialism is when the United States expanded its role in the late 1800s for economic advantages. There were European countries already taking over much larger areas such as Africa and Asia. They were taking them over to turn them into colonies later. By definition, Imperialism means to take control of the government and the economy of another country or nation generally done by conquest. So how did the United States become an imperialistic world power? By taking over the Hawaiian Islands. Then the Spanish American War broke out and the United States was able to take over Guam, the Philippines, Cuba, and Puerto Rico. The United States was looking to grow larger by forcing policies that sought to expand its economic, political, and military objective.
During this time of the takeover where the United States was adopting imperialism the Monroe Doctrine was born. The Monroe Doctrine was written in 1823 and played a huge role in changing the policies in the 19th century. This doctrine increased ideas of imperialism by stating that it was helping to reduce the colonization of the European countries that were being taken over.
The pro-imperialist believed that imperialism was a great idea. They thought it was considered “manifest destiny”. That is, they felt that it was only right that the United States had the right to take over all the North American continent. This was then led to the idea of the United States taking over the entire world. The United States was succeeding with producing goods and was actually producing more than the citizens could use. This is when the United Stated began to look overseas to see what kind of industrial economy they could takeover.
The anti-imperialist did not like the idea of the United States taking over the world. These people felt that imperialism was not just. They did not feel as if the United States had a right to take over any country that they so chose simply because it could. It felt as if military was taking advantage of other countries. They formed the American Anti-imperialist League. The anti-imperialist also felt that by continuing in imperialism the citizens would soon lose their freedoms. All in all, they felt as if the government was demanding our citizens to go to war simply because we had the manpower and ability to do so. The anti-imperialist felt this was a negative thing towards the citizens of the United States and did not allow for the freedom that was promised.
All the illustrations provided within the assignment files give this same glimmer of the anti-imperialist ideas. They all illustrate government as being large, lazy and silly looking people that are demanding things from others and not taking on the burden of life on their own.
In the late 1800s the United States noticed that Europe was beginning to take over other countries by imperialism. The United States then felt as if they were strong enough and powerful enough to do the same. This began the American Imperialism of the late 1800s. The United States started by taking over the Hawaiian Islands and soon took over several other countries through the Spanish American War. As in everything there were people for and people against the Imperialism of the United States. The pro-imperialists saw the power that was being gained from gaining these new countries and all of the supplies that were being brought in. The anti-imperialist was against imperialism because they felt that as a powerful country we should not be going to war whenever we felt like it is demanding our citizens to fight simply because we can.