The History of American Imperialism

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Updated: Mar 28, 2022
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“American imperialism” refers to the economic, military and cultural impact of the United States on other countries. The beginning of Industrialization made American businessmen want to seek for new international markets where they could sell and receive goods. Following the Spanish American war in 1898 some argue that this was the beginning of American imperialism, but I believe that America has always been around in America, but it is know taking different forms. Westward expansion is a good example of America always wanting to be imperialistic Americans at the time were moving west to seek new land, but the native Americans were already living there.

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In the beginning the colonial Americans tried to be friendly and accommodate them but slowly as more people started coming conflict began to arise. They wanted native Americans to be like them and tried to slowly make them assimilate with them by sending them to schools to become more American and kicking them off the land that they had owned and forcing them onto reservations this caused conflict between colonials and native Americans for example sitting bull.

After the sinking of the USS Maine where America blamed Spain for the sinking of their ship America acquired Guam and Puerto Rico along with the purchase of the Philippines Twenty million dollars from Spain, and seized control of Cuba. This is when Rudyard Kipling to write his famous poem the White Man’s Burden. The inclusion of the Philippines also shows the push for imperialism from President McKinley who soon launched a campaign for the benevolent assimilation of the Philippines. This can relate back to westward expansion when Americans were trying to force the assimilation of Native Americans like with the attempt to assimilate native Americans it lead to conflict in the Philippines which lead to the killing of many American soldiers and even more Philippine soldiers. Also during this time the United States annexed Hawai’i, which gave Americans access to Hawai’i’s ports, military weapons that previously belonged to the government of Hawai’i.

I agree with Kramer in that Americans have always sought out to expand, Starting in America with westward expansion and eventually working their way out to regions by the us causing things like the Spanish American war which we gained three territories along with the guerilla wars in the Philippines which was caused by the attempt for Americans trying to assimilate the Philippines. Though the Spanish American war was a turning point in American imperialism I do not think it is the first time America has sought to expand they are now just moving out side of the united states to gain land for military power along with the owing of new lands.

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The History of American Imperialism. (2020, Mar 09). Retrieved from