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Expansionism Dbq

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United States expansionism in the late nineteenth-century and early twentieth-century is both a continuation and a departure of past United States expansionism. Expansionism in the United States has occurred for many reasons. Power (from land), religion, economics, and the ideas of imperialism and manifest destiny are just a few reasons why the U.S. decided to expand time and again throughout the course of its 231 year history. Expansionism has evolved throughout the years as the inhabitants of the country have progressed both socially (the Second Great Awakening, the women's suffrage movement, the populist party and the early 19th and 20th century social reformers) and economically (factories, better farms, more jobs, etc.) Expansion changed from non-interference policies to the democratic control of the government as the United States grew in both size and population. Through the use of the documents and events during two major-expansion time periods (1776-1880) and 1880-1914), I will display both the continuation and departure trends of United States expansionism.

The departure from previous expansionism (up to 1880) developed alongside the tremendous changes and amplifications of United States power (in government, economics, and military.) The growth in strength and size of the United States' navy gave the country many more opportunities to grow, explore, and expand both in size and money. The better range and build of ships allowed the U.S. to enter the far-east "trade and money" lands of the Philippines (eventually a territory) and China. Because of the huge production of agricultural goods and the need for outputs and markets for these goods, the United States needed to find other places for shipping, trading, buying, and selling--and the far east was just the place. The idea of Manifest Destiny and placing faith in God also allowed the United States to expand farther out into what once were unattainable (almost unthinkable) lands. Document C, authored by Mahan, the great naval writer, is great at explaining the three necessary obligations of sea power, as well as expressing the extreme importance of the navy during late 1800's expansionism. Additionally, the speech by Senator Albert Beveridge (Document E) further states the importance of the U.S. expanding into the Pacific Ocean (especially the Phillipines) and trading with eastern countries: "...the pacific is the ocean of the commerce of the future...the power that rules the Pacific is the power that rules the world...forever the American Republic." Teddy Roosevelt was an excellent advocator of Beveridge's and Mahan's notions--he (through the Roosevelt Corollary--a quite evident departure from any past notion of United States expansionism) and true formalizer of "imperialism" in the United States made the acquisition of foreign territories socially acceptable and achievable. Roosevelt, the "Rough Rider", gave the people of the United States the drive and desire to expand--through his piercing, shrill voice, and his emotional energetic speeches--as well as his actions--his need to "see dirt fly" when speaking about the Panama Canal (another U.S. expansion project).

The United States has progressed steadily in all of its departures from previous expansionism--as Nast states in Document A, the United States was almost nowhere to be found during the game of "World Plundering", but after a strong navy was created, the U.S. could easily withstand any competition involving expansionism and naval sea (and world) supremacy. Take Document G ("American Diplomacy" cartoon: 1900) for proof--after a strong navy existed in the U.S., Uncle Sam was standing at the footstep of China's "Open Door" policy, reading to enter and holding a key representing American Diplomacy. The huge influx of immigrants (from both Asia and the "Old World") would soon bring both great triumphs and problems to the United States. An omnipresent issue is always the prejudice and resentment from natives or other foreigners competing for jobs, as well as the small chance of citizenship for newly acquired lands was constantly a problem. Also, the lack of money and "room" for people to pursue the American Dream was also an issue--jumping social classes and "getting rich quick" was difficult with the lack of capital in newly expanded lands and territories. The power of the navy was clearly something the U.S. had never seen in previous expansion, but was absolutely crucial once discovered.

The Panic of 1893 contributed to the growing mood of expansionism, and influential politicians such as McKinley, Lodge, and Roosevelt advocated a more aggressive approach (a departure from previous expansionism ideas) to foreign policy. The Spanish War (fought because of the brutality of the Spanish toward the Cubans [and the right of the U.S. to get involved because of the Monroe Doctrine], the U.S. came into the possession of Cuba, Puerto Rico, and the



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