Nicholas RussoMoloney2Chapter 27: Empire and ExpansionIntroductionAfter the Civil War, Americans were absorbed by domestic affairs such as Reconstruction, building an industrial economy, improving cities, and settling the West. Foreign affairs were of little interest.However, in the last decades of the 19thcentury, foreign policy and American diplomacy were crafting an empire. This was a departure from its anticolonial traditions. The U.S. was now a world power.America Turns OutwardOverseas expansion was demanded by farmers and factory owners who wanted new markets, they might help to relieve the pressures of labor violence, agrarian unrest, and robust growth.Many were excited about overseas involvement from writing that described the outside world as an adventure. Americans could spread their religion, values, and civilization to “backward peoples.”Americans like Theodore Roosevelt and Senator Henry Cabot Lodge were convinced that the earth belonged to the strong and fit. With other global powers colonizing Africa, America would have to become an imperial power if it wished to compete.The development of a new steel navy helped as well, Captain Alfred Thayer Mahan argued that the sea was the key to dominance in The Influence of Sea Power upon History, 1660-1783 (1890).He helped to create a naval race among powers. Americans now wanted a mightier navy and an American built canal between the Atlantic and Pacific.James G. Blaine pushed for the “Big Sister” policy, which would rally Latin American nations under the leadership of the U.S. In 1889, the first Pan-American Conference was held in Washington D.C.American experienced diplomatic crises and near-wars in the 1880s and 1890s with the nations of Germany, Italy, Chile, and Canada. Most were dispute over small, distant islands. This demonstrated the aggressive new national mood.One crisis was between the U.S. and Britain in 1895-96. A boundary dispute between Britain and Venezuela prompted President Cleveland and secretary of state Richard Olney to impose the Monroe Doctrine. Cleveland urged Congress to create a final line. If the British refused, America would fight.War seemed inevitable, but Britain had other worries and did not want a war with the U.S. They backed off and this created an era of friendly relations, the Great Rapprochement or reconciliation.Spurning the Hawaiian PearHawaii was a way station and provisioning point for American ships during the early 19thcentury. In 1820, the first New England missionaries arrived. Hawaii became and important center for sugar.In the 1840s, Americans started to warn other nations to keep their hands off the islands, and in 1887, America gained naval-base rights at Pearl Harbor through a treaty with the native government.