American Imperialism

American Imperialism - Alex MacPherson Venetia Guerrasio...

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Alex MacPherson Venetia Guerrasio 2/22/2008 History 406 Section14 American Imperialism Up until the Spanish-American War in 1898, America had been, rightfully so, an isolationist country . Isolationism is a foreign policy that avoids international alliances and foreign wars, that are not a direct threat to national security . This is ideal for newly formed countries with a wide range of serious domestic issues . America declared independence in 1776 and had just became a stable country when the Civil War began in 1861, which turned the national focus to civil liberties . Soon after the war had ended many American minorities began a campaign for equal rights, including African Americans, women and worker unions. However, it wasn't long until the scope of this civil liberties movement widened to foreign nations . Many people, including President McKinley, argued that the repressed people of foreign nations “could not be disregarded by a liberty-loving and Christian people ...” (McKinley, 885) . However, Carl Schurz, a fierce critic of American Imperialism, points out that “ ...our easy victories [against the Spanish Empire] had put conquest within our reach, and when our arms occupied foreign territory, a loud demand arose that ... the conquests should be kept ...” (Schurz, 886). America should not have shifted their foreign policy so early in their existence while there were so many domestic issues yet to be addressed and therefore neither politician has a convincing argument . -1-
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William McKinley, President from 1897-2001, was a devout supporter of American Imperialism . He argued that it was in response to the American people's “conscious” and not “the result of crusade or conquest” that Cavite, Ponce and Santiago are under control of the American armed forces (McKinley, 885) . McKinley was a strong believer in that it was the “supreme duty” of America to spread freedom to the oppressed (McKinley, 885) . This is especially ironic considering America's record of oppressing not only women but African Americans, Native Americans and every minority not considered to be the original settlers of the colonies . Under McKinley, America had begun to ignore its own history of oppression and inequality to oppressing the oppressors of other nations
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This note was uploaded on 09/16/2008 for the course HIST 406 taught by Professor Guerrasio during the Spring '08 term at New Hampshire.

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American Imperialism - Alex MacPherson Venetia Guerrasio...

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