HST 203 paper 1 - Expansionism's Effect on the American...

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Expansionism’s Effect on the American People February 22 nd , 2011 Jewell Debnam Section 001 As the United States became a world power that maintained strong economic and military power due to global expansion many advocates and critics of expansionism felt as though it was their duty to help natives in other countries while defending America. Most businessmen, farmers and working class people believed that it was the United States duty to expand overseas. As they had predicted, global expansion and military expenditures increased the nation’s wealth. During the 1890’s many business, agricultural and political leaders agreed that the United States needed to expand overseas in order to secure the nation’s economic interests. Intrigued by the idea Senator Albert Beveridge agreed that, “we are making more than we can use. Therefore, we must find new markets for our products, new occupations for our capital, new work for our labor” (Beveridge, Who Built America?, p. 149). By expanding in other countries the United
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States now had an overseas empire that was backed by a standing army, which had nearly quadrupled from its original size. The internal affairs that the United States had with other countries helped shape the experiences well into the twentieth century. Although there was much support for expansionism overseas, not all Americans approved of it. Mark Twain, Grover Cleveland, Andrew Carnegie, Jane Addams and Samuel Gompers all became supporters of a group called the Anti-Imperialist League. Carnegie believed that, “Possession of colonies or dependencies is not necessary for trade reasons” (Carnegie, Who Built America? P.153). Even though the group was composed of strong leaders and supporters, Anti-Imperialists were a small representation of the population. The United States became an imperial country not only because of their economic and military power, but because of their virtue. The United States adopted a strong sense of moral righteousness that Beveridge continually expresses in his speech. During his speech he said, “Shall the American people continue their resistless march toward the commercial supremacy of the world? Shall free institutions broaden their blessed reign as the children of liberty wax in strength, until the empire of our principles is established over the hearts of all mankind? Have we no mission to perform, no duty to our fellowman?” (Beveridge, March of the Flag, p.1) There was also a racist dimension of imperialism that Beveridge states in the “March of the Flag.” He
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HST 203 paper 1 - Expansionism's Effect on the American...

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