It's commonly known that imperialism is the deliberate policy of a country to extend its power over land and resources by acquiring colonial territories.
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In the 19th century, the United States was struggling to find a place in the world. They didn’t have many ambitions, and they were struggling for places in the world as late as 1901.
During the early 1900s, leaders like William McKinley, FDR, and Theodore Roosevelt played a significant part in imperialist pursuits. They were key players who helped shape the Spanish-American War and the rise of American colonialism.
American imperialism is motivated by several factors, including political and economic motivations. Strategically, they promote nationalism and patriotism, while economically they look to areas with natural resources. Geographically, it fuels their expansion across the continent. Lastly, cultural and scientific reasons also cause their technological advances so that imperialism can endure.
The United States, along with other countries in Europe, sought to find new markets for trade. It furthered its power through colonialism and took part in shaping African boundaries to achieve its strategic goals. It expanded into Asia with European influence and also used humanitarianism as a way of garnering global attention and financial support for countries that were often seen as poor by Europeans.
Sen. Henry M. Teller proposed an amendment to the declaration of war by the United States against Spain that called for independence for Cuba after it was liberated from Spanish rule.
Americans finally became aware that they could use the power of the United States to meddle with countries that didn’t look out for their interests. The amendment was known as the Platt Amendment because it was sponsored by Senator Orville Platt, and it would be the first to go outside of domestic legislation.
The United States and Latin American countries have been in tense relations for decades. But it’s only recently that scholars are beginning to understand how these tensions developed, and how the use of force by the United States led to an increase in U.S. expansionism in Latin America. The first significant invasion crisis happened in 1905 and was caused by European creditors who threatened attack on a debt-stricken country—a country that was within the sphere of responsibility of the United States.”
With the arrival of a submarine in Cuba, the United States shifted from thinking strategically about Latin America to planning for a canal in Costa Rica. Since then, Americans have constructed a Central American canal, hoping to create a legacy from President Roosevelt’s leadership. The new waterway would facilitate trade and save money by shortening transport times.
The people behind the creation of the Panama Canal faced challenges such as flooding from frequent tropical storms, rocky terrain, and high temperatures. Whether it was to tame a wild river or dam its course, the Panama Canal had to be built.
When construction workers came to Panama, they were completely unaware of the medicine and medical supplies stocked in America. First-hand knowledge of infectious diseases, what dangers are still prevalent in Panama, and Gorgas’ efforts to prevent it proved inadequate. Although more than 5,000 workers died during this time period, William C. Gorgas tried to do the best he could but his efforts weren’t enough because of a lack of medical expertise.
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