American Imperialism in the Nineteenth Century As a growing nation, the United States felt the need to continue expansion for the benefit of all citizens. Territorial development allows for growth in population and natural resources to produce goods and supply services for prosperity. To acquire or control territories, forcible means would sometimes be used, otherwise known as imperialism. This paper will describe imperialism more intently. Advantages of imperialism will be discussed, as well as some of the disadvantages.
The new Manifest Destiny differed from the old in that it consisted of expansion to foreign areas to improve trade and contribute to the growth of the American economy; however it remained the same in that American citizens believed their reasons for expansionism were justified by God’s given right and that they were even saving the people of the territories by the spread of Anglo-Saxon values. Differing from past imperialism eras, the expansion of the 20th century dealt with foreign countries and the intervention of many foreign affairs (Doc G). The beginning of American expansion into Latin America began with a boundary dispute between Venezuela and Britain in the late 1890’s. A nervous President Cleveland threatened war with the British, who were a potential threat to America’s security with their presence in Venezuela. After this affair, America defended all of the Latin American countries and protected them under the Monroe Doctrine and the Roosevelt Corollary.
All the facts point straight towards imperialism, such as building a naval base on Pearl Harbor and granting favored-nation status to control the economy of Hawaii. The United States wanted control of Hawaii because of its strategic location in the Pacific and Hawaii is in fact very militarized for this reason. Another reason why the U.S. wanted to annex Hawaii is because of the economic benefits of having more land to grow various crops on, most notably
“Cultural imperialism is the practice of promoting, distinguishing, separating, and artificially injecting the culture or language of one nation in another” Usually, the country who is colonizing must be large and economically powerful to influence a smaller and less affluent nation. When arguing about American cultural imperialism, one must refer to the United States as the “American Empire” This term expresses the “historical expansionism and the current political, economical, and cultural influence” of the United States on the world. American cultural imperialism redefines cultures and creates cultural diversity. Cultures all over the world are seeing their basic beliefs altered in significant ways. Cultural diversity promotes equality by minimizing differences.
The concept of human capital theory is based on developing people by investing in them, with the aim of making them more useful and more valuable to the society (Fincher, 2007). It emphasises that competitive advantage is achieved by developing skills that are rare and non-transferable. Similar to other types of investment, human capital investment requires an initial cost, this could be in form of tuition fees, earnings foregone during the training period, course fees etc. (Blundell et al., 1999).These investment in people is expected to produce returns much greater than the initial cost of training. The cold war (1946-1991) which was a battle for economic, military, political, and technological supremacy was one of the major driving factors of human capital theory (Fincher, 2007).
Expansion of the British Empire By the mid to end of the 1800’s Britain had gained a foothold in many countries across the world and in particular in North America, South Africa, West Indies, India and Australia as can be seen by the following map dated 1887. Expansion through imperial warfare with France and Spain, land taking from Indians, mercantilist policies, and salutary neglect helped the British monarchy expand from monocarp plantation colonies in the West Indies to a more diversified economic and social structure in the eastern colonies of North America. The main reasons why Britain expanded their empire was because they wanted to prove and to show to the rest of the world that they were more powerful than most other countries and they succeeded in this as they had colonized with many countries. Britain weren’t the only country trying to prove their power as they had a few opponents who had prevented Britain succeeding quicker and with no hassle. The French and the Dutch were the other main Empire builders as they, as well as Britain, had aimed for similar countries and this caused many disagreements and frustration between these countries.
Europe gained many territories due to the advancements in technology. The four main causes of New Age Imperialism were political, economic, religious/humanitarian interests and also social Darwinism. Although they were both forced to modernize in similar ways, they were still very different. During new age imperialism china and japan were controlled by Britain to change in order to improve the advance their ways of life. Although they were both forced to change.
Some may say it was a “necessary evil”, because Imperialistic powers took control of their lands, which brought about many achievements, both industrial and economical, and modernized the areas they took control of. Imperialism also affected those who didn’t fall victim, by waking them up and making them realize a new age was forming, an age of progress and modernization. For some countries,
Much of this investment came from already industrialized countries like Germany, Great Britain, and France whose business owners looked for new investment opportunities in the United States. These investors put money into the work of mechanics and engineers with the expertise to develop new, more efficient ways of mass-producing goods. Machines benefited the United States by allowing business owners to specialize in the production of goods and manufacture them in large quantities to distribute throughout the nation or export. As a result, the cost of mass-produced goods went down as their quantity went up causing industrial profits to rise. With the creation of transcontinental railroads and telephones, marketing nationally was available to distribute these goods.
Why did colonization take place? Well if you look at jarred diamonds theory he believes that it is all to do with geographical factors such as terrain, animals and food supply within a certain country. Colonization also took place to expand a countries wealth and power. They then used this new found wealth and power to enforce there will onto the indigenous inhabitants of this newly found country. The colonialists would use their superior power to force the local inhabitants into a labour force, some may call this exploitation and in many cases it was but along with all this exploitation and violence was a new found infrastructure government system.