Imperialism In The Late 19Th Century Essay

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Brian Hampton Imperialism In the late nineteenth century a new issue sparked debate within the country. Imperialism was very controversial, with pro-imperialists and anti-imperialists both making strong arguments. The end of the Spanish-American War marked a new chapter in American history. With Spain relinquishing their territories in the west, new territory was up for the taking. Part of the reason for the Spanish American war was to liberate their colonies so they could be self-governed. However this view got lost in the wake of economic expansion. Two political groups that formed within congress were “Imperialists” and “Anti-Imperialists”. Imperialists consisted of the majority of the Republican Party. Imperialists wanted to expand American territory for many reasons. Economically, by colonizing areas such as the Philippines business could grow exponentially. Not only would the islands serve as ports for greater trade, the islands themselves offer more resources such as sugar cane. America annexed Hawaii as a territory in 1898 for these reasons (Visions of America pg 568). Socially, imperialists believed it was their duty to spread American wealth and ideals to the new territories. Nationalism was on the rise following the industrial revolution. Albert Beveridge, a senator from Iowa believed that “the flag has always been on the march” and used biblical quotes to justify the colonization of the Philippines (Congressional Speeches on Imperialism Albert Beveridge). He would also instill the popular justification that these colonies weren’t capable of governing themselves. It would be irresponsible to let anarchy settle in. Anti-imperialists consisted of many different political groups such as progressive reformers, labor activists, and industrialists. Economically they believed that keeping their business separate from the government

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