Was Imperialism a proper and legitimate policy for the United States to follow at the turn of the 19th century?
Imperialism is the policy of extending the rule of authority of an empire or nation over foreign countries or acquiring and holding colonies and dependencies. Now that we know the definition of imperialism we can define how imperialism was seen in the United States. The purposes of the United States to start imperialism were to gain power, land, and products from other countries. The Christian religion got involved when missionaries went to the conquer lands to convert people such as one of its is leaders Rev. Josiah Strong. We can say imperialism was legitimate because the consequences that the United States got in the end were all positive; even though a lot of people suffered through its end.
The positive impacts began when the United States helped Cuba gained its independence against Spain. Thanks to this, USA was seen as a powerful country hungry for power. The country began gaining new land by purchasing Alaska from Russia for 7.2 million dollars and then gain Hawaii by overthrowing the queen and helped the have a coal depot and also the product of sugar; then they went lower and start controlling or being protectorates of countries such as Cuba, Puerto Rico and Panama. The navy, leaded by Alfred T. Mahan, started to become stronger and of higher importance since if they had a good navy they will control trade. The conquest kept going in other islands such as Guam that were used as coal depots and to get products without having to ask for help to other nations. That’s how it was to travel to Japan and the Philippines.
The negative side and reasons why imperialism wasn’t very legitimate was what happened in the Philippines. President McKinley had the best intentions of transforming this country in to a civilized one. He knew that he shouldn’t give it up to Spain again, nor leave it up to Germany or France that were the commercial rivals; so he did what he thought it was the right decision. By sending a governor things become more organized, but many rebellions began. The way they thought they should treated the rebellion issue was by making concentration camps. In a quick summary it was the same situation that happened between Spain and Cuba, but the villain now was USA.
The yellow journalism did their best on exaggerating the situation in Cuba but didn’t mention what was actually happening in the Philippines. In conclusion, the imperialism in the United States was legitimate. It helped the nation grow and become more powerful. It found its easy way to get what it wanted but it reached the goal. Imperialism helped the United States to develop more internationally and the economy increased.