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American Imperialism and Its Effects

Despite the moral ambiguity, American imperialism has played a vital part in forming the superpower nation it is today. At the end of the 19th century, American people had very different perceptions of imperialism and the scope of its influence. Objecting to the idea, the newspaper ‘The Conservative’ (1900) defined it as forcible annexation, which opposed the principles of a democratic government. Media generally supported the anti-imperialist movements at the turn of the century and criticized the country’s policy in Puerto Rico, Hawaii, and the Philippines (“A Definition of Imperialism,” 1900). However, some people agreed with the expansion policies, and I will provide arguments in support of this position.

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At the turn of the century, American imperialism policy was an intelligent move from economic and political points of view. The expansion increased the number of trade routes and available products and provided access to strategic outposts globally (Moore, 2017). Thus, from the position of a businessman, imperialism was a profitable investment, leading to more commerce opportunities. The poll in the newspaper ‘The San Francisco Call’ (1900) transparently demonstrated that the majority of businessmen had supported the expansion. The location of the Philippines was highly advantageous for international trade and could become the “Golden Gate” and a center of shipping (“Poll of the United States,” 1900). As a businessman looking to expand the scope of commerce and influence, American imperialism was a perfect opportunity to achieve these goals. Furthermore, the expansion would inevitably lead to cultural exchange and the adoption of American traditions globally (Moore, 2017). In turn, it would potentially increase the number of trade partners and shift the priority and price of the products (Moore, 2017). Ultimately, as a businessman, I would have extensively supported American imperialism at the turn of the 19th century.


A definition of imperialism. (1900). The Conservative. Web.

Moore, C. D. (2017). American imperialism and the State, 1893-1921. Cambridge University Press.

Poll of the United States on the all-absorbing question of expansion. (1900). The San Francisco Call. Web.

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