UnitedStates’ Global Involvement from the Spanish-AmericanWar until the Cold War
UnitedStates’ Global Involvement from the Spanish-AmericanWar until the Cold War
Fromthe time of the Spanish-American War until the beginning of the ColdWar, the United States went from relative isolation to increasedglobal involvements because of 1 acquiring of territories, 2 growthof the economy and territory, 3 election of WilliamMcKinley, 4 adoption of open door policy, and 5 Americans response toworld war. The consequences on American society of that greaterinvolvement were 6 growths of the economy and government, 7 wars withother countries, and 8 increased scientific innovations.
Oneof the main reasons why the United States increased globalinvolvements in this time was to acquire more territories. Forinstance, acquiring Puerto Rico and Hawaii from Spain was a greatachievement. It opened the way to the Atlantic. Increased investmentin Cuba regarding sugar cane growing expanded the economy of theUnited States1.Cuba, being the first overseas territory was a doorway to expansionin trade. The defeat of Spain in the Spanish-American war had earnedthe United States a lot of respect and, therefore, many otherterritories looked upon them for help2.
Anotherreason why the United States felt compelled was the growth of theeconomy as well as territorial, industrial and population expansionplaced the United States at a limelight. The competition with theEuropeans for the foreign markets aroused the Americans interest inWorld affairs. As a result, there was a great desire to acquirecolonies. The desire for overseas territories was as a result ofcompetition with the Europeans as well as sheer excitement. Theyended up harnessing Hawaii3.TheHawaii Island was a baseline to access East Asia. Therefore, for theUnited States to acquire Hawaiian Island it was a great success. Theyused the sugar cane leverage where growers annexed Hawaii to avoidtariffs initiated by McKinley4.
Thefrontier was significant. Frederick Jackson Turner during a speech in1893 argued that the space left for the explorers, pioneers andsettlers was limited. Increasing the frontier space would lead tomaximization of resources. There was need to create more space forthe foreigners arriving since they were to boost the economy of theUnited States. He claimed that it was the meeting point of thesavagery and civilization5.It would enhance rapid Americanization. He also said that whencultures blend there is an extensive borrowing of cultural practicesthat promoted civilization. The speech had a great impact to theadministration and geographical frontier segments. As a result, therewas promotion of individual democracy.
Inaddition, election of WilliamMcKinley is another factor that theincreased the United States’ involvements in global matters.McKinley was a war hero opened United States to the era ofenlightenment in leadership. Previously, America faced a challenge ofhaving an uninformed political leader. McKinley, unlike otherleaders, concentrated on the economic development of the UnitedStates. There was a new spirit of nationalism. It was a turning pointas America gained a sense of greatness. He had a keen interest incommercial expansion, humanitarianism and Geopolitical self interest.
Annexationof Philippine was ruled by McKinley After acquiring Hawaii, there wasan administration`s disinterest in the Philippines. The reasons wereracial prejudice, pragmatic grounds and moral grounds. As thepresident, McKinley thought that the public was interested inPhilippine6.His opinion was based on business expansion that eyed the East Asianmarkets.
Anotherfactor that changed the United States from isolation to globalinvolvement was the adoption of the opendoor policy. The open policy enhanced the protection of China againstabsorption by the United States from the European countries. Chinawas rich in resources and the United States needed a portion toexpand their trading affairs7.Britain had pursued China for many years about trading interest.Since the Europeans were more industrialized, the Chinese would notmatch their military power. United States introduced the policystating that the rights of all trading countries should be honoredwithout discrimination. The policy made Chinese to be open to theinternational relations8.Itwas to the benefit of the United States and other foreign nationsinterested in trading with the Chinese. However, it was difficult toprotect a nation with two major coasts while they had access to onesea line. Therefore, the idea of constructing the Panama Canal wasinevitable.
ThePanama Canal would give the United States and access to a coastalregion. When the United States negotiated for the construction of thecanal, they reached to an agreement and signed the Hay-PauncefoteTreaty9.The terms were that the canal should be free and open to vessels ofall nations. However, the Colombian senate was not impressed,claiming that the treaty was insufficient. Therefore, the UnitedState ended up acquiring the Republic of Panama and constructed a10mile canal.
Asignificant factor that compelled the United States to get involvedin global maters is need to response to the World War 1. Thiscatalyzed the growing awareness of America to the rest of the world.They blamed the Europeans and demanded that the Europeans should getinvolved in a civilized and law abiding war10.Theycame up with a plan that would fix what had initiated the war. Theyadvocated for open treaties, freedom of overseas to all and freetrade. There was need to use fewer armaments and the colonial systemought to take into account the interests of the native people. TheEuropean boundaries were to be redrawn to give people own government.Finally, they requested for the formation of the League of Nationsthat would protect the member countries against exploitation11.
Afterthe WW1, immigrants were severely restricted. The restrictionfocused on the Chinese labourers and other Asians except the Japaneseand the Philippines, criminals, people who failed to meet certainmoral standards, people with communicable diseases, paupers, radicalsand the illiterates. The reasons for the restriction were: fear overcompetition for jobs, foreign radicalisation of business, religiousanti-Catholicism and racism.
Theincreased global involvement by the United States had consequences onAmerican society. One of the consequences was a fundamentaltransformation of the economy of Americans12.When trade extended to the foreign countries, the foreign relationspromoted the incomes of the United States. Annexation of otherterritories increased the sugar cane farms that were majoragricultural resources. The industrial revolution in the UnitedStates placed it in a competitive position with the Europeans. As aresult, they improved the qualities of their goods. The East Asiabecame accessible for trade hence there was a good market for theirgoods.
Inaddition, there was an increase thein government responsibilities. Electionof William McKinley led to the growth in government. He was a leaderwho did not concentrate much on the shortcomings of the UnitedStates. He focused on the improvement of the economy of the UnitedStates. Therefore, he ended up increasing the number of colonies thatwould facilitate good trading with other nations. As a result ofincreased population and territories there was growth in thegovernment responsibilities. Involvement in the wars also increasedthe government responsibilities. They started taking responsibilitiesover the territories they had already annexed, Philippine included13.
Asa result of involvement in global matters and expansion of theeconomy, the standards of living of Americans improved. There was arise of the middle class that led to a rise in the standards ofliving. People could afford basic needs as they were mainlyproducers. The capitalism made the citizens to be aggressive indetermining their own fate. Prosperous merchants arose that set alight on others. Since they were mainly producers there wereincreased job opportunities in the farms and the trading sector. Lifebecame easy and enjoyable. There was material prosperity. Peoplebecame modernized and there were easier methods of production ofgoods14.However, capitalism promoted the unequal distribution of resources.It led to classes of the rich and the poor. However, since the richcreated job opportunities to the poor, the poor also improved theirstandards of living.
Theeconomy of the United States adopted the consumer culture. Theproduction of goods and services were in the interests of theconsumer. Therefore, goods could be available on credit. The creditexpanded to banks. Banks started giving peoples` credits to acquiregoods and services. Eventually, the United States became a world bankand would give credits to other nations15.There were prosperity and command in the economic sector.
Anotherconsequence of increased global involvement to the American societywas an increase in innovation. Science and technology evolved withindustrialization. Competitive nature led to scientific innovation.About weaponry, they focused on coming up with better weapons thatwould help them get through the war. The weapons were used during theSecond World War. They also established national trend in the style.They led in the new clothes styles and the hairstyles. As a result,there was an improvement in the way Americans viewed themselves. Thenew goods that had been produced out of innovation and creativityneeded to be marketed. Therefore, they came up with advertisement16.Itwas done through the audio, videos, motion pictures and billboards.There was an increased advertisement of new products and services.
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5 Frontier Thesis, Retrieved From, http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/22994?msg=welcome_stranger October 27, 2015
6 McKinley’s Justification for Taking Philippines, Retrieved From, <http://historymatters.gmu.edu/blackboard/mckinley.html> October 27, 2015
7 Chinese Exclusion Act, Retrieved From, https://www.mtholyoke.edu/acad/intrel/chinex.htm October 27, 2015
8 John Hay’s Open Door Circular, Retrieved From, https://www.mtholyoke.edu/acad/intrel/opendoor.htm October 27, 2015
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16 Making of America Archive, Retrieved From, <http://ebooks.library.cornell.edu/m/moa> October 27, 2015