The Cause & Effects of American Imperialism
Causes of American Imperialism: Hawaii
- There were several complex economic, political and cultural causes behind American imperialism. Americans wanted to annex Hawaii because of its abundant natural resources and arable lands. America, therefore, began a program of imperialism in Hawaii, building huge docks, plantations, banks and stores which the Hawaiians did not like. They forced political and economical change. Queen Liliukalani wanted to end America's influence over Hawaii and created a new constitution. However, the cabinet refused it. The United States soon took over the government's office at Hawaii, and established complete control over Hawaii.
Causes of American Imperialism: Spanish-American War
- The Spanish-American war set America on a new tangent of imperialism. The war happened in spite of Spain's agreement for the concessions that America demanded. America wanted the Spanish troops to withdraw from Cuba and wanted it to become independent. However, Spain resisted this demand from America. In 1898, Congress provided President William McKinley the power to use force in freeing Cuba from Spain, so America declared war on Spain. The war went on until August 1898, when a peace treaty was signed.
Other Causes of American Imperialism
- Theodore Roosevelt was another factor that led to American imperialism. He served as America's Assistant Secretary of State. He had been interested in the American endeavor in the Pacific, and foresaw many commercial and tactical opportunities during those efforts. He wanted to expand America's imperialism in the Pacific. With the same interest in mind, Roosevelt brokered peace between Russia and Japan. This mediation gained him the Nobel Prize for Peace. The mediation also resulted in friendly relations between America and Japan, and added to America's imperialist approach.
Effects of Imperialism
- Imperialism had a great effect on the history of America. It resulted in the emergence of America as a world leader in agriculture and industrial development. A great surplus of goods began to be produced in American factories and industries. It was much more than U.S. demand called for. Agricultural crops like wheat and cotton were also produced in surplus. This surplus demanded the growth of new markets, which were sought through imperialist relations. This also led to the betterment of American economy.