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American imperialism

The age of imperialism in America was relatively short-lived and strange in U.S history. The U.S aggressively pursued oversea colonies, in the 1980s, despite indigenous resistance, and denied the new colonies a pathway to equal statehood and citizenship, which contradicted the U.S handling of continental territories. The Filipino Insurrection of 1899 to 1902 is one of the unsettling episodes illustrating how Americans like to remember their past. Although the U.S drove the Spanish out of Philippines, it denied Filipinos the independence they had been fighting for against the Spanish, and instead took over the islands, treating the Filipinos as colonial subjects. The brutal conflict between Americans and Filipinos over the destiny of the Philippines resulted in the loss of hundreds of thousands of civilian lives. American Imperialism thrived on the ideology that propelled Americans from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean, America’s desire to become a world power, and the demand for new markets and raw materials to sustain the expanding industrial base.

Alfred Thayer Mahan’s concept of sea power significantly influenced America’s expansion outside its borders in pursuit of means to grow the country’s global political influence. The explosion of technological innovations and availability of cheap labor in the Industrial Revolution created new markets and provided access to natural resources. The distinct characteristic of America’s Imperialism was the pursuance of territorial expansion through the acquisition of imperial possessions with no intention whatsoever to provide the affected territories with a path to statehood. Theodore Roosevelt, a major proponent of American Imperialism, aggressively promoted America’s cause through initiatives such as the construction of the Panama Canal, and the use of the Great White Fleet to demonstrate American military power. The articulation of the Roosevelt Corollary to the Monroe Doctrine was crucial in supporting Roosevelt’s claim of the US right to use military force to keep European powers out of Latin America.

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