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Policy of Imperialism

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In the late 1800s and early 1900s the majority of American people supported a policy of imperialism. Imperialism is the practice of one country extending its control over the territory, political system, or economic life of another country. Political opposition to this foreign domination is called “anti-imperialism.”

The U.S. had followed basic policy of isolationism since the War of 1812. The U.S. had concentrated on the Civil War, winning the West, and the Industrial Revolution. There were some exceptions to policy of isolation right after the Civil War and included: “The Secretary of State Seward negotiated purchase of Alaska and the annexation of Midway Island” and “France forced out of Mexico as the U.S. considered France to be violating the Monroe Doctrine.The other great nations of the word were engaged in imperialism. Africa, Asia, and the Pacific islands were the targets of imperialism. Imperialistic nations included: Great Britain, France, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Japan, Russia and Italy.

Some other reasons for american imperialism was: the Economic need for new markets–colonies usually traded with the mother country. The concept of the “White Man’s Burden, the belief that American civilization was superior and it needed to be exported to “inferior” nations whether they wanted it or not. The need for naval bases as Mahan’s Influence of Sea Power on History becomes an influential book. The application of Social Darwinism to international relations in that the “Survival of the fittest” applied to nations. And “Yellow Journalism” or the fight for newspaper circulation.

A positive effect is seen in document one called “Modern Progressive Nations,” it shows how the larger nations gave to the smaller colonies. The nations built them roads, canals, and railways. Showed them the telegraph, newspaper, established schools for them, gave them the blessing of their civilization, and overall made them economized. They were part of modern culture after this occurred. Another positive effect is seen in document three called “Colonial Governments and Missionaries. ” It shows how the colonial governments introduced improved medical care, and better methods of sanitation. There were new crops; tools and farming methods, which helped, increase food production. These changes meant less death to smaller colonies, and overall improve the state of living. They now could live longer and have better sanitation compared to the earlier imperialism.

A negative effect is seen document two-called “Colonization.” In the picture you can see that the colonies doing the mother countrys hard work did not civilize the smaller colonies. They were put to work as cheap labor. They had no freedom, had to do what the mother country said since it has so much towering power over them, they were exploited and were taken advantage of. Another negative effect is seen in document four called “Missionaries.” In this quote you can see that when the white people came to the Africans they had nothing but power over them. They came with the Bible and no land, and instead took their land and forced the religion Christianity upon them. In document five-called “The White Man,” another negative effect occurs. In this little tale or quote, David Diop talks about how the whites came and killed the innocent.

This had many negative effects on Africa such as the African’s were put to work as slaves but more like cheap labor. Many of them dies from this, they were resettled, exploited, weren’t taken at their free will and took all of their land. The last negative effect can be seen in document seven called “The German Cartoon.” This cartoon shows how severely the presence of imperialism affected such continents as Africa. The man in the machine is being forced to drink hard liquor and alcohol, they were corrupted and given evil minds, their money was all taken away, and most of all religion was forced upon them.

Imperialism is never considered as a good cause and effect. At first when it occurs it may seem as a positive effect, but in the long run, for example in this case it was a negative effect. All Africans and Asians were heavily exploited and were given no rights to do anything even though the mother countries gave them modern culture. Colonies inside colonies would fight because they wanted independence and have their own government and rule. There were many ethnics group that had nationalistic feelings but could not accomplish anything and become a free nation because of Imperialism. The mother country’s that did the taking over were only after a few things and unfortunately did happen to accomplish what they were after. They wanted raw materials, markets for goods, national glory, balance of power and they also felt as though they needed to help smaller nations as though it was their burden, which Europeans called “White Man’s Burden.” In their point of view they thought they were helping people but really all they were doing was hurting the smaller colonies. Mother countries were destroying ethnic groups and causing civil wars between smaller nations. This newer modern Imperialism was never productive.

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