Why was Imperialism Effective?

The powerful philosophy of manifest destiny and America’s relentless fighting capabilities popularized imperialism. Various foreign policy events that occurred in America were dealt with by simply conquering them. Imperialism can be defined as a policy of extending a country’s power and influence through diplomacy or military force. Many Americans truly believed that their country would aspire to one day rule the world. We may see this idea as a little ridiculous but nevertheless imperialism was the main option used by America for handling foreign policy during the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. Imperialism was an effective choice for dealing with foreign affairs which can be seen through the Spanish American War, the conquering of the Philippines, and Hawaii.

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With an abundance of sugar it is no mystery that Cuba would have made a valuable resource to America. When the Cuban revolts occurred America had sought an opportunity to get involved and proclaim it’s dislike for Spain. When the USS Maine was sent over and sunk America took the opportunity to blame Spain and illude the people that Spain was their enemy.

This public outrage led to a cry for imperialism and the Spanish American war begun. America was set on conquering Cuba and the many territories Spain possessed. When the war was over the Teller Amendment proclaimed to the world that when America had overthrown Spanish misrule, it would give Cubans freedom. This spread of freedom was the the philosophy of manifest destiny which fueled the drive for American imperialism.

Seen as a stepping stone of imperialism leading to Asia, the Philippines, was a valuable location and contained many raw materials. Instead of seeking to add the Philippines as a state, America sought the conquest of the Philippines as an imperialist colony that they would rule either formally or informally. They oppressed the people which led to many revolts causing the Philippine American War. Battling the Philippines, the country could now have the right to exploit these natural resources and use it to gain profits. Although, after the war and many mass killings of the people, America allowed the Phillipines to have its independance. Their Imperial tactics however, carried on and led to the conquering of many more territories. Hawaii was a key territory affected by the reign of American imperialism. America had took over the land and overthrew the queen in order to mass produce resources such as sugar.

This destroyed the natives economy because resources had far less value after being largely produced. America was greatly benefited from the conquering of Hawaii and it ultimately provided us with an upper hand both economically and strategically for war and trade. This is a prime example of how imperialism has paid off for America throughout the late 1800s and early 1900s. Imperialism had allowed for America to expand and prosper.

Imperialism was a useful option of controlling foreign policy which we see in the Spanish American War, the conquering of the Philippines, and Hawaii. It gave America much of the territory we own today and gave us the valuable resources we needed through conquest. It spread America’s culture and the philosophy of manifest destiny. Imperialism largely increased the country’s power and spread freedom. Democracy was a form of government also spread throughout American imperialism. Imperialism was not very intricate and was a very effective tactic that allowed for the country to evolve.

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Why Was Imperialism Effective?. (2022, Sep 28). Retrieved November 30, 2022 , from

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