Was American Imperialism Justified
There is a big debate on the U.S.’s actions in the late 19th century and early 20th. The argument is that the U.S. is being hypocritical, and are acting like Great Britain once was, and being very unfair to the early stage of our country. However, unlike Britain, the U.S. is spreading good ideals, like freedom and democracy, which strengthened our country enough to be viewed as a world power and trying to help other nations, territories, and protectorates.
One example of the way the U.S.’s imperialism helped a nation is in Cuba. In the late 1890s, Cuba begged for the help of the U.S as General Weyler was hurting the people. The Cubans were so desperate for an intervention, they burned American crops to get the attention of the American public. The U.S. intervening caused less death for the people of Cuba than if they hadn’t gotten involved. They also imposed tariffs, to protect the Cuban economy from collapsing in its vulnerable state, which strengthened the country as a whole.
Another example of the way that U.S. imperialism helped another nation is the Open Door Policy in China. The goal of this was to stop spheres of influence and/or potential monopolies in China. The United States also wanted an equal opportunity to trade in China. This laid down the foundation for China to flourish as a nation. Through the U.S.’s efforts, China benefited both socially and economically.
The people were happy so many foreign countries had stopped interfering, and they now had a more diverse understanding of the world and had new markets in their industries, which improved their economy. A third example of a good way America interfered was with Hawaii. If the U.S. had just left Hawaii alone, it would’ve probably been annexed by Japan, as it would’ve made a wonderful naval base for them. The Japanese were, at that time, very aggressive with their colonizing practices.
When the U.S. annexed Hawaii, they were able to have another base in the Pacific, stop more aggressive and rival countries from taking over Hawaii instead, and overall benefited the Hawaiian people with new markets, democracy, security, and overall better life. A final example of essential U.S intervention was the war between the U.S. and the Philippines. After it, the U.S. wanted to ensure the safety of the Philippines from other countries who would take advantage of its fragile state. The U.S put in place laws that laid the foundation for future independence. The U.S influence allowed for the Philippines government to hold off foreign nations and create a stable government and economy.
In conclusion, the United States’s influence in other nations is not only justified but obligated. Without American imperialism in many nations, territories, and protectorates, many would’ve been taken advantage of and would not be close to the full potential they have achieved today.