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HIST 102 Survey of American History II M03: Discussion (4)

Question: What motivated U.S. American expansionism in the 1890s – and perhaps still today? Do you think U.S. foreign policy is primarily an interventionist savior of other nations or an interfering expansionist into the affairs of other nations? Or some of both? Give examples, but focus mainly on events covered in Chapter 18, the documentary excerpts, and image of Uncle Sam teaching a diverse group of students.

The United States has always seemed to have an idea of expansion one way or another, the difference is usually just the reason for it. The first idea for American expansion came from the concept of manifest destiny, but the idea of expansion returned with the idea of western expansion and occupation of plainer states (Louisiana purchase, conquered Spanish territory, and the like) and even the idea of expanding to the southern territories and Caribbean's. With the rise of technological advances in the mid to late 1800's, cities developed ...

further and further, with them came outside suburbs, and an overall improved quality of life. With this in mind, many people believed that the idea of fully colonizing the plainer states seemed far more likely; but that was short lived with sudden and popular rise of world wide expansionism. Colonies started popping up all across the world with so many contenders gunning for the title of superpower. With the idea of expansion burning in the bellies and brains of America's citizenry, soldiery, and even certain politicians, it seemed as though America itself yearned to push itself outwards.

The expansionary era for America is certainly a time of mixed feelings for many who look back at it, and it is not at all hard to see why. Some view the intervention of the United states into their lands as a godsend; which is understandable in a sense, as interfering in matters that don't concern you so that you can help people is the highest peak of heroism. A good example of this is the United States supplying the Cuban rebellion, so they could fight for their freedom from Spain. At the same time though, there were many instances where the United States does more harm than good, and end up leaving a place worse than when they arrived. A good example of this is the country Panama, where the United States only claimed that they would march against their oppressive government along side the rebellion, but in truth they only wanted to make the canal and nothing more. Many claim that the United States are liberators and freedom bringers come to save them from tyranny; others say that they are manipulators and back stabbers who are only interested in helping themselves. As for my own personal stance regarding the opinion of the United States during the expansion era race, I believe that both are true within reason.



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