• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

To What Extent can it be argued that America Had an Imperialist Policy, Which Contradicted the Ideals Set down, By the Declaration of Independence?

Extracts from this document...


To What Extent can it be argued that America Had an Imperialist Policy, Which Contradicted the Ideals Set down, By the Declaration of Independence? "Annexation of the Philippines, the anti-imperialists protested over and over again, violated the very principles of independence and self determination on which the country (America) was founded." The above quotation summarises the key themes of this essay and the issues that will be explored. To examine the extent to which America had an imperialist policy, which contradicted the ideals, set down by the declaration of independence we must first analyse the terms used within the question and look at the ideals specified in the declaration of independence. Examples of when America showed this imperialist policy must then be examined to find to what extent they had one. Finally it must be investigated into reasons why America may have taken a turn towards imperialism which they were so strongly against when they broke from Britain's rule in 1776. After thoroughly investigating and analysing the mentioned areas I will draw my conclusions as to the extent that America had an imperialist policy which contradicted the ideals set down by the declaration of independence. To begin with I shall explore the meaning of imperialism so that the question can be fully interpreted and answered fully. There are two meanings for the word imperialism below is the dictionary definition, which I will explain shortly. ...read more.


In America at the time few people liked the idea of imperialism, expanding had shown them benefits such as those of California and Oregon but imperialism meant control over other peoples by military conquest or economic domination which they did not want to be a part of. These attitudes however began to change as the end of the frontier was reached, as John A Kasson, a diplomat said in the North American Review: 'We are rapidly utilising the whole of our continental territory. We must turn our eyes abroad, or they will soon look inward upon discontent.' Again this view explored that expanding was something that came naturally once all a nations land was occupied. Now that the question has been explained and reasons for imperialism explored I shall continue to discuss examples to show to what extent America had an imperialist policy. The first example of America advancing towards an imperialist policy can be seen as the introduction of the Monroe Doctrine, which was expressed during President James Monroe's seventh annual message to congress in December 1823. Within this doctrine it was expressed that America felt that European powers no longer had the right to interfere in matters involving the Western Hemisphere and the American continent. 'as a principle in which the right and interests of the United States are involved, that the American continents, by the free and independent condition which they have assumed and maintain, are henceforth not to be considered as subjects for future colonisation by any European powers...' ...read more.


Within a short time they did so and the new Republic of Panama was created with American support. A new deal was struck and the canal commissioned with Panama relying on America and America now controlling an extremely important trade route. This example again shows America putting themselves in positions to be in an advantage over other nations highlighting another aspect of their imperialist policy. I have now looked at the reasons why America may follow an imperialist policy, how the term imperialism can be interpreted and, have shown a number of examples when America showed this imperialist policy. I shall now conclude my finding to answer to what extent America had an imperialist policy, which contradicted the ideals set down by the declaration of independence. I have not shown all the examples of when America showed signs of imperialism that I discovered my research but I have highlighted those that I felt were most important. All of the examples used have proved that America did have an imperialist policy to some extent or another they have also shown that at times some Americans felt that this policy did go against the ideals on which their nation was founded. So I conclude that America did have to a large extent an imperialist policy which contradicted the ideals set down by the declaration of independence whether they themselves recognised this policy or not as going against their own beliefs. 'Dewey took Manila with the loss of one man and all our institutions.' ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level International History, 1945-1991 section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level International History, 1945-1991 essays

  1. To What Extent Have The Attempts For A Palestinian State Been Blocked By The ...

    Since 1972, the US has vetoed no fewer than 40 resolutions surrounding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, all of which have been in support of Israel. The issues that have been blocked range from a veto in support for a resolution calling for the implementation of Resolution 242 in 1976 to a

  2. Free essay

    To what extent are Walter Scott(TM)s novels a product of the Scottish Enlightenment? Discuss ...

    Most Enlightenment philosophers sought to highlight the fallacy of de Mandeville's supposition; others endorsed it. Thus David Hume, in favour of the proposition, argued that moral statements and moral values were constructs of existing social and cultural practices; those things that give men pleasure they will deem to be 'virtuous';

  1. A New America: History of America's Escape from England

    These differences widened as issues in foreign policy came to dominate Washington's administration, and they gradually marked a division not just in the cabinet but in Congress and the electorate. In 1790, Britain and Spain seemed likely to go to war; then Britain seemed headed for the war with France that finally broke out in 1793.

  2. The important issues of the United States of America all depended mostly on the ...

    After the defeat of Lord Dunmore at Gwynn's Island on July 9, before Virginia had received notification of the Declaration of Independence, the British had left Virginia. The Continental Congress was the government of the thirteen colonies and later, of the United States, from 1775 to 1788.

  1. Many peoples have contributed to the development of the United States of America, a ...

    Individual farms, available at low cost, were worked primarily by white indentured servants (laborers who were bound to work for a number of years to pay for their passage before receiving full freedom). The Chesapeake Bay area became a land of opportunity for poor English people.

  2. "For what reasons can it be argued that the Second World War was "Total ...

    Other measures such as false radio messages were also used to convince the Germans that attacks were taking place elsewhere. Casualties were only 11,000- remarkable in an operation that had brought 130,000 men across the channel by sea and 23, 000 by air.

  1. History of the United States

    In 1846, Britain and the United States settled the OREGON QUESTION, concluding a treaty that divided the Oregon Country at the 49th parallel and bringing the Pacific Northwest into the American nation. In addition, by the GADSDEN PURCHASE of 1853 the United States acquired (for $10 million)

  2. Describe the impact of Progressive ideals on American foreign policy from 1900 to 1917. ...

    It had protected weak 19th century Latin American nations from powerful European nations. The Roosevelt Corollary, in contrast, stated that "chronic" wrongdoing on the part of Latin American nations entitled the United States to intervene in the affairs of those nations.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work