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To what extent was the Spanish American War of 1898 a turning point in the emergence of the United States as a world power?

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  • Essay length: 1201 words
  • Submitted: 01/12/2008
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International Baccalaureate History

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To what extent was the Spanish American War of 1898 a turning point in the emergence of the United States as a world power?

Until the 1890s the USA had a foreign policy of non-involvement, but the Spanish-American War of 1898 was the turning point of America's inward-looking attitudes and marked its emergence as world power, that would come to control and influence an empire stretching from the Caribbean Sea to the Far East.

Due to industrialization, America had sufficient raw materials available and did not need imports. The Pacific and the Atlantic oceans were also immense natural barriers and, if war occurred in Europe, the strength of the British navy provided a barrier for the USA against dangers. Also, the USA had secure boundaries as a result of two agreements: the 1818 British-American Convention (fixed the Canadian border) and the 1819 Transcontinental Treaty (confirmed Florida as American territory). In 1823, the Monroe Doctrine was announced and it stated that the US policy was to avoid becoming involved in European wars unless American interests were involved, that European powers were not to colonize or interfere with the American Continents and that any attempt by a European

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