Part two- 1890 to 1920 US and the world

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  • pre 1890 US seemed far from being an imperial power
  • foreign policy- essentially defensive to keep new world free from wars and diplomatic entanglements
  • most=hostile to imperialism (Except conquest/colonisation of W)
  • events and developments of 1890s drew US into naval expansion, war against spain and annexation of territories in Pacific Ocean
  • motives behind policy shift = openly expansionist
  • rapid econ growth seemed to prove need of new oversea markets
  • belief of end of frontier meant new horizons were needed to scope for US energy and dynamism
  • 1890s -great age of European imperialism, many were swayed by notions of racial/cultural superiority & 'civilising mission' of non-white societies from 'backwardness' - these ideas added to influence of men (Teddy & Naval theorist Alfred Thayer Mahan & Senator Henry Cabot Lodge) who believed in 'forward foreign policy' underpinned by modern sea power
  • isolationists- upholding Monroe Doctrine & traditional US hostility to Euro 'interference'

  • anti-imperialist W. Jennings Bryan (pacifist, Religious moralist) a leading voice in American Anti-imperialism League 1898
  • Other public figures in League = Grover Cleveland, Andrew Carnegie, Samuel Gompers
  • fierce debates between imperialists and isolationists continued for more than 40 yrs after 1890
  • main…

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