The United States influence Over Latin America and Asia

Why the United s increasingly exercised its influence over Latin America and Asia beginning in the 1890s The American imperialism arose after Americans had subdued the Amerindian population in 1890, which coincidentally marked the end of the frontier. As such, many thought that the United States required increasing its territory to curb the growing population, wealth and industrial capacity. This essay seeks to cite reasons for United State’s imperialist influence on Latin and Asian countries.
A theory of overproduction made many believe that the industry had overgrown to the extent of overproduction and less consumption causing unrest and violence. Acquisition of foreign market provided viable options to bail out the country. Alfred Mahan, a captain in the United States army was a proponent of expanding territories. He proposed power on the sea through navy naval bases at strategic regions in the world (Mooney 88). This promoted world domination including Pacific islands as main targets of this idea of expansion. This pushed the US to modernize its navy making it the fifth powerful navy in the world by 1898. Some saw it as the “white man’s burden”, (Mooney 88) to exploit resources of weaker nations. Theodore Roosevelt supported imperialist US strategies to survive in the world.
Gold discovery at the Venezuelan boundary led to a dispute with the British Guiana prompting President Cleveland to warn Britain against taking Venezuela. Britain rejected, triggering Cleveland to hint at war with Britain. Latin American nations appreciated the protection from US (Mooney 89).
Spain misrule affected Cuba’s industries prompting United States to offer mediation, but Spain rejected. Pressure from the United States led Spain to grant Cuba semi-autonomy, triggering Spanish population there to revolt. Safety fears for Americans in Cuba, President William McKinley, “sent the USS Maine to Havana in March 1898”, (Mooney 93) which exploded week later, killing its sailors. Americans blamed this act to Spain, but no direct evidence of foul play ever presented. Roosevelt, the then assistant secretary of the navy, offered a reward to the conviction of the perpetrators of that destruction. April, 1898, President McKinley requested use of the army to mediate between Spain and Cuba. Congress approved and through the Teller Amendment stated that the US wouldn’t subdue the island. Spain declared war on the US, marking the onset of the Spanish-American war. George Dewey’s offensive at Manila bay, ensured victory for the US. After three months, US took over Manila, assisted by Filipino troops, led by Emiliano Aguinaldo. Soon after, tension loomed, and Aguinaldo sought independence of Philippines, but neither U.S nor Spain recognized it.
The Teller Amendment didn’t protect Philippines making it vulnerable to imperialism. Its strategic positioning made it a gateway to Asia, especially China and Japan and they desired its raw materials (Mooney 93). Philippines became a protectorate triggering the Philippines-American war. President Roosevelt declared it on 4 July 1902 due to increased insurgencies from rebel Filipinos led by Aguinaldo. They used guerilla war tactics. It ended in1901 with capture of Aguinaldo. Restructuring of Philippines began, steered by a commission headed by William Taft and attaining full independence in 1946.
US aim at economic power triggered “Roosevelt Corollary to the Monroe Doctrine in 1904”, (Mooney 97) as a means of international policing. It justified interventions and use of US military during disputes for instance in Venezuela in 1902, and 1905 in Dominican Republic. The Platt Amendment enabled US to decide all Cuban treaties. It limited foreign influence and granted US a naval base at Guantanamo.
A need for a canal to connect Atlantic and Pacific Oceans since US had to protect Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Philippines and it’s marine. Roosevelt offered support to Panamian nationals who wanted independence from Columbia..US further prevented troops from Columbia from suppressing a Panamian revolt. Panama soon acquired independence and gladly allowed US to build and manage the Panama Canal (Mooney 97).
United States used a soft imperialism strategy widely to acquire power. “According to Roosevelt, American policy is to speak softly while carrying a big stick.”(Mooney 97). They lay more emphasis on economic dominance and acted as a bigger brother, gaining favour from these nations. Through all this, US grew its military to become a global superpower.
Work Cited
Mooney, Matthew. ‘American History.’ Research and Written Especially for SBCc History 100: Growth of American Civilization.(2001) : 78-97. Print.
Work Cited
Mooney, Matthew. American History.