MOVEMENT OF THE UNITED STATES FROM RELATIVE ISOLATION INTO AN INTERNATIONAL ROLE AND THE CONSEQUENCES TO THE SOCIETY

MOVEMENT OF THE UNITED STATES FROM RELATIVE ISOLATION INTO AN INTERNATIONAL ROLE AND THE CONSEQUENCES TO THE SOCIETY

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MOVEMENTOF THE UNITED STATES FROM RELATIVE ISOLATION INTO AN INTERNATIONALROLE AND THE CONSEQUENCES TO THE SOCIETY

Atthe time of the American Spanish war, America went from relativeisolation to increased global involvement because the increasedpopulation following the end of the civil war necessitated theeconomic, territorial and industrial expansion of the country withSpain conquest of the pacific region emerging as a threat to theexpansion agenda.1The consequences on the Americas of that greater involvement wereincreased immigration, expansion of the middle class and theexpansion of modern instutions.2

TheSpanish war, referred to as a “splendid little war” by the thensecretary of state John Jay, marked the turning point of the US. Theperiod saw the country increase its participation in foreign affairsand a transition from isolation to increased global participation.The War was initiated mainly because of population expansion afterthe civil war, which led to increased need for economic, territorialand industrial expansion. Economic expansion would ensure theexpansion of the middle class and reduction of poverty whileterritorial expansion would ensure that the country gains animportant position in the global political affairs which was quicklygaining significance. Industrial expansion would ensure more jobs forthe growing population as well as increased national wealth.

TheCuban struggle for independence formed the starting point of theSpanish-American war.3Additionally, the sinking of Maine and imperialism played asignificant role in the initiation of the war. Revolutions in otherparts of the Americas had led to the Spanish losing vast parts oftheir colonies, with America not getting involved in theserevolutions. The Spanish were brutal in countering of the Cubandemands for freedom, a fact which elicited anger and sympathy amongthe American population. The involvement of the US in the Cuban questfor independence showed that the US was moving towards imperialismand increasing its interest in foreign affairs.4

Theviolent conflict between the Spanish authority and the Cuban rebelsresulted into political as well as economic instability in theregion. Military intervention in Cuba became necessary as a result ofthese instabilities. The pacific region formed key areas forcommercial expansion and was keen on utilizing the opportunitypresented by the growing tension between Spain and USA to increasehis popularity as well as win the media attention.5The decision to go to war with Spain was also initiated by increasedhumanitarianism.

Thesigning of the treaty of Paris marked the end of the Spanish-Americanwar. The end of the war guaranteed the independence of Cuba. Thetreaty of Paris also forced the Spanish to cede Puerto Rico andHawaii to the US. Additionally, Spain agreed to sell the Philippinesto the US for $ 20 million.6The end of the war marked the rise of the US as a global militarypower and opened doors for the US to expand its commercial interestsin the pacific regions and Asia. The US was keen in speeding theconstruction of the Panama Canal. The canal was key to the USexpansion agenda as it would increase military mobility as well astransoceanic travel. The completion of the Canal in 1914 meant thatthe pacific and the Atlantic oceans were now connected. Securing ofthe Caribbean and the western pacific resulted to a surge in theeconomy. The country could now establish industries in other parts ofthe world. The country’s international political influence alsoexpanded as a result of the war. It can thus be pointed out that thedecision to for America to go from being relatively isolated to anactive global player was influenced by the need for economic, social,industrial and political expansion.

Thechange from isolation to increased global participation had asignificant impact on the American society. The middle classexpanded, white dominance as a result of Anglo-Saxon racism alsoemerged. Additionally, the change from isolation led increasedimmigration as well as expansion of important institutions. Theacquisition offoreign territories meant that the country could nowincrease its commercial interests. This meant that more jobs couldnow be created, giving the unemployed an opportunity to expand theirlevels of income. The expansion of the foreign commercial interestsalso resulted to increase growth of the national wealthy,consequently the middle class started to grow and as opposed tobecoming poorer, middle income earners become strong earners.7The increased relationship between the US and its colonies in thepacific as well as Asia resulted into increased immigration. Morepeople moved to the US from these regions.

Anglo-Saxonracism grew as a result of increased immigration. US dominance of thepacific and the Caribbean meant that most resources were in controlof the important resources. The dominance resulted into resistance inPhilippines while Cubans were relatively in agreement with theinvolvement of the US in its affairs. Expansion of the US foreigninterests also resulted to movement of Americans to the foreigncolonies. The number of Americans in foreign nations grew with thegrowth of US foreign influence. The annexation of Hawaii meant thatit became part of the US, thereby resulting to the expansion of theUS territory. The change from isolation also meant that the US mediagrew in terms of importance and influence. The war expanded the mediainfluence over the public opinion with the stories they ran. Thenewspapers recognized the fact that war would lead to increasednewspaper sales with Pultizer and Hearst being on the forefront. Therole the stories presented by these newspapers played in theinitiation of the war showed that the media had grown in itsinfluence on public opinion.

Increasedindustrialization following the war meant that the use position as agreat power had grown. The acquisition of major islands in thepacific meant that the country could now protect its foreign andtrade and transit routes. The change from isolation was triggered bythe need for the country to expand economically and politically.Newer markets and territories increased the country’s internationalinfluence. The Spanish-American war marked the entry of the US intoglobal politics and business. It also marked the emergence of the USfrom an era of civil with new ideas such as imperialism emerging. Theemergence of the US from isolation came with a number of impacts onthe American society. This includes expansion of the middle class,increased immigration as well as the growth of media as an influencerof public opinion.

Referencelist

MalcolmMagee, &quotWeek 2: America in 1880s&quot (lecture,&nbspIAH 201 -USA and the World 1880 to the Present, East Lansing, MI, September 2,2014).

MalcolmMagee, &quotWeek 2: Modernity and idea of progress&quot(lecture,&nbspIAH 201 – USA and the World 1880 to the Present, EastLansing, MI, September 4, 2014).

MalcolmMagee, &quotWeek 3: Why did the US go to War with Spain?&quot(lecture, IAH 201 -&nbspUSA and the World 1880 to the Present, EastLansing, MI, September 9, 2014).

MalcolmMagee, &quotWeek 3: Why did the US go to War with Spain?&quot(lecture, IAH 201 -&nbspUSA and the World 1880 to the Present, EastLansing, MI, September 11, 2014).

1 Malcolm Magee, &quotWeek 2: America in 1880s&quot (lecture,&nbspIAH 201 – USA and the World 1880 to the Present, East Lansing, MI, September 2, 2014).

2 Malcolm Magee, &quotWeek 2: America in 1880s&quot (lecture,&nbspIAH 201 – USA and the World 1880 to the Present, East Lansing, MI, September 2, 2014).

3 Ibid

4 Ibid

5 Malcolm Magee, &quotWeek 3: Why did the US go to War with Spain?&quot (lecture, IAH 201 -&nbspUSA and the World 1880 to the Present, East Lansing, MI, September 9, 2014).

6 Malcolm Magee, &quotWeek 3: Why did the US go to War with Spain?&quot (lecture, IAH 201 -&nbspUSA and the World 1880 to the Present, East Lansing, MI, September 9, 2014).

7 Malcolm Magee, &quotWeek 3: Why did the US go to War with Spain?&quot (lecture, IAH 201 -&nbspUSA and the World 1880 to the Present, East Lansing, MI, September 11, 2014).