Explain How The Economic Crisis At Home Shaped American Foreign Policy In The 1890s

Submitted By bnhall
Words: 435
Pages: 2

How economic crisis at home shaped American foreign policy in the 1890s The 1890s began with America as an unstoppable powerhouse. There were commanding and influential leaders, the economy was booming after the Civil War, and the cities and factories were extremely productive (Shi, Mayer 73). Unfortunately, just a few years into that decade came one, if not the worst, economic depressions in United States history. This economic crisis forever changed foreign policy but specifically influenced foreign policy in the 1890s. One of the first ways that foreign policy was shaped due to the economic crisis was by the implementation of tariffs. Tariffs (taxes on imported goods) were designed to protect the farmers from competition (Shi, Mayer 72). However, the tariff actually hindered the farmer’s productivity as it made it more difficult and more costly for him to obtain the machines he needed for labor (Booker lecture 9-18). The tariffs did not directly affect the factory laborers. Foreign access began to be limited as a result of the economic crisis. For example, from 1882-1943 Chinese Americans were not even eligible for citizenship (Shi, Mayer 76). Leaders of the free world had to make big decisions regarding immigration. The decisions they made were ultimately shaped by economic issues and how the economy influenced foreign policy. However, the results of these decisions caused a few extremist to accuse the leadership of America as being racist stating that the actions towards the Chinese and any other immigrants were “unusual, severe, and contrary to our Constitution” (Shi, Mayer 80). The fear of European influence returning to American government also