rationilizing the expansion of the united states Essay

Submitted By mtracy123
Words: 1465
Pages: 6

To begin the Louisiana Purchase Exposition of 1904 was set in St. Louis Missouri. The significance of the date was the one hundredth anniversary of the Louisiana Purchase, the Exposition was set to open the year before but because of the size of the fair it opened late. It was the largest fair that had ever been. Part of the purpose of the fair was to provide justification for expansion into the phillipines and other places. If we were to examine the different perceived purposes early Americans had for expansion of the United States during the time of the Spanish American war, you would find that there were a number of motives supporting expansion. After a series of economic depressions business men initially opposed to expansion were looking at new ideas of marketing their goods in foreign countries. If the United States was going to be a world trade power they needed to secure harbors on foreign soil where they could dock their fleets. Expansionists didn’t want it to appear as if economics was the only driving force behind their push for expansion so they also used the goals of others as an argument for expansion. Business men in the countries being invaded were also profiting from America taking over because they could ship their goods more easily to America. (Justifying American Imperialism: The Louisiana Purchase Exposition, 1904, author unknown) Business men also used the argument that it was good for the countries economy, by expanding their customer base. The foreign countries we were invading also had a wealth of raw material that we needed for manufacturing. Ventures that had once been profitable in the United States needed to expand their customer base as sales within the existing territories began to drop off, expansion into new territories brought with it new customers. These merchants however, also expected that the government of the United States would provide the same protections in these new territories as they did at home,which connects directly to concurrent military expansion. Merchant ships carrying goods and resources to and from other territories were not well armed to protect themselves . In addition to the manufacturuers who were counting on new customers in the expanded territories increased trade also kept workers in jobs as demand for the goods being produced increased. Foner E (2012) The missionaries had a vested interest in expansion as they could spread the Christian beliefs to the people they believed to be heathens of other countries. They believed that the white man had an obligation to convert the heathens to Christianity. Many of these missionaries tried to abolish the cultures of the people they viewed as more primitive. As these people were modernized their customs were lost. The primary churches involved with this movement were, Methodist, Baptist, Presbyterians, and Congregationalists. (Justifying American Imperialism: The Louisiana Purchase Exposition, 1904 author unknown) There were many people that the supported belief in Darwinism which affirmed the concept that there was a “survival of the fittest”. This meant that the most suitable groups and Nations would thrive, and the defeat of the inadequate was inevitable. It was in harmony with the natural process of science. Herbert Spencer was famous all over the world for his writings on Darwinism, although he did not support the believes of expansionism, many Darwinists warranted their beliefs in imperialism from his writing. In 1899 Rudyard Kipling came in with the idea of the “white man’s burden” which meant the process of social progress white men should dominate and control non-whites. Social Darwinists believed it was their duty that God had bestowed upon them, to bring development to the uncivilized. It was not their intention to obliterate the people they deemed to be uncivilized but more to edify them on the customs of western culture. They believed that the world was in major conflict over which nations would