The Changing Role Of American Imperialism In The 20th Century

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Teddy Roosevelt once famously wrote, “We do not admire the man of timid peace. We admire the man who embodies victorious effort”. During the 1890s, the United States demonstrated no real interest in foreign affairs, with a standing army of 28,000 soldiers, and a 10,000 man powered navy, the United States practiced more isolationistic routines. However, toward the end of the 19th century, attention to foreign affairs rose and subsequently the ideology of imperialism changed as well. Possibly, the United States was falling behind in acquiring territory, new economic markets, and international affairs in general. Although, beginning in the late 1880s, a newfound aggression marked the recently developed American foreign policy. The United States annexed Hawaii in 1898, also war with Spain in 1898 led to the acquisition of new territory in Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Philippines. …show more content…
Alfred Thayer Mahan (1840-1914) argued a more pro-imperialism belief concluding the importance of military power and influence, while William Appleman Williams (1921-1990) and Walter LaFeber (b. 1933) shared more critical views on American imperialism. Williams pointed out political weakness early in the 20th century American foreign policy, generating a more economic approach, while Lafeber, who was not necessarily an anti-imperialist, deduced economic causes resulted in American being forcefully thrusted into a position of world power. Mahan’s argument holds strongest because he analyzed and interpreted American imperialism in multiple lenses and provided well-reasoned arguments supported with historical