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American Expansionism College Paper

1408 words - 6 pages

Americans in the late 1800's agreed most strongly with the imperialist views of Albert Beverage and Josiah Strong. America had expanded, from the small east coast thirteen-state-country it had been in the late 1700's, until reaching the shores of the Pacific Ocean in the west. There was infrastructure, like railroads, connecting the entire country. The most recent census taken at the time said that there were no more undeveloped lands on which new immigrants could settle. This began the U.S. looking toward expansion in a whole new light. New inventions, like the light bulb and sewing machine, were increasing worker productivity. Industrialization had taken hold and America produced more ...view middle of the document...

There were many reasons given by both Josiah Strong and Albert Beverage as to why expansion was necessary. The underlying theme to all of these arguments is religious. These men felt that it was not only the God-given right and responsibility of America to expand, but her sacred duty to God. They argued that there was no way that all of the god-given gifts bestowed upon the U. S. should not be shared with the rest of the world. Why else would God have chosen America unless He wanted her to give these gifts to the rest of the world? (Beveridge) "It is a mighty people that He has planted on this soil; a people sprung from the most masterful of history; a people perpetually revitalized by the virile, man -producing working folk of all the earth; a people imperial by virtue of their power, by the right of their institutions, by authority of their Heaven- directed purposes- the propagandists and not the misers of liberty". He goes on to say, "Has God endowed us with gifts beyond our deserts and marked us as the people of His peculiar favor, merely to rot in our own selfishness?" This stance is confirmed by Strong when he says, " It is not necessary to argue to those for whom I write that the two great needs of mankind, that all men may be lifted up into the light of the highest Christian civilization, are, first, a pure, spiritual Christianity, and , second, civil liberty." In this way both authors demonstrated the responsibility the U. S. had to make the world a better place with their superiority. Americans felt that their system of government was greater than any other, the economic system was superior also, but most importantly our Anglo- Saxon religion-namely Protestantism- was the best.The introduction of trade was important at the time for Americans. Farmers were now producing more crops than ever before. The vast resources in the United States in land, labor, and raw materials were being turned into goods which surpassed the need for them. New buyers for these goods were being sought. If the U. S. had colonies then it stood to reason the colonists would buy goods from America. There were many resources needed in the country at the time which had to be imported. Some were as basic as sugar while others were more complex like rubber. In either case not enough was produced nationally. It was commonplace to receive the raw materials from the colony and turn them into finished goods in the "mother" country. In this way the U. S. could diminish its dependence on trade with countries that we did not control. On this topic Beveridge says, "And shall we reap the reward that waits on our discharge of our high duty; shall we occupy new markets for what our farmers raise, our factories make, our merchants sell-aye, and, please God, new...

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