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Mia Stinemetz

Imperialism in the US
1/12/17

Imperialism was a huge conflict in the United States during the final decades of the
nineteenth century. As the United States broke away from Great Britain, being a result of
imperialism, many people believed that America shouldnt take place in imperialism. Others
believed that the United States needed to grow and become more powerful and imperialism was
the way to do that. All in all, if you look to the situation that the U.S. was in, imperialism was not
proper or legitimate at the time, for many reasons. The first reason being that the United States
broke away from Great Britain and formed with the beliefs of independence, therefore we should
not take over another country for the reason of power and growth. The second reason being that
we didnt give any of the countries a chance to state what they wanted. Finally, it was unlawful
in context of our own Declaration of Independence to take over another country.

Firstly, in 1776 when the United States broke away from Great Britain because of the
unfairness that was going on, we swore that we would have independence. President McKinley
said, we could not leave them to themselves - they were unfit for self-government and they
would soon have anarchy and misrule there worse than Spain was. Hes basically saying that it
is Americas duty to take these people in because they couldnt govern by themselves. The
irony! Isnt this exactly how America was born? Great Britain held on for so long because they
thought that we were unfit for self-government, but alas, we won the war and America is thriving
today. King George III said, Once vigorous measures appear to be the only means left of
bringing the Americans to a due submission to the mother country, the colonies will submit.
Again, this shows that Great Britain didnt believe we would be able to make it on our own. Who
are we to say this exact thing, when we were born on the principles of independence?

The second reason that it wasnt proper for the United States to take control of the
countries that Spain gave us when we won the Spanish-American war, or get involved in
imperialism at all, is because we didnt give any of the countries a chance to accept our
government. Again, since we were born on the ideals of independence and freedom, we
shouldve given the Phillipines, Puerto Rico, and Guam the chance to accept our government or
not. Who are we to choice what is best for another country? It is not our right to chose whether a
country is unfit or not for self-government. When we took over the countries, obviously they
didnt want our government. We went to war with the Philippines for two years because they
wanted independence. How ironic! This war sounds familiar does it not? Abraham Lincoln once
said, no man is good enough to govern another man without that others consent. America had
done just that when taking control of the three countries.

The final reason that America shouldve stayed out imperialism is because it went against
what the Declaration of Independence said. ...under the Declaration of Independence you
cannot govern a foreign territory, a foreign people, and other people than your own you cannot
subjugate them and govern them against their will, because you think it is for their own good,
when they do not; because you think you are going to give them the blessings of liberty. You
have no right at the cannons mouth to impose on an unwilling people your Declaration of
Independence and your Constitution and your notions of freedom and notions of what is good.
This is a quote from U.S. Senator George F. Hoar. Senator Hoar pointed out that it is unlawful to
govern another foreign territory without their consent. Therefore, this is yet another reason why
the United States shouldnt have taken over the Philippines, Guam, and Puerto Rico.

All in all, imperialism was a huge issue and although we cant go back in time and
change the mistake that we made, we cant skip over the fact that a mistake was made. We were
a nation born in revolt against colonialism/ imperialism, therefore we shouldnt have taken part
in imperialism. Secondly, the United States didnt give any of the countries a chance to speak
what they wanted for their own country. Finally, the U.S. was unconstitutional and went against
what the Declaration of Independence was designed for; freedom for all.