USA Global Involvement from the Spanish war tothe beginning of the Cold War
Global Involvement of the United States fromthe Spanish war to the Cold War
At the time of the Spanish American war, theUnited States went from relative isolation to increased globalinvolvement because of: The First World War, the Second World War andthe beginning of the cold war, and the desire to dominate the world.The consequences of the increased global involvement on the Americansociety were increased economic development in America, and the greatdepression and nativism.
Beforethe onset of the World War I, the open door policy attracted the USAto be involved global affairs. Since China was an unexploited market,many Western powers were willing to take advantage of China’sweakness1.China had an enormous population implying that demand for goods fromwestern manufacturers could be high. Every western power wanted tocontrol trade with China. The Japanese also got in the struggle toexploit China. The USA was not left behind either- she had her owninterests in China. China being the weakling of that time, Germanyand Russia wanted to divide it among Western Powers. However, The USAand Britain agreed that China would remain a country but only intheory. That is when the powers adopted the open door policy. Chinawas open to all and sundry that wished to do business. The USA wouldnot let such an opportunity to slide by, She dived right in and gotherself entangled in global affairs.
Atthe beginning of the First World War, the USA was not involved inglobal affairs for a number of reasons2.For starters, most of the USA citizens had their origins in Europeand hence were inclined towards supporting their mother countries,which were at war during that time. The wave of public opinion wassplit between supporting the allied forces or Germany due todifferent loyalties among the Americans. Most importantly, Americahad vowed to stay out of European or Asian politics and wars. In apolicy known as isolationism, the USA opted to stay out of war inorder to concentrate on developing its budding industries. However,President Theodore Roosevelt held a totally different opinionregarding the war in Europe. He called upon the American to helptheir British friends fighting the war against Germany. At thisstage, the USA was only involved in the war by supplying arms to theallied forces.
Germany’sundeclared attacks on American submarines motivated the USA to beinvolved in global affairs. Before the attacks began, the USA hadbeen trading with both factions of the war. However, when thesuperior British navy blocked German trading activities betweenAmerica and Germany the trade volumes went down tremendously1.On the other hand, trade between the USA and France and Britain,increased three fold due to open trade routes in the sea. Finally,the USA joined the war and immediately Germany felt the impact. TheUSA made an easy victory for the allied forces. At the end of thewar, the USA came out as a force to reckon with. Even then, she didnot change her policy regarding maintaining isolationism.
Activitiesleading to the Second World War compelled the USA to be involved inglobal affairs. After the previous war, Germany was greatlyhumiliated. Although she signed a peace agreement with manycountries, she still harbored feelings of bitterness3.It therefore did not come as a surprise when Adolf Hitler began toinvade neighboring countries. Between 1933 and 1939, the USA haddecided to stick to its isolationist policy after the devastatingeffects of World War II on its economy. Once again, the USA opted towatch the war unfold from the sidelines, just like in the World WarI4.Just like before, the USA only took part in supplying the alliedforces with the necessary equipment to fight the Germans andItalians.
Theideology of fascism by Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini motivatedthe USA to be involved in global affairs5.In fascism, the government took control of all the sectors. Thegovernment controls speech, the media, and private sector. This typeof totalitarian rule brought Hitler and Mussolini together becausetheir interests were aligned6.Italy and Germany signed a pact and soon afterwards, they were on aspree of attacking sovereign countries in order to spread theirideologies. Italy invaded Ethiopia while Germany invaded Poland. TheUSA was for the idea of democracy. She did not like seeing thatfascism was fast spreading in Europe. However, the USA could not doanything to stop the spread of the ideology due to its isolationistpolicy. It is not until later that the USA joined the war.
Thebeginning of the rivalry between the USA and USSR created an interestin global affairs within the USA government3.During the Second World War, Russia suffered massive casualties. Partof the reason was because USA’ President, Franklin Roosevelt,refused to send troops to the Western front to ease off pressureinflicted on Russia by the Germans. Even after the war came tocompletion, Russia did not trust the USA. In addition, Russiasupported the ideology of communism while the USA was of the idea ofcapitalism. The desire to spread these ideologies to politicallyimmature democracies created the rivalry between the USA and theUSSR.
The USA needed to expand its territory to caterfor its budding industries. During the period in question, manyindustries in the USA were beginning to take root7.They included agriculture, manufacturing and services. The USA had astrict policy against colonialism and global involvement seemed theonly way through which it could acquire resources. All the potentialmarkets and resources for American industries were under the controlof European powers such as England, Spain and Germany. Around thesame time, other countries had realized the presence of potentialmarkets in Asia and its surrounding regions. However, the USA couldnot access these markets because it lacked territories along thepacific and the distance to Asia was quite long by sea. The USA hadto device a way of enhancing its imperialist agenda without indulgingin colonialism.
The mark of American imperialism was when theUSA wanted to dominate the affairs of the Caribbean, Build a canaland spread its dominance. In the Caribbean, the USA wanted to build acanal between Columbia and Nicaragua8.Because the two countries could not negotiate with the USA, shedecided to back a rebellion in Nicaragua hence the formation of thestate of Panama. Consequently, the USA was able to build a canal forits warships to navigate between the Atlantic and pacific with ease.The USA was also involved in the affairs of other countries such asNicaragua and Cuba. Due to its alignment with USSR, the USA placedeconomic sanctions on Cuba. The USA also maintained military bases incountries along the pacific in order to show dominance9.An example is Nicaragua. After President Taft sent marines to quell acivil uprising in 1912, the US soldiers remained in the country fortwo decades after the end of the unrest.
The USA involvement in global affairs led to anincrease in economic activities. Industries such as automobile,aeronautics, and arms improved due to increased demand3.Global involvement opened new avenues for the USA to market itsgoods10.During the open door policy, the USA established trade links withChina. Acquisition of foreign territories such as the Philippines,Hawaii and Puerto Rico increased the economic prospects for the USA.Through its influence in Hawaii, the USA set up a coal processingplant and an oil refinery to supply energy to Asia. US citizens whosettled in the overseas territories also contributed to the growth ofthe mother country by sending foreign currency home. The expats alsopopularized the dollar to make it a world trading currency.
Both wars were a boost to USA’s buddingindustries. Before the war, the USA concentrated on agriculturalindustries. However, the war in Europe led to an increased demand inweapons and other supplies needed in war11.The USA converted many of her agricultural industries into those thatmanufacture weapons. For instance, a factory that dealt with canningpineapples was converted to produce guns. Before the people couldrealize it, arms industries outnumbered food industries. The USA wasin the face of a looming food crisis. The only way out was institutefood rations among the populations.
After the First World War, the global economywent into a phase of depression. The suffering, homelessness, andunemployment were at an all-time high. Stock markets crushed and over16 million shares changed hands in a period of eight days. Thegovernment had spent a lot of money in the war and lent some of it toallied forces. Since the USA was a trading had great trading tieswith Europe, the devastating effects of the war on the Europeaneconomy were reflected in the USA. The government sought out on amission to help its citizens from their misery. The poorest in theUSA population were given free food and housing. Even though thegovernment tried its best, the effects of the depression were tooadverse to be mitigated.
The economic crisis in the world over pushedthe USA to adopt nativism. The great depression had taken a toll onmany countries in different continents prompting many people tomigrate to the USA in the search of better lives. The USA had its ownshare of problems due to the great depression. It did not wish tohave an increase in the number of immigrants. The USA government setout on a mission to restrict immigration into the USA. The governmentcame up with new criteria to help control the flow of immigrants.Among the people who were denied entry were Chinese immigrants andAsian immigrants, criminals, illiterates, radicals, and the immoral.The aim of the growing nativism was to curb radicalization andenhance Anglo-Saxon superiority.
Lead Up to WWI, Theodore Roosevelt &East Asia. Magee, Malcom D. UnitChapters, Web, Accessed, 24 March, 2016,<http://msu.grtep.com/index.cfm/ushistory/page/6>
World War 1 document archiveWeb, Accessed 24 March 2016.http://wwi.lib.byu.edu/index.php/Main_Page
The Cataclysm, World War II, And TheBeginning Of The Cold War. Magee,Malcom D. Unit Chapters, Web, Accessed, 24 March, 2016,<http://msu.grtep.com/index.cfm/ushistory/page/8>
Benito Mussolini"whatis fascism?" web. Accessed onMarch 24, 2016http://legacy.fordham.edu/halsall/mod/mussolini-fascism.asp
Anti Imperialist League,Web. Accessed on March 24, 2016http://legacy.fordham.edu/halsall/mod/1899antiimp.asp
Lead Up to WWI, World War I—WoodrowWilson.Digital Text, Magee, Malcom D. UnitChapters, Web, Accessed, 24 March,2016,<http://msu.grtep.com/index.cfm/ushistory/page/5>
Grover, C. (n.d). GroverCleveland: American Interests in the Cuban Revolution, RetrievedFrom, <https://www.mtholyoke.edu/acad/intrel/gc26.htm>23 March, 2016
Keynes, J.M., (1920). TheEconomic Consequences of the Peace.New York: Harcourt Brace. Retrieved From,<http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/15776?msg=welcome_stranger>23 March, 2016
Making of America Archive,Web. Accessed on March 24, 2016http://ebooks.library.cornell.edu/m/moa/
Hacken,R. (1996). TheWorld War I Document Archive, BrighamYoung University Library,Retrieved From, <http://wwi.lib.byu.edu/index.php> Web.Accessed on March 24, 2016
1Lead Up to WWI, Theodore Roosevelt & East Asia. Magee, Malcom D. Unit Chapters, Web, Accessed, 24 March, 2016, <http://msu.grtep.com/index.cfm/ushistory/page/6>
2 WorldWar 1 document archive Web, Accessed 24 March 2016. http://wwi.lib.byu.edu/index.php/Main_Page
3The Cataclysm, World War II, And The Beginning Of The Cold War. Magee, Malcom D. Unit Chapters, Web, Accessed, 24 March, 2016, <http://msu.grtep.com/index.cfm/ushistory/page/8>
4 Hacken, R. (1996). The World War I Document Archive, Brigham Young University Library, Retrieved From, <http://wwi.lib.byu.edu/index.php> Web. Accessed on March 24, 2016
5Benito Mussolini"what is fascism?" web. Accessed on March 24, 2016
6 Ibid 4
7Anti Imperialist League, Web. Accessed on March 24, 2016
8 Lead Up to WWI, World War I—WoodrowWilson. Digital Text, Magee, Malcom D. Unit Chapters, Web, Accessed, 24 March, 2016,<http://msu.grtep.com/index.cfm/ushistory/page/5 >
9 Grover, C. (n.d). Grover Cleveland: American Interests in the Cuban Revolution, Retrieved From, <https://www.mtholyoke.edu/acad/intrel/gc26.htm> 23 March, 2016
10 Keynes, J.M., (1920). The Economic Consequences of the Peace. New York: Harcourt Brace. Retrieved From, <http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/15776?msg=welcome_stranger> 23 March, 2016
11Making of America Archive, Web. Accessed on March 24, 2016