Free Term Paper on the Evolution of American Imperialism

Home       Return to Index

image of Uncle Sam representing American Imperialism in a cartoon

  1. Essay Galaxy Archive, 45,000 + essays and term papers (highest quality)
  2. Monster Essay Archive, 40,000+ essays and term papers  
  3. Essay Archive, 35,000+ essays and term papers
  4. Free Term Papers and Book Reports Index  (Over 2500 good papers)

Enter Your Term Paper Topic Below:

Search For Your Essay At MONSTER ESSAYS!

American Imperialism

Since its inception, America as a nation has developed and progressed according to trends of change that collectively define an era. Like all other eras, the time period of 1875-1925 experienced growth, changes, movements, and new ideals. It is the way that these changes came about that defines this era. Americans started to push for changes in many arenas of life that were previously unchallenged. New experiences and opportunities were also presented to America that caused tributaries in the former American ideal. These pressures for change could not be ignored and thus America continued its maturity in a new and unique manner. The changes in the American sphere of life and the development of greater organization, the largest underlying theme of the time period, facilitated the urgency of new foreign and military policies, urban reform policies, economic reform policies, neo-federalism especially in dealing with business, social reform policies, and the quality of life.

The period from 1875-1900 was considered the \"Gilded Age\". On come the no-name presidents. There is a reason though, why these presidents were no-name presidents. It is because all the power that the presidency gained from Lincoln, was lost during reconstruction. Most things in American life were considered to be things that the government, especially the president, should not touch. The laissez-faire philosophy was in full force. The lack of interference allowed the giants like John D. Rockefeller, Andrew Carnegie, and J. Pierpont Morgan to rise to almost divine status. This is where organization comes to play. Business began to realize that by organizing their power and joining together in bonds such as cartels, later pools, and finally trusts, that they could maximize the exploitation of the growing American population. With this fusion of power and the creation of mega corporations, abuses in the course of industrialization concerning labor and the environment developed. This reaction to the weak central government led to the opposition of these abuses. It is a natural pattern that opposition would occur, but the fact that organized opposition began to grow is what separates these resistances from the oppositions of the past. Immigration reaches its peak during the gilded age and shifts from the \"old immigration\" (northern & western Europe) to the \"new immigration\" (southern & eastern Europe) over time. The immigration was considered not to be easy to assimilate, and therefore a bigger problem than before. Nativist developed, as immigrants increased the urbanization problems and formed ethnic ghettos throughout the city while competing for jobs and working at lower wages than native-born citizens. This immigration brought on an increased fight for labor power, urban machines for maximizing the immigrants\' large collective power, another form of organization, and plans for urban reform especially the \'Wisconsin idea\", and the city-manager plan.

All the reforms suggested to remedy these problems are known as progressive reforms. Progressivism is what the time period is most known for. A major feature of the progressive reform, is that a great deal of it came from the middle-class. A middle-class reform carries a great deal of weight, and also means that it is not a great class struggle, but that a higher class is looking to improve social injustices. Progressivism is a general term that encompasses the reforms of women\'s movements, granger movements, labor movements (including socialism), racial movements (pro and anti-black), nativism movements, moral/religious movements, and anti-trust movements. Later on, at the national government level, Theodore Roosevelt became the first true progressive president and brings to the forefront the idea of neofederalism, the square deal, and the new nationalism (later). He started to strengthen the national government and the presidency which was continued eventually through to Woodrow Wilson and his New Freedom. The key to progressivism is that all of these reforms were organized from the local level of labor unions and other resistence movements to the top level of government organization in matters such as trust-busting.

Progressivism was successful in accomplishing many of its goals. It reduced corruption in many of America\'s institutions. It gained privileges for working class people the in reduction of hours in workweeks, got increasingly safer conditions, and higher wages. The settlement houses provided help for the urban, immigrant poor and also key information about the racial ghettos and quality of living. This led to muckraking and other tools of bringing reform. Progressives got the 18th and 19th amendments passed granting prohibition and women\'s suffrage. Segregation, which was considered a progressive movement, started to develop more and more during this time period. The insurance system had its major modern roots in the progressive era and city manager plans took effect as a result of progressives in order to destroy all the abuses of urban life. Basically, the time period is known for the changes that came about in it, and these changes are because of progressivism.

With all of the changes going on within America, and the prosperity and production that came with the industrial revolution, the temptation to stray from the foreign policy that Washington set out a hundred years before was very great. The Americans now entered a time where they were in a position to compete with European powers, but the European powers had a jump on the Americans in many areas, especially colonization of foreign territories. In addition, the American frontier for the first time in history, no longer existed. The frontier symbolized the freedom of a place to go when things got boring. The frontier was a safety valve for people to go settle new territories, and to find raw materials. Now with the frontier gone, the idea of taking foreign territories looked like the best way to replace that frontier. Increasingly, the Americans had started to flex their muscle in the affairs around the world. Finally, it became clear that an imperialistic stance for America would be necessary in order to keep up with all the other western powers.

In conclusion, many changes in American life especially industrialization forced America to react to the new situations being presented to it. The people developed opinions on certain issues and actively pursued change. This forced America to experience things that it never had in the past. It marked the rise of America as a substantial world power, the removal from isolationism, and the changing of the quality of life. The organized responses of the era, are its stamp on American history, and are responsible for all the changes of the era.


1. Old And New Imperialism
There were two different time periods where Imperialism occurred. The first wave of imperialism, called the ?Old? Imperialism, lasted from around 1500 ? 1800. The ?New? Imperialism lasted from around
2. Imperialism
is the domination by one country of the political, economic, or cultural life of another country or region in order to increase its own wealth and power. during the period following the Age of Exp
3. Movie Analysis - Sand Pebbles
The movie Sand Pebbles focus was on the flag. The flag was not only a symbol of a nation, but of nationalism, militarism and imperialism. During the 1800's and early 1900's there was a severe foreign
4. European Imperialism Of Japan
Imperialism is the practice by which powerful nations or peoples seek to extend and maintain control or influence over weaker nations or peoples. By the 1800?s, the Western powers had advantages in 
5. Bureaucratic Pathologies
****What does the text mean by the term ??? What are some examples of such pathologies? Why does each exist? Can they be corrected? When you think about bureaucracies, one of the first things usua
6. The New Imperialism
Throughout history Imperialism has occurred all around the world, and has been determined by many factors. that took place in the late 1800's was influenced by two main factors, the Industrial Revol
7. Mark Twain: Early American Subversive?
? In a series of stories Written in 1901, Mark Twain envisioned the creation of a "Orwellen society" where books and libraries were banned, confiscated and destroyed. History was to be rewritten glo
8. How Social Darwinism Influence
Social Darwinism fueled imperialism by making imperialistic nations believe that their imperialistic ventures were a natural turn of events and not a cruel, opressionistic system of government. These
9. Causes Of World War 1
If you were to look back at WWI, you would see that there were direct and indirect causes to the war. The assassination of Archduke Ferdinand was an immediate cause. Gavrilo Princip, working with a S
10. Causes Of World War 1
Many things led up to the start of World War I. There was much tension between the countries of Europe for more than fifty years. There were immediate causes, and long-term causes. Some immediate cau
11. The Nature Of Imperialism
?The most prostitute and the ultimate form of the state power which nascent middle-class society had commenced to elaborate as a means to its own emancipation from feudalism, and which full-grown bou
12. Imperialism 2
The treatment of the Chinese by the British, during the take over of their country, was just like that of the Africans. The British took over the land and the government, took advantage of the people
13. How Western Imperialism Affects China And Japan
China and Japan had very different experiences with Western Imperialism . Their reactions to western interference would lay a foundation for their destiny in a world that was rapidly progressing for
14. Heart Of Darkness
by Joseph Conrad is a novel where the main character Marlow is telling a story of a trip to the Congo. This novel is said to possibly be an autobiography of Conrad?s life at sea. This is said 
15. Charles Darwin And Imperialism
England went through dramatic changes in the 19th century. English culture, socio-economic structure and politics where largely influenced by the principles of science. Many social expressions occu
16. Charles Darwin And Imperialism
England went through dramatic changes in the 19th century. English culture, socio-economic structure and politics where largely influenced by the principles of science. Many social expressions occu
17. Charles Darwin And Imperialism
England went through dramatic changes in the 19th century. English culture, socio-economic structure and politics where largely influenced by the principles of science. Many social expressions  
18. Imperialism: A State Of Powerlessness
George Orwell?s essay ?Shooting an Elephant? shows how imperialism makes the Burmese and the British powerless. In ?Shooting an Elephant? the British have colonized India. The Europeans? powerless
19. British Imperial Regulations D
British imperial regulations with the American colonies were closely tied in with the system of mercantilism. Mercantilism controls the relations between the leading power and the colonies under it
20. The Internet Contributes To The Process Of Globalization
The Internet acts as a tool of communication, a disseminator of knowledge and a provider of services. It has proliferated almost every segment of society and is arguably the most powerful catalyst i