How did European Imperialism affect American Politics?

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I'd suggest that European imperialism played a significant role in shaping American politics. Consider the Monroe Doctrine, as well as the Roosevelt Corollary to the Monroe Doctrine. One of the fundamental cornerstones of American foreign policy was shaped as a response to European influence in the Americas. Of course, it must be recognized that, during the early decades of the 1800's, the United States lacked the military strength to actually enforce this foreign policy claim, but the statement remained, by which the United States claimed in the Americas its own sphere of influence.

In addition, we should consider America's own imperialist adventures, beginning in the late 1800's. A critical moment in this history was the Spanish-American War, where the United States acquired overseas possessions from Spain. Consider also the Open Door Policy, through which the United States attempted to gain access to China (which was then divided into European zones of influence). Additionally, we can mention numerous US interventions in Latin America, as well as the construction of the Panama Canal (which was itself only guaranteed by a US military intervention in Panama's revolution against Colombia). Be aware that the United States has its own very real history of imperialism to contend with.

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Some might argue that every aspect of American Imperialism is an offshoot of European Imperialism.  If one is to compare the idea of American "exceptionalism" to the ideas that politicians and other leaders used to justify European expansion into the Americans and Africa and elsewhere, the arguments are not too dissimilar.

It was under the guise of a paternalistic idea that much of European colonialism justified its economic and political expansion into various other continents, and the same idea was used to justify American expansion though it may have been slightly modified with the idea that somehow the United States constitution or other founding principles gave it the right to influence politics or take territories abroad.

One might also argue that American Imperialism benefitted from the mistakes of European Imperialism in that the United States never tried to take over and manage a colony as large as India.  Yet the United States still intervened in Vietnam despite watching the French failure there and one might argue that the U.S. ignored centuries of Imperialist failures by getting involved in Afghanistan.

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