Beginnings of American Imperialism:
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Southern observers foresaw before the American Civil War that northern industrialists desired to absorb Central America and the Carribean. Southern observers said that northern industrialists intended first to exclude slavery from the territories of the United States so that states could be established whose U.S. Senators would not oppose the tariffs and improvements of harbors and construction of railroads at taxpayers’ expense for the industrialists’ benefit. When they had a Constitutional majority (3/4 of the whole) of states under the control of pro-industrialist governments, they would pass a Constitutional amendment to abolish slavery in the states. Abolishing slavery would bankrupt the southern plantation owners. Northern industrialists would buy the plantations dirt-cheap, establish peonage to work them, and export the excess former slaves to northern factories for cheap industrial labor. They would then absorb Mexico, Central America, and the Carribean and establish peonage in all of these areas to raise coffee, cotton, tobacco, and sugar, for supply of their northern factories.
An article describing this process was published in DeBow’s Review issue of February 1857.
What actually happened was little different than this prediction. Slavery was forbidden in the territories; a Constitutional amendment was made to abolish slavery in the states; cheap labor in the form of ex-slaves and cheap land in the South became available to northern industrial interests; the new industrial America partly absorbed and partly dominated the Carribean; Central America was dominated without being absorbed; the Philippines, Hawaii, and several central Pacific islands were absorbed; a big hunk of China was dominated. All, that had been predicted, took place, and more.