American Imperialism Questions and Answers

Start Your Free Trial

Why did the U.S. become an imperial power in the late 19th century? How would you define "imperial power"?

Expert Answers info

Greg Jackson, M.A. eNotes educator | Certified Educator

bookM.A. from University of Massachusetts-Boston


calendarEducator since 2018

write1,815 answers

starTop subjects are History, Literature, and Law and Politics

By the late 19th Century, the United States was being drawn steadily towards imperialism. Imperialism is when one nation extends its control and influence beyond its own borders. This can be achieved through diplomatic means, economic influence, and outright military force. In the late 1800s, many European powers were gathering up numerous overseas territories. There were many in the United States who felt that their nation should do the same.

One major reason that the United States became an imperial power at this time is due to economic prosperity. The country had quickly and successfully been developing its industrial sector throughout the 19th Century. This afforded the country the resources and capital necessary to extend its power overseas. Also, the desire for resources to feed these industries, as well as foreign markets for American consumer goods, encouraged many to make the United States a global imperial power.

Furthermore, with the closing of the American frontier in 1890,...

(The entire section contains 5 answers and 993 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now


check Approved by eNotes Editorial

Susana Scanlon eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2019

write793 answers

starTop subjects are History, Literature, and Law and Politics

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

Tim Mbiti eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2014

write1,737 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Business

Ashley Kannan eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2009

write16,848 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

brettd eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2009

write4,576 answers

starTop subjects are History, Social Sciences, and Literature

check Approved by eNotes Editorial