American Imperialism

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Why did the United States get involved in Imperialism?

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US imperialism was shaped by a combination of economic and strategic factors.

Economically, there exists a close connection between imperialism and industrial capitalism (and the United States is no exception to this theme). As the United States industrialized, its economic life became increasingly dominated by big business interests. As if often the case, this concentration of wealth and economic power provided these businesses with tremendous influence in government. Imperialism served as a means for these companies to gain control over raw materials and markets, or to protect investments which had already been made.

Meanwhile, you should remember that the United States government also had strategic interests motivating imperialism. For example, the possession of worldwide naval bases allowed the United States to greatly expand the reach of its naval power. Additionally, you can point to the example of the Panama Canal. In this case, the United States (under Theodore Roosevelt)...

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