Why did the United States acquire territories in the Caribbean and Pacific to create an empire?

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The United States already viewed itself as the major power of the Western Hemisphere, as evidenced by the Monroe Doctrine. The United States fought the Spanish-American War under the guise of a humanitarian mission to help Cuban rebels, when in reality, it was to make sure that American economic interests...

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The United States already viewed itself as the major power of the Western Hemisphere, as evidenced by the Monroe Doctrine. The United States fought the Spanish-American War under the guise of a humanitarian mission to help Cuban rebels, when in reality, it was to make sure that American economic interests were secure on the island. The United States also grabbed land in the Pacific in order to have coaling stations for its ships on their way to the lucrative markets of Asia. American sugar and pineapple planters also overthrew the queen of Hawai'i in order to bring their crops to the American mainland without facing tariffs.

Unlike the nations of Europe, the United States had plenty of frontier to discover during the nineteenth century, and the nation saw no need to annex lands in Africa or Southeast Asia. It was only after the nation ran out of frontier, around 1890, that it began to look abroad for new territory.

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The United States wanted to become a world power around 1900. Part of being a world power is having colonies. The problem for the United States was there weren’t many lands available to colonize by 1900. Thus, we would need to go to war with a colonial power to get these colonies that would help us establish an empire.

The United States was having issues with Spain. Americans believed the Spanish were mistreating the Cuban people. This was mainly due to the exaggerated news stories appearing in newspapers. When a United States warship exploded in Havana Harbor, we declared war on Spain. As a result of this war, we defeated Spain and got some of their possessions in the Pacific and the Caribbean. We got the Philippines, Guam, and Puerto Rico. The United States now had an empire beyond its borders.

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