Some imperialistic activity was encouraged by people and organizations of stronghumanitarian and religious convictions.There was a belief that it was a moral duty to spread elements of Western civilizationsuch asreligion, medicine, food, law and government.
The U.S. Acquires Alaska:
In 1867, Secretary of State William H. Seward arranged for the purchase of Alaska fromRussia. This was viewed as a protective move, as Seward believed that by having U.S.territory on two sides of Canada, Great British might abandon its interests in Canada(thinking that Great Britain would not want to have another military conflict with theU.S.).Detractors of the Alaska purchase thought that Seward was proposing to buy aworthless frozen land, as the result, the Alaska purchase was sometimes referred to as“Seward’s folly.”
U.S. Influence in the Far East:
In 1853, Commodore Matthew C. Perry sailed into Tokyo Bay and opened traderelations with Japan. By the 1860s, the U.S. and several European nations had signedtreaties for expanded trade with China.Like the Europeans, the U.S. needed fueling stations for its navy. As the result, the U.S.annexed the (uninhabited) Pacific island of Midway, in 1867.
In 1875, the U.S. signed a treaty with the monarchy of Hawaii. Under this treaty, Hawaiiwould be allowed to send its sugar to the U.S. without having a tariff imposed upon itsproduct. In return, Hawaii agreed that it would not sell or lease any of its territory to aforeign power.
Grant Enforces the Monroe Doctrine:
In 1870, President Ulysses S. Grant announced that under the Monroe Doctrine, theU.S. would protect the islands of the Caribbean from being transferred to Europeanpowers.
Supply and Demand Considered:
By the late 1800s, the U.S. had developed into a strong industrial economy. Americawas producing goods at the highest rate ever. Unfortunately, domestic consumption of these goods could not keep up with what was being produced. According to the Law of Supply and Demand, an excess supply causes prices to fall. Falling prices are not goodfor the businesses that produce products. As a way to increase demand for U.S. madegoods, America looked to foreign markets.www.mirwin.weebly.compage
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