Discussion #4: American Imperial Expansion
The Republican victory in 1896 gave heart to proponents of prosperity through foreign trade. McKinley sought neither war nor colonies, but many in his party wanted both. Called “jingos,” they included Assistant Secretary of the Navy, Theodore Roosevelt; John Hay, the ambassador to London, and senators Albert Beveridge and Henry Cabot Lodge. Britain, France, and Germany were seizing territory around the world, and jingos believed the United States needed to do the same for strategic, religious, and economic reasons.
In order to prepare for this discussion forum::
- Review and identify the relevant sections of Chapter 21 that support your discussion.
- Read the linked document, taken from an article by Senator Henry Cabot Lodge (R-MASS), in the 1895 issue of Forum magazine. What motives for imperialism are reflected in Lodge’s article?
After you have completed your readings post your response to only ONE of the following questions.
- Several reasons are proposed explaining why the United States decided to join the “Imperialist Club”. Which argument was the strongest, and which argument was the weakest? Explain your position.
- Is there any evidence to support Kristin Hoganosn’s argument regarding the role of gender and the Spanish-American War? (Suggestion: students might want to review the previous chapter for a discussion on this topic). Discuss if you agree or disagree with her argument. Make sure to support your position.
- In your opinion, do Lodge’s arguments support the need for the United States to acquire an imperial empire? Explain your position.