The Reasons for War in 1898 - Essay Example

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The Reasons for War in 1898

The vision of the United States as an Asian power originated in the post colonial period. The U.S. Exploring Expedition of 1838 described three great island nations in the Pacific. These ports, Pago Pago, Manilla, and Pearl Harbor initiated the vision of America's quest for a presence in the Pacific. In 1878 the United States acquired a naval base in Pago Pago through an agreement with Great Britain and Germany, and by the end of 1898 the U.S. government controlled all the above mentioned harbors.2Frederick Jackson Turner‘s analysis that liberty and individualism had depended on the existence of a moving frontier into contiguous land. Turner believed that an ever-expanding frontier was necessary for the growth of the nation. Stromberg contends that, "With the disappearance of the frontier in the 1890s, a substitute frontier had become necessary to preserve the American way of life"3. Foreign markets became the frontier that had been exhausted on the mainland. Using Turner's arguments, proponents advocated looking beyond our shores for new frontiers and expanding markets.The vehicle to make large scale saltwater imperialism possible began with the publication of Alfred Thayer Mahan's 1890 book "The Influence of Sea Power Upon History, 1660-1783". Mahan proposed the theory that great nations rode upon great naval power. As Mahan laid out in his book, "The motive, if any there be, which will give the United States a navy, is probably now quickening in the Central American Isthmus. ...Show more


This essay will discuss the historical events during the 19th century, which most likely led to the beginning of the Spanish-American War of 1898. A special attention is paid to the United States' of America economic and political positioning before the war…
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