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Discuss the view that there were marked changes in the nature of British and American expansion in the late Nineteenth Century - Essay Example

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Pages 8 (2008 words)

Summary

British and American expansion did start to take different courses than had previously been set earlier in the 1800's. The nature of American expansion was that it was, by the early 1890's first becoming interested in overseas matters after a long held belief (that stemmed from the times of the Revolutionary war) that the USA should remain aloof from the affairs of Europe an other countries…

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Discuss the view that there were marked changes in the nature of British and American expansion in the late Nineteenth Century


In the USA, interest in expansion came essentially from a number of practical and ideological changes. First, by virtue of its massive economic growth after the Civil War:- spurred by an abundance of natural resources and rapid industrialization - the United States had become a "great power". Numerous publicists started to suggest that as the United States was now a great power, it should start to act like one.
Practical changes also led to America turning its eye towards other countries. The American "frontier" had essentially disappeared by the last decade of the Nineteenth century; many started to state that the country would need new land and opportunities to serve a growing population. Militarist minds suggested that the US would need to become a great naval nation in order to protect its borders, and Social Darwinists suggested that "manifest destiny" could be extended to other countries. Thus, stated simply, they stated that the world was a jungle and that only the strong in a raw, physical sense could survive. Added to these arguments were those of idealists and religious leaders who argued that Americans should "take up the white man's burden" and carry their supposedly self-evidently superior culture (cultural, economic, political, religious) to the native peoples of the world.
Thus a whole series of factors ...
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