America had become a small industry and a basic economy in the 19th century. America was also a new nation, with few traditions and customs. Since then, America grew a lot, and many steps were taken during 19th century which got the nation in its current immense industry and bustling economy. Industry and commerce contributed to the country’s 19th century identity because it offered the platform for a larger economy in the imminent, made an upgraded transportation essential, helped drive western expansion and growth of cities, and forced many new inventions onto the market. The largest centers of commerce in 1800s were seaboard ports. These were small towns with basic transportation systems. Nonetheless, these seaboard ports were surrounded by large farms, even though most of the times these farms were muddy, people still farmed on them. This paper argues that America became involved in the Pacific region in the latter half of the nineteenth century because of commerce.
During the latter half of the nineteenth century, America was not focused fully on the events of other nations as it was dealing with its own events. During this period, America was recovering from civil war, expanding to the West, and developing industries. It started to trade more and more in other nations as production increased. The oceanic westward expansion during the 19th century, driven mostly by commerce encompassed a continuing push to found a resilient U.S manifestation in and across the Pacific region (American History, 2016). Thus, to defend its interests, U.S needed a new foreign policy. Many writers at the time including Captain Alfred Mahan argued that if America wanted to develop to be great, it had to establish its own sea power. This not only comprised of a strong navy, but also an economy that would yield products for exports. Raw materials and markets would be provided by colonies, goods would be carried by trade ships, and American interests in foreign nations would be defended by overseas naval bases.
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Because of this, during the second half of 19th century, America had to enter into several agreements with foreign nations. In other words, commerce was the main driving force for America to get involved in foreign nations- it wanted to become great. For instance, in 1878, America signed a treaty with Samoa. It decided to assist the South Pacific islands settle their existing differences with other countries. This treaty was later put into test. Nonetheless, the petition of returns to be received from the China trade aided as the preliminary push to inspire U.S. populaces and bureaucrats to enter into the Pacific region. U.S based merchants nonetheless after U.S independence continued to seek opportunity in the Pacific region. These merchants accumulated substantial treasures which they afterwards invested in the development of their homeland. U.S traders continued to get more involved in the Pacific region as the trade grew and this expansion in the Pacific eventually altered the international position in the U.S.
In conclusion, commerce was the primary driver that steered America to get involved in the Pacific region. America needed to establish itself, get more power in the sea, and rule over the entire region. And because of this reason, by 1900 the country was recognized as a global power with considerable political, commercial, and military interests and territorial holdings all over the Pacific region. Eventually, America showed its strength and power.
- American History (2016). Trade Drives America’s Foreign Policy in the Late 1800’s. Retrieved from http://www.manythings.org/voa/history/143.html
- The Industrial Revolution in the United States (n.d). Retrieved from http://www.loc.gov/teachers/classroommaterials/primarysourcesets/industrial-revolution/pdf/teacher_guide.pdf