The period between the two world wars was a time of relative turmoil for the United States. Just after recovering from a massive depression, America began to turn towards imperialism and warmongering to boost American nationalism. America began campaigns in many areas of Central America. While the U.S. did acquire land and some resources, at the same time it strayed away from its core ideas of isolationalism and turned into a nation that was perceived as imperialistic.
During the late 19th century, the U.S.S. Maine blew up in a port near Havana for reasons still not yet discovered. It is now a commonly known fact that even politicians during that time were “itching” for an opportunity to go to war. When the ship exploded, American politicians jumped on the opportunity and started the Spanish-American war. When the dust settled, America easily won and Spain forfeited Cuba, Guam, and Puerto Rico to America.
One might wonder how these actions were able to take place in a time when the public had a more vocal influence in the government than most countries. Politicians used the old term manifest destiny to justify the fact that they went to war. In addition to this the explosion of the U.S.S Maine was used as propaganda to convince the American people that a war was warranted.
Prior to WWII China was in a depression. They were vulnerable to many imperialistic attempts to open up the market between them and Europe. In an attempt to further expand economically, America moved in. In 1900 Secretary of State John Hay announced what became known as the "Open Door" policy with regard to China. His intention was that no European nation was to create a sphere of influence in China to the exclusion of other nations.
During these times America was able to expand economically, acquire more territory, and boost nationalism. All of these are good things but were they enough to justify the means to get them? While that question is debatable, it is fairly certain that...