President McKinley and American Imperialism: A Study on United States Foreign and Domestic Policy in the Philippines 1898-1900
AIR COMMAND AND STAFF COLL MAXWELL AFB AL
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William McKinley actively sought territorial expansion during his tenure as President of the United States as a means to stimulate the domestic economy and increase American international prestige. This expansion was critical to the continued economic growth of the United States and its emergence as a world power. This report looks at McKinley s expansionist foreign policy and asserts it was tied directly to attaining economic markets and prosperity for the United States and not, as is commonly believed, a moral duty to help our little brown brothers. 1 This foreign policy designed to achieve economic growth conflicted with what many believed were the very foundations of our Constitution, the belief that no man should be ruled by another without consent. America had gained its independence from Great Britain because of the widespread acceptance of this belief and now, a little more than a hundred years later, the country was contemplating colonialism because it was sound business. The anti-imperialist movement and members of McKinley s own party opposed his expansionist plans. The President knew he had to have the unqualified support of the American people to attain his foreign policy objectives. His subsequent domestic policy campaign stressed that a moral duty had fallen upon America s shoulders, not that this form of colonialism would bring in more money. The argument that the acquisition of the Philippines was a duty from God that could not be refused was successful. The American public quickly rallied behind McKinley. The subsequent public pressure on Congress ensured ratification of all subsequent treaties and policies ensuring American annexation of the Philippines and several lesser islands throughout the Pacific. This report describes McKinley s expansionist beliefs, the reasons for those beliefs, and looks at his method of ensuring public.
- Government and Political Science