New Industrial Age

During the 19th Century, United States experienced tremendous history characterized by a change of foreign policies. Before this period, the United States had experienced a period where it did not meddle with the affairs of the outside nations located in the Western hemisphere. As per the Monroe Doctrine, the United States made statements that it was not going to interfere with, nor was it going to interfere with the affairs of other nations. This Monroe doctrine has influenced the standing of United States before the 19th century making it to have a low profile in world affairs. However, the entry of the 19th century brought with it intense interest in foreign nations that the United States could not resist. The United States under the influence of new factors took itself into the international arena exploring the world just like other nations were doing. Whereas there were three factors that motivated the aggressiveness displayed by the United States during the 19th century, economic interest was the most significant factor followed by national interest and lastly, the spirit of missionary towards spreading its democracy and values to other nations.

The factors named above were the driving forces that made the United States pursue those foreign interests with more aggressiveness than before.  These motivators worked together resulting in change of United States policies regarding its involvement in other affairs around the world.  The impact of the increased aggressiveness saw the United States increase its influence across the Globe where it has its diplomats lobbying for interest. The United States involved itself in expansion efforts into the Western hemisphere even when it was concentrating its influence in Asia. Compared to other imperialists, the United States was seen by the world in terms of renewed interest on various aspects such as business opportunities, protecting her military interest and spreading Christianity to other parts of the world in an attempt to promote religion and democracy.

Economic interest of the United States

The United States ability to expand its economic interest abroad was the most single important motive for the renewed imperialism that she exemplified between 1890 and 1914. Trade played a significant role in shaping the foreign policy of the United States as new thinking about commerce emerged. First, the United States became aware of the need to increase its trading areas so as to acquire new markets.  The United States has made significant gains both as a result of the agricultural revolution and the industrial revolution. Because of these revolutions, the United States has established many business industries that were producing many products. From 1890 and 1914, many of the States in the United States saw trade and commerce as critical for their success. More specially, acquiring new markets for both industrial goods and agricultural produce became a driving force for the United States to spread her influence across the globe. It is was believed that acquisition of new markets overseas would grant the United States an opportunity to make profits as its own markets became saturated. Because of this reason, the need for aggressiveness in the foreign affairs became inevitable. With new markets overseas, companies like the Ford Corporation would sell their automobiles and generate more profits.

The United States need to acquire more raw materials was another reason that fueled the economic reasons that made it stretch its influence across the globe. The influx of industries in the United States was much welcome. Nonetheless, it presented a lot of uncertainties to the people of United States, who knew that their resources were reducing as more factories and plants were constructed. For instance, the success of firms like the Ford Corporation led to the increased demand for coal, rubber, oil and coal. With the United States leading in the extraction of these resources at that time, the need to find a new source of these resources were urgent thus motivating the adopting of an aggressive foreign policy aimed at acquiring new areas that could provide sources of cheap raw materials. 

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Establishment of new frontiers was seen as another reason that would ease the economic burden of Americans, who were disgruntled. The 19th century brought a lot of changes towards all facets of life. Because of such changes, some Americans were not happy and there was a need to find a solution to their problem. Because the United States government was responsible for planning, adopting an aggressive foreign policy was seen as critical in creating an avenue where disgruntled Americans would release their frustration. As a result, the United States adopted an aggressive approach in the international arena just like the other imperial powers.

National security interests

Between 1890 and 1914, the United States experienced several public debates on issues of security. Having been colonized by the Britain, the United States was keen in ensuring that she would not be affected by any colonial aggressor in the future. Most important, there was a growing interest among the American, who establishing free institutions across the world was a vital step in ensuring that the world was safe. Around 1990, the Americans were debating on a way of making the world a safe place given that imperialist were seen as a threat to the stability of the world. Whereas options such as disarmament and arbitration were debated on, there was a wide acceptance of other means such as acquiring new lands where the United States would promote its security policies.  To achieve more national security, the United States saw the use of diplomacy as critical in achieving world peace that would allow it to be peaceful and co-exist with other nations thus calling for increased foreign policy. The increase in the United States aggressiveness to foreign policies was aimed at protecting itself from military challenges that could be caused by other aggressors. Indeed, the interest to promote national security facilitated the increase aggressiveness towards spreading the United States foreign polices abroad.

The impact of other countries such as Germany, Russia and Britain made the United States rethink about its foreign policy. Imperialist like Russia and Germany were keen on controlling the economic and political systems of other states of interest. These events while remote made the United States contemplate on complete takeover of various countries. To promote tranquility and peace in the world, the United States understood that the  importance of pushing its foreign policies to the international frontier.  In so doing, the United States opened ways for other areas of the world to growth rather than being colonized by imperialist.

Missionary spirit to advance American democracy and values

The Missionary spirit to spread the United States’ idea of democracy and other values is also a factor that fueled the adoption of an aggressive foreign policy. At a time when many countries were busy annexing other parts of the world to themselves, the United States was interested in increasing its democratic participation in enlightening other countries. The United States government became aware of changing political orientation around the world. More than before, many imperialists had taken over stability of the world with free institutions being at risk of being marginalize. During the 1900s, it is believed that only a few countries in the world had achieved democracy, which was touted as having significant benefits in much area’s life. Believing that the world needed democracy, the United States experienced an unprecedented the change a change in policy that saw it transcend from a nation shying from involvement to the champion of democracy.  The United States thus crafted and executed foreign policies aimed at promoting democracy among various nations of interest. The success of this aim was evident later as more nations became democratic and non-dictatorial in their approach to governance.

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The urge by United States to export its government style was also a factor that increased use of aggressiveness at the foreign circle. The United States government had achieved significant milestones in democracy that many people took it as a role model of other countries. Its relentless efforts to push for new foreign policies made the United States adopt an active role in pushing its foreign policies across the world. As compared to other forms of government, the Americans felt that democracy, and free principles are central in making sure that governments are run the best way that represents the interest of the citizens.


Without doubt, the period of 1890 and 1914 characterized a time when the United States increased its interest in Foreign policies. Coming from a time when the United States paid less attention on the international system, spreading its influence through the use of foreign policies was adopted for because of some motivators. The United States was motivated to adopt an aggressive approach in foreign policy because of its interest in business opportunities. The potential business opportunities would provide them with resources, and market. In addition, national-security interest called for the spread of foreign policies to new countries where the United States had an interest. Most important, the aggressiveness in promoting foreign policies was also shaped by the United States desire to spread democracy and ensure that their government became an example. With a doubt commercial interests, nation security and the need to be a champion for democratic government are some of the main reason that made the United States  change its approach from a silent approach to full-scale champion of foreign.

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