During the end of the 19 th century, the United State's foreign policy became a major issue and was in an ideological conflict within the nation. A national debate grew between citizens as to the role of the United States and its overseas and military endeavors. Americans attempted to decide the role of democracy in the world and how the United States should act in world affairs. It all started with the Spanish-American War of 1898.
Cuba which lies very close to the United States was uprising against Spain which was ruling it during the time and the United States got involved initially attempting to assist the Cubans to kick out Spain. The United States obviously had personal interests in Cuba but used the slogan of "freedom" to justify their actions. The United States joined the war and defeated Spain quickly and signed the Treat of Paris giving the United States custody of the Philippines. The United States had won Cuba, Guam, Porto Rico, Philippines (Gor n, Roberts, Bil hartz, 83).
This caused fighting between the Filipinos and Americans and troops were sent in to take care of the unrest. Many people back in the United States supported the American expansionist ic attitude. The cohorts of the war and expansionism believe that overseas expansion of the US would fulfill its duty of teaching the "uncivilized" world civility and Christianize the pagans and raise the inferior people from their ignorance. An American Empire would open new economical opportunities and bring prosperity to all.
There were many debates within the US and the other view of the American people was that the expansion hungry US would overextend and disrupt the American economy, and would go against the fundamental American principles of freedom and the ground on which this nation was built on.