Why Did America Become a World Power?
During the late 1800s, the fact that America had become a world power became very evident. Events around the world and at home had changed the nation and forced it to branch out and become more active abroad. Three main reasons for this were: the spreading of other nation’s power and influence, traditions and values that had been part of America since the beginning, and the need for raw materials, and more importantly, economic markets around the world. America took on the role of a much more imperialistic nation than it had been in the past.
Nations around the world were becoming more imperialistic and straining to spread power and influence to new lands. In a way, America may have felt pressure to follow suit. With other countries dominating larger areas in new locations, America needed to do the same to compete. It was a sure bet that America would be at risk of losing power and influence if other countries like Japan, Germany, and Russia were gaining it across the globe. The Unites States, in a way, succumbed to the international peer pressure, and so did Theodore Roosevelt. The Monroe Doctrine stated that other countries should not interfere with the Western Hemisphere, but what was to stop one of the nations that was become more powerful from simply refusing to recognize the document. America couldn’t risk getting pushed around by other countries so it had to act. Roosevelt even added the Roosevelt Corollary to the Monroe Doctrine to justify his actions in the Caribbean. This addition basically stated that not only should the European powers stay out of the Western Hemisphere, but that America had every right to intervene, in any way they saw fit, to stop them. Roosevelt’s “big stick” attitude caused him to take action, sometimes with disregard for formalities; He acquired the Panama Canal, arguably, through forced revolution. The peer pressure from other nations for