Back in the 1890s new economic, political, and ideological developments brought about the outrage of imperialistic expansionism by the US. This movement arose during the Spanish-American war, a conflict that began over freeing of Cuba and came to an end with the highly controversial acquisition of the Philippines and other territories. The war signaled the arrival of the United States and a great power on the global scene. American imperialism led to the spark of a huge debate because people wondered if the United States had become an imperialist power by keeping the Philippines. Writers like William James and Mark Twain became the embodiment of "anti-imperialists".
Moreover, there arose a question regarding ruling another nation and the compatibility with basic American ideals of democracy and self-government. Some saw the United States as fake by facing the world as a Union of Free States while holding vassal states in subjection. How could this country make such a solemn and majestic claim when declaring its independence that government derives its powers from the consent of the governed?
Theodore Roosevelt is a good example of "pro-imperialist where he was backed by some expansionists. Although he was a great president and a skilled international diplomat, it were his actions during the Spanish-American war that created his legend. Although lacking military experience, he used his political relations to obtain his army commission for service in Cuba which effectively prompted his rise and favoritism among people. Roosevelt himself never regretted this exploit..
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