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Imperialism After the Spanish-American War in 1898 imperialism became a popular and important topic in America American grew with the annexation of Hawaii Commodores victory in the Philippines and the US now possessing Guam Puerto Rico and the Philippine islands However controversies and conflicts arose on whether Americans should support imperialism Carl Schurz the leader of the liberal reform wing of the Republican Party and one of the leading opponents of overseas American expansion argued against imperialism He believed it was wrong that the people thought they must establish rein over a country like the Philippines to make it successful by preparing them for self-government Self-government is learned only by exercising it upon ones own responsibility He used the United States as one example with their fight for freedom and then their stumbling beginning with the government He continued to explain with the Philippines that America was not benefiting financially either Profit from trading with the Philippines would be less than the cost of building and maintaining the island after conquering it The excuse of a foot in these islands also did not strengthen the argument in Schurzs point of view These coaling stations docks for fleets and facilities for the establishment of commercial housed and depots could be earned by granting the Filipinos independence and becoming allies Giving up the island for self-government would save and preserve Americas honor self-respect interests and democracy Other significant figures like Mark Twain and Alfred T Mahan also disagreed with imperialism Mark Twain compared Americas conquering of lands as the European game which was uncharacteristic and foreign to the traditional American game He believed once we took the Philippines the next step would be Cuba and then American would not be able to start This choice would not benefit American or the conquered nation Mahan did not believe unprepared America could not handle and control imperialism He sided against creating the Panama Canal because he felt the
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