President McKinley sought a Senate approval but since he was rejected, the president used a joint House and Senate resolution, which allowed the president to send an army that annexed Hawaii by the summer of 1898. Later an American battleship Maine exploded into flames killing 260 men and Theodore Roosevelt who was the assistant secretary of the navy blamed the Spaniards as the cause of the treachery. Maine sparked a war between America and Spain and to avert the crisis, the Spaniards gave in by announcing a unilateral cease-fire while American used the chance to proclaim that Cuba was free from any form of Spain colonialism. Manilla war lasted 114 days and eliminated Spanish colonialism in American islands and mainland. United States attached Philippines and the government won over the Spanish army that worked closely with the local people.
Theodore Roosevelt pushed for an imperialistic foreign policy in which he signed a treaty to end the Russo-Japanese War of 1904. The treaty created a new Open Door policy towards China that allowed the U.S. control Panama Canal with a fleet of navy to control the Asia territory to avert war between China and Japan. The president further asserted to the use of the Monroe Doctrine, which accepted the use of force to intervene in cases of war disputes among any world power. The fact that China and Japan accepted American imposed authority to control the Panama is called a big-stick diplomacy which helped the canal to start function in 1914.
The Progressive Era
The progressive era is marked between 1890 and 1917 when the United States developed modalities to tackle social, economic, and industrialization plans that threatened internal stability and economic injustice. The progress of American depended on the capacity of the people to live planned life, planned urban settings and a controlled society that allowed every individual to work together for the economic and social benefit of the nation. The progressive era started when 10 million Americans out of 82 million Americans identified with abject poverty as their main concern. Muckrakers were investigative journalists who researched into American poverty and reported about diverse unsafe working conditions that affected not only adults but also children who labored more in unsafe factories under poor pay and deplorable working conditions besides lack of proper housing and medical attention. For instance, one main journalist was Henry Lloyd who wrote a research to examine American wealth distribution, which affected the commonwealth of the people because of the corporation monopoly. The author blamed the Standard Oil Corporation and major mining monopolies for corruption and other forms of civil corruptions that affected the status of Americans in accessing wealth.
Political reforms during the progressive era led to direct nomination of political leaders by allowing political participation of all voters instead of a few political affiliates who controlled the voting blocks. South Carolina was the first state to adopt the new voting modalities that allowed voters to choose their leaders. Direct primary and initiation of a referendum changed American politics since voter registration law allowed referendums and even allowed people to enact direct laws. The Seventeenth Amendment that was ratified in 1913 allowed voters to choose their senators under direct primary election replacing state legislatures. Women suffrage was another important aspect of the progressive era that led to a ban on former laws that hindered women from voting. Sale of alcohol was banned in 1917 when prohibition law come into effect to compact social ills associated with excess drinking of alcohol. Roosevelt enacted the Square Deal which controlled how business monopoly. For instance, Standard Oil was dissolved in 1911 due to their incapacity to surrender their files for malpractices to the government. Equally, the American Tobacco Company broke following a Supreme Court injunction that sought to arrest malpractices in the business sector. Emerging environmental conservation became a new progressive idea during the second term of Roosevelt. Woodrow Wilson as the new president after the 1912 elections, which saw him, contest over Roosevelt and Taff brought about new reforms in the economic sector in which a the Federal Reserve Act was passed to establish a major banking sector and oversee currency reforms way from private banks that offered money at different rates. The new national banking system had twelve regional reserve banks, which had to commit 6% of its capital to the Federal Reserve Bank. The action expanded credit services to business investor and made money supply more available for borrowing (737). Therefore, the progressive era remained more turbulent in establishing economic, social and political reforms especially after countless wars.
New Deal (1933-1945)
The 1929 economic crash saw the dissipation of the value of stocks. Business investors sold stocks at a depressed rate to avoid owning any of the weakening stocks. Although private banks formed an association to buy stocks to equilibrate and stop the crash, the stocks plunged by 37% their value. Personal income decreased as unemployment increased while farmers faced hard time due to commodity prices were cut by half to cater for the suffering nation. Therefore, the New Deal intended to rectify the banking sector that had stalled, deal with monetary issues and unemployment matters arising from the great depression.
The New Deal created the Home Owners Loan Act that provided loans to homeowners. Banking act was set up by creating a Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation to insure personal bank deposits while banks ceased operating brokerage transactions. The New Deal started the Civilian Conservation Corps that hired over 3 million young workers to work in forestry, parks, and fisheries and built roads. The government started the Federal Emergence Relief Administration (FERA) to address human distress and work with social workers to alleviate the post-depression crisis. FERA is attributed to have buil6 7,000 bridges, 5,000 public buildings and even funded education from poor student. Teaching profession expanded as more 40,000 schools and work increased since over1, 000 airports were built. Workers Progress Administration (WPA) provide millions of jobs 10 millions manual labor jobs and professional employment in the building and construction industry (Tindall and Shi 832).
The Post-World War era
The post World-War era saw the creations of new United States as the new leader of the axis of the world power which comprised of 5 other nations. United States sponsored the free elections in a bid to create democratic zones in Europe, a continent destabilized by the wars. The Truman Doctrine and Marshal Plan were initiated. Truman begged the Congress to approve $400 million as an economic aid to Greece and Turkey. In 1948 George Marshall as the secretary of state offered the Marshall plan that concentrated funds to help European nations. The Marshall plan divided Germany into two whereby the western part accepted the imperial plan while the Eastern German rejected the plan and allied with Soviet Union.
In the united States, the plight of African Americans remained unknown as ideas from the Ku Klux Klan such as lynching of the blacks continued without government intervention. The era of civil rights started in the 1940s throughout 1950s, 60 and ended in 1970s when Africans attained rights to vote and the right to own property as Americans. Truman banned racial discrimination when hiring federal employees in 1948 and the action allowed conscription of blacks into army such that by 1960s the army was racial integrated (Tindall and Shi 939).