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The United States expanded its territorial boundaries through annexation of other states. This successfully occurred via acquisition of various colonies such as Alaska, Hawaii, Texas and the Philippines. This occurred in the spirit of imperialism and this paper aims to review the United States annexation of the Philippine islands during the late nineteenth century. Imperialists largely supported United States annexation for various reasons. These include: advancement of trade since US settlers in various colonies pursued political authority in their colonies. Most important, was the need of market expansion for their farm produce as annexation would allow easy access to the United States market. American imperialists supported national trade balance and there was a need for exports to exceed imports. Annexation of colonies would increase the United States market for exports. Moreover, the US wanted to become a superior power in the world and needed to enlarge its territorial boundaries. The Philippine islands in the oceans formed a prime target for US annexation. The spirit of imperialism also emanated from nationalism during the nineteenth century. This was strongly influenced by European imperialism during the same period. Other reasons include: Spread of Christianity in colonies labeled ‘barbaric’ coupled with racial superiority over other colonies
The annexation of the Philippine islands was partially a supremacy battle with Spanish colonial powers. The United States was at war with Spain and realized the need to topple the empire via acquisition of its territories. This elicited a lot of controversy in the United States’ political arena. US foreign policy pushed for freedom in the Spanish occupied territories. Specific laws were drafted to address this liberation concern and included the Manifest doctrine as well as the Monroe destiny. The US auto assigned itself the role of being the global liberator from colonial oppression especially on the Spain occupied Philippine islands.