America's Imperialist Expansion

Commercial Interest in the Region

J.P. Morgan

J.P Morgan, Legendary financier of the ealry 20th Century.

“American businessmen previously opposed to war began to look upon it as an inevitable evil.” As the business community witnessed countries such as Germany occupy greater stretches of the Earth, their attitude toward whether or not to declare war changed. American businessmen saw European expansion into the Asian and Latin American Market as a threat to American Free Trade. 

Economic reasons, above all else, influenced America’s eventual Military intervention in Cuba. According to Philip S. Foner, war against Spain “had its roots in the rise of monopoly capitalism and its drive for markets.”

“War fever reflected the intense nationalism of the time but until the business community’s shift in March, passion for the war was confined to mass popular opinion encouraged by an inflammatory press.”

The hysteria and sensationalism was already ripened throughout the country by the time the United States decided to declare war on Spain. It is argued, however, that the fervor for war had little impact on the McKinley’s decision until the Business community in America decided that war was a necessary evil. After the business class abandoned their former pacifists ideas, did the country truly gear up for war.



Foner, S. P. (1972). The Spanish-Cuban-American War and the Birth of American

       Imperialism Vol. 1: 1895-1898. New York and London: Monthly Review Press.  

Commercial Interest in the Region