United States foreign policy from 1890-1914 was principally guided by economic motives.This is seen in such actions as the annexation of Hawaii, freeing Cuba from Spanish rule, and the Open Door Policy in China.These three actions, while coming across as military or religious, all began from economic aim.
The Hawaiian Islands caught the interest of the United States in the late 1800's.There was a high demand for Hawaiian sugar.American missionaries that had flocked to the islands in the early 1800's became sugar planters and politicians.Chinese and Japanese workers labored on the numerous sugar plantations that had sprouted on the islands.High tariffs proved hard on sugar plantation owners, causing them to desire the annexation of Hawaii.With the help of John L. Stevens, U.S. minister to Hawaii, a group of men proclaimed Hawaii's independence from Queen Lililuokalani.They also requested U.S. annexation.While President Grover Cleveland turned them down, Cleveland's successor, William McKinley, approved the annexation.This long process of annexation was all sparked by the economic interest in Hawaiian sugar.
In 1895, an anti-Spanish revolt had broken out in the colony of Cuba.The United States had $50 million invested in Cuba and annually imported $100 million worth of sugar and other exports.Through the help of yellow journalism, fueled by William Randolph Hearst of the New York Journal, and Joseph Pulitzer of the New York World, the U.S. became outraged with the Spanish.Hearst printed pictures of Spanish customs officials, strip-searching an American woman.This especially angered the men of the U.S.On February 15th an explosion destroyed the U.S. battleship Maine in Havana harbor killing 266 crewmen.Hearst blamed this as an attack from the Spanish.President McKinley was eventually pressured into helping the Cubans fight for their independence.The Teller Amendment backed the …