Expansionism is the term applied to governments that seek to grow a nation’s territory through various means. Policies such as colonialism or militarism may encompass various means of expansionism, and by the 19th century, when all available land had been settled, expansionism came through physical force. Post-modern application of the term can also be used to describe economic hegemony. Paper Masters can compose a custom written research paper on Expansionism that follows your guidelines.
Some classic examples of expansionism are:
- The Louisiana Purchase
- Mexican-American War
- The Annexation of Hawaii
- Acquisition of the Oregon Territories
Expansionism in Modern Times
One of the most notable examples of expansion in modern history is the growth and development of the United States. From the beginning of the nation, when thirteen states huddled on the east coast, the territory of the United States expanded until it stretched to the Pacific Ocean. This process took much of the 19th century and was characterized by both economic and social forces. In the 1840s, the term “Manifest Destiny” was given to the expansionist policies that sought to make the US stretch across the continent.
20th Century Expansionism
In the 20th century, it can be said that one major cause of the Second World War was the expansionist policy of Nazi Germany, known as Lebensraum (“living space”). While Germany was facing population pressures during the 1920s and 1930s, the expansionist policies pursued by Hitler were predicated on racist and militaristic ideologies. Hitler desired to conquer much of Eastern Europe in order to create his Third Reich, and many of his early expansionist moves were achieved merely with the threat of force, such as the Anschluss of Austria.