On Becoming A World Power

American history continues as the United States advanced post Civil War into the early 1900s, our strength grew and with it wisely or unwisely we expanded our foreign policy out into the world with all its challenges good and bad.

Grauland  2020

On Becoming A World Power
by Michael Doyle

Since the War of 1812, America's focus had been mostly inward
Insulated by two oceans, mostly our trade that had our outward
Disposition; a disposition of displaying equal liberty
Avoiding entanglements as a prayerful benediction for all liberty

Choosing not to go abroad in search of monsters to destroy
It was seen as endangering the very soul of America to deploy
In the name of wars of interested intrigue lacking in extrication
Surrendering to avarice and ambition, the spirit of our nation

John Quincy Adams was reasoned as he promoted due caution
As we can see today, it was right to the take such precautions
At least, inasmuch as allowing for the defensive Monroe Doctrine
Keeping Europe out of the Americas with its infernal plotting

After the Civil War, many thought of extending republicanism
Through Manifest Destiny being extended into colonialism
But to do this would be to embrace the risk of imperialism
As all elites were doing as was evidenced by empiricism

A mix of Social Darwinism and a related Social Gospel's duty
Were used to argue for and acquire new land and booty
With the increasing trade, a powerful navy became paramount
Forward into the future for whatever challenges we'd surmount

Beveridge's march of the flag wove together all elements
Into the growing imperialist policy's most cogent argument
It is perhaps with these degrees of feigned sanctimony
That we would trade our standard of liberty for trading colonies

Alaska was acquired from the Russians as Seward's Folly
The isles of Samoa and Hawai'i also became part of our story
At last eyes turned toward Spain's Cuba as being of interest
Yellow Dog journalism led the way to a war in which to wrest

From Spain as public outrage is hard to resist or to ignore
Yet still, Grover Cleveland would push back from this war
Until McKinley was elected seeking a canal and independence
Remembering the Maine caused war hawks to be in ascendance

These cries brought rise to that splendid little war
One hundred and fourteen days catapulted us to the door
Of colonialism and also pronounced as a world great power
Sinking the Spanish Empire and bring our Filipino hour

Though speaking of self rule, some were given to annexation
This caused an ensuing debate across our great nation
The anti-imperialists strongly objected citing the Constitution
While the imperialists ignored principles as an over simplification

There were then the objections based on Gompers' racism
As well as the Filipinos having their own mind for nationalism
William Howard Taft became the governor fighting their insurrection
At last in 1946, the Philippines was made free for their dedication

Another territory gained, was the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico
Neither entirely in nor entirely out on and on this would go
Perhaps it was concern over having imposed a Platte Amendment
In which America allowed only so much Cuban free government

This as the Cubans stated was gulling to belief in liberty
It does not speak entirely well as it sets in American History
America's divided heart plays on not withstanding
Practicalities of entanglement can make ideals quite demanding

(c) April 1, 2020  Michael Doyle
All Rights Reserved

Octopussy goes Cuba -Plaza Cuidad

 

 

 

 

About alohapromisesforever

Writer, poet, musician, surfer, father of two princesses.
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