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America's growth between the Civil War to post WWII

Explain why America became a superpower between the years of 1865-1945. Specific factors that influenced America's rise from Civil War to post WWII superpower. I am looking for help with analysis using historical events to show "why" America became a world superpower, not simply stating facts and timelines.

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Below are some suggestions for you to be able to analytically discuss the United States rise to "super-power" status. Naturally you can expand on any of these ideas, I am merely giving you a train of thought for which you can plug in your specifics from the references that you have already gathered.

Starting with 1865 you should note that the Civil War did more to shape the future of the United States than any other event. The country emerged from the war battered however the war served as a testing ground as to the strength of the country. It was a test by fire and the country had survived, however remember at this point the U.S. was a long way from being a world power. During the years after the Civil War the United States had other issues and problems to settle. Domestic issues such as labor strife, economic instability, Indian uprisings, and Jim Crow legislation all hindered the growing progress of the United States. Yet at the same time there was spectacular urban and industrial growth, a sign of a maturing nation.

Then you can move into the idea of imperialism as part of the road the U.S. traveled on the way to becoming a superpower. After the Civil War many Americans agreed that the U.S. had a global destiny (this was similar to the Manifest Destiny idea of the 1840s). By the end of the 19th and into the 20th century expansionism had become imperialism. Consequently there were several reasons why the U.S. embraced imperialism First was the belief that an empire was a sign of greatness. Americans witnessed several European nations and Japan busy collecting colonies from North Africa to the Pacific Islands. So to achieve greatness, many Americans concluded, the U.S. too must have an empire. By 1899, at the dawning of the 20th century, the U.S. possessed an island empire stretching from the Caribbean to the Pacific. Another reason for this desire to expand and build an empire was the argument that continued prosperity demanded overseas markets. For instance, in the 1890s, Secretary of State James Blaine noted that national prosperity required that American business must look abroad. Such arguments surfaced frequently during and after the depression of 1893-1897. A third reason was that it would create a strong navy. Former head of the Navy War College, Alfred T. Mahan, wrote The Influence of Sea Power Upon History (1890) in support of this idea. He equated sea power with national greatness and urged a U.S. naval buildup. Additionally he supported the movement to acquire foreign territories especially in the Pacific islands because of access to good harbors. Mahan wrote that a strong navy required bases abroad where vessels could dock for repairs, supplies, and fuel. Some religious leaders also chimed in proclaiming America's divine mission to spread Christianity. Indeed there were many Protestant, American ministers fanning out over the globe but the expansionist argument sometimes took on a racial aspect. For instance, Rev. Josiah Strong in Our Country (1885) wrote, "God is training the Anglo-Saxon race for its mission." Strong and others believed this mission was to bring Christianity and civilization to the world's "weaker races." Americans in a sense were commissioned to be their "brother's keeper." This concept known as "White Man's Burden", taken from the title ...