US History

US History: Imperialism, Isolationism, and Interventionism.

I’ll be covering 3 events that represent isolationism, imperialism, and intervention

  • The 1900 annex of Hawaii- imperialism
  • Refusing to give aid to the Hungarian Patriots in 1849- Isolationism
  • The Open Door policy of 1899- Interventionism

The Annex Of Hawaii




  1. a policy of extending a country’s power and influence through diplomacy or military force.

“the struggle against imperialism”

The annexation of Hawaii began after US citizens living in Hawaii and the Marines overthrew Queen Liliuokalani on January 17th, 1893 in Oahu. The US annexed Hawaii for 2 main reasons, the Queen was trying to reinstate a monarchy, which would lessen the US’ influence on Hawaii, a large sugar exporter, and because the nationalism caused by the Spanish-American war made it so Hawaiian natives began to reject Anglo-Saxon influence that the US was trying to spread. By stealing Hawaii, the US secured its major exporter of sugar, among other goods, and furthered the spread of a culture it deemed as best. The US officially annexed Hawaii in 1900 after the queen peacefully resigned, fearing the US’ reputation for the murder of citizens for imperialistic goals.

There is no better example of imperialism than Hawaii, viewed today as a hotspot for white American vacationers to become enriched in an “authentic ethnic experience”, they were annexed via intimidation for financial gain and forced cultural assimilation.

The Hungarian Patriots




  1. a policy of remaining apart from the affairs or interests of other groups, especially the political affairs of other countries.”

When Hungarians became deeply dissatisfied with European rule in Hungary, they decided to revolt. Starting in 1848, Hungarians started forming, even looking at US revolts as a model for proper protests. Throughout this, many people from the revolt and Hungarian administration attempted to recruit US officials as intermediaries. Despite the Hungarians need for help, Hungary was recognized as European territory; getting involved with their revolt would go outside of the US’ isolationist foreign policy. This policy was built out of a fear of war, and the US felt the only way to avoid war was to avoid any global politics whatsoever.

This was isolationism to the T, this was a common case of avoiding global affairs to preserve international affairs, fading into the background until attacked was the US’ goal. Despite the citizen’s sympathies with the Hungarian population, the government viewed it as a huge risk.

1899 Open Door Policy

Interventionism is a term for a policy of non-defensive (proactive) activity undertaken by a nation-state, or other geo-political jurisdiction of a lesser or greater nature, to manipulate an economy and/or society.”

Due to the economic boom in China in the 1800s, there was a heavy interest in the country; imperialistic European powers had a special interest in gaining control over Chinese ports. The Open Door policy of 1899 was a policy demanding that China has control over tariffs and that China has open trade with all countries. They did this by barring any special interest deals to be enforced, while it was legally ineffective, it was a common agreement.

When the US did this, their intention was keeping financial ties with China while remaining isolated from issues within China. For instance, had they said “I demand to have access to your ports for financial gain,” there’d be a pressure to interact with them politically. Through the façade of the equal investment in Chinese ports, they can claim to protect China from imperialistic forces seizing their ports, make a profit, and stay out of their political climate by not mentioning the US directly. It is, by definition, interventionism; they manipulated the economy for profit under the idea of equal trade opportunity.