With their domain now stretching from
coast to coast the "Manifest Destiny" crowd began to dream of an
overseas empire. Economic factors drove these ambitions. Col. Charles
Denby, a railroad magnate and an ardent expansionist, argued:
"Our condition at home is forcing us to commercial expansion ... Day by
day, production is exceeding home consumption ... We are after markets,
the greatest markets in the world."
Calls for empire were echoing through the halls of Washington.
"I firmly believe that when any territory outside the present
territorial limits of the United States becomes necessary for our
defense or essential for our commercial development, we ought to lose no
time in acquiring it." (Senator Orville Platt of Connecticut, 1894) 
To become a world power the U.S. built a world-class navy. A gung-ho
Theodore Roosevelt was put in charge of it. 
"I should welcome almost any war, for I think this country needs one."
(T. Roosevelt, 1897)
He didn't have long to wait.
The next year, taking a fancy to several Spanish colonies, including
Cuba and the Phillipines, the U.S. declared war on Spain. Rebel armies
were already fighting for independence in both countries and Spain was
on the verge of defeat. Washington declared that it was on the rebels'
side and Spain quickly capitulated. But the U.S. soon make it clear that
it had no intention of leaving. 
"The Phillipines are ours forever ... and just beyond the Phillipines
are China's illimitable markets ... the Pacific is our ocean." (Senator
Albert Beveridge of Indiana, 1900)
And for the Senator, the Pacific was only the beginning:
"The power that rules the Pacific is the power that rules the world
...That power is and will forever be the American Republic." 
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