The United States is already prosperous from the territories it annexed and bought, as labeled by Uncle Sam's pants, and how fat he is from the territory he swallowed up.
This little Taylor (so small in proportion to the "United States") represents President McKinley, who has pro-imperialism views. He is shown tailoring an even larger suit for Uncle Sam then he already has. This represents the preparation of McKinley to take even more territory for the US.
Uncle Sam can't resist the temptations of ruling the world, an empire all for him. The more land he has, the more he is proven to be a world power, and can spreads he ideals he wants to to all the land a he has. s2.thingpic.com
Hawaii used to be its own proud little kingdom in the middle of the ocean. They had their own culture, ideals, and values. When American Sugar Planters came to reap some of the profit of their bountiful land, they planned for the US to annex Hawaii as a state, only to gain personal profit from sugar trade deals and markets with the United States. Though their Queen, Liliuokalani, fought hard for Hawaiian independence, the whites set up a provisional government, overthrew the monarchy by force, and demanded annexation by the United States. The US eventually declared Hawaii the 50th state. s4.thingpic.com
Here Carl Scherrs (an anti-imperialist) is portrayed as a doctor offering Uncle Sam medicine, because he is sick with power and lust for power. Scherr and his helpers are trying to be a wake up call, but Sam's response, as indicated by the title of this cartoon, is "No, thanks." He is so content in his power that he won't even consider changing his mind, or looking at the colonized people's side of the story. Sherrs realizes that Sam is losing sight of what a democracy means.
Since when is the expansion the US is doing (taking over lands by force for "the good of the country") rational? “We cannot deny freedom across the ocean and maintain it at home. This Nation cannot endure with part of its people citizens and part colonists. The flag will lose all its glory if it floats at once over freemen and subjects. We cannot long rule other men and keep our own liberty. In the high and holy name of humanity, we are trampling upon the rights of men” -Joseph Kroocker s1.thingpic.com
McKinley was under a lot of pressure from a majority of the American people and his opponents to expand and employ the policies of imperialism.
Is the US as enlightened as our ideals portray us? Is being enlightened really forcing your culture onto people who don't want or need it? As a democracy, we need to try to keep to our own code of life, Liberty and happiness for all human beings, no matter where they come from. s1.thingpic.com
Also by adding territories to the US, Sam is providing new markets for the US to trade with and to exclusively. The people can be used in his favor to help with cheap labor.
Some imperialists, such as President James Monroe, believed that if the United States did not take part in imperialism like the rest of the European nations, it would fall behind, and be swallowed up in the mass rush of imperialism as a territory of another nation. s1.thingpic.com
Some people believed that imperialism was right because they could spread religion and culture who "needed saving from their heathen ways" or they would not live a good life. These people believed it was the moral and religious responsibility of the US to expand and put US culture into these lands. s3.thingpic.com
Here McKinley is portrayed as a tailoring company. He is trying to make a "one size fits all policy" to justify the taking of lands already populated by people with their own government and culture.
Another reason not to take over new lands was because of the costs it would take to transport goods and people to the new territory, as well as the lives lost (of our soldiers as well as the colonized people) if there was an uprising against the intruders (us)