Had there been no World Wars, would there have ever been any additional opportunities for the US to acquire additional territory?

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
22,750
SoCal
Motivated by Trump's Greenland views, I figured that I might as well ask this question here: Had there been no World Wars, would there have ever been any additional opportunities for the US to acquire additional territory? Obviously there could have been the possibility of another US purchase attempt of the Danish West Indies (an attempt by the US to purchase these islands back in 1902 failed by a tie vote in the upper house of the Danish Parliament and even without WWI, it's entirely possible that at some future point in time there could have been another attempt to sell these islands to the US), but which additional territories--if any--could the US have realistically acquired after 1914--either by purchase/negotiation or by conquest--in a scenario where the World Wars never occur?

Any thoughts on this?
 
Jan 2019
180
Finland
By 1914 hadn't the US rejected the imperialist jingoism of Roosevelt and was more towards isolationism, or rather anti-imperialism? No world wars and the Philippines get their independence as promised and on time, for one. Why would the US want to acquire more territory? If anything the US has more territory (or military bases rather) now because of the the world wars as it needs to maintain a global presence.
 

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
22,750
SoCal
By 1914 hadn't the US rejected the imperialist jingoism of Roosevelt and was more towards isolationism, or rather anti-imperialism?
In real life, the US purchased the Danish West Indies under Wilson in 1917; thus, I don't think that Wilson was unequivocally opposed to the acquisition of new territory for the US--especially if this territory would have had a small population as opposed to a large population.

No world wars and the Philippines get their independence as promised and on time, for one.
You mean in 1934?

Why would the US want to acquire more territory?
Well, some territory could have value for the US for strategic reasons--or for some other reasons, such as if this territory has a lot of natural resources.

Why did the US take territory from Spain in 1898 instead of either allowing Spain to keep this territory or giving all of these territories independence?

If anything the US has more territory (or military bases rather) now because of the the world wars as it needs to maintain a global presence.
Military bases don't really count for this, though. After all, military bases are still a part of the country which they are on, are they not?
 
Apr 2017
1,678
U.S.A.
Indeed, without world wars America would have little interest in more territory aside from regional areas not ruled by a major European power. This would only leave Danish and dutch territory. But as they didn't sell it in the normal timeline, this peaceful one seems even less likely.

There is one scenario I could think of but its highly speculative and fits with your laid out concept.
For some reason ww1 doesn't break out, the major powers show remarkable (and unrealistic) restraint, with only minor wars occurring. Nuclear weapons are developed early and gained by all the major powers, locking the world in an alternate cold war and preventing any major wars/territorial changes. As a result America attempts to bring many of the Caribbean states into a union with it for protection. This would include Cuba, Dominican Republic and Haiti. Other potential territory would include Greenland and the Caribbean possessions of Denmark and the Netherlands. Possibly a situation where Germany forces the Netherlands to join it and America uses it as an excuse to take their Caribbean territories (similar to Austrian/Spanish wars of succession). Potentially as well, America forming a union with Mexico and central America, but that seems a bit far fetched.
 
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Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
22,750
SoCal
Indeed, without world wars America would have little interest in more territory aside from regional areas not ruled by a major European power.
What about attempting to purchase territory from either a major or minor power, though?

This would only leave Danish and dutch territory. But as they didn't sell it in the normal timeline, this peaceful one seems even less likely.
The Danes did sell the Danish West Indies to the US in 1917 in real life.

There is one scenario I could think of but its highly speculative and fits with your laid out concept.
For some reason ww1 doesn't break out, the major powers show remarkable (and unrealistic) restraint, with only minor wars occurring. Nuclear weapons are developed early and gained by all the major powers, locking the world in an alternate cold war and preventing any major wars/territorial changes. As a result America attempts to bring many of the Caribbean states into a union with it for protection. This would include Cuba, Dominican Republic and Haiti. Other potential territory would include Greenland and the Caribbean possessions of Denmark and the Netherlands.
Makes sense.

Possibly a situation where Germany forces the Netherlands to join it and America uses it as an excuse to take their Caribbean territories (similar to Austrian/Spanish wars of succession).
Attempting to conquer the Netherlands is virtually certain to spark a World War--a World War that Germany is likely to lose due to it having no allies in this war. Austria-Hungary isn't going to fight on behalf of such extremely blatant German aggression--and neither will the Ottomans!

Potentially as well, America forming a union with Mexico and central America, but that seems a bit far fetched.
Highly unlikely due to US racism, IMHO.
 
Dec 2012
133
For the USA the business is the commercial expansion and penetration in less developed territories, not direct domination.
With World Wars (mainly the second one), they got what they wanted, exploiting the ex-colonies in the "free" world.
Things are changing now (with the new Chinese regime taking over many positions), but it was a winning business for the USA, and obviously deep crap for the old colonial powers, unable to maintain their empires in check. It also caused various mishaps like Indochina wars, communist uprisings in Malaysia and elsewhere...
 
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