The Development of Economic Imperialism
The United States may have been economically ready for expansion into foreign markets, but there can be no doubt that the process was also speeded by the attitude and policies of federal officials. The expansion of American economic interests was promoted and perhaps was inevitable, but it was incidental to the larger policy. A certain proportion of American capital found reasons for seeking foreign investment. American investments, penetrated other Central American nations, and American economic relations with them have been important. Whereas American foreign investments had largely concentrated in Canada, Mexico, and the West Indies, foreign investments in the United States had come almost entirely from Europe, considerably over half coming from Great Britain. The First World War, however, not only shifted the position of the United States to that of a creditor, but made New York rather than London the financial center of the world.