Ap u s history chapter 21
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AP U.S. HISTORY CHAPTER 21. A NEW PLACE IN THE WORLD: 1865-1914. Post-Civil War America lack of imperial ambitions weak state department and small military. By the late 1800s, the U.S. took its first steps toward building an empire. IMPERIALISM

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WHY IMPERIALISM GREW building an empire.

  • 1- economics (need for raw materials from underdeveloped countries & new markets to sell goods)

  • 2- nationalism (superiority)

  • 3- military competition (stronger, more advanced than weaker nations)

  • 4- humanitarian factors (spread ideas of western civilization to the world)

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EUROPE LED THE WAY building an empire.

  • improved transportation and communication

  • Great Britain acquired territory in Africa, Asia, and the Pacific

  • By 1890, the U.S. was ready to join the competition!

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European imperialism building an empire.

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Scramble for Africa building an empire.

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  • Monroe Doctrine used to justify (DON’T MESS WITH THE U.S.!)

  • 1- acquisition of territories from Mexico (CA)

  • 2- annexation of Texas

  • 3- purchase of Alaska from Russia (1867)

  • 4- open trade with Japan, China

  • 5- annexation of the Midway Islands in Pacific (refueling/repair stations for navy)

  • 6- favorable trade terms with Hawaii

  • 7- protection of Caribbean Islands and Latin America

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Purchase of Alaska, 1867 building an empire.

  • Secretary of State Seward negotiated this purchase from Russia

  • “Seward’s Folly” cost the USA $7,200,000

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  • produce too much…need new markets

  • business leaders invested in economies of other countries (Banana Republics)


  • strong navy to protect overseas trade


  • restore pioneer spirit

  • noble pursuit: spread Christianity & civilization to “inferiors”

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Displays of U.S. Power building an empire.

  • Strong demands to Chile for $75,000 to American families who lost sailors because of Chilean mob attack.

  • Naval units to Rio de Janeiro to protect U.S. shipping interests.

  • U.S. demanded Britain abide by Monroe Doctrine and submit to arbitration with Venezuela over boundary dispute.

    • After first refusing, Britain finally complied.

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The Spanish American War building an empire.

  • An aggressive foreign policy brought the US into conflict with other nations.

  • In the 1890s, several instances took place in Latin America that helped the US display their strength and role in foreign affairs.

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Cuban Rebellion building an empire.

  • Cubans wanted independence from Spain

  • Spain and General Weyler instituted a policy of “reconcentration” camps to prevent rebellions.

    • Poor conditions…over 200,000 Cubans died

  • Cubans urged U.S. gov’t to get involved (we did not)

    • Cubans destroyed American sugar plantation and mills

    • Business owners urged U.S. to get involved (we did not)

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Spain’s Gen. Weyler building an empire.

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Yellow Journalism building an empire.

  • Newspaper competition for readers…led to sensationalism

    • Exaggerated stories, vivid headlines and stories

    • Took advantage of Cuban rebellion and concentration camps

    • Garnered support for U.S. intervention in Cuba

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Steps to the building an empire.Spanish American War

  • The de Lome letter

    - De Lome: Spanish ambassador

    - Criticized McKinley as “weak”

  • Explosion of the USS Maine

    - 250 American sailors dead

    - U.S. blamed Spain

  • Preparing in the Philippines

    - Filippinos rebelling against Spain

    - Admiral Dewey ordered to attack Spanish fleet in Philippines IF war broke out with Spain

  • McKinley’s War Message

    - Sent list of demands to Spain

    - Spain refused to recognize Cuba’s independence

    - McKinley sent war message to Congress

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U.S.S. Maine building an empire.

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“A Splendid Little War” building an empire.

  • War’s 1st action: Admiral Dewey destroyed Spanish fleet in the Philippines

  • US ships trapped Spanish fleet in Cuba’s Santiago Harbor

  • Land invasion

    • Teddy Roosevelt & Rough Riders take San Juan Hill

  • US ships destroyed Spanish at Santiago

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TR’s Rough Riders building an empire.

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Rough Riders in combat building an empire.

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The Treaty of Paris building an empire.

  • Ends war

  • Spain recognized Cuba’s independence

  • US paid $20 million for Philippines, Puerto Rico, and Guam

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New Challenges After the War building an empire.

  • Dilemma in the Philippines

  • The Fate of Cuba

  • The U.S. and Puerto Rico

  • Annexation of Hawaii

  • Samoa

  • An Open Door to China

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Philippines building an empire.

  • President McKinley wanted to annex

  • Filippinos & their leader, Emilio Aguinaldo, fought 3 year war against U.S.

  • The Philippines did not get complete independence until 1946

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Gains for the USA building an empire.

Acquired raw materials such as latex and sugar

Gained markets of sales of commercial products

Gains for the Philippines

USA spent money to build schools, roads, bridges, and other forms of infrastructure

Filipinos gained a degree of self-government

Philippine Islands in retrospect

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Cuba building an empire.

  • U.S. installed military gov’t (to protect American business interests)

  • Organized school system

  • Restored economic stability

  • U.S. authorized Cubans to draft Constitution

    • Agreed to remove troops if Cubans accepted Platt Amendment

      • No foreign agreements, establish U.S. naval bases, U.S. gets right to intervene whenever necessary

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Puerto Rico building an empire.

  • U.S. maintained military gov’t until 1900

  • Developed infrastructure, education, police

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Hawaii, 1820s-1898 building an empire.

  • USA was involved with Hawaii since the 1820s

  • Important (Sugar, Pearl Harbor)

  • Initial attempts for annexation failed (1854 and early 1890s)

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Queen Liliuokalani building an empire.

  • Queen Lil opposed U.S. control of islands

  • Set up new Constitution in 1891, granting more rights to Hawaiians

    • Removed from power by Dole and U.S. marines; republic established

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US Troops in Hawaii building an empire.

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Hawaii annexed, 1898 building an empire.

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Samoa building an empire.

  • U.S. wanted islands for trade with Asia

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Samoa Islands, 1840-1880s building an empire.

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China building an empire.

  • U.S. wanted equal access to trade with China

    • Other nations were establishing spheres of influence

  • Boxer Rebellion: Chinese resented foreign influence

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Open Door Policy building an empire.

  • John Hay declared that China would have an “Open Door” regarding trade

  • Hay essentially declared commercial equality with China

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  • Election of 1900 building an empire.

    • McKinley wins!

    • Assassinated in 1901

    • VP Teddy Roosevelt takes over

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The Panama Canal building an empire.

  • Need for a shorter route between Pacific and Atlantic Oceans

    • From San Francisco to New York

      • 6,100 vs. 15,000 miles

    • Global shipping faster and cheaper

    • Quick transport in times of war

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Panama Canal, 1914 building an empire.

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Building the Canal building an empire.

  • Isthmus of Panama: perfect spot

    • Province of Columbia

  • The French purchased concession (land grant) to build canal

    • Gave up b/c of disease and mismanagement

  • US bought rest of French concession (1902)

    • Had to work out treaty with Columbia for lease on land

    • Negotiations went nowhere- Columbian gov’t wanted to wait for French treaty to expire (1904) & sell land for much higher price

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  • Rebels in Panama revolted against Columbia building an empire.

    • US recognized independent Panama & become its protector

  • Hay-Bunau-Varilla Treaty

    • US received permanent land grant for canal & paid Panama $10 million

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  • Reaction to the Canal building an empire.

    • Most Americans approved TR’s actions to get land to build canal

    • Ill-will with Columbia

      • We provoked Panamanian Revolt

      • After TR died, we paid Columbia $25 million compensation

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Pro-Imperialism building an empire.

  • Would keep Americans from losing their competitive edge

  • New kind of frontier for American expansion

  • Celebration of American tradition and creative spirit

  • Growth and popularity of youth scout programs

    • Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts

  • Practical advantages

    • Need to gain access to foreign markets

    • Strategic military advantages

      • Great White Fleet shows off our navy

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Anti-Imperialism building an empire.

  • Anti-Imperialist League established

  • Moral and political arguments

    • Not “liberty for all”

    • People in territories controlled by the US should be entitled to the same guarantees in the Constitution as US citizens

    • Expansionists claimed people in the Caribbean and Pacific were not ready for democracy

    • Imperialism threatened the nation’s democratic foundations

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Anti-Imperialism building an empire.

  • Racial Arguments

    • Racism

    • Many southern politicians feared what would happen if we absorbed more people of different races into the US

  • Economic Arguments

    • Too many costs

    • Job competition from immigrants who would work for less

    • American industries could be hurt from annexed country’s industries (cheap good, no customs duties on imports)

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Imperialism Viewed from Abroad building an empire.

  • Pattern of international involvement

    • the US often had to defend gov’ts that were unpopular with locals

    • Panamanians began to claim that they suffered from discrimination

  • Other countries began to turn to the US for help

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Teddy Roosevelt building an empire.


  • Used threat of military force (navy) to conduct aggressive foreign policy

  • ROOSEVELT COROLLARY: US would intervene to prevent intervention from other powers

  • Santo Domingo (Dominican Republic) went bankrupt, Europeans threatened to intervene to collect $, US took over country’s finances & paid its debt

  • US intervention in Latin America common

  • Wanted to maintain open door to China

  • Negotiated settlement to Russo-Japanese War

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William Howard Taft building an empire.


  • Not as aggressive as TR

  • Goals: to maintain open door to Asia & preserve stability in Latin America

  • Preferred “substituting dollars for bullets”

    • Maintained orderly societies through increased American investment in foreign economies

  • Not successful

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Woodrow Wilson building an empire.


  • Problems in Mexico

    • Wilson pledged to apply moral and legalistic standards to foreign policy decisions

    • Did not work well