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The US Reaches for Empire. 1880-1918. The US Reaches for Empire. For Discussion. What do you think EMPIRE means? What do you think were reasons that the US might want to control the territories on the map? Do you know which country controlled the Philippine Islands before the US?. Empire.

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The US Reaches for Empire

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The US Reaches for Empire


The US Reaches for Empire

For Discussion

  • What do you think EMPIRE means?

  • What do you think were reasons that the US might want to control the territories on the map?

  • Do you know which country controlled the Philippine Islands before the US?


  • An empire is a group of nations or territories ruled by a single country

  • For example, the British empire ruled many countries in Asia and Africa in the 19th century.


  • Last year you studied European imperialism in Asia and Africa, what does the word imperialism mean?

  • Imperialism is the economic and political domination of a strong nation over weaker nations.

What were the causes of imperialism?

  • Imperialist nations desired raw materials and cheap labor.

  • Imperialist nations wanted to establish colonies and military bases.

  • Imperialist nations had feelings of cultural superiority over their colonies.

A US Empire

  • During the period of industrialization beginning in 1880 the US expanded beyond its borders

  • 1893 - The US sent Marines to protect plantations in Hawaii. Hawaii was annexed (controlled by US) in 1898.

  • .

According to this map why might the US have wanted to annex Hawaii?

Annexed or annexation

  • Annexation means that one nation takes over another.

  • For example, the US annexed Hawaii in 1898

  • A protectorate is a smaller country which is allowed to keep its local ruler, but is still controlled by a larger country.

What other areas in the Caribbean and central America were protectorates?

The USS Maine in Havana, Cuba

The USS Maine sunk in Havana’s Harbor

History Mystery:Who sunk the USS Maine?

Spanish American War

  • The US blamed Spain for sinking the USS Maine, since many Americans believed US newspapers.

  • 1898 - US went to war with Spain over its control of Cuba and the Philippines.

  • Some historians now believe that the USS Maine accidentally exploded, from gun powder stored on the ship.

“Yellow Journalism”

  • This term describes newspapers, in a hurry to sell papers, that were not always accurate.

  • For example, the stories about the Spanish American War were often exaggerated, due to Yellow Journalism

War spreads to Philippines

  • Filipinos were also fighting a war of independence from Spain, led by Emilio Aguinaldo.

  • The US attacked the Spanish ships in Manila Bay, destroying most of their fleet

Spain defeated

  • In August of 1898 Spain surrendered.

  • The US took control of Cuba, Puerto Rico, Guam and the Philippines.

  • Filipinos, however, continued their fight for independence against the US.

US Defeats Filipinos

  • Filipinos fought a guerilla war against the Americans until their defeat in 1901.

  • Americans were divided over the war.

  • The Philippines became a US colony, until winning their independence after WW II in 1946

Who were the Cubans and the Americans fighting?

Who were the Filipinosfighting?

Open Door Policy

  • The US sought trade with Asian countries.

  • Many other European powers had already established control of Chinese ports.

  • The US wanted an “open door” to establish trade in China for tea, spices, and silk and to sell US products

Panama Canal

  • Roosevelt acquired land in Panama to build a canal

  • This would shorten the trade between the Caribbean and the Pacific

  • Roosevelt sent ships to support Panama’s revolt against Columbia

  • Panama agreed to allow the US to build a canal in its country

Theodore Roosevelt’s Foreign Policy

  • Roosevelt believed in making the US a world power.

  • To describe his foreign policy borrowed an African proverb:”Speak softly but carry a big stick.” Roosevelt wanted a strong navy and military to show the world we were strong.

  • He built up the US navy and sent the “Great White Fleet” around the world to project US military power.

  • What is in the TR satchel bag?

  • Why does TR have his hand on the throat of Columbia?

  • What is Uncle Sam holding, and why?

  • What is the artist trying to say?

  • Who is controlling the marionettes (puppets)?

  • Who do the puppets symbolize?

  • What is TR doing at the show?

  • What do you think a “puppet government” is?

  • What is the artist trying to say?

Why was the US interested in Panama?

  • What does the big stick symbolize?

  • Where is TR wading?

  • What is TR pulling?

  • Which countries would be effected here?

  • What is the artist saying?

  • What is TR dressed as? Why?

  • Why is his billy club called the “new diplomacy?”

  • Who are the people to his left and to his right?

  • What is the artist saying?

  • Where is Uncle Sam standing?

  • Where is Uncle Sam’s hat?

  • What is his hat called?

  • Who is looking on?

  • What is the artist trying to say?

The Monroe Doctrine and the Roosevelt Corollary

  • The Monroe doctrine argued that the Europeans should stay out of Latin America

  • The Roosevelt Corollary was that the US was the “policeman” of the Western Hemisphere and could intervene in Latin American countries when it wanted to.

US Intervention in Latin America

  • In the 20th century the US established large economic interests in Latin America, and sent the US military into many countries including: Haiti, Nicaragua, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Panama, and Chile.

Dollar Diplomacy

  • Many Latin Americans resented US interventions.

  • President Howard Taft relied on dollar diplomacy, which focused on sending US financial aid and investment to LA countries, rather than military intervention

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