Imperialism or… The Beginning of Us Ruling the World. Manifest Destiny!. XXXXXX. Performance Indicators • Describe the causes of and major events associated with the United States becoming an imperial power in the late 19th century
The Beginning of Us Ruling the World
• Describe the causes of and major events associated
with the United States becoming an imperial power in the
late 19th century
• Analyze the scope and evolution of various United
States foreign policies in the early part of the 20th
century (Compare Roosevelt’s Big Stick Diplomacy,
William Taft’s Dollar Diplomacy, and Woodrow Wilson’s
There were a variety of both domestic and foreign
reasons why the US in the late 19th century sought to
become an imperial power
As a result, the US acquired overseas territories such
as the Philippines, Guam, Puerto Puerto Rico and oversight
of Cuba as a result of the Spanish American War; and
annexed the Hawaiian Islands.
The US’s new role in the world was interpreted differently
by Presidents Theodore Roosevelt, William Taft and
Woodrow Wilson: Roosevelt’s was much more aggressive
(Big Stick), Taft’s relied on the US’s economic power
(Dollar Diplomacy) and Wilson tried to repair the negative
image abroad with “Moral Diplomacy” Each had its successes
Why and how did the US become an imperial power
in the late 19th Century?
How did this new status influence the foreign
policies of Presidents Roosevelt, Taft and Wilson?
Imperialism, Spanish-American War, Treaty
of Paris, Annexation of Hawaii, Big Stick,
Dollar Diplomacy, Moral Diplomacy, Panama Canal,
Open Door, Boxer Rebellion,
Explain why and how the US became an
imperialist power in the late 19th Century
Discuss the differences between the foreign
policies of Presidents Roosevelt, Taft, and
What is Imperialism?
Stronger nations attempt to create empires by
dominating weaker nations - economically,
politically, culturally or militarily.
The White Man’s Burden
Rudyard Kipling wrote a poem about how
Whites were responsible to give the “savages’
The benefit of their knowledge and culture
“Take up the white man’s burden
Send forth the best ye breed”
“Your new-caught sullen peoples,
Half devil and half child.”
“The English race was destined to dominate the globe
in the institutions, traditions, language and blood of the
John Fiske, historian and popular lecturer
“The Anglo-Saxon was designed to be his brother’s
Josiah Strong, Congregationalist Minister
1904 World’s Fair • Saint Louis Exposition
Shipped in “natives” from many countries around the
world and set up “villages” so the white folks could
view them and observe their customs
Planted the idea that
whites were better and
more advanced than
other races and cultures
Plan to Expand
U.S. became too successful - producing
too much, needed more places to sell
Wanted to sell U.S. products to other countries
and carry democratic values and Christianity to
others around the world.
Great Britain, France and Russia were already
taking over countries all over the world for the
1867 - we annexed Midway Islands
1875 - signed deal with Hawaii - they could sell
the U.S. sugar with no tax, as long as they didn’t
sell any land to other countries
American businessman provided financial services
to Costa Rica and got use of land there. Exported
50 million bunches of bananas back to U.S.
dominated governments of Costa Rica, Guatemala
and Honduras; known as Banana Republics
By 1900, the U.S. had the most powerful
Navy in the world, so they could back up
their dominance with power.
Was Imperialism a new form of Manifest Destiny?
Others believed in Social Darwinism - we were
a superior people, survival of the fittest, baby!
Spanish American War
Cuba was under Spain’s control. Cubans rebelled,
Over 200,000 Cubans were killed.
President McKinley moved U.S. battleship Maine
into Havana Harbor to protect American citizens
and property. Ship was blown up, killed 250
sailors. Most likely an accident, but many blamed
Spain also controlled the Philippines. We declared
war against Spain.
William Randolph Hearst, a wealthy
Newspaper owner, wrote sensational
stories so more people would buy
He printed many stories about Spain’s bad
treatment of the Cubans, and blamed the
Spanish for the explosion of the Maine.
He convinced many Americans it was right to go
to war and put a lot of pressure on the president!
“You furnish the pictures and I'll furnish the war!”
Hearst was trying to compete with Pulitzer’s paper,
The World, to see who could sell the most newspapers.
They came up with a lot of sensational headlines that
weren’t always true to try to get people to buy their
Pulitzer’s newspaper dug up a lot of corruption among
politicians--at one point Teddy Roosevelt and JP Morgan
indicted Pulitzer for libel for writing about a $40 million
deal they made with Panama for the Panama Canal.
Pulitzer also helped raise money to make the base in New
York Harbor so the Statue of Liberty (a gift from France)
could be put on it
U.S.S. Maine after the explosion.
We were never sure why the Maine blew up
• Attacked by the Spanish?
• Hit a mine in Havana Harbor?
• The two tons of explosives on the ship were ignited by
a coal explosion on the ship?
But the Yellow Journalism back in the U.S. always
pinned the “attack” on the Spanish
Teddy Roosevelt (who later became President) led his
Cavalry (the Rough Riders) up San Juan Hill in Cuba
as part of the attack. Several of the units were
Black Cavalry units that really made the attack
Battle Cry “Remember the Maine!”
2,500 Americans died in the short war, mostly from
food poisoning, yellow fever, malaria, and poor medical
Spoils of War
We signed Treaty of Paris in 1898 with Spain.
Since we won, we got the Philippines, Guam,
and Puerto Rico.
Many Americans argued that people in these
countries deserved liberty and not to be
dominated by the U.S.
The Philippines had been dominated by Spain, when the
U.S. took over the Filipinos thought they would be free.
But the U.S. took over the Philippines.
At first the Filipinos flew their flag proudly to show their
independence. In July, 1898, when the U.S. troops landed:
“I knew the moment of truth was near. The Americanos
had come wither to free us or to enslave us. I was ready
to greet them with an embrace or a bullet.”
Philippine rebels fought against the U.S. for years and
gained their independence in 1946. The U.S. had killed over
Senator Hoar says Imperialism sucks (1905)
“You chose war instead of peace. You talked of the wealth
of the Phillipine Islands and about our advantage in trade.
What have we accomplished? You have wasted 600 million
dollars and sacrificed thousands of American lives. You
have slain uncounted thousands of Filipinos. You have
succeeded in converting a people into sullen and
irreconcilable enemies, possessed of a hatred which many
decades cannot eradicate.”
Senator Hoar also said:
“We crushed the Philippines, deprived them of their
independence and established an American power against
their will. No man, I think, will seriously question that that
action was contrary to the Declaration of Independence.”
Why did McKinley decide to take the Philippines?
“We could not give them back to Spain, that would be
cowardly and dishonorable. We could not let France or
Germany take them over. We could not let them govern
themselves, they were unfit for self government. We had
to take them all and to educate them, and uplift and civilize
and Christianize them and do the best we could by them.
Did we need their consent o perform a great act of
humanity? It is just to use every legitimate means for
the enlargement of American trade.”
• U.S. installed a military government in Cuba
• Tried to get Cubans to write their own
Constitution, but wanted U.S. to have two
Naval bases there and not let Cuba ally itself
with another country.
• Eventually the Cubans totally split from the
U.S. and became a communist country under
their leader Fidel Castro.
That’s why we still have Guantanamo Bay military base in
Cuba--leftover from the Spanish American War.
Today Guantanamo Bay is our prison for suspected
Obama says he’ll close
it. Will we
give that land back
the Cuban gov.
put in by the
Annexation of Hawaii
• Hawaii was important geographically to U.S.
• Hawaii leased Pearl Harbor to the U.S.
• Hawaiian-born planters forced King Kalakaua
to hand over control of the government
• President McKinley said it was Manifest
Destiny that the U.S. take over
• If the U.S. didn’t take control of Hawaii
would the Russians, British or French?
Hawaiians signed a petition
asking the U.S. to not take
in Iolani Palace for
a year when the
happened in 1893
• Needed a shorter route between Atlantic and Pacific
• Panama belonged to Columbia
• U.S. didn’t want to pay the price
• Encouraged Panama to revolt against Columbia, gave U.S. naval support offshore.
• Panama wins their independence
• U.S. bought strip of land from Panama for $10 million
Was the U.S. a Big Bully?
• Many criticized President Roosevelt for
interfering in another country’s business.
• Left a long heritage of ill will among Latin
Americans toward the U.S. - they were
• After Teddy Roosevelt died, Congress voted
in 1921 to pay Columbia $25 million for the
Open Door Policy
We realized China was important--they had a lot
of customers for our businesses. Other countries
were also interested in China - Russia, Germany,
Britain and France also wanted some control or
influence over China
U.S. started to promote the Open Door Policy to
those other countries, so they all could have access
Chinese resented other countries trying to dominate them.
The Righteous and Harmonious Fists, or Boxers, started a rebellion in 1900. 300 foreigners and Christian Chinese people were killed. European powers eventually defeated the Boxers
The U.S. stood strong that China should not be
overtaken by any other country. X
Teddy Roosevelt’s Big Stick Policy
“Speak softly and carry a big stick; you will go far”
He said the U.S. only wanted to see neighbor
countries stable, orderly and prosperous. If they
did harmful things or if their government
fell apart, the U.S. would exercise “an
international police power”
We were keeping our neighborhood safe!
President Taft’s Dollar Diplomacy
• He was Roosevelt’s Secretary of War
• He believed in “substituting dollars for bullets”
or investing American dollars in weaker
countries rather than overtaking them
• So U.S. would loan other countries money, then
expect some control over that country
• Dollar diplomacy was not that successful, many
countries resented U.S. influence
Woodrow Wilson’s Moral Diplomacy
Would seek trading partners around the world
while avoiding getting politically involved. Wanted
people to start liking the U.S. again.
He hoped that the world could “be made safe
for every peace-loving nation which, like our
own, wishes to live its own life, determine
its own institutions, be assured of justice and
fair dealing by other peoples of the world as
against force and selfish aggression.”
Anti Imperialists argue
• Imperialism goes against ”Liberty for All”
• We should work on our own problems in US
• Imperialism seemed racist - we’re better
• Cost the U.S. too much money
Pro Imperialists argue
• Offered new frontiers for us to conquer
• Helped us grow stronger financially, could
sell our products to more countries
• It’s important to have stable countries
Imperialism arguments still continue today