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Chapter 18 Imperialism. Precedence of Isolationism.

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Chapter 18 imperialism

Chapter 18Imperialism

Precedence of isolationism

Precedence of Isolationism

Washington’s Farewell Address (1796) set the precedent for the United States to pursue a policy of isolationism. Isolationism was the policy of avoiding involvement in world affairs. Although in the Monroe Doctrine (1824) the United States had declared itself the protector of the entire western hemisphere, isolationism continued to form the basis of American foreign policy throughout most of the nineteenth century.

George Washington at the end of his presidency. Disturbed by the war between England and France and the attempts of both nations to draw the U.S. into it as an ally, Washington issued a "Farewell Address" in which he warned against permanent alliances with foreign nations.



  • However, as the United States industrialized during the second half of the 1800s, businessmen and politicians increasingly looked longingly towards foreign markets as a potential source of American corporate profits. The desire to gain this untapped wealth led the United States to expand its influence in the world during the late nineteenth century.

  • Some historians have called this period the age of American Imperialism, because during this period the United States gained control over Hawaii, the Philippines, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands.

  • Imperialism is the act of one nation gaining political or economic control over other countries.

Chapter 18 imperialism

  • Many business leaders and politicians believed that US expansion was important because it would provide the country with more economic markets and greater potential for economic growth.

  • Others backed imperialism because they felt that the US needed to expand (or at least be capable of expansion) in order to maintain national security.

  • Others believed it was part of the country’s destiny and crucial to maintaining a nationalist spirit.

  • Some people, however, supported Isolationism because they believed we would be pulled into foreign conflicts if we practiced Imperialism.

  • Others believed this policy would be expensive and that this contradicted the ideas about freedom and self-gov’t upon which our nation was founded.

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Commercial/Business Interests

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  • Most expansionists turned their attention towards the Pacific.

  • Both political and business leaders wanted to trade with China and other nations in Southeast Asia. They saw the Pacific Ocean as the pathway to these markets.

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“Seward’s Folly”: 1867

$7.2 million

Secretary of State, William Seward, negotiated the

purchase of Alaska from Russia in 1867.

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“Seward’s Icebox”: 1867

Aloha hawaii

Aloha Hawaii

In the early 1890s the United States Marines helped American sugar planters depose (overthrow) the Hawaiian monarch Queen Liliuokalani.

In 1898 Congress agreed to annex Hawaii or add it to United States territory.

Queen Liliuokalani (1891-93). American planters, who had established sugar plantations in Hawaii beginning around 1820, became increasingly influential in the economy and government of Hawaii; Queen Liliuokalani's desire for a new constitution, restoring her royal powers, caused a revolt by the planters, and she was deposed in 1893. In 1894 a republic was established, headed by lawyer and missionary son Sanford B. Dole, and annexation by the U.S. followed in 1898.

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To The Victor Belongs the Spoils

Hawaiian Annexation Ceremony, 1898

Spanish american war

Spanish-American War

  • In the late 1800s, Cuba was still under Spanish rule. In 1895 the Cuban people rebelled and Spain sent troops to maintain order.

  • The Spanish sent thousands of Cubans to concentration camps, where many died.

  • As word got out and American newspapers spread stories of the horrible conditions in Cuba, the US gov’t decided to get involved.

Spanish american war1

Spanish-American War

  • Asst. Secretary of the Navy, Theodore Roosevelt, became a Lt. Colonel and gained command of a group of volunteers known as “Rough Riders.”

Spanish american war2

Spanish-American War

  • The Spanish-American War officially began as a result of what happened on Feb.15, 1898.

  • A US battleship, the USS Maine, exploded while anchored in the Cuban port of Havana.

  • Immediately, US newspapers blamed Spain and US citizens demanded war.

  • Congress declared war in April 1898.

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“Yellow Journalism”

Joseph Pulitzer

Hearst to Frederick Remington:You furnish the pictures, and I’ll furnish the war!

William Randolph Hearst

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“Remember the Maineand to Hell with Spain!”

Funeral for Maine victims in Havana

Yellow journalism

Yellow Journalism

The wreck of the U.S.S. Maine, February 15, 1898.

The war for Cuban independence coincided with a press war between William Randolph Hearst and Joseph Pulitzer for the largest newspaper circulation in New York City. Both papers emphasized similarities between Cuba's independence war and the American Revolution. Then Hearst sent the famous artist, Frederic Remington (1861-1909), to Cuba. Remington cabled Hearst that there was nothing to paint, to which the publisher supposedly replied, "You supply the pictures and I'll supply the war." On February 15, 1898, the U.S.S. Maine exploded in Havana harbor.

An original investigation concluded that the ship was destroyed by an external explosion, probably a Spanish mine. This was refuted in a carefully documented 1976 study by Adm. Hyman G. Rickover, which demonstrated that an internal explosion caused the loss of the ship.

Spanish american war3

Spanish-American War

  • Upon hearing the declaration of war, US Commodore George Dewey set sail for another Spanish colony, the Philippines.

  • Dewey quickly destroyed the Spanish fleet there and took control of the Philippine Islands.

  • John Hay, a good friend of Roosevelt and future Secretary of State, referred to the taking of the Philippines as “a splendid little war.”

Spanish american war4

Spanish-American War

  • The US maintained control of Cuba, the Philippines, Puerto Rico, and Guam throughout and after the war.

  • The Spanish-American War officially ended with the signing of the Treaty of Paris 1898.

  • Many people believed we were wrong to keep control of the Philippines after the war.

  • Eventually Filipinos, under the command of Emilio Aguinaldo, launched a resistance movement which led to 2 years of fighting.

  • Finally in 1902, the Philippines became an “unorganized territory” of the US and in 1946 they became an independent nation.

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Emilio Aguinaldo

Leader of the FilipinoUprising.

July 4, 1946:Philippine independence

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Our “Sphere of Influence”

Panama canal

Panama Canal

  • Following the assassination of President William McKinley in 1901, Theodore Roosevelt became president.

  • In order to enable US ships to move more quickly b/t the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, Roosevelt envisioned a canal across the isthmus of Panama.

  • The canal would serve US military and economic interests by allowing ships to travel back and forth b/t US territories without having to go around South America.

  • Unfortunately, the Colombian gov’t which controlled the territory absolutely refused to sell or lease the land necessary for the project.

Panama canal1

Panama Canal

  • In 1903, the Panamanian people revolted against the Colombian gov’t.

  • Roosevelt responded by providing US naval support that would eventually help the Panamanians win their independence.

  • In return, the Panamanians allowed the US to lease the land needed for the canal.

  • Construction got underway in 1905, and in 1914, workers completed the Panama Canal.

  • The US continued to control the canal until President Jimmy Carter signed a treaty in 1977 authorizing the transfer of the canal to Panama. They finally took control of the canal in 1999.

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  • U.S. workers first sprayed tons of insecticide across Panama in order to destroy the mosquito eggs in an attempt to limit cases of malaria and yellow fever.

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1905 fumigation car eradicating the mosquitoes - Panama City

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Panama Canal

TR in Panama(Construction

begins in 1904)

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Animation: How the Panama Canal Works

Panama Canal Timelapse

Roosevelt corollary

Roosevelt Corollary

  • In 1904, Roosevelt issued a statement that came to be known as the Roosevelt Corollary to the Monroe Doctrine. Corollary means “what naturally follows from.”

  • It was a statement which expanded upon the Monroe Doctrine; Monroe had said that the US would not allow European nations to colonize the newly independent nations in the Western Hemisphere, nor would the US intervene with such nations.

  • Roosevelt added to this saying that the US had the right to intervene in the region if a nation had trouble paying its debts(these nations were very poor and had taken out loans from European nations).

  • This doctrine came to be known as Roosevelt’s “big stick diplomacy.”

  • This phrase came from a West African proverb which said, “Speak softly and carry a big stick.”It meant that the US did not intend to be a threatening presence in the Western Hemisphere, but neither would it hesitate to forcefully protect its own interests.

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Constable of the World

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The Roosevelt Corollary to the Monroe Doctrine: 1905

Chronic wrongdoing… may in America, as elsewhere, ultimately require intervention by some civilized nation, and in the Western Hemisphere the adherence of the United States to the Monroe Doctrine may force the United States, however reluctantly, in flagrant cases of such wrongdoing or impotence, to the exercise of an international police power .

Chapter 19 world war i 1914 1918

Chapter 19World War I1914-1918

World war i

World War I

In 1914, war broke out in Europe. Although it originally began as a conflict b/t European powers, it eventually involved the US and many other nations.

The causes of the war were in place long before the first shots were ever fired.

The m a i n causes of the first world war

The M.A.I.N. Causesof the First World War

M- Militarism- Glorification of military strength and getting ready for war.

A- Alliances- An agreement between countries to support each other in case of war.

I- Imperialism- Trying to build up an Empire.

N- Nationalism- Strong loyalty and devotion to one's country and culture.

Entangling alliances

“Entangling Alliances”

World war i1

World War I

  • The spark that ignited the “Great War” happened on June 28, 1914.

  • The Austro-Hungarian Archduke Franz Ferdinandand his wife were assassinated in Sarajevo, Bosnia by a member of the Serbian terrorist organization known as the “Black Hand”.

  • Austria-Hungary accused Serbia of being involved in the assassination and threatened to go to war.

  • Russia, which was allied with Serbia, vowed to intervene if Austria-Hungary attacked.

  • This brought Germany into the mix b/c of their alliance with Austria-Hungary.

The assassination of the archduke

The Assassination of the Archduke

1. The first attempt using a grenade missed the Archduke and exploded behind the

royal car.

2. On the second attempt, they were killed by a Serbian student, Gavrilo Princip.

a. The Archduke was shot in the neck and his wife was shot in the stomach.

The Archduke’s blood soaked tunic.

The assassination of the archduke1

The Assassination of the Archduke

Because of his age (19 yrs, 11 months), Princip could not be executed for this crime. The law required an individual to be at least 20 years old. Princip died in prison during the war of tuberculosis.

Today, Princip is considered a Serbian national hero and there are two embedded footprints on the sidewalk where he stood when he fired the two fatal shots, which triggered WWI.

Despite being the heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, Ferdinand was not liked because he married Sophia, a person not of royal blood. She was considered a commoner.

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World War I

Due to existing alliances, Europe was divided and at war.

Great Britain, France, and Russia formed an alliance known as the Triple Entente/Allied Powers.

Germany and Austria-Hungary formed an alliance known as the Triple Alliance/Central Powers.

United states in wwi

United States in WWI

At first, the US did not get involved in the war.

In fact, in 1914, President Woodrow Wilson officially declared the US neutral (not backing either side).

Many in the US still believed in isolationism (the belief that the US should stay out of international conflicts) and did not see the war in Europe as being any concern to the US.

United states in wwi1

United States in WWI

Others supported “preparedness”, which supported neutrality while taking steps to prepare for war just in case it became necessary.

US policy towards the war became the key issue in the Election of 1916; Wilson narrowly won a second term with his slogan, “He kept us out of war!”

United states in wwi2

United States in WWI

Despite Wilson’s original desire for neutrality, several factors led to US involvement in the war.

While many German immigrants favored the Central Powers, most of the country’s public supported the Triple Entente.

As time passed, people came to view Germany as a ruthless aggressor out to destroy democracy and freedom.

United states in wwi3

United States in WWI

One of Germany’s finest and fiercest weapons were their U-boats (Unterseeboot=submarine)

The Germans warned all nations that they would attack any ships entering or leaving British ports.

President Wilson rejected the warning, arguing that no warring party could be allowed to disrupt neutral shipping in the Atlantic.

In reality the US was not entirely neutral; it had begun shipping military supplies aboard commercial cruise liners!

United states in wwi4

United States in WWI

One of these liners, the Lusitania, was torpedoed by a German U-boat in 1915.

1200 people died in the attack, including 128 American citizens.

People in the US were furious! Anti-German feeling swept across the country.

Not wanting to pull the US into the war, Germany agreed not to attack anymore US passenger ships.

In 1917, however, they resumed unrestricted submarine warfare.

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The decision to enter the war resulted from continuing German submarine warfare against American merchant shipping and American cultural and historical ties to Great Britain.

American neutrality was put to the test in May 1915, when the German submarine U-20 sank the British luxury liner Lusitania, which was carrying 1200 passengers and a cargo of ammunition for British rifles. The German embassy had warned Americans that Allied vessels in the war zone were fair targets, but 128 Americans had ignored the warning and met their deaths. Wilson accused the Germans of brutality, demanded that they stop submarine warfare, and refused to ban American passengers from sailing on Allied vessels.

United states in wwi5

United States in WWI

It was also in 1917 that the US intercepted the Zimmermann Telegram.

Arthur Zimmermann, the German Foreign Minister, sent a telegram to the German embassy in Mexico in which he told embassy officials to ask Mexico to attack the US if it declared war on Germany.

In return, Germany promised to help Mexico win back land the US had acquired as a result of the Mexican-American War.

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Zimmermann's message was:

FROM 2nd from London # 5747. "We intend to begin on the first of February unrestricted submarine warfare. We shall endeavor in spite of this to keep the United States of America neutral. In the event of this not succeeding, we make Mexico a proposal of alliance on the following basis: make war together, make peace together, generous financial support and an understanding on our part that Mexico is to reconquer the lost territory in Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona. The settlement in detail is left to you. You will inform the President of the above most secretly as soon as the outbreak of war with the United States of America is certain and add the suggestion that he should, on his own initiative, invite Japan to immediate adherence and at the same time mediate between Japan and ourselves. Please call the President's attention to the fact that the ruthless employment of our submarines now offers the prospect of compelling England in a few months to make peace." Signed, ZIMMERMANN

United states in wwi6

United States in WWI

Anti-German sentiment increased even more when news of the telegram got out and President Wilson broke off all diplomatic relations with Germany.

In March 1917, Wilson made an idealistic case for war before Congress, claiming that the world “must be made safe for democracy.”

Congress passed a war resolution and in April 1917 the US officially entered the war.

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Wilson delivering his War Message. The final break with Germany came in the wake of two incidents.

First - The Germans announced early in 1917 that they would resume unrestricted submarine warfare. At first, horrified that his policy of "strict accountability" seemed now to demand war, Wilson did nothing.

Second - Then in February, the British revealed the contents of the "Zimmermann Telegraph," proposing a German-Mexican alliance under which Mexico would recover all the territory it had lost to the U.S. in the 1840s. Wilson began arming merchant ships, and on April 2, 1917, Wilson appeared before the Congress asking for a declaration of war against Germany.

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Weapons of the Great War:

  • Tanks

  • Poison gas

  • Dogfights

  • Machine guns

World war i3

World War I

By the time the American troops arrived in substantial numbers in the spring of 1918, British and French units had endured more than three years of increasingly costly trench warfare. These British troops are shown on the front line in the Somme area in August 1916. The Battle of the Somme, in the summer and fall of 1916, achieved almost no changes in the positions of the German and Allied armies, but 420,000 British, 200,000 French, and 450,000 Germans lost their lives, and the area was almost totally destroyed.

World war i4

World War I

“No Man’s Land”

United states in wwi7

United States in WWI

The US was not prepared to send a large army to Europe right away.

In order to boost the number of US soldiers, Congress passed the Selective Service Act authorizing a draft of young men for military service.

US soldiers played a vital role in helping the Triple Entente and its allies defeat the Central Powers.

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By the guidelines set down by the Selective Service Act, all males aged 21 to 30 were required to register for military service. At the request of the War Department, Congress amended the law in August 1918 to expand the age range to include all men 18 to 45, and to bar further volunteering.By the end of World War I, some 2 million men volunteered for various branches of the armed services, and some 2.8 million had been drafted. In fact, more than half of the almost 4.8 million Americans who served in the armed forces were drafted.

Due to the effort to incite patriotic fervor, the World War I draft had a high success rate, with fewer than 350,000 men “dodging” the draft.

United states in wwi8

United States in WWI

Although the fighting took place overseas, WWI had a huge impact on life in the US.

The war meant an increased role for gov’t in the US:

Using powers granted to him by Congress, President Wilson helped establish federal agencies to oversee the nation’s wartime economy and to encourage public support for the war.

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United States in WWI

  • Through movies, pamphlets, newspapers, and magazines the gov’t showed the Germans as evil.

  • Wilson asked Herbert Hoover to lead the Food Administration to encourage Americans to conserve food that could be used in the war effort.

  • The gov’t also tried to conserve fuel nationwide.


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  • The gov’t also passed laws that limited freedom.

  • Congress passed the Espionage and Sedition Acts which made it illegal to interfere with the draft, obstruct the sale of Liberty Bonds, or make statements considered disloyal to or critical of the gov’t.

  • Socialist union leader, Eugene V. Debs, was actually sentenced to 10 years in prison under these laws for criticizing the US gov’t!

  • United states in wwi10

    United States in WWI

    The nation’s enlarged military needed supplies and demand for products combined with a lack of workers led many African Americans living in the South to move to northern cities.

    This is called the Great Migration.

    Ending wwi

    Ending WWI

    In 1918, Germany finally signed an armistice (cease-fire agreement) ending hostilities.

    Leaders of the warring nations met for a peace conference in Paris, France.

    President Wilson went to the conference with no desire to punish Germany for the war.

    He put forth his peace proposal known as the Fourteen Points, which called for reduction in armaments (weapons) and the right to self-determination (power to govern oneself).

    World war i5

    World War I

    The Versailles Peace Conference was led by the Council of Four nicknamed the “Big Four”:

    • American President, Woodrow Wilson

    • British Prime Minister, David Lloyd George

    • French Premier, George Clemenceau

    • Italian Prime Minister, Vittorio Orlando

    Ending wwi1

    Ending WWI

    Wilson also proposed founding the League of Nations, which would provide a place for countries to peacefully discuss solutions for their differences instead of going to war.

    A number of nations joined, but the US never did join b/c the US was moving back towards isolationism and Congress refused.

    Ending wwi2

    Ending WWI

    Finally the Treaty of Versailles was agreed upon, but the US never signed.

    It made Germany take full responsibility for the war and required them to pay war reparations (money to compensate for losses from the war).

    These conditions led to economic depression and great bitterness in Germany.

    This resentment would ultimately lead to the rise in power of a leader named Adolf Hitler.

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    World War I

    The Treaty of Versailles, which ended World War I, recognized these three principles. However, it also included the mandate system, which violated the idea of national self-determination. Under the terms of the Treaty of Versailles, a mandate was a region administered by another country until it was judged ready for independence. The Versailles Treaty divided the Ottoman Empire (Turkey) into mandates, lands to be supervised or governed by the Allies under the direction of the League of Nations. France received Syria, and Britain received Palestine and Iraq.

    The Treaty of Versailles also provided for the punishment of Germany. Against the wishes of President Wilson, Great Britain and France had insisted that the treaty hold Germany responsible for the war. Finally, the Treaty of Versailles redrew national boundaries in Europe, which created many new nations including Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, and Poland. In short, the Treaty of Versailles recognized the principle of national self-determination in Europe, but not in the Middle East, Africa, or Asia.

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