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American Imperialism and Expansion. Ch. 10. USA did not want to be left behind in growth of nations. Began its’ own policy of Imperialism . Dominating another nation economically, politically, culturally, or militarily. Why Imperialism occurs: Economic-need for resources, markets.

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USA did not want to be left behind in growth of nations.

  • Began its’ own policy of Imperialism.
    • Dominating another nation economically, politically, culturally, or militarily.
  • Why Imperialism occurs:
    • Economic-need for resources, markets.
    • Nationalism-love for one’s country.
    • Military-Western nations superior.
    • Humanitarian-Spread civilization, religion.
early american imperialism
Early American Imperialism
  • America first began expansionist policies in early 1800s.
  • 1820s-Monroe Doctrine-USA will stay neutral in European wars; wants Europe to stay out of western hemisphere.
  • 1830s-1850s-Manifest Destiny.
    • Took/won/bought land from Mexico, Spain.
  • 1867-William Seward purchases Alaska from Russia.
    • Called “Seward’s Folly”; was believed nothing of value in Alaska.
  • 1853-Commodore Matthew Perry forces Japan to trade with USA.

1860s-USA, European nations open trade with China.

  • 1867-USA annexes Midway Islands in Pacific.
  • 1875-USA signs treaty with Hawaii, allowing Hawaii to sell sugar to USA without tariffs.
  • 1870-President Grant expands Monroe Doctrine.
    • USA will protect Latin America and Caribbean islands from European expansion.
  • USA is now dominant power in western hemisphere.
reasons for expansion
Reasons for Expansion
  • Economic Growth.
    • USA had built powerful industrial economy.
      • Produced more than we needed, needed export markets.
    • Some US companies already dominated international business.
      • Standard Oil, American Telephone & Telegraph.
    • Some Americans invested in businesses in S. America.
      • United Fruit Co. exported 50 million bunches of bananas/year to USA.
      • Led to calling S. American countries Banana republics.

Protecting American security.

    • Need foreign markets, and need strong navy to protect those markets.
      • Laid out by Admiral Alfred Thayer Mahan.
    • Congress authorized construction of more battleships, gunboats, torpedo boats, etc.
    • By 1900, USA had one of the most powerful navies.
  • Preserving American Spirit.
    • With close of western frontier, some said we needed new conquest to maintain “can-do” spirit.
    • Wanted to expand Christianity and American exceptionalism to other countries.
spanish american war
Spanish-American War
  • Cuba was Spanish colony.
    • Rebelled in 1868, crushed.
    • 1895, rebelled again, due to crashed economy.
  • Spanish sent 150,000 troops to Cuba, rounded up Cubans, put them in concentration camps.
    • 2 years, 200,000 dead due to disease, starvation.
  • USA not interested in intervention.
  • Spanish destroy American sugar plantations & mills.
    • US business starts pushing gov’t to get involved.

Two yellow journalism newspapers began to push hard for intervention.

      • New York World owned by Joseph Pulitzer.
      • New York Morning Journal owned by William Randolph Hearst.
    • Papers shifted public opinion to intervention.
    • Promoted jingoism-national pride and desire for aggressive foreign policy.
  • USA was ready to get involved in Cuba.
  • President McKinley sends battleship Maine to Havana, Cuba to protect US citizens and property.
america s entry
America’s Entry
  • Series of events led USA to war.
    • de Lome letter-US papers publish letter stolen from Spanish ambassador calling McKinley weak.
      • Increased anti-Spanish feeling.
    • 2/15/1898-Maine explodes in Havana harbor, killing 250 sailors.
      • Spanish blamed.
    • Philippines rebelling against Spanish rule.
      • Perfect place for USA naval base.
    • McKinley sends list of demands to Spain, including Cuban independence.
      • Spain accepts all but independence.

April 1898-USA recognizes Cuban independence, declares war or Spain.

    • Start of Spanish-American War.
  • War starts in Philippines w/ US Navy sinking Spanish fleet.
  • US Navy traps Spain’s Atlantic fleet in Santiago harbor.
  • US troops land in Cuba, fight Spanish.
    • Theodore Roosevelt’s Rough Riders.
  • Spanish forces quickly defeated.

December 1898, Treaty of Paris signed.

    • Spain grants Cuba independence.
    • USA pays Spain $20 million, gets Philippines, Puerto Rico, Guam.
  • 2,500 US dead, only 400 in battle.
    • Others dead from bad food, disease.
  • “It was a splendid little war”.
  • USA now seen as major player in world politics.
post spanish american war
Post Spanish-American War
  • Filipinos expected independence; USA did not grant.
    • War b/t USA and Philippines 1899-1902.
      • 4,000 USA killed, 16,000 Filipino killed.
    • Philippines granted independence in 1946.
  • USA governed Cuba for 3 yrs, then granted independence.
    • Forced Cuban constitution to include Platt Amendment.
      • Allowed US to have naval bases, Cuba could not form foreign alliances.

USA ruled Puerto Rico.

    • Military gov’t until 1900, then civil gov’t.
    • 1917-Puerto Ricans granted US citizenship; could elect local legislatures.
      • US still chose governor.
other pacific gains
Other Pacific Gains
  • Hawaii.
    • 1891, Liliuokalani crowned Queen of Hawaii.
      • Tried to push American business out of Hawaii.
    • 1893, Sanford Dole & USMC pushed her out, requested annexation by USA.
    • 1898-Hawaii annexed as American territory.
  • Samoa.
    • Treaty-USA protects Samoa, USA can use Pago Pago harbor.
    • Germany, England want Samoa; treaty leads to 3-way protectorate, 1889.
    • 1899, England pulls out, USA gets half of Samoa.

Sanford Dole

Queen Liliuokalani



    • Valuable trade market.
    • US established “Open Door Policy” with European nations.
      • All nations could trade with China.
    • Chinese not happy with westerners in China.
      • Society of Harmonious Fists, or Boxers rebelled, tried to push west out.
      • Failed.
panama canal
Panama Canal
  • Panama was a Columbian colony.
  • French company started construction on a canal, but abandoned it after 10 yrs.
    • Mismanagement, yellow fever.
  • 1902, USA bought French rights to canal.
    • Columbia would not let USA in to build canal.
  • Panamanians rebelled against Columbia with American support & protection.
  • Hay-Bunau-Varilla Treaty ended rebellion.
    • Panama independent, USA gets Panama Canal Zone permanently, gives Panama $10 million.

Construction began 1904, lasted 10 years.

  • Sprayed, used medicine to eradicate malaria, yellow fever.
  • Canal opened 1914.
roosevelt s foreign policy
Roosevelt’s Foreign Policy
  • “Speak softly and carry a big stick” (US Navy).
  • Roosevelt Corollary.
    • Issued 1904-05, addition to Monroe Doctrine.
    • USA will act to protect itself and its’ interests.
    • USA will act as an international police power.
  • Using Corollary, TR got involved in Latin America several times.
    • Did not make Latin America happy with USA.
taft and wilson s foreign policy
Taft and Wilson’s Foreign Policy
  • Taft practiced dollar diplomacy.
    • Maintain peace, friendship in Latin America, Asia by investing in foreign economies.
    • Not very successful; Russia & Japan blocked USA in Asia, Latin America did not like USA involvement.
  • Wilson got involved in Mexico.
    • Supported Venustiano Carranza against Victoriano Huerta in civil war.
    • Pancho Villa opposed Wilson/Carranza.
      • Attacked Americans in Mexico, raided USA border towns.
  • Carranza won, but hurt relations b/t USA & Mexico.

Victoriano Huerta

Venustiano Carranza

imperialism anti imperialism
Imperialism & Anti-Imperialism
  • Majority of USA supported imperialism.
    • Wanted more markets for goods.
    • Supported American exceptionalism.
      • Like “frontier” and “pioneer” spirit.
  • 1907-TR sent Great White Fleet on world tour to demonstrate USA military power.

Opponents to imperialism had a few arguments.

    • Not right to deny rights and freedoms to people we colonize.
    • Imperialism is racist against people of color.
    • Southerners did not want more minorities in USA.
    • Too expensive to take over and support colonies.
    • Colonial goods would compete against American goods & hurt economy.