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Building an Empire. Imperialism. Imperialism - Stronger nations attempt to create empires by dominating weaker nations – economically, politically or militarily. (Expansionism). Justification of Imperialism. Social Darwinism – the nation’s with the best technology will survive

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Building an Empire

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Imperialism- Stronger nations attempt to create empires by dominating weaker nations – economically, politically or militarily. (Expansionism)

Justification of Imperialism

Social Darwinism – the nation’s with the best technology will survive

‘White Man’s Burden’- wealthy “advanced” nations have a duty to civilize and Christianize “backward” people

Achieve Military and Political “Glory”

Reasons For Imperialism

Raw materials

New markets


Navy bases

Citizens are encouraging expansion


By the 1890’s populated with U.S. planters and missionaries. At the request of U.S. citizens, U.S. Marines overthrow Queen Lili (Liliuokalani). She fails to restore Hawaiian control.


Secretary of State William Seward bought Alaska for $7 million from Russia

Seward’s Folly

Seward’s icebox

Causes of Spanish American War


Yellow journalism- Hearst and Pulitzer encourage the war with news stories

In 1895 Cubans revolt against harsh conditions especially on sugar plantations. Spanish move Cubans into prison camps.

DeLome letter – insults Pres. McKinley (weak)

Spanish American War

The Maine explodes

Havana Harbor 260 U.S. sailors killed

“Remember the Maine and kill Spain”

T.R. & the Rough Riders in Cuba

John Hay,Sec of State - “The Splendid little War”

Manila Bay in the Philippines taken by Adm. Dewey

Results of Spanish American War

Teller Amendment – 1898 U.S. will not control Cuba

Cuba becomes a ‘protectorate’

A new constitution is written includes:

Platt amendment –

US has the right to send/return troops (military intervention)

Cuba can not make agreements with foreign countries endangering its independence

US gets Guantanamo Bay


Emilio Aquinaldo – leader of the Philippines independence movement

Insurrection: Aquinaldo had been supported by the U.S. against Spain now rebels against the USA.

3 years to end the insurrection

Philippines under U.S. control until 1946

U.S. as a World Power

China 1899 Sec of State John Hay asks for an “Open Door Policy” access for all countries to trade in China

1900 U.S. sends troops to put down Boxer Rebellion

Asia 1905 TR mediates treaty to end the Russian Japanese War – TR wins a Nobel Peace Prize

Great White Fleet – TR sends 16 battleships around the world as a sign of power and force

Roosevelt Corollary

An addition to the Monroe Doctrine

TR tells Europe to stay out of the Western Hemisphere – U.S. will be the police force & will aid Latin American countries if trouble

“Walk softly and carry a Big Stick”

Seen as a bully by Latin America

panama canal
Panama Canal
  • 1901 U.S. takes over French program to build the canal
  • Walter Reed: yellow fever from mosquitoes
  • 1914 the canal is completed
  • Costs $400 million plus $25 million for and $250,000 per year to rent
  • 1999 Panama Canal returned to Panama- treaty made by Pres. Carter
dollar diplomacy
Dollar Diplomacy
  • President Taft uses diplomatic efforts to encourage and protect American investments in foreign countries
wilson continues imperialism
Wilson continues Imperialism
  • Sends troops to Haiti in 1915 – an American Protectorate
  • Purchases the Virgin Islands in 1917 from Denmark
key people for expansion
Key People for Expansion
  • Teddy Roosevelt –
    • Assistant secretary of the Navy – orders Dewey to attack the Philippines
    • Fought in the Spanish American War
      • Teddy Roosevelt and the Rough Riders
  • Henry Cabot Lodge & Alfred Beveridge
    • Pro imperialist senators
  • Alfred Mahan
    • Author who promotes the idea that a strong navy is key to being a powerful nation