Do Now!. Define Imperialism Brainstorm some possible motivations for Imperialism. Why do countries try to acquire new territory? What are some territories the United States has acquired over the years that were not part of the original territory?. American Imperialism. Objectives.
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How and why did the United States take a more active role in world affairs?
For most of its early history, the United States played a small role in world affairs. But in the late 1800s, some began calling for the United States to join the ranks of the world’s major powers.
Eventually, the United States abandoned isolationism and began to acquire influence and territories outside its continental borders.
Powerful European nations extended their political, economic, and military influence by adding colonies in Africa and Asia.
The mid-1800s through the early 1900s was an “Age of Imperialism.”
Colonial extractive economies were based on removing raw materials from colonies and taking them back to the home country. European nations and Japan used this strategy.
The United States had raw materials, but not enough of a market to consume all the goods the they produced. American industrialists sought new overseas markets for their manufactured and agricultural products.
In The Influence of Sea Power Upon History, historian Alfred T. Mahan argued that many great nations owed their greatness to naval power.
He urged construction of a fleet of steel ships, acquisition of overseas bases, and construction of a canal across Central America.
The United States eventually followed all of his recommendations.
Imperialists justified their actions based on beliefs about their own racial, national, and cultural superiority.
Social Darwinism was the belief that life consists of competitive struggles in which only the fittest survive. Social Darwinists felt that certain nations and races were superior to others and were therefore destined to rule over the inferior people.
Americans embraced Social Darwinism because they had long believed that God had granted them the right to settle the frontier. They spoke of their “Manifest Destiny.”
Historian Frederick Jackson Turner argued that the frontier served as a “safety valve,”siphoning off potential discontent in the United States.
Turner’s followers urged overseas expansion as America’s next frontierto avert future discontent in the United States.
In 1867, Secretary of State William Seward purchased Alaska from Russia for $7.2 million.
In the 1790s, Americans planters established sugar cane plantationsin Hawaii.
In 1898, Congress voted toannex Hawaii.
Commodore Matthew Perry’s fleet entered Tokyo Bay, persuading Japan to trade with the United States.
Secretary of State William Seward purchased Alaska from Russia.
The United States obtained Midway Islands in the Pacific.
Congress approved the annexation of Hawaii.
The Spanish-American War gave the U.S. control of the Philippines, Puerto Rico, and Guam.