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Chapter 27: Empire and Expansion 1890-1909. We assert that no nation can long endure half republic and half empire, and we warn the American people that imperialism abroad will lead quickly and inevitably to despotism at home. Democratic National Platform, 1900. American Imperiali sm.

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chapter 27 empire and expansion 1890 1909
Chapter 27: Empire and Expansion1890-1909

We assert that no nation can long endure half republic and half empire, and we warn the American people that imperialism abroad will lead quickly and inevitably to despotism at home.

Democratic National Platform, 1900

american imperiali sm
American Imperialism
  • New American Foreign Policy
    • Worldwide “Age of Empire” influenced American statesmen
    • America looked outward to increase holdings as means to maintain internal strength and increase power internationally
  • America As a World Power
    • Farmers and factory owners looked for markets beyond American shores to meet needs of growing nation (population, industry, wealth, etc.) and as a safety valve to relieve labor and agrarian unrest (fear of ‘closing frontier’)
    • “Yellow journalism” depicted the world as a great adventure to be enjoyed
    • Missionaries became interested in saving foreign souls
    • Social Darwinists believed the world was for ‘survival of the fittest’ and that meant Americans
    • Development of strong navy viewed as key to world dominance

Commercial/Business Interests

U. S. Foreign Investments: 1869-1908


Commercial/Business Interests

American Foreign Trade:1870-1914


Military/Strategic Interests

Alfred T. Mahan wrote The Influence of Sea Power on History: 1660-1783 (1890) arguing that control of the sea was key to world dominance. This book spurred competition among world powers. Americans demanded greater navy and also a canal to connect Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.


Social Darwinist Thinking

The Hierarchy of Race

The White Man’s Burden


Religious/Missionary Interests

American Missionariesin China, 1905


“Seward’s Folly”: 1867

Secretary of State

William Seward

Purchase of Alaska from Russia for $7.2 million


“Seward’s Icebox”: 1867

Seward ridiculed for pushing through purchase of Alaska

american imperialism
American Imperialism
  • “Big Sister” Policy
    • Policy aimed at getting Latin American countries to support American leadership and opening Latin American markets to American trade
    • Proposed by James G. Blaine, Secretary of State
    • Pan American Conference held in Washington, D.C.
      • Included 17 Latin American nations
      • Goals were to create customs union between Latin America and U.S. and also a system to work out problems peacefully
  • Diplomatic Success
    • Latin American nations agreed to creation of Commercial Bureau of the American Republics
      • Worked to promote cooperation among nations of Western Hemisphere
      • Later called the Pan-American Union
      • Today exists as Organization of American States
problems with diplomacy
Problems with Diplomacy
  • American and German navies conflicted over Samoan Islands (officially divided in1899)
  • American and Italy went to brink of war over lynchings of 11 Italians in New Orleans in 1891 (U.S. paid compensatory damages)
  • Hostilities arose between America and Chile when two American sailors were killed in the port of Valparaiso (Chile paid indemnity)
  • American dispute arose with Canada over seal hunting off the coast of Alaska (settled by arbitration)
  • Crisis with Britain over boundary between British Guiana and Venezuela arose after discovery of gold
the great rapprochement
The Great Rapprochement
  • Venezuelan Boundary Dispute
    • Discovery of gold in disputed area along border of British Guiana and Venezuela brought brink of war with Britain (1895-1896)
    • President Cleveland, along with Secretary of State Richard Olney, invoked Monroe Doctrine
  • “Twisting the Lion’s Tail”
    • British has world’s strongest navy
    • British officials responded that America had no business in dispute
    • Cleveland called for allocation of funds to set up team to ‘run the line’ and fight if the British refused to accept it
  • Anglo-American Alliance
    • British faced problem with Germany and looming war with Boers in South Africa
    • Agreed to arbitration to prevent war with America
    • “Patting the eagle’s head” replaced centuries old animosity
    • Newfound ‘friendship’ became cornerstone of U.S./British foreign policy during the 20th century



of the


  • Location! Location! Location!
    • Became prime point for provisioning shippers, sailors, and whalers
    • U.S. warned foreign countries to keep out
  • Foreign Missionaries
  • Sugar Production
    • American sugar lords imported Asian workers to replace natives (many of whom died from exposure to European diseases) to work cane fields and sugar mills
    • Chinese and Japanese outnumbered whites and natives , causing U.S. to worry that imperial Japan might be tempted to stake claim
    • McKinley Tariff hurt Hawaii sugar sales, prompting renewed interest in American annexation
  • Naval Base of Operation
    • Treaty in 1887 gave U.S. government exclusive rights to naval base at Pearl Harbor
missionaries in hawaii

U.S. View of Hawaiians

Missionaries in Hawaii

Hawaii becomes U.S. protectorate in 1849 through economic treaties

Imiola Church originally

built in late 1820s


Hawaii for Hawaiians

  • Queen Liliuokalani opposed American annexation of Hawaii
    • Attempted to establish new constitution to reassert her authority as ruler of Hawaiian islands in 1893
  • American Rebellion
    • Planters led revolt, aided by American troops who landed on island under (unauthorized) orders by American minister
    • Queen Liliuokalani deposed and provisional government established
  • American Annexation
    • Treaty of annexation refused by President Cleveland, who believed Hawaiian people had been wronged
    • Withdrew treaty and ordered investigation
    • Hawaii eventually annexed in 1898

Hawaiian Queen Liliuokalani

Hawaii for Hawaiians!


U.S. Business Interests In Hawaii

  • 1875–Reciprocity Treaty
    • Exempted Hawaiian sugar from tariffs to relieve economic recession
  • 1890–McKinley Tariff
    • Hurt Hawaiian sugar growers
  • 1893–Queen Liliuokalani attempted to impose constitution to reassert her authority to rule Hawaii; white planters led revolt and set up provisional government
  • 1894 - Sanford Ballard Dole declared Republic of Hawaii

Sanford Ballard Dole


To The Victor Belongs the Spoils

Hawaiian Annexation Ceremony, 1898

cuban revolt
Cuban Revolt
  • Spanish oppression in Cuba
    • Cubans declared independence from Spain in 1868, but rebellion collapsed in 1878
    • Cuban rebels fled to U.S., where they were led by Jose Marti (raised awareness and financial support for Cuban independence movement)
  • McKinley Tariff
    • Sugar production crippled by high duties
    • Economic desperation spurred action
  • Cuban Insurrection
    • Rebellion renewed in 1895
    • Adopted scorched-earth policy
    • Declared the independent Republic of Cuba
  • American Involvement
    • American citizens sympathized with Cubans
    • Business heavily invested in Cuban sugar; at risk due to upheaval
    • Feared loss of Cuba would result in loss of control in Gulf of Mexico
spanish atrocities in cuba
Spanish Atrocities in Cuba
  • General ValerianoWeyler
    • Appointed governor by Spanish
    • Called El Carnicero, or “The Butcher” by natives
  • Reconcentration Camps
    • Established to prevent Cubans from aiding rebels
    • Rural Cuban men, women and children forced into camps where many died of starvation and disease
    • Resulted in renewed calls for American intervention in Cuba
    • News reports of brutal treatment led to calls for American intervention

Yellow Journalism

Joseph Pulitzer

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

William Randolph Hearst

de l me letter
De Lôme Letter
  • Dupuy de Lome, Spanish ambassador to U.S.
  • New York Journal printed private letter, which criticized President McKinley
      • Described him as “weak and a bidder for the admiration of the crowd, besides being a would be politician who tries to leave a door open behind himself while keeping on good terms with the jingoes of his party.”
  • De Lome resigned
  • Nation erupted in fury over letter
  • Policy of aggressive nationalism
    • Strong in Republican Party
    • Democrats demanded war
  • McKinley pressured to declare war against Spain
    • Republicans feared Democrats would win election if no war
    • Explosion of the Maine spurred U.S. into action
    • McKinley asked Congress for declaration of war
    • War declared April 19, 1898

Theodore Roosevelt

  • Assistant Secretary of the Navy for McKinley administration
  • Supported imperialism and American nationalism (jingoism)
    • Criticized PresidentMcKinley, saying he “had no more backbone than a chocolate éclair”
  • Resigned his position to fight in Cuba
u s s maine
U.S.S. Maine
  • Maine sent to Havana
    • Protect American interests
    • Show of power
  • Explosion
    • February 15, 1898
    • 266 sailors killed
    • Spain concluded that explosion was internal and accidental
    • U.S. reported explosion was caused by underwater mine
  • American Outrage
    • Journalists and public officials blamed Spain
    • Maine was “last straw” and U.S. declared war
invasion of cuba
Invasion of Cuba
  • American blockade of Santiago
    • Spanish fleet hemmed in
  • American army landed at Santiago
    • Inefficient and poorly organized
    • Unsanitary conditions caused more deaths than battle
  • Rough Riders
    • Voluntary cavalry unit from American West
    • Commanded by Leonard Wood but organized through efforts of Teddy Roosevelt
    • Led attack at El Caney , then famously assisted another regiment capture San Juan Hill (on foot, not horseback)
    • Spanish fleet attempted to flee Santiago; destroyed by American fleet
    • Santiago surrendered

Cuban Independence

  • Teller Amendment
    • Asserted that the U.S. would recognize Cuban independence after the war (basically an assurance that America would not attempt to annex Cuba)
  • Platt Amendment (1901)
    • Cuba could not make any treaty with foreign powers that would endanger independence or allow foreign power over any Cuban territory
    • U.S. given right to intervene in Cuba to protect Cuban independence and/or maintain order
    • Cuba must allow lease or purchase of naval stations in Cuba (Guantanamo Bay)
    • Cuba must keep down public debt to prevent foreign power from landing troops to enforce payment
    • Repealed in 1934
the philippines
The Philippines
  • Commodore George Dewey ordered by Theodore Roosevelt (who had no authority) to attack Spanish colony at the Philippines
  • Quickly destroyed Spanish fleet, then waited for American reinforcements to attack Manila
  • Arrival of German fleet deepened crisis
  • Emilio Aguinaldo, Filipino revolutionary leader, launched guerilla war against Spanish
  • American reinforcements arrived and took Manila, but refused to recognize rebel government
spanish american war ends
Spanish American War Ends
  • Puerto Rico
    • Fall of Santiago prompted U.S. to launch invasion of Puerto Rico
    • U.S. troops met virtually no resistance and occupied island
  • Spanish Surrender
    • Spain agreed to cease fire August 12, 1898
    • Treaty of Paris ended war
    • Cuba became independent


    • U.S.annexed Guam and

Puerto Rico

    • Spain paid $20 million for

Philippines (after much

deliberation and criticism)

    • U.S. became imperial power

American Anti-Imperialist League

Founded in 1899 to fight American expansionist policies

Members included Mark Twain, Andrew Carnegie, William James, Samuel Gompers and William Jennings Bryan

Campaigned against the annexation ofPhilippines and other acts of imperialism

Believed annexation violated American principles of democracy

filipino rebellion
Filipino Rebellion
  • Emilio Aguinaldo launched rebel attack against American forces in February 1899
    • Opposed American annexation of Philippines
  • General Arthur MacArthur led fight against Filipino rebels
    • Used same tactics as Spanish in Cuba
    • Set up reconcentration camps which resulted in deaths of thousands of Filipinos
  • Philippines granted independence July 4, 1946
america in the philippines
America in the Philippines
  • William H. Taft appointed civilian governor of Philippines
  • Attempted to win over Filipinos by improving education, transportation, and health care
  • Ordered massive building projects to strengthen the economy
  • Cost the U.S. millions with little return
  • Lessened Filipino hostility toward America

William Howard Taft








Governing Puerto Rico

  • Foraker Act (1900)
    • Made Puerto Rico an “unincorporated territory” of United States
    • Puerto Ricans would not be citizens of U.S. and would not have constitutional rights
    • Allowed U.S. to pass laws for Puerto Rico
    • Placed import duties on Puerto Rican goods
  • Insular Cases(1901 to 1903)
    • Constitutional rights were not automatically extended to territorial possessions
    • Congress had the power to decide these rights
    • Legalized import duties under the Foraker Act

Puerto Rico

  • Jones Act of 1917
    • Gave full territorial status to Puerto Rico
    • Made Puerto Ricans citizens of U.S.
    • Removed tariff duties on Puerto Rican goods
    • Later allowed Puerto Ricans to elect legislators and agovernor to enforce local laws
    • Puerto Ricans NOT allowed to votein U.S. presidential elections
    • Resident commissioner was sent to Washington to vote for Puerto Rico in the House of Representatives

Stereotypes of Chinese Immigrants

Oriental [Chinese] Exclusion Act, 1887

open door policy
Open Door Policy
  • Sino-Japanese War
    • Fought between China and Japan over Korea
    • China defeated easily, surprising the world
    • Allowed European powers, especially Russia and Germany, quickly took advantage of Chinese weakness
  • Spheres of Influence
    • Areas where foreign nations controlled economic development
    • Germany, France, Russia, and Britain all gained “leaseholds” in China
  • Open Door Policy
    • Proposed by Secretary of State John Hay
    • Effectively gave all countries equal access to trade in China
    • Provided that China would not be taken over by a foreign power
    • All European powers agreed to U.S. demands except Russia
    • Chinese had no leadership role in new policy
boxer rebellion
Boxer Rebellion
  • Society of Righteous and Harmonious Fists
    • Ultranationalist secret society organized to rid China of foreign control
    • Called Boxers (for skill in martial arts)
  • Rebellion
    • Resentment of Open Door Policy sparked rebellion
    • Boxers launched attack against foreign embassies in Beijing
    • Resulted in deaths of 200+ foreigners & thousands of Chinese Christians
  • U.S. Intervention
    • International force that included U.S. troops stopped rebellion
    • European nations moved to use Boxer Rebellion as excuse to partition China
    • U.S. introduced new policy, basically an addendum to the Open Door Policy, that would protect territorial integrity of China
election of 1900
Election of 1900

William McKinley

Republican Nominee

William Jennings Bryan

Democratic Nominee

imperialism or bryanism
Imperialism or Bryanism?
  • William McKinley
    • Won Republican nomination easily
    • Promised “Four Years More of the Full Dinner Pail”
  • Theodore Roosevelt
    • Selected as vice presidential running mate
    • Governor of New York
      • Local political bosses were unable to buy or control him
      • Hoped election as vice president would rid them of his progressive ideals
  • William Jennings Bryan
    • Anti-imperialist
  • Eugene Debs
    • Once again ran as Socialist Party candidate
roosevelt becomes president
Roosevelt Becomes President
  • William McKinley assassinated
    • Shot by Leon Czolgosz, an anarchist who opposed all forms of government, on September 6, 1901
    • Died few days later
  • Teddy Roosevelt as President
    • Youngest president to take office (42 years)
    • Republicans, who supported Roosevelt because of his war record and charisma, never intended for him to be president
    • Reform minded and imperialist
big stick diplomacy
Big Stick Diplomacy
  • Said “Speak softly and carry a big stick, (and) you will go far.”
  • Goal was to increase American power on world stage
  • Accepted idea of Social Darwinism, believing that U.S. had duty to shape “less civilized” corners of the earth
  • Believed in strong role of U.S. president
    • No respect for checks and balances

Panama: The King’s Crown

  • Clayton-BulwerTreaty of 1850 banned U.S. from gaining exclusive control over canal through in South America
  • Hay-Pauncefote Treaty of 1901 gave U.S. right to build and fortify canal
  • French Canal Company hoped to salvage project in Panama
    • Began canal in 1881 but bankrupt by 1889
    • Reorganized in 1894 in an effort to sell rights
    • Philippe Bunau-Varilla negotiated for company
revolt in panama
Revolt in Panama
  • Rebellion
    • Panama part of Colombia
    • Colombia rejected U.S. offer of $10 million with $250,000 annual payment
    • Panamanian people feared loss of potential revenue from canal
    • Bunau-Varilla encouraged rebellion
    • Panama revolted and declared its independence
    • Roosevelt sent ships to prevent Colombian interference and officially recognized Panama’s independence
  • Hay-Bunau-Varilla Treaty of 1903
    • Allowed U.S. to purchase rights to build canal across isthmus of Panama as previously offered
    • Extended canal zone from 6 miles to 10 miles

Construction of the Panama Canal

•Teddy Roosevelt in Panama

•Construction began in 1904

building the panama canal
Building the Panama Canal
  • Took 10 years to build
  • Required 40,000 laborers
  • Cost $390 million
  • Stretches 50 miles
  • Problems
    • Labor unrest, landslides, tropical diseases
    • William C. Gorgas, an Alabamian, developed method to end yellow fever, which allowed ultimate completion of the project
  • Control of canal returned to Panama in 1999 with 1977 treaty

Roosevelt Corollary

  • American interference in Latin American affairs created problems with diplomacy
  • Roosevelt Corollary
    • In 1904, Teddy Roosevelt addressed Congress
    • Established new foreign policy of ‘preventative intervention’
    • Changed the basis of the Monroe Doctrine, allowing the U.S. to intervene in Latin America to maintain economic and political stability
    • Promoted “Bad Neighbor” Policy between U.S. and Latin America

Commodore Matthew Perry Opens Japan: 1853

Japanese View of Commodore Perry


Treaty of Kanagawa: 1854

Ended exclusion of foreign nations from Japan

big stick diplomacy in asia
Big Stick Diplomacy in Asia
  • Russo-Japanese War
    • War began in 1904
    • Japanese quickly gained upper hand, but ran out of money to finish the conquest
  • American Intervention
    • Peace conference held in Portsmouth, New Hampshire
    • Japanese convinced to stop fighting and seek no more territory
    • Russia forced to accept Japanese territorial gains
  • U.S. Enemies Abroad
    • Russians felt betrayed by U.S.
    • Japanese believed they had been cheated out of ‘spoils of war’
    • Resulted in declining relations between U.S. and Japan in Asia
  • Nobel Peace Prize
    • Teddy Roosevelt was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his role in ending the Russo-Japanese War and for helping arrange an international conference to mediate disputes in North Africa

Treaty of Portsmouth

Nobel Peace Prize for Teddy


Gentleman’s Agreement of 1908

Japanese immigrants flooded U.S. after Russo-Japanese War, alarming residents along the Pacific Coast

Japanese agreed to deny passports to laborers headed to U.S. to stop “yellow peril”

Japan recognized U.S. right to exclude Japanese immigrants holding passports issued by other countries

U.S. government forced San Francisco school board to rescind its order to segregate Asians into separate schools


The Great White Fleet

  • Teddy Roosevelt sent 16 battleships on world tour
  • Intended to show American military power
  • Worsened relations between U.S. and Japan
root takahira agreement
Root-Takahira Agreement
  • Improved Diplomatic Relations
    • “Great White Fleet” warmly received in Japan
    • Created new atmosphere of diplomacy
  • Root-Takahira Agreement of 1908
    • Pledged U.S. and Japan to respect territorial possessions in the Pacific
    • Promised to maintain Open Door Policy in China