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BECOMING A WORLD POWER 1872 – 1912 Chapter 12. What is “ Imperialism ”?. It is when a nation builds an empire by gaining political control over other countries.

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What is “Imperialism”?

It is when a nation builds an empire by gaining political control over other countries.


During this era, economic and military competition from foreign nations convinced the United States it must be a world power.

The United States became an empire when it acquired the Philippines and territory in the Caribbean.

In addition, American influence in Central and South America grew as the U.S. took a more active role in Latin American affairs.


I. Building Support for Imperialism (def: The economic and political domination of a strong nation over other weaker nations.) Reasons:

A. Desire for new markets

1. U.S. wanted to keep up with Europe (they

built empires through overseas markets)

2. New markets

would keep

the economy



3. To protect overseas investments, a country

had to exert some control over those areas.

a. Some areas became colonies.

b. Some became protectorates (technically

independent; imperial power protects them

from invasion; advises them how to



B. Feeling of superiority

1. Idea that only strongest countries would

survive – Social Darwinism

2. The feeling that English-speaking nations had

superior ideas, character, and governments; were destinedto dominate the world.....

(Anglo - Saxonism).

3. Josiah Strong - minister who preached that

Americans had a duty to “civilize &

Christianize heathen foreigners.”


Shopping in Somalia

Shopping in Guatemala

Where would you like to spend your Saturday?


Shopping in Houston

Shopping in London


II. Expansion in the Pacific

A. Japan had a closed society; wanted to avoid

contact with Westerners that would supposedly

destroy their culture.

1. Refused to trade with Americans

2. Commodore Matthew Perry

took naval expedition to Japan

to negotiate a treaty.

a. The Japanese had never seen steamships;

were awed & intimidated!


(Perry's Naval Expedition continued)

b. Realized they

couldn’t compete

with American

technology and

weapons; signed

a trade agreement.

3. Result: Japan began

to westernize AND

to build their own

Asian empire!


B. Hawaii

1. 1819 - Arrival of first

US missionaries

2. Discovered climate and

soil perfect for growingsugarcane

3. Americans established huge plantations

4. Pressured king to accept new constitution

a. Limited monarch's


b. Increased planters’



5. 1891 - Queen “Lil” took the throne.

a. Disliked American settlers being there.

b. Tried to reassert absolute authority as

ruler of Hawaii.

6. American planters had her overthrown.


Trade & Diplomacy in Latin America

  • A. Conference held in 1880s to create alliance of
  • US and Latin America - Pan-Americanism
  • B. Hoped to keep European influence out of Latin
  • America.
  • C. Today: Organization of
  • American States (OAS)

OAS Flag


Building a Modern Navy

  • A. Three crises that showed American willingness
  • to be assertive in foreign affairs:
  • 1. 1888- US willing to go to war to prevent
  • Germany from taking control of Samoan
  • Islands in the South Pacific.

2. 1891 - Mob in Chile attacked American

sailors, killed some; US threatened

war with Chile

3. 1895 - US backed

Venezuela against

Britain in a border

dispute with the colony

of British Guiana.

** All three crises were settled peacefully, but

they showed that the US meant business!!!

Which early 19th century

U.S. foreign policy are you

reminded of in regard to

these two crises?


Monroe Doctrine


B. Alfred T. Mahan wrote The Influence

of Sea Power Upon History

1. Thesis: All great nations had strong

naval power.

2. With a strong navy, US had to have foreign

refueling stations; needed to build an

empire to guarantee access to those

refueling stations.

C. Senator Henry Cabot Lodge led

the effort to modernize US Navy.

D. By 1890s - US had become one

of the top naval powers in the world.




V. The Coming of War

A. Cuban Rebellion Begins

1. Cuba was a Spanish colony; generated lots

ofmoneyfor Spain; produced 1/3 of

world’s sugar.


2. 1868 - Cuban rebels declared independence;

launched guerilla war against Spain.

a. Jose Marti - exiled Cuban


b. US & Cuba were linked

economically; Cuban sugar

went to the US; the US

invested in Cuba’s mines, RRs, and sugar


B. Americans supported the Cubans

1.Compared theirrebellion to American


Jose Marti


2. US support fueled by yellow journalism

(exaggerated/made-up stories to attract


Two newspapers owned by:

a. William Randolph Hearst

b. Joseph Pulitzer

Locked in huge












C. Calls for War

1. US Battleship Maine exploded

in Havana Harbor; 266

Americans killed.

a. Reason unclear

b. Yellow journalism said Spanish did it! US battle cry:

“Remember the Maine!”

2. Jingoism(aggressive

nationalism)was strong.

D. US demands Spain leave Cuba;

Spain declares war on US.


Artist’s rendition of the explosion

aboard the Battleship Maine


VI. War on Two Fronts

A. US Takes the Philippines

1. Philippines – Spanish colony;

US invaded to keep Spain from

attacking US on west coast.

2. Commodore George Dewey’s

fleet – quick victory at Manila Bay.

3. More US troops sent; seized island of Guam.

4. Enlisted aid of Filipino leader

Emilio Aguinaldo; at first he

sided with US; then turned on




* American Forces Battle in Cuba

1. American army poorly trained, supplied;

hundreds died of disease in training camps.

2. “Rough Riders” - volunteer cavalry unit;

second- in-command was Theodore


Teddy Roosevelt

and the

Rough Riders


3. All-black 9th & 10th Cavalry Regiments,

along with Rough Riders, charged up San

Juan Hill at Santiago; defeated Spanish.

4. US troops also occupy Spanish Puerto Rico.

5. Spanish-American War ceasefire - 8/12/1898.

slide28 US History II/course files/multimedia/lesson54/lessonp.html?showTopic=2


VII. An American Empire is Born

A. Debate over annexation of former Spanish


1. Imperialists’ arguments

a. Territories would be valuable naval

stations throughout the world.

b. Would provide additional large markets

for American goods.

c. Americans could “civilize &

Christianize”natives. ("White Man's



Mark Twain

Andrew Carnegie

2.Anti-Imperialists’ arguments:

(Ex: Andrew Carnegie, Mark Twain, etc.)

a. Competition from cheap Filipino labor

would drive down Americans’ wages.

b. Imperialism is immoral and against

American principles.


B. Treaty of Paris 1898- terms of the treaty:

1. Cuba - becomes independent from Spain.

2. US gets Puerto Rico & Guam

3. US pays Spain $20 million for the



VIII. American Diplomacy in Asia

A. Open Door Policy

* China was carved up into“spheres of

influence” - areas where only certain

countries could trade.


2. US wanted in on the action; pushed for free

trade for China; eventually got it!

B. Boxer Rebellion

1. Some Chinese wanted to wipe out “foreign

devils” and Christians; thought they were

corrupting Chinese society.

2. Attacked foreign embassies in Beijing,

killing and taking prisoners.

3. International force, including US, stepped

in and quashed the rebellion.


The Boxers, also known as the Righteous and Harmonious Fists, were members of a secret society opposed to foreign influence in China. As the Boxers laid siege to the foreign embassies in Beijing, diplomats, foreign civilians, and Chinese Christians were trapped behind barricades for nearly 60 days before an international rescue team ended the uprising.


B. Balancing Power in East Asia

1. TR helped settle war between Japan and

Russia; received Nobel Peace Prize.

2. Relations between Japan and US worsened!

3. 1907 - President TR sent 16 battleships on a

world voyage

to show US


– Great White



IX. A Growing Presence in the Caribbean

A. Panama Canal

1. 1901- US and Brits sign Hay-Pauncefote

Treaty –gave US the right

to build and control any





Signing of the




2. French company had tried it; failed due to

bankruptcy and loss of life from disease.

3. Nicaragua or Panama (controlled byColombia)?

B. Revolt in Panama

1. US helped to wage uprising in Panama

against Colombia.

2. US recognized Panama’s independence.

C. Roosevelt Corollary (to the Monroe Doctrine)

1. TR’s philosophy: “Speak softly and carry

a big stick” –Get what you want by

showing power; then, hopefully won’t have

to use it!


3. Corollary: US would intervene in Latin

American affairs when necessary to

maintain economic and political stability in

the Western Hemisphere.

D. President Taft (TR’s successor)

1. Continued TR’s policies…BUT…

2. Placed less emphasis on military

force and more on helping Latin American

industry; became known as Dollar

Diplomacy(“substituting dollarsfor



Reviewing Key Terms

Define Match the terms on the right with their definitions on the left.

__ 1. the actions used by one nation to exercise political or economic control over a smaller or weaker nation

__ 2. a policy of joining the business interests of a country with its diplomatic interests abroad

__ 3. a country that is technically independent but is actually under the control of another country

__ 4. extreme nationalism marked by aggressive foreign policy

A. imperialism

B. protectorate

C. yellow journalism

D. jingoism

E. sphere of influence

F. Open Door policy

G. dollar diplomacy






Reviewing Key Terms (cont.)

Define Match the terms on the right with their definitions on the left.

__ 5. type of sensational, biased, and often false reporting for the sake of attracting readers

__ 6. a policy that allowed each foreign nation in China to trade freely in the other nations’ spheres of influence

__ 7. section of a country where one foreign nation enjoys special rights and powers

A. imperialism

B. protectorate

C. yellow journalism

D. jingoism

E. sphere of influence

F. Open Door policy

G. dollar diplomacy






Briefly analyze this cartoon. Does it make a case for or against imperialist efforts in the 19th and 20th centuries?



What issue is behind this cartoon? What symbolisms does the cartoonist use to portray his opinion?