AMERICA CLAIMS AN
IMPERIALISM- The policy in which stronger
nations extend economic, political or military
control over weaker territories.
By the 1880’s, many American leaders thought
the U.S. should establish colonies overseas.
3 FACTORS FUELED AMERICAN
1) Desire for military strength
2) Thirst for new markets
3) Belief in the superiority of American culture
Admiral Alfred T. Mahan of the U.S. Navy
Supported growing American naval power so
the U.S. could compete w/other nations
U.S.S. Maine & Oregon
U.S. built modern battleships like the Maine &
The new ships made the U.S. the world’s
largest naval power.
U.S. was producing more than Americans
U.S. needed foreign trade.
American businesses needed markets for their
products & raw materials for their factories.
Superiority of American Culture:
The 3rd root of American imperialism was a
belief that the people of the U.S. were better
than the people of other countries
Believed they had a duty to spread their
culture & Christian religion among other
U.S. Acquires Alaska
William Seward purchases Alaska, for the
U.S., from Russia in 1867.
The price? $7.2 million!!
The Hawaiian islands had been important to
the U.S. since 1790’s.
Merchants stopped there on their way to China
In 1920’s, American missionaries founded
Christian schools & churches on the islands
Hawaiian sugar plantations…
B/c of American owned sugar plantations, by
1900, foreign laborers outnumbered Hawaiians
3 to 1
This weakened the influence of native
Powerful Hawaiian sugar
growers called for the U.S. to
annex Hawaii to avoid the
In 1887, U.S. military forced Hawaii
to let it build a naval base at Pearl
Harbor….Hawaii’s best port.
CONTROL OF THEIR
American business groups organized
a revolt against Queen Liliuokalani:
U.S. ambassador John L. Stevens helped them
Planters took control of the island
They established a temporary government .
In 1893, Queen Liliuokalani of Hawaii gave
up her throne.
Hawaii was about to be taken over by the U.S.
They established a temporary
Made American businessman Sanford
B. Dole the president.
1898, HAWAII BECOMES A U.S.
Stevens urged U.S. government to annex
President Grover Cleveland refused unless
majority of Hawaiians favored that.
1897, William McKinley became president.
McKinley favored annexation.
1898, Hawaii became a U.S. territory.
CUBANS REBEL AGAINST
B/w 1868 & 1878, Cubans fought their 1st war
for independence from Spain.
Rebels didn’t win, but forced Spain to abolish
slavery in 1886
U.S. CAPITALISTS INVEST…
Invested heavily in sugar cane plantations in
Cuban economy collapsed in 1894 when a
tariff on sugar was imposed in the U.S.
1895, Cubans began 2nd war for independence.
Rebellion led by Jose Marti, a Cuban poet &
journalist who had been living in exile in N.Y.
The rebels wanted the U.S. to join their cause.
WAR FEVER ESCALATES!
1896, Spain sent an army to Cuba to restore
Army led by General Valeriano Weyler.
Weyler rounded up 300,000 people as
prisoners in Concentration camps.
Stories of concentration camps widely
reported in U.S. newspapers.
Rival N.Y. newspapers exaggerated the
brutality to attract readers.(“yellow
William McKinley became
U.S. President in 1897.
Since many Americans wanted the U.S. to
help the rebels against Spain, McKinley
tried to find a peaceful solution.
McKinley’s efforts pay
1) Spain sent General Weyler home
2) Changed the concentration camp
3) Gave Cuba limited self-government
But then, 2 events made
Americans very angry at
1) The publication of a letter that insulted the
American president….The de Lome letter was
written by a Spanish diplomat. It criticized
McKinley for being weak.
2) The battleship U.S.S. Maine exploded on
February 15, 1898.
The ship had been stationed in Cuba to protect
Cause of the explosion was not known….. But…
Newspapers blamed Spain.
WAR WITH SPAIN
April 20, 1898, U.S. went to war
1st battle took place in the Philippines.
Philippines had been a Spanish colony for 300
In 1896, Philippines rebelled against Spanish.
On May 1, 1898, American naval commander
George Dewey sailed into Manila Bay in the
His ships destroyed the Spanish fleet there.
For the next 2 months, U.S. soldiers fought on
the side of the Filipino rebels.
Spanish surrendered (in the Philippines) to
the U.S. in August.
Meanwhile, back in Cuba……
American navy blocked off the harbor of
Santiago de Cuba.
Spanish ships could not leave.
American troops then landed on the island in
Unit of volunteers
Theodore Roosevelt one of their leaders.
Rough Riders helped win the important battle
of San Juan Hill
American newspapers made Roosevelt a hero.
The Rough Riders
U.S. Army 1st Volunteer Cavalry
Lt. Colonel Theodore Roosevelt
July 25, 1898!
When the Spanish ships tried to leave the
harbor, their fleet was destroyed.
Spain then surrendered to U.S.
(The entire war only lasted 113 days!)
TREATY OF PARIS
Spain quickly agreed to a peace
What were the terms?
1) Cuba is granted
2) Spain gave Puerto Rico & the
Pacific Island of Guam to the U.S.
3) U.S. paid Spain $20 mill. For
the annexation of the Philippine
Debate in U.S. about
Treaty of Paris touched off debates in U.S. .
President McKinley was in favor of it.
Some Americans said annexing territories
violated the spirit of the Declaration of
The U.S. Senate approved the treaty on
February 6, 1899.
RULING PUERTO RICO:
American forces landed in Puerto Rico in July
Many Puerto Ricans began to resent the
In 1900, Congress passed the Foraker Act
which ended military rule & set up a civil
IN 1917, PUERTO RICANS
BECOME U.S. CITIZENS!
Control over CUBA…
Although Cuba was officially independent
after the war, the U.S. army remained there for
It punished Cubans who were against this
When Cuba’s new government wrote a
constitution in 1900, the U.S. insisted they add
the “PLATT AMENDMENT”
This limited Cuba’s rights in dealing w/other
countries….gave the U.S. special privileges,
including the right to intervene to preserve
Cuba became a U.S. “protectorate”.
A “Protectorate” is a country whose affairs
are partially controlled by a stronger power.
The U.S. insisted on these rights b/c of its
economic interests in Cuba.
Opponents to American Rule of the Philippines
They were angry that the U.S. had
annexed their islands after years of
fighting for independence.
Filipino rebel leader who believed that the
U.S. had promised independence.
He felt the U.S. had betrayed the Filipinos
after helping them win independence.
1899, Aguinaldo started a rebellion that lasted
3 years. (Philippine-American War)
Pictured below are Filipino P.O.W.’s
U.S. won & set up a government similar to the
one it had set up in Cuba.
By 1899, many countries had economic
interests in China
U.S. wanted to be able to trade with China too.
Secretary of State John Hay sent the “OPEN
DOOR NOTES” to these countries calling for
China’s port to be open to ALL countries.
In 1900, a secret society in China started a
rebellion to protest “western influence”.
Troops from countries (including U.S.) fought
the rebel, or “Boxers”.
After the Boxer Rebellion was defeated, U.S.
issued more Open Door notes to make sure
other countries didn’t make colonies out of
How did Americans feel about U.S.
With the reelection of President William
McKinley in 1900, it seems that most
Americans agreed w/imperialism.
An Anti-Imperialist League formed including
former president Grover Cleveland, Andrew
Carnegie, Jane Addams, & Mark Twain.
AMERICA AS A
President McKinley Assassinated!
Pres. McKinley assassinated in 1901.
Teddy Roosevelt becomes president &
continues policies of “imperialism”
TEDDY ROOSEVELT &
Roosevelt 1st used U.S. influence to
help settle the Russo-Japanese War
Began in 1904 when both Russia & Japan
wanted to control Korea.
Japan captured Korea & also invaded
Manchuria… which was controlled by Russia
1905, representatives of Russia & Japan met.
Roosevelt used his personal charm to help
them negotiate a compromise.
They signed a treaty, and Roosevelt received
the 1906 Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts.
The Nobel Institute in Oslo, Norway.
Idea was to build a canal to connect the
Atlantic & Pacific Oceans.
Such a canal would cut travel time for ships
b/c they wouldn’t have to go all the way
around South America.
Panama was a province of Columbia.
Columbia did not agree to the canal.
So, U.S. helped Panama rebel against
Then, U.S. got Panama’s permission
to build the canal.
Construction of the Panama Canal:
Work began in 1904 & took 10 years
In 1913, there were 43,400 workers on the
hard & dangerous project.
Canal officially opens Aug. 15, 1914
Over 1,000 ships passed through that 1st year
Roosevelt’s statement to Congress in 1904… He
wanted the U.S. to be the major power in the
Caribbean & Central America
Roosevelt Corollary was the logical
result of the Monroe Doctrine of 1823
Roosevelt now said that the U.S had the right to intervene in
Latin American countries to protect U.S. business interests.
(“Big Stick” policy)
In 1911, Pres. Taft used Roosevelt’s
policy in Nicaragua.
A rebellion had left the country in debt.
Taft arranged for U.S. bankers to loan
In exchange, American business took control
of the railroads & banks…also collected
Nicaragua’s custom duties
Nicaraguans didn’t like this arrangement.
They rebelled. The U.S. sent in troops to
Nicaragua preserve peace.
Those who didn’t like this kind of intervention
called it “dollar diplomacy”.
Why did President Wilson send
troops to Mexico?
President Wilson took a step beyond
Presidents Monroe & Roosevelt…
Wilson added a “moral” tone to Latin
His “missionary diplomacy” meant that the
U.S. could not officially recognize
governments that were oppressive,
undemocratic, or opposed to U.S. business
A revolution in Mexico tested this policy…….
MEXICAN PEASANTS &
They rebelled in 1910 against their military
The start of the Mexican Revolution:
the Serdán family opens a revolt in Puebla, Nov.18.1910
2 new governments followed, the 2nd headed
by General Victoriano Huerta.
Wilson refused to support
the Huerta government b/c it
came to power through
When a new leader, Venustiano
Carranza, took power in Mexico, Wilson
withdrew the troops
Francisco “Pancho” Villa….
Leader of rebels who revolted against Carranza
Some American’s killed
by Villa’s followers…..
U.S. wanted to capture Villa.
Mexican government gave U.S.
permission to send in troops
Wilson sent General John J.
Pershing to Mexico with
A year later, Villa was still free.
Wilson then stationed 150,000
Natl’Guardsmen along the border.
General John J. Pershing
PERSHING, JOHN J.
Brigadier General, U.S. Army
decorations U.S. Army, Supplement V, 1941
Home Town: Laclede, Missouri
Date of Action: June 15, 1913
Mexicans angered by
1916, U.S. troops fought w/Carranza’s
In 1917, Wilson withdrew U.S. troops b/c
U.S. was facing possible war in Europe.
Mexico finally adopted a
constitution, regained control of
their own resources & put limits
on foreign investment
American intervention in Mexico
showed how far the U.S. was willing
to go to protect its economic interests.
WORLD WAR I