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Eyes on the Pacific
How did the United States acquire new
territory and expand trade in the AsiaPacific region?
The United States Looks Overseas
In the mid-1800s, the United States began to take on new challenges,
establishing new trading partners and acquiring new land.
Since about 1600, Japan’s doors had been CLOSED to foreign trade.
In 1853, Commodore Matthew C. Perry sailed U.S. warships into Tokyo
He called on the Japanese to reopen foreign trade.
The Japanese were awed by U.S. power and realized they had a lot to gain from
The Japanese government wanted to transform their feudal society into an industrial
nation that could compete in the modern world.
The next year, they signed a trade treaty with the United States.
Treaty of Kanagawa
What does the word
“abroad” mean?
Perry’s ships
The Treaty of Kanawaga
Seward’s Icebox
In 1867, Russia was looking to sell its colony of Alaska.
U.S. Secretary of State William Seward believed buying Alaska was a way to
open trade in Asia and the Pacific.
– He paid $7.2 million for the territory, or about 2 cents an acre.
– Many Americans called the purchase “Seward’s Folly,” because they saw
Alaska as a frozen wasteland.
 They changed their tune when GOLD was discovered.
What does the word
“expand” mean?
Seward saw Alaska as a stepping stone for trade
with Asia and the Pacific. The purchased increased
the area of the United States by one-fifth.
Alaska is twice
the size of
Name two people who helped develop U.S.
influence in the Pacific?
The Expansionist Mood
imperialism are
two very
important terms.
Until the late 1800s, the United States maintained a course of isolationism.
– It avoided involvement in the affairs of other countries.
Several European nations, however, began a policy of imperialism.
– Building empires by establishing political and economic control over
peoples around the world.
Why were islands in the Pacific important
for the United States, economically and
A New “Manifest Destiny”
In 1893, historian Frederick Jackson Turner announced that
there was NO more western frontier.
Many U.S. leaders believed that imperialism could provide a
new sort of Manifest Destiny.
The United States could find new natural resources and markets
for its products, as well as spread “American values.”
Promoting Economic Growth
The U.S. had a powerful industrial economy.
– It produced far more than Americans would buy.
U.S. leaders watched nervously as European powers seized land in Africa and
Concern sets in, leaders worry they might be shut out of global markets and denied raw materials.
A top supporter of expansion was Alfred T. Mahan, naval captain and author.
Mahan said that future U.S. prosperity depended on building up trade.
The key to strong trade, he argued, was a powerful navy that would control the world’s sea
lanes and thus protect U.S. access to foreign markets.
So………. The key to having strong
trade is possessing a powerful Navy.
Give two reasons why imperialism
appealed to some U.S. leaders?
Gaining Footholds in the Pacific
American expansionists became interested in two groups of islands in the
– Samoa
What do they
Rivalry for Samoa
U.S. steamship companies and missionaries fanned interest in
Samoa, a chain of islands in the South Pacific.
The steamship companies and the U.S. Navy wanted to set up coaling
stations, where ships could stock up on coal.
What is the importance
of coal to a ship?
Mother Nature
Britain and Germany were also interested in Samoa as a place where
their ships could refuel.
All three countries sent warships to claim the islands.
In 1889, a typhoon hit the islands and destroyed the warships.
Ten years later, Germany and the United States agreed to divide Samoa.
Expansionists wanted Hawaii, a group of islands in the North Pacific.
By 1887, American planters in Hawaii had already gained great
influence over the government.
They forced the Hawaiian king to accept a new constitution that gave them great
In 1891, the Hawaiian king died and his sister Queen Liliuokalani,
took the throne.
Hawaii could serve as a “military and commercial outpost in the Pacific.”
The Queen tried to prevent Hawaii from losing its independence, but she was
unsuccessful in the end.
In 1898, President William McKinley annexed Hawaii.
Name the two Pacific island groups that
became U.S. possessions.
Carving Up China
In the late 1800s, Japan and European powers divided China into spheres of
– Areas where another nation has economic and political control
U.S. leaders feared exclusion from China trade, so Secretary of State John
Hay issued the Open Door Policy
– The policy called for ALL nations to be able to trade in China on an equal
The Boxer Rebellion
The Chinese hated foreign influence and began a rebellion in
the spring of 1900.
A secret society known as the Boxers attacked westerners and
Chinese Christians.
The attacks were backed by the Chinese government.
The United States and other countries sent troops with modern
weapons and crushed the Boxer Rebellion.
The Boxers called
themselves the
“Righteous and
Harmonious Fists.”
Explain what caused the Boxer Rebellion.
The Open Door Again
Secretary Hay feared that the other powers would use the Boxer Rebellion as
an excuse to seize more Chinese territory.
– Hay issued a second Open Door message that stated China should remain
one country.