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Imperialism is…
• The policy of establishing
colonies and building empires.
Definition of Imperialism
• A policy by a stronger nation
(such as the USA) to create an
empire by dominating weaker
nations economically, politically,
culturally, or militarily.
Why did Imperialism Develop?
Economic factors
Political or Nationalistic factors
Humanitarian or Cultural factors
Military factors
Economic Factors
• Manufacturing nations need more
natural resources and more
Political or Nationalistic
• Nationalism - a belief that one’s
nations goals are superior to
those of other nations
Humanitarian or Cultural
• Spreading Western ideas and
Christianity. It was their duty to
spread the blessings of Western
civilization across the globe.
Military Factors
• Growing navies need new naval
bases worldwide.
Early American Imperialism
• Using the idea of Manifest
Destiny, Alaska was purchased
in 1867.
• The Midway Islands were
annexed (joined to the USA)
in 1867.
Alaska is purchased in 1867
• Secretary of State William H. Seward agreed
to purchase Alaska from Russia for $7.2
million. (that’s only about 2 cents an acre!)
• At the time, critics thought
Seward was crazy and called
the deal "Seward's folly."
Was it worth it??
• Discoveries of gold were made there in the
1880s and 1890s.
• These discoveries brought attention and
people to Alaska.
• Today, petroleum transported across the
state through a pipeline is Alaska's richest
mineral resource.
Imperialism Presidents
William McKinley
• Republican
• Starts US
• Reaffirmed
Monroe Doctrine
Other Pacific Property
Hawaii – 1891 Queen Liliuokalani
takes throne & against trade w/ US
• 1893 – Marines led by Sanford Dole
overthrow Queen
• Dole made governor – asks for
annexation to the US
How did America become Involved
in Imperialism?, cont.
• The Hawaiian Queen is removed from
power by American military force under
pressure from businessmen (including
Sanford Dole – the pineapple guy…)
• Hawaii is annexed in 1898.
Other Pacific Property.
• Japan - Trade
relations are
established in
1854 by
Matthew Perry
and a very young
U.S. Navy
Other Pacific Property
Samoa – US, GB, & Germany fighting
over harbor @ Pago Pago
• Over time US would gain complete
Other Pacific Property
China – divided up among European
• These “spheres of influence”
limited trade between the U.S.
and China
Open Door Policy
• In the fall of 1898, President McKinley and Secretary
of State John Hay force an "open door" policy on the
nations that control China.
• The policy
would allow
all trading
access to
the Chinese
Civil War in Cuba
• By 1895,
In Spain
1895 civil
a few
out colonial
in Cuba
Puerto Rico
and Cuba
Setting the Stage for War
• In competition for readership, two New
York newspapers wrote exaggerated
stories about the Cuban rebellion.
•This yellow journalism sold a
lot of papers but had other
effects as well:
•It whipped up American
public opinion in favor of
the Cuban rebels!
The Yellow Kid
Setting the Stage for War
• William
Randolph Hearst
• Owner of New
York Journal
Setting the Stage for War
• Joseph Pulitzer
• Owner of the
New York World
Printed under a headline that
Cuban Babes Prey to Famine
Thousands of Children Perishing in
Island Towns
Sights that Sicken Strong Men
• The New York Journal reports "...blood
on the roadsides, blood in the villages,
blood, blood, blood!"
When William Randolph Hearst
sent a reporter to cover the
rumored war, he cabled back
that there was no war going
on. Hearst wired
back: “Please remain. You
supply the pictures, and I'll
supply the war.”
To get the attention of the U.S. government –
Cuban Rebels burn plantations owned by U.S.
The U.S. Battleship Maine is sent to protect
U.S. citizens and as a warning message to
Spanish-American War
• Admiral George
Dewey sent to
Philippines ????
DeLome Letter written to
Sp. Foreign Minister
“…it shows once more
what McKinley is,
weak and a bidder for
the admiration of the
crowd, besides being
a would-be politician
who tries to leave the
door open behind
himself while keeping
on good terms with
DeLome – The Spanish
the jingoes of his
Ambassador to the U.S.
Uh-Oh . . . on February 9,
• New York Journal owner William
Randolph Hearst published the letter
under the headline, "The Worst
Insult to the United States in Its
• Six days later comes the
final straw!
Remember the Maine!
Spanish-American War
• Over 250
Sailors Killed!
Spanish-American War
• April 11, 1898 – McKinley asks
Congress to declare war
• May 1st, 1898 – First attack was @
Philippines Dewey sank entire
Spanish Pacific Fleet
Spanish-American War
• Admiral Dewey joined forces w/
Filipino rebels led by Emilio
• Aug. Spanish troops
surrender to US
Spanish-American War
• May 1st, 1898 – Second attack was
surrounding Spanish Atlantic Fleet @
Santiago Harbor
Spanish-American War
• Theodore Roosevelt led invasion of
Cuba w/ the Rough Riders –
Spanish-American War
• Battle of San Juan Hill – July 1st most
famous incident of the war
Spanish-American War
July 4th – Spanish Fleet tried to leave
All sunk by US fleet ending the war
Called “Splendid Little War”
2,500 US died – 400 died in battle?
Rest died of yellow fever, malaria,
food poisoning, & bad Meds
Spanish-American War
Walter Reed
• US Army
• Confirmed that
yellow fever was
transmitted by
Spanish-American War
Teller Amendment – April 18, 1898
• Joint Resolution of Congress
• U.S. could not annex Cuba but only
leave "control of the island to its
Spanish-American War
Platt Amendment (1899)
• Replaced Teller Amendment
• Gave US an open door to intervene in
Cuban affairs.
Spanish-American War
Treaty of Paris
1. Cuba is independent – US gets to
keep a naval base on island
2. US gained Philippines, Puerto Rico,
& Guam
Imperialism Presidents
Theodore Roosevelt
• “Big Stick Diplomacy”
• Gained US Panama Canal
• Roosevelt’s Corollary to the Monroe
Doctrine – it was the right of US to
intervene in Latin American nations
Imperialism Presidents
Theodore Roosevelt
• US repeatedly intervened in Latin Am.
& the Caribbean
• 1905 – TR mediated conflict between
France & Russia won Nobel Peace
The Panama Canal
•Greatest Shortcut on Earth!
Why Build a Canal?
• A trip from
Francisco to
New York is
7,872 miles
using the
instead of
going around
What the Heck’s an Isthmus?
Isn’t the Atlantic in the East and
Pacific in the West??
• In 1881, the French were
given permission to build a
canal across Panama.
• What challenges do
you think they faced
building a canal in this
type of area?
• By noon the temperature is around 100
• The average
yearly rainfall is
about 105
• (avg. rainfall for
Middletown, De is
around 42 inches)
• Flooding makes
the ground like
pudding, and
you can sink up
to your knees in
• It’s so humid that after it rains steam rises
from the ground
• Your clothes are nearly always soaking
• The Jungle grows at an amazing rate!
• The terrain is NOT level!
• Tropical
diseases, such
as yellow fever
and malaria are
spread easily by
• After eight years
and over 20,000
worker deaths, the
French abandon
the project.
• The company
building the canal
goes bankrupt.
• In 1903, Panama was a province of
Columbia (kind of like Delaware is part
of the United States)
• The United
States offers
to buy rights
to build the
canal from
Columbia for
$10 million
dollars and
$250,000 per
Columbia refuses! – holding out
for more money…
• Roosevelt is Furious! He refuses
to deal with the Columbians any longer…
• On November 3, 1903 Panamanians, led by
officials of the Panama Railroad and others
hoping to gain from the construction of a
canal, launched a revolution…
• Teddy Roosevelt sends warships to protect
Panama and prevent Columbia from
retaking it’s own territory.
• The rebels are quickly victorious and on
November 6, 1903 President Theodore
Roosevelt officially recognizes the new
nation of Panama who in turn signs the
treaty previously refused by Columbia.
• The United States begins work on the canal in
• It is a project of the U.S. government so unlike
the French, they did not run out of money.
• The efforts of William Gorgas defeat the worst
obstacle - Disease
• Another major decision had to be
made – should the canal be sea level
– like the French had tried to build or
should they follow the natural rise of
the land?
What are locks?
A lock is a part of a canal with gates
at each end where boats are raised
or lowered to different water levels.
• Click
Here to
See How
a Lock
• (click on
when you get
to the website)
Building the Lock Chambers
• Construction progresses using steam
shovels and human muscle
• By 1914, the canal is completed – ahead
of schedule and under budget!
• More than 922,000
vessels have used the
waterway since its
opening on August 15,
• 1977 The
signed a
agreed to
control of
the canal
in 1999
A vessel passing through the Panama Canal pays a toll
proportionate to its size. The average toll is about
• The lowest toll ever paid is 36 cents,
paid by Richard Halliburton for
swimming the Canal in 1928.
On May 30th, 2006, the Maersk Dellys
established a new toll record by paying
• On average, a vessel will take
between 8 to 10 hours to transit.
• Although longer
than 3 Statues
of Liberty laid
end to end, the
current locks
are too small.
• Many ships,
known as
barely fit
• Due to be completed
between 2014 and
2015, Work is under
way to modernize the
canal and enable it to
handle much larger
• At a cost of over $5
Billion, work includes
deepening and
widening the canal
along with adding
newer and larger
• Click Here to See The Panama
Canal in Action Right NOW!!
Imperialism Presidents
William Taft
• Dollar Diplomacy – encouraging &
protecting US trade / investments in Latin
Am. and Asia
Imperialism Presidents
Woodrow Wilson
• Moral Diplomacy – promoting
democratic ideals abroad
• Intervened in the Mexican Revolution
Intervention in Mexico
• Porfirio Diaz (Mexico) killed by Gen.
Victoriano Huerta
• Wilson refused to recognize new
• US supported both Emiliano Zapata &
Francisco “Pancho” Villa
• Sent troops to occupy Veracruz (port)
Intervention in Mexico
General Huerta
Intervention in Mexico
Pancho Villa
Intervention in Mexico
• Nationalist Leader – Venustiano Carranza
overthrows Huerta
• Wilson withdraws his
troops & recognizes
Carranza’s gov’t
Intervention in Mexico
• Villa was outraged & started attacking
US border towns
• Wilson sent Gen. John Pershing after
Villa into Mexico
• Carranza outraged! Wilson removed
the troops
Arguments for Expansion
• Obtain new markets.
• Protect overseas investments.
• Rekindle the American pioneer
• Bring civilization to the “heathen”
people around the world.