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Unit 3: Imperialism and World War I
Big Picture Context:
How did the status of the United States change as a result of world-wide expansion and the
Spanish-American War? Why did the United States imperialize and what were the benefits or
consequences? Why did the United States take so long to enter WWI?
Review Knowledge:
The political motivations for imperialism included the desire to appear most powerful, bolster
nationalistic pride, and provide security through the building of military bases.
The economic motivations were tied to production and consumption of goods. There was a
need for new markets, raw materials, and outlets for population growth.
Imperialism resulted in the spread of Western values.
European powers used spheres of influence to establish economic control in China.
Describe how the consequences of imperialism were viewed differently by the colonizers and
the colonized.
Following WWI, the Treaty of Versailles forever changed the political and social organizations of
Europe. Its harsh terms for the defeated countries caused anger and created a climate for
Explain how the consequences of WWI and the world-wide depression led to WWII.
Statement 10
• Americans developed favorable attitudes toward foreign expansion
• America was pushed by global competition for markets and prestige, an expanded navy,
and a sense of cultural superiority
• America engaged in a series of overseas actions which fostered its move to global
power status
• Annexation of Hawaii
• Spanish-American War
• U.S. becomes an Imperialist nation
• U.S. mobilizes a large army and navy to help the Allies achieve victory in WWI
• While other countries were rebuilding, the U.S. enjoyed a brief period of economic
prosperity and was able to exert authority as a world power
Statement 11
• After WWI the U.S. emerged as a world leader and perused efforts to maintain world
• President Wilson’s efforts partially helped shape the Treaty of Versailles
• debate over the Treaty of Versailles in the Senate lead to its defeat and the decision not
to join the League of Nations
• desires to avoid another major war lead to treaties addressing arms limitation and
territorial expansion (four-, five, nine-power treaties)
• U.S. signing on the Kellogg-Briand Pact in 1928 to prohibit was as “an instrument of
national policy_
• The U.S. sought to limit its involvement in international affairs
Treaty of Versailles (1919)
League of Nations
territorial expansion
Open Door Policy (1899)
arms limitation
Annexation of Hawaii
Four-Power Treaties
Yellow Journalism
Five-Power Treaties
‘USS Maine’
Nine-Power Treaties
Spanish-American War
Kellogg-Briand Pact (1928)
Imperialist nation