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American Imperialism
Expansion of an Empire
The Imperialist Powers
The Imperialists
• Great Britain
• France
• Belgium
• Germany
• Japan
• Nationalism, or love of one’s
• Social Darwinism, a belief in the
cultural superiority of western
nations over less industrially
developed nations
• Christian missionaries sought to
convert believers of other faiths.
Taking Control of Hawaii
• British explorer James Cook first visited Hawaii in 1778.
• Hawaii was ideally located for coaling stations and bases for
ships trading between the U.S. and Asia.
• American missionaries and others came to Hawaii and raised
crops, particularly sugarcane.
• The sugar industry grew and gained influence and control.
• King Kalakaua negotiated a treaty that made Hawaiian sugar
cheap to import to the United States.
• Sugar planters overthrew Queen Liliuokalani with the help of
the U.S. marines.
• Sugar tycoon Sanford Dole became president of the Republic
of Hawaii.
• Hawaii became a U.S. territory in 1898.
Diplomacy and naval superiority help the U.S. gain influence in
• Japan was isolated and unindustrialized until the
• Commodore Matthew Perry brought four
steamships into Tokyo Bay in 1853 to pressure
Japan to open its ports to trade.
• Japan quickly became an industrial and military
power to compete with the West.
Cuba and the Spanish-American War
• Jose Marti – Leader of the
revolution in Cuba, organized the
rebellion against Spain (Cuban
• Spain’s military governor:
Valeriano Weyler (nicknamed the
– Imposed martial law
– Policies caused the deaths of many
civilians (poor sanitation and food in
concentration camps)
Yellow Journalism
• William Randolph
Hearst (New York
Journal) vs. Joseph
Pulitzer (New York
• Style of writing, used
to lure and enrage
the public
USS Maine
• In 1898 President McKinley sent U.S.S Maine
to Cuba to bring home American citizens
• He feared they were in danger
• February 15, 1898
– U.S.S Maine blew up in Havana harbor
– 260 men killed
– America blamed Spain (Yellow Journalism)
Spanish-American War
• The war lasted only 113 days
• Fought on two fronts (Cuba & Pacific Ocean)
• U.S. not ready for war
– Navy= good
– Army= not enough weapons, uniforms or food
• Rough Riders
– U.S. Calvary lead by Theodore Roosevelt
– Lead U.S. to deciding victory in the War
• (San Juan Hill)
The Course of the War
The Philippines
• Future President Theodore
Roosevelt sent Commodore
George Dewey orders to prepare
for war against Spain.
• Dewey engaged the Spanish fleet
in Manila Bay.
• Steel- and iron-hulled U.S. ships
helped to defeat the Spaniards.
• Filipino rebels, led by Emilio
Aguinaldo, had already been
fighting Spain.
• Surrounded by Dewey (at sea) and
Aguinaldo (on land), Spanish
forces surrendered.
• U.S. War Department was
unprepared for war in Cuba.
• American strategy was to
control the port city of
• Theodore Roosevelt’s Rough
Riders helped gain control of
the city at the Battle of San
Juan Hill.
• The U.S. Navy sank the entire
Spanish fleet off the coast of
Preparing for the Panama Canal
U.S. Interest
The United States bought the rights to build the
canal from the French in 1902.
Panama was a part of the Republic of Colombia.
Revolutionaries were plotting to break free of
Colombian rule. President Theodore Roosevelt
supported the revolution and quickly recognized
the new government, the Republic of Panama. A
new treaty with the government gave the United
States complete control of the 10-mile-wide
Canal Zone.
Building the Panama Canal
• American work began in May 1904.
• Harsh working conditions, material shortages, malaria, and the
yellow fever hampered construction.
• President Roosevelt appointed John F. Stevens as chief engineer
and architect. Dr. William C. Gorgas focused on sanitation and
health concerns.
• By draining standing water and encouraging spiders, ants,
and lizards to breed, malaria was almost eliminated by 1913.
• After the resignation of Stevens in 1907, Lt. Col. George W.
Goethals took over the job of building the canal. Progress
continued, and in August 1914 the SS Ancon became the first ship
to pass through the canal.
The Roosevelt Corollary
• The Monroe Doctrine, proclaimed in
1823, declared the Western
Hemisphere off-limits to European
• After the Spanish-American War,
presidents backed up the Monroe
Doctrine with military strength.
• In 1904, the Dominican Republic
could not pay back European
lenders. To prevent Europeans from
using force to collect the debt,
Roosevelt issued the Roosevelt
The Roosevelt Corollary
• The United States pledged to
use force to prevent European
countries from seizing
Dominican territory.
• The United States took control
of collecting Dominican customs
• The Corollary was issued
without seeking approval from
any Latin American nation.
• The Roosevelt Corollary
succeeded in bringing more
stability to the region.