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American Imperialism Notes Page

American Imperialism Notes Page
American Imperialism Notes Page
American Imperialism Notes Page
American Imperialism Notes Page
American Imperialism Notes Page
American Imperialism Notes Page
American Imperialism Notes Page
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American Imperialism

I. Expanding Beyond America’s Borders

A. Imperialism:
*1. the policy of building and maintaining a foreign empire

B. Captain Alfred Thayer Mahan:
1. wrote “The Influence of Sea Power Upon History” {1890}which
stated the following:
a. nations with powerful navies dominate the world
b. US navy must therefore expand and modernize

II. The Far East

A. Manifest Destiny:
*1. the “divine mission” to expand the United States from the Atlantic
to the Pacific coast

B. Opening Japan{1854}:
1. Commodore Matthew Perry concludes trading agreement with
a. Europeans force Japan to conclude similar trade agreements

C. China Trade:
1. Americans favored trade and missionary work in China

2. Europeans annexed territory and established economic control over
parts of China:
a. controlled areas called “spheres of influence”

D. Open Door Policy:
1. the American policy in China which proposed the following:
a. open and fair business competition for all nations in China
b. an end to all “spheres of influence” in China

E. Boxer Rebellion{1900}:
*1. a violent revolt by Chinese nationalists against foreign influence
and control of China
a. an international army put down rebellion{U.S., Japan,

F. Pacific Islands:
1. the United States gained control over the following Pacific islands
to help reach the Far East:
a. Samoa{1881}
b. Hawaii{1898}

G. Philippine Islands:
1. considered an important location in China trade by American

2. missionaries hoped to spread Christianity to the Philippines
a. wanted to “civilize” Philippine people

III. Debate Over Imperialism

A. Imperialists:
1. hoped to develop an American empire
b. believed America must govern “inferior” people unable to
govern themselves (ethnocentrism)

B. Anti-Imperialists:
1. believed empire building violated the American tradition of liberty
and self- government

Spanish-American War

I. Cuban Background of the War

A. Early American Interest:
1. Americans interested in Cuba for the following reasons:
a. strategic location {90 miles off Florida coast}
b. key defense base in the Caribbean and at the entrance to the
Gulf of Mexico
c. fear that Cuba could go into the control of a European
country more powerful than Spain

B. Despotic Spanish Rule:
1. harsh Spanish treatment of Cuba:
a. denied Cuban civil liberties and political rights
b. levied very high taxes
c. restricted foreign trade
d. ruthless suppression of political opposition

II. Causes of the Spanish-American War

A. Humanitarianism:
1. Americans favored Cuban independence for the following
humanitarian reasons:
a. sympathized with desire of Cuban people to be independent
b. outrage over use of concentration camps against political
c. 200,000 concentration camp inmates died – mostly women
and children

B. Economic Interests:
1. reasons for American economic interest in Cuba were as follows:
a. American annual trade with Cuba amounted to $100 million
b. America invested $50 million in Cuban sugar and tobacco
c. American trade in jeopardy by threat of Cuban revolt against
Spanish rule

C. Yellow Journalism:
1. American newspapers sensationalized stories in Cuba to outrage
American public against Spain:
a. especially William Randolf Hearst {New York Journal} and
Joseph Pulitzer {New York World}
b. called “yellow press”

2. the yellow press falsified stories

D. Sinking of the “Maine”:
1. 1898- American battleship, the Maine, was blown up in Havana
a. 260 Americans killed
b. cause of explosion unknown
c. American people blamed the Spanish

2. American public opinion for war with Spain was brought about by
three groups:
a. yellow press – enraged people with false and
sensationalized newspaper stories
b. jingoists – Americans who used warlike language to bring
about war and the use of American force
c. imperialists - Americans who wanted an overseas empire for
the U.S.

E. Treaty of Paris{1898}:
1. Spain agreed to the following terms:
a. Cuba gained independence from Spain
b. Puerto Rico {Caribbean} and Guam {Pacific} ceded to the
the U.S.
c. Philippine Islands sold to U.S. for $20 million

F. Significance of Spanish-American War:
1. the war was important for America for the following reasons:
a. America became a world power with colonies
b. many Americans favored more U.S. imperialism

III. U.S. Relations With Cuba

A. Temporary American Occupation:
1. after Spanish-American War, the U.S. took temporary charge of
Cuba and did the following:
a. established schools
b. built roads
c. provided sanitation
d. wiped out yellow fever

*2. America also drew up a democratic constitution for Cuba

B. Platt Amendment:
1. included in the Cuban constitution was the Platt Amendment
which guaranteed that Cuba would do the following:
a. not sign any treaty the threatened Cuban independence
b. allowed the U.S. to preserve Cuban independence {if
c. granted the U.S. naval bases
d. an American naval base still at Guantanomo Bay

Spanish-American War

Review Test

Mr. Fradella

1. The United States declaration of war on Spain is an example of:

a. Presidential leadership in the face of Congressional disapproval.
b. army maneuvers making war a strong possibility.
c. the influence of the press on popular opinion.
d. the unanimous opinion of businessmen in favor of war.

2. Which one of the following statements is not true about U.S. opposition
to the harsh treatment of the Cuban people by Spain?

a. Americans opposed Cuban slaves being owned by Spanish plantation
b. Americans opposed the use of concentration camps for Cubans
wanting independence from Spain.
c. Americans had many relatives in Cuba who were suffering under
Spanish rule.
d. The Americans disliked the high taxes that Cubans were forced to pay

3. Which American President declared war against Spain in 1898?
a. William McKinley
b. Theodore Roosevelt
c. William Howard Taft
d. Woodrow Wilson

4. Americans were interested in Cuba for all the following reasons, except:

a. Americans saw Cuba as key defense base in the Caribbean.
b. Cuba was strategically located just 90 miles off the Florida coast.
c. Americans wanted to make Cuba a state.
d. American business had $50 million invested in Spain.

5. All the following favored war with Spain, except:

a. jingoists.
b. trade unions.
c. the yellow press.
d. imperialists.

6. Which one of the following statements is most true about the sinking of
the “Maine”?

a. The Cubans sank this Spanish ship to protest the use of concentration
b. The Americans blew up this Spanish ship immediately after war was
c. The cause of the disaster was unknown but most Americans still
blamed the Spanish.
d. The yellow press blamed the Cubans in hopes of starting a war.

7. Which one of the following groups was most anxious to develop an
American overseas empire?

a. jingoists
b. the U.S. Senate
c. the yellow press
d. imperialists

8. Which one of the following statements best describes the yellow press?

a. They wrote news stories to enrage public opinion against social evils.
b. They opposed the use of Japanese laborers in Cuba that would take
jobs from Americans.
c. They falsified and sensationalized news stories to enrage public
d. all of the above.


9. In 1895, a Cuban revolt for independence broke out over an economic

10. Most of the 200,000 inmates in the concentration camps were women
and children.

Monroe Doctrine and Latin America

I. Latin American Affairs

A. Monroe Doctrine{1823}:
*1. a major portion of American foreign policy, which stated the
a. Europe must not interfere in the Americas
b. the Americas would not interfere in Europe

B. Big Stick Policy:
1. the aggressive foreign policy of President Theodore Roosevelt,
which was based upon the following statement:
*a. “Speak softly but carry a big stick”

2. the American navy represented the “big stick”

C. Panama Canal{1903}:
1. the Isthmus of Panama the shortest route between the Atlantic and
Pacific Oceans
a. Columbia refused to grant America the right to build the
b. Roosevelt therefore encouraged Panama to revolt and
declare independence from Columbia
c. canal treaty therefore concluded between Panama and the
United States

2. Hay/ Bunau –Varilla Treaty{1903}:
a. Panama granted the United States the right to build, control
and protect the Panama Canal

D. Roosevelt Corollary:
1. the policy of Theodore Roosevelt which expanded the Monroe
Doctrine by stating the following:
a. the United States could prevent any European intervention in
Latin America
*b. but United States could also take temporary control of a Latin
American country if that country violated its agreements with

E. Dominican Republic{1903}:
1. Roosevelt Corollary used in the following way:
a. U.S. troops sent when Dominicans refused to repay debts
owed to three European countries
b. troops supervised Dominican debt repayments to Europe

F. Dollar Diplomacy:
1. President William Howard Taft’s policy in Latin America which
called for the following:
a. American bankers and businesses encouraged to invest in
Latin America
b. use of American troops would protect and guarantee all

G. Latin American Response:
1. Latin Americans strongly opposed U.S. intervention in their
national affairs:
a. referred to this intervention as “Yankee Imperialism”

Total Pages
9 pages
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