In the late 1800’s America joined European powers in creating an overseas empire. This is called imperialism – when powerful nations exert their control over foreign territories. Students research key events in the building of America’s overseas empire and use internet resources to analyze these events (or class textbook).
Topics include: Purchase of Alaska, Annexation of Hawaii, Spanish American War, Open Door Policy, Panama Canal, Intervention in Mexico, and others.
Students will then determine whether America was acting as a “world leader” by promoting good or as a “bully” pushing smaller territories around in America’s best interest and then provide evidence as to why.
This lesson could further be extended with a debate, fishbowl, or barometer activity for full class interaction and discussion.
Included in this Lesson:
- American Imperialism Chart
- Reflection: World Leader or Bully?