The Course of Imperialism
 Mid 1800’s to late 1900’s-powerful nations
engaged in a mad dash to extend their
influence across much of the world.
 Imperialism-the policy by which a stronger
nation extends their political, military , and
economic control over a weaker territory or
territories.
Imperialists Seek Economic
Benefits
 Desire for raw materials and natural
resources
 Extractive Economics-the imperial country
extracted or removes raw materials.
 U.S.-issue was not a shortage of materials,
but had a surplus of goods.
Imperialists Stress Military
Strength
 To expand and protect interests around the

1.
2.
3.
world the nation’s had to build up military
strength.
“The Influence of Sea Power Around the
World”-Alfred T. Mahan
Build a modern fleet
Acquire foreign bases for ships to refuelHawaii, Cuba, Philippines, Guam
Canal across Central America
Imperialists Believe in
National Superiority
 Racial, National, and Cultural superiority
 Social Darwinism
 Certain nations and races were superior to
others and therefore were destined to rule
over inferior peoples and cultures
Reasons Americans Embraced
Social Darwinism
 “Manifest Destiny”
 “Our Country”-Josiah Strong-picked up a
religious theme to “Manifest Destiny”
 “The Significance of the Frontier in American
History” –Frederick Jackson Turner-now that
the frontier had closed discontent ambitious
Americans could pursue their fortunes and
secure a fresh start
U.S. Power Grows in the Pacific
 1853-Commodore Mathew Perry sailed into
present day Tokyo Bay, Japan
 “Giant Dragons Puffing Smoke”
 Result-Perry negotiated a treaty that opened
Japan to trade with America
Seward Purchases Alaska
 1867-Secretary of State, William Seward
bought Alaska from Russia for 7.2 million
 “Seward’s Folly” or “Seward’s Icebox”
 The “Icebox” turned out to be rich in timber,
oil, and other natural resources
 Alaska greatly expanded America’s reach
across the Pacific
U.S. Influence in Latin America
Grows
 Businessmen saw Latin America as a natural
place to expand their trade and investments
 First Pan-American Conference
 Pan-American highway linked the U.S. to
Central and South America
The United States Acquires
Hawaii
 Americans invested in Sugar Cane
plantations
 1887-Hawaii amends the constitution so that
voting rights were limited to only wealthy
landowners
American Planters Increase
Power
 1890’s American Planters faced two
obstacles.
1. New U.S. Tariff law imposed duties on
previously duty-free Hawaiian sugar
2. 1891-Queen Liliuokalani-”Hawaii for
Hawaiian’s”
American Planters Increase
Power in Hawaii
 John L. Stevens, U.S. Minister to Hawaii
ordered U.S. Marines on shore
 1893-rebels overthrow the Queen
 New government led by Sanford B. Dole asks
President Benjamin Harrison to annex, senate
didn’t get it approved before Cleveland took
office.
The United States Annexes
Hawaii
 Grover Cleveland becomes President
 Cleveland’s investigation revealed the
majority of Hawaii’s were against annexation.
 Cleveland refused to sign the agreement
“flagrant wrong-doing”
 1897-new President William McKinley favored
the annexation of Hawaii
 1898-Congress proclaimed Hawaii an official
U.S. Territory

The Roots of Imperialism