Please sit in your assigned seat, and quietly follow
the directions below:
1. Read the following definition of “Imperialism” and answer
the question in your bell ringer notebook.
IMPERIALISM: The economic and political domination of a
strong nation over the weaker nations.
Would you consider the United States an imperialistic country
today? Why or why not?
USHC Standard 5: The student will demonstrate an
understanding of domestic and foreign developments
that contributed to the emergence of the United
States as a world power in the twentieth century.
USHC 5.1: Analyze the development of American
expansionism, including the change from
isolationism to intervention and the rationales for
imperialism based on Social Darwinism, expanding
capitalism, and domestic tensions.
Since the Washington administration, the United
States steered clear of “entangling alliances”, as
President Washington had warned in his Farwell
The U.S. avoided these alliances because of the
predominance of domestic interests and the United
States’ limited military power.
Similarly, directly following the Civil War, most
Americans showed little interest in expanding their
nation’s territory and international influence.
MAIN IDEA: In the late 1880’s, this view began to shift,
and more Americans were interested in making the
United States a world power.
This shift occurred for two reasons:
1.There was economic and military competition from
other nations.
2.There was a growing feeling of cultural superiority in
The economic and political
domination of a strong nation
over other weaker nations.
Reasons for European Imperialism:
1.Their factories depended on raw materials from
all over the world.
2.By the late 1800’s, most industrialized countries
(European countries) had placed high tariffs, or
taxes, against each other.
a. This made it difficult and pricey for European
countries to trade with each other.
3.The growth of investment opportunities in
western Europe had slowed.
4.European investors, or business men, needed
new industries to invest in
5.They began investing particularly in Africa and
European countries wanted to protect their
investment, so they exerted control over the areas of
interest by creating colonies and protectorates.
COLONY: Any people or territory separated from but
subject to a ruling power.
PROTECTORATE: The imperial power allowed the
local rulers to stay in control and protected them
against rebellion and invasion.
As the United States industrialized, many
Americans took interest in the idea of
What is industrialization?
Economy dominated by industry due to technological
advancement in society
Why would industrialization lead to an
interest in imperialism?
Industrialization leads to a need for more/new raw materials,
or natural resources, and a need for raw materials leads to
Americans also became interested in imperialism because of a
growing feeling of cultural superiority.
Many Americans felt that the pioneer spirit of the early settlers was what
made the U.S. great.
Frederick Jackson Turner, a famous historian, gave a famous speech in
1893, appealing to nationalism and a new Manifest Destiny.
NATIONALISM: pride in one’s nation
MANIFEST DESTINY: the responsibility of whites in the
U.S. to civilize and bring democracy to the unsettled west
of North America
Americans believed it was also the United States’ destiny
to civilize and bring democracy to the rest of the world.
Social Darwinism: nations competed with each other
politically, economically, and militarily, and that only the
strongest would survive.
Many Americans, such as writer and historian John
Fiske, took the idea further, believing that English
speaking nations had superior character, ideas, and
systems of government, and were destined to dominate
the planet. This was known as Anglo-Saxonism.
Americans began expanding their nation by looking west in the early days
of the Republic, so when they began looking to expand overseas, they
looked west, toward the Pacific.
Expansions in the Pacific:
1. Japan: President Franklin Pierce and Commodore Matthew C. Perry
forced Japan to open trade to the U.S. in 1852
2. Hawaii: The U.S. annexed Hawaii after sugar plantation owners
overthrew the Queen of Hawaii, Queen Liliuokalani, with the help of U.S.
3. Latin America: The U.S. extended its influence in Latin America through
the Organization of American States, in order to create cooperation among
the nations in the Western Hemisphere. Also, the U.S. wanted Europe to
know they were the dominate nation in the Western Hemisphere.
As both the American people and their government
became more willing to risk war in defense of
American interests overseas, support for building a
large modern navy began to grow.
Why did Congress ultimately decide to authorize
construction of a modern American navy?
1. Business leaders wanted new markets overseas.
2. Many Americans were convinced it was America’s destiny
to dominate the world.
3. Growing European imperialism threatened America’s
Critical Thinking Questions
How does the overthrow of Queen Liliuokalani and the annexation
of Hawaii illustrate the U.S. movement from isolationism to
imperialism in the late 19th century? How did the decision to
annex Hawaii most likely change the way other foreign nations
looked at the U.S.? Why?
Explain Social Darwinism in your own words. Do you agree with
the theory? Why/why not? Give 1 example of the truth of the
Social Darwinist theory in the U.S. today.
Explain imperialism in your own words. Give the two reasons for
the shift from isolationism to imperialism, then decide if you think
they are justified (are they reasonable? Do you understand
them?) or not.
Do you think imperialism is justified and necessary or power
hungry and cruel? Why/why not? Give 1 example of imperialism in
the U.S. today.
Give three reasons you think the U.S. chose to expand in the
Pacific Ocean. (Think critically and be creative!)
EOC Questions
2) Queen Liliuokalani attempted to rid her
people of American influence in the late
1800s. Where did she rule?
A) Alaska
B) Cuba
C) Hawaii
D) Philippines
EOC Questions
8) This territory was annexed by the United
States in 1898, five years after planters
there overthrew the leader and requested
the US to annex the territory.
A) Cuba
B) Guam
C) Hawaii
D) Philippines
EOC Questions
5) What is the MOST accurate Social-Darwinist
defense for U.S. imperialism?
A) Robber Barons deserved new markets to
sell their goods and expand their businesses.
B) Nations that considered themselves superior
felt obliged to govern less-advanced nations.
C) The United States needed to test its military
strength to make any necessary improvements.
D) The United States needed to compete with
European nations to prove that the United States
was superior.
EOC Questions
4) The United States' acquisition of the
Philippines, Puerto Rico, and Hawaii are
all examples of late-nineteenth century
A) imperialism.
B) isolation.
C) populism.
D) trade.
EOC Questions
5) On what geographical area did the US
concentrate in order to expand its
influence during the late 1800s and early
A) West America
B) Western Europe
C) the Indian Ocean
D) the Caribbean Sea