Uploaded by karissacortez17

Origins of American Imperialism

Origins of American
• The policy of stronger nations extending
their economic, political or military control
over weaker territories. Exploiting those
weaker nations for raw materials and
using them as a market for surplus goods.
• Strict non-involvement in the affairs of
other nations.
Collective Security
• Working with other countries to influence
world affairs.
• Intervening in other countries’ affairs to
promote important national interests
and/or to safe gaurd national security.
Global Imperialism
European Imperialism
• European nations had been establishing
colonies for centuries.
• By the late 1800s Africa was a prime
target of European imperialism
– Britain, France, Belgium, Italy, Germany,
Portugal and Spain competed for raw
materials and markets.
• Great Britain also had territory in Asia and
the Pacific.
– “The sun never sets on the British Empire.”
– Britain built an empire that included a quarter
of the world’s land by 1901.
Asian Imperialism
• Imperialism also existed in parts of Asia as
• Japan seized land in China.
– They hoped to strengthen their industrial
American Imperialism
• Three factors fueled American
– Economic competition among industrial
– Political and military competition, including the
creation of a strong naval force.
– A belief in the racial and cultural superiority of
people of Anglo-Saxon descent.
A Thirst for New Markets
• Imperialism had economic roots.
• American farmers and factories could
produce more than the U.S. could
• Needed markets to sell those surplus
• Needed raw materials.
Military Strength
• In the book The Influence of Sea Power
Upon History, Alfred T. Mahan argued that
the United States needed a strong navy to
protect economic interests.
• The nation needed strategically placed
bases where the fleet could refuel.
• He said the U.S. needed to establish
bases in the Caribbean, build a canal
across the Isthmus of Panama and
acquire islands in the Pacific.
Anglo-Saxon Superiority
• Some Americans combined the philosophy
of Social Darwinism with a belief in the
racial superiority of Anglo-Saxons.
• Argued the United States had a
responsibility to civilize the “inferior”
people of the world.
• Some objected to imperialism on both
moral and practical grounds.
• Felt that nothing justified the domination of
other countries by the U.S.
• Others felt the cost of maintaining military
force large enough to protect overseas
interests was too high.
The U.S. Takes Hawaii
Hawaii’s Economy
• American owned sugar plantations
accounted for about 3/4s of Hawaii’s
wealth during the mid 1800s
• By 1900, foreigners outnumbered native
Hawaiians about three to one.
• An 1875 treaty allowed the sale of
Hawaiian sugar in the U.S. without a duty.
• In 1887 foreign business leaders forced
King Kalakaua to change Hawaiian law to
grant voting rights to wealthy landowners
• This gave control of the Hawaiian
government to American businessmen.
• Also in 1887, the U.S. forced Hawaii to
allow them to open an American naval
base in Pearl Harbor.
• In 1890, the McKinley Tariff eliminated the
duty-free status of Hawaiian sugar.
• Created an economic crisis in Hawaii.
• Business leaders in Hawaii called for
annexation to the U.S. say they would not
have to pay the duty.
The Queen is deposed
• Lilioukalani became queen in 1891.
• She proposed a new constitution that
would remove the property qualifications
from voting.
• Business groups organized a revolution
against her.
• January 1893, the U.S.S. Boston
appeared in Honolulu harbor.
• American marines moved ashore to
supposedly protect American lives and
• The queen was imprisoned and Sanford B.
Dole became president.
Republic of Hawaii
• President Cleveland directed that the
queen be restored to power.
• Dole refused.
• Unwilling to use force, Cleveland
recognized the republic of Hawaii, but
refused to consider annexation unless the
majority of Hawaiians supported it.
• In 1897, William McKinley, who favored
annexation, succeeded Cleveland as
• On August 12, 1898, Congress proclaimed
Hawaii and American territory.
• Hawaiians did not have a chance to vote
on the issue.
1) Outline the issues that were used to
justify late 19th century American
2) Identify William H. Seward and list the
achievements in the area of American
foreign policy during his tenure as
Secretary of State. Identify James G.
Blaine and list the American
achievements in foreign policy during his
tenure as Secretary of State
3) List the reasons why Americans had an
interest in the annexation of Hawaii.
Describe the Cleveland administration’s
handling of the annexation issue.
4) Identify Queen Liliuokalani and explain
the significance of her role in the Hawaiian
annexation issue.
Cite examples of US
intervention in the political
affairs of Chile and Venezuela
during the 1890s. Explain how
these incidents reflected
American ideas about the role
of the United States in the
Western Hemisphere