Chapter 20 The United States Looks Overseas


Chapter 20

The United States Looks Overseas

Key Terms for the Chapter

• Isolationism

– Avoiding involvement in other countries’ affairs

• Imperialism

– Building empires by imposing political and economic control over peoples around the world

The Turner Thesis

• Frederick Jackson Turner

– Created idea that western frontier defined

American History

expansionists believed that overseas was the new frontier and would bring new riches and power

Economic Growth

• Expansionists argued that future prosperity depended on building up trade

• U.S. had a powerful industrial economy and produced more than Americans would buy

Economic Growth

• There was a fear that if U.S. did not expand it would be shut out of global markets and denied raw materials

• Alfred T. Mahan stated that the key to strong trade was a powerful navy

United States Looks Overseas

• Purchasing Alaska

– 1867 The United States purchased Alaska from

Russia for $7.2 million (about 2 cents an acre)

– Alaska was full of resources (gold and oil)

• Alaska Gold Rush of 1897-1898

Spreading American Values

• In the late 1800s many Americans believed that Americans of the “Anglo-Saxon race” were superior to “lesser races” in other nations

• Argument was Americans had a divine duty to spread Christian values and western civilization around the world.

Gaining Foothold in the Pacific

• Expansionists had interest in various Pacific islands, and saw them essential for expanding influence and trade

• Samoa

Gaining Foothold in the Pacific

• Samoa

– U.S. had interest in Samoa to use as coaling stations for ships

• Other European countries also wanted Samoa and

Britain, Germany, and the U.S. almost went to war

– In 1899 the U.S. and Germany divided the islands

• People in Samoa had no say in the matter.

Gaining Foothold in the Pacific

• Hawaii

– U.S. saw Hawaii as a military outpost in Pacific

– 1893 American planters and 50 U.S. Marines overthrew Queen Liliuokalani.

• President Grover Cleveland refused to annex Hawaii because the revolt had been illegal

– on July 7, 1898 Hawaii became a territory of U.S. when it was annexed by President William


• Hawaii

Carving Up China

• Late 1800s China lost a war and European powers wanted to take advantage of China’s weakness

– European power and Japan started dividing China into spheres of influence (areas where another nation has economic and political control)

Carving Up China

• At first, U.S. were not part of the activity, but

U.S. officials feared they would be excluded from trading with China

– Secretary of State John Hay called on nations to keep an “open door” policy in China.

Carving Up China

• Boxer Rebellion

– A secret Society called Righteous and Harmonious

Fist was formed to try and combat foreigners in


• Became known as Boxers because of their ceremonial exercises that resembled shadowboxing

– In spring of 1900 the Boxers began a rebellion to expel foreigners

Carving Up China

• The boxers attacked and killed westerners and

Chinese Christians.

• European powers and the U.S. sent in 18,000 troops with modern weapons and crushed the rebellion

The Spanish-American War

• Cuba had been under Spanish control since


• After Centuries of being under Spain’s harsh control Cuban’s started to rebel

– First rebellion started in 1868 and lasted 10 years, but was unsuccessful

The Spanish-American War

• Cubans started another rebellion in 1895

• To stop the revolt the Spanish began a policy of reconcentration ( movement of large numbers of people into detention camps for military or political reasons )

– 200,000 Cubans would die in these camps due to poor sanitation and starvation

The Spanish-American War

• Cubans, led by Jose Marti, asked for help from the U.S.

– Marti was a leader of the rebels, but was killed in

Cuba before he was able to see Cuba free from

Spanish rule

The Spanish-American War

• Many Americans wanted to help the Cuban rebels, but U.S. government was resistant to send troops

• Americans wanted to help Cuba to protect their investments

– Americans had over $50 million in sugar plantations, railroads, and iron mines

Yellow Journalism

• yellow journalismA sensational style of reporting that exploits, distorts, or exaggerates the news

The Spanish-American War

• Newspapers swayed public opinion towards war by using Yellow Journalism

– Led by Joseph Pulitzer of the New York World and

William Randolph Hearst of the New York Journal

The Spanish-American War

• U.S. declares war

-February 15, 1898 the Maine sinks and the United

States declares war on Spain

Spanish-American War

• The U.S. Goes to War

– April 20, 1898 the U.S. declares war on Spain

– The first main battle of the war took place in the


• May 1, 1898, Commodore George Dewey led a small fleet of ships to Manila Bay and sank the entire Spanish squadron

• The U.S. did not lose a single ship or life

Spanish-American War

• The Filipinos were also fighting for independence from Spain

– Emilio Aguinaldo was the leader of the Filipino rebels

– Instead of giving independence to the Filipinos the

U.S. took control of the islands

Spanish-American War

• War in the Caribbean

– Most of the fighting took place around Santiago and at sea

Spanish-American War

• War in the Caribbean

– U.S. troops were poorly trained, but eager to fight

• One of the best known units was the Rough Riders, which was led by Theodore Roosevelt

• Roosevelt led a successful charge up San Juan hill, which became the most celebrated event of the war

Spanish-American War

• Once Spain surrendered Cuba, American troops invaded and quickly took control of

Puerto Rico

Spanish-American War

• December 1898, a treaty was signed

– Cuba received its independence

– Puerto Rico, Philippines, islands of Guam, and

Wake islands became territories of the U.S.

The United States and Latin America

• Panama Canal

– The Isthmus of Panama was chosen because it was only 50 miles wide

– perfect location to shorten trips from the West

Coast to the East Coast

The United States and Latin America

• U.S. offered Columbia $10 million and

$250,000 yearly rent to build the canal

– Columbia did not accept the deal

The United States and Latin America

• Panamanians started a revolution against


– U.S. sent gunboats and Marines to support


– Panama gains its freedom and the U.S. received the land to build the canal

“Gun Boat Diplomacy”

The United States and Latin America

• Fighting Disease

– First obstacle to building the canal was overcoming diseases

• Malaria and Yellow Fever (carried by mosquitoes)

• William C. Gorgas

The United States and Latin America

• Constructing the Canal

– Construction involved three main tasks

• Cut through a mountain

• Dam a river

• Build locks

The United States and Latin America

• Canal Was finished August 15, 1914 (six months ahead of schedule)

The United States and Latin America

• Wielding a “Big Stick” in Latin America

– Roosevelt Corollary to the Monroe Doctrine

• It was the job of the U.S. to protect the Western

Hemisphere from European nations

• When neighbors of the U.S. got into disputes with foreign nations, the U.S. had the right to intervene and restore order

The United States and Latin America

• William Howard Taft believed in dollar diplomacy

– Taft wanted bankers and businesses to invest in

Latin America

– Dollar Diplomacy led to many military interventions because the U.S. had to protect its investments

The United States and Latin America

• Relations With Mexico

– 1911 Mexico entered into a violent revolution

– President Woodrow Wilson believed U.S. foreign policy should support democracy throughout the world, and hoped Mexico would develop its own democratic government

The United States and Latin America

• The United States had trouble staying out of the conflict

– 1914 an incident in Tampico, Mexico led to U.S. sailors being arrested

– Francisco Villa (Pancho Villa) kept entering New

Mexico and raiding towns. (Killed 18 Americans in one raid)