Chapter 20 The United States Looks Overseas


Chapter 20

The United States Looks Overseas

Key Terms for the Chapter


Avoiding involvement in other countries’ affairs


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


Gaining Foothold in the Pacific


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


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



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 journalism-

A 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


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)