American Imperialism
"We are what we pretend to be, therefore we must be careful what we pretend to be." - Kurt Vonnegut

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I-Photo Library
American Imperialism Images
Internet Resources
The Roots of US Imperialism
The Monroe Doctrine
John O'Sullivan Speech on Manifest Destiny
Transcontinental Treaty
PBS: War with Mexico (1846)
Imperialism Info
US Foreign Policy Documents: 1898 to 1914
The Sociology of Imperialism
Jennings Bryan: Anti-Imperialism Speech
Spanish-American War
PBS: Spanish-American War - Crucible of an Empire
Spanish-American War Timeline
Remember the Maine
Yellow Journalism

The Birth of the American Imperial Spirit
Manifest Destiny
        The seeds of American Imperialism were laid throughout the 18th and 19th centuries.  The values that motivated powerful European nations, such as Spain and Great Britain, spurred the expansion of the United States.  There was a devout belief that the United States government had the moral imperative to conquer all of North America and to convert the natives to the "American way of life".  Eventually, this set of values and political beliefs would be termed "Manifest Destiny".

Territorial Expansion
        The growth of the United States territory during the 19th century was gradual and deliberate.  The original 13 colonies comprised the land between the Atlantica coast and the Appalachain Mountains.  The Louisiana Purchase more than doubled the overall territory of the United States.  This ushered in an era of progress and expansion.  However, one must remember that this progress and expansion was made at the cost of the native Americans.  The policy of Manifest Destiny implied that the native culture was inferior to the values of Christianity, Capitalism, and Democracy.  Legislation such as the Dawes Act implemented mechanisms of assimilation.  The official goal was to create a unified society in which the white man and the native would prosper together.  Unfortunatley, the legacy of Manifest Destiny was that the natives lost most of the ancestral burial grounds, hunting grounds, and their homelands.  The Homesteaders and the Railroads were promoted at the expense of the native tribes of North America.  Inventions such as the telegraph, the Bessemer Steel Process, and barbed wire combined with phenomena like the California Gold Rush completed the expansion of the United States of America from the Atlantic to the Pacific.

The Spanish-American War

        The creation of this North American "Empire" enabled the United States to enter the world stage as a major economic, political, and military power.  The Monroe Doctrine, crafted in the early 19th century, was drafted as a means of protecting the young nation from potential threats from the major European powers of the day.  President Monroe considered the Western hemisphere to be the primary "shere of influence" for the United States.  Any threat to the area was to be construed as a threat to the national security of the United States of America.  The philosophy of the Monroe Doctrine served the US well until the country began to emerge as as an industrial and military world power.  The United States first major step onto the world stage came with the Spanish-American war in 1898.  The call to war came from a variety of sources.  Tops amongst that list were a group of journalists that came put forth a style known as "yellow journalism" that adamantly called for war against the Spanish Empire.  The United States of America declared war on Spain on April 25th, 1898.  The War was short lived, yet significant foreign policy gains were made by the United States.  At the end of the war the United States gained control of the Phillipines, Guam, and Puerto Rico.  The United States arrived on the world stage as an Imperial power - 1) it defeated a major European Imperial power, Spain 2) it possessed a dominant and powerful Navy 3) the US economy was growing and expanding at an unprecedented rate 4) the US had acquired territories, the final step in becoming an Imperial power.  


American Imperialism & Spanish-American War
Use this link to acces the videos on the Age of American Imperialism. Watch both videos. Follow the instructions on the website to complete the assignment. Make sure to enter your full name in the Student Code Center. The student code for this assignments is: T3ECA-DEFC
. Once you get to the assignment page: click on the link for the video. Another page will load with the information for the video: click "Play" on the right side of the page. Thank you and enjoy.
American Imperialism & Spanish American War

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 Last Modified: 7 August,2008