Period: Unit 3: Expansionism

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“Big Ideas, Guiding Questions, Essential Questions



Unit Outline: U.S. Expansionism, 1867-1903


Video 3/2/1 “America Becomes a World Power,”

DBQ, Pear’s Soap, The White Man’s Burden


Expansionism Terms – Vocabulary “Walk” Part 1


Expansionism Terms – Part 2


Imperialism & Causes of American Expansionism

(Colonial Expansion)


Leadership - “Architects of Empire”


DBQ - Leadership


Causes and Effects of the Spanish-American War


Yellow Journalism ACAPS


DBQ – Annexation of the Philippines


Cornell Notes – Interest in the Caribbean and the Panama Canal


DBQ – Platt Amendment, Panama Canal


Policies of Imperialism


DBQ – Roosevelt Corollary, Dollar Diplomacy

before the panama canal.gifdelome.jpgmahan.jpgdollar.jpg


Big Ideas”

  1. After the Civil War, a number of strategic, economic, religious, social, and political forces sparked a burst of expansionism that resulted in the Spanish-American War and changed the direction of American foreign policy.

  2. Theodore Roosevelt conducted a new vigorous foreign policy in Latin America and East Asia, while Presidents Taft and Wilson used different strategies to influence other nations.

Guiding Questions”

1. What factors led America to become an imperial power and how did the United States justify expanding its role in world affairs?

2. What methods, strategies, and/or tactics did the US use to build an empire, which one was the most effective and why?

3. What were the causes and effects of the Spanish-American War and why does 1898 mark a turning point in American history?

4. What were the arguments of imperialists and anti-imperialists over the acquisition of an American empire and how did each side reconcile their ideas with traditional American values and beliefs?

5. What were the causes and effects of the Filipino-American War and how did American’s views about race and racial identity shape the nation’s development as a world power?

6. How did the Progressive Presidents secure US economic and strategic interests in East Asia and to what extent were those policies and strategies different from the ones used in Latin America and the Caribbean and why?

7. Why did the US desire a Central American canal and how did it overcome the political, engineering, and medical challenges to build the Panama Canal?

Essential Questions”

1. Using the following indicators, to what extent was US involvement in Cuba, Hawaii, Panama, Mexico, China, and the Philippines justified and how have those actions impacted US-Asian-Latin American relations today?

  • Effects of the Roosevelt Corollary

  • Results of Dollar Diplomacy

  • Implications of Wilson’s Moral Diplomacy

  • Open Door Policy

    • US Expansionism 1867-1903

      • Causes of US Expansionism (1 day)
      Global economic competition – need for markets and resources – connect to Depression of 1893 and Effects of Industrialization

    • Security needs – need for strong navy to protect American interests

      • Henry Seward – Alaska (1867), Midway (1867)

      • Alfred Thayer Mahan – Influence of Sea Power on History (1890) – Great White Fleet and the US needed Hawaii, Philippines and an isthmian canal

      • Frederick Jackson Turner – The Closing of the American Frontier (1893)

      • Reverend Josiah Strong – Our Country (1885)

      • Henry Cabot Lodge

      • Theodore Roosevelt

          • Scientific racism/eugenics – Anglo-Saxon superiority; served as justification

          • White Man’s Burden – Civilize and Christianize – spread American culture and values (The American Missionary Sense)

          • Nationalism - to become a major power

        • Methods of Expansionism

            • Spheres of Influence and protectorates – Gunboat/Big Stick or Protectorate Diplomacy

            • International loans and investments in 3rd world countries – Dollar Diplomacy

            • Diplomatic pressure to democratize – Moral Diplomacy

        • The Spanish-American War 1898 (1 day)

          • Global Context of the Spanish-American War

            • European Imperialism 1850s – Africa and Asia

              • US Opens Japanese Markets (Commodore Matthew Perry) - 1853

              • Sino-Japanese War 1895-1897 – threat to partition China

            • Hawaiian Revolt 1895-1898

          • Causes of the Spanish-American War
        Cuban Revolution 1895-1898

      • Nationalism/Jingoism

      • Yellow Journalism

      • De Lôme Letter

      • Sinking of the USS Maine

    • Fighting the Spanish-American War

      • Military strategies, needs, and medical issues

    • Treaty of Paris 1898

      • Debate over Empire – Imperialists v. Anti-Imperialists

  • Effects of the Spanish-American War (1 day)

    • Filipino-American War (1898-1902)

    • Insular cases – incorporated and unincorporated colonies

    • Economic Impact of the war + Impact of Klondike Gold Rush

    • Open Door Policy and the Boxer Rebellion

  • Progressive Foreign Policy (1 day)

    • Theodore Roosevelt –The Roosevelt Corollary and Big Stick Diplomacy/Gunboat Diplomacy

      • Latin America/Panama Canal, and Japan

    • William H. Taft – Dollar Diplomacy

      • Latin America and China

    • Woodrow Wilson – Moral Diplomacy

      • Mexico and the Caribbean




3 Facts

  1. ___________________________________________________________________________________________

  2. ___________________________________________________________________________________________

  3. ___________________________________________________________________________________________

2 Things you found Interesting

  1. ___________________________________________________________________________________________

  2. ___________________________________________________________________________________________

1 Question

  1. ___________________________________________________________________________________________

Pears' Soap advertisement, "The White Man's Burden" (1899). First appeared in McClure's Magazine (October 1899).

Text reads: “The first step towards lightening the White Man’s Burden is through teaching the virtues of cleanliness. Pear’s Soap is a potent factor in brightening the dark corners of the earth as civilization advances, while amongst the cultured of all nations it holds the highest place—it is the ideal toilet soap.”

This advertisement, showing Admiral George Dewey washing his hands with Pears' Soap surrounded by illustrations symbolizing "progress and civilization," was published on the inside front cover of the October 1899 issue of McClure's Magazine.
1. Explain at least two ways the illustrations symbolize “progress and civilization” for that time?
________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________Expansionism Terms – Vocabulary “Walk”

Part I Part II [work with a partner on both parts] DO NOT USE THE TEXTBOOK AT ALL! (38 answers)


____ 1. ________________________ – an intensification in U.S. foreign involvement after 1890 because it needed 1. worldwide markets for its growing industrial & agricultural surpluses and 2. needed sources of raw materials for manufacturing

____ 2. ________________________ – the belief that the U.S. had the responsibility to spread Christianity and “civilization” to the world’s “inferior peoples.”

____ 3. ________________________ - an intense form of nationalism calling for an aggressive foreign policy by demanding that the USA take its place with the imperial nations of Europe as a world power.

____ 4. ________________________ – areas where imperialist nations claimed special rights and economic privileges, like when the major powers carved out specific areas in China.

____ 5. ________________________ – a country whose affairs are partially controlled by a stronger power, Cuba for example was influenced by the USA after the Spanish American War.

____ 6. ________________________ – conflict between the USA & Spain in 1898 where the USA won in a matter of weeks, taking many of Spain’s colonies, making the U.S. an imperial power overnight.

____ 7. ________________________ – peace agreement that forced Spain to: 1. free Cuba, 2. turn over Guam & Puerto Rico to the USA, & 3. sell the Philippines to the USA for $20 million.

____ 8. ________________________ – conflict that was the result of the Treaty of Paris of 1898. The Filipinos thought they were fighting alongside the USA against Spain, only to be annexed by the USA with the treaty. The Filipinos led a guerilla conflict that lasted 3 years & cost thousands of lives on both sides with little change.

____ 9. ________________________ – the Supreme Court decisions that determined U.S. Constitutional rights did not automatically extend to territorial possessions & that the power to decide whether or not to grant such rights belonged to Congress.

____ 10. ________________________ – policy statements issued by US Secretary of State John Hay to imperialist nations proposing that they share trading rights in China with the USA.

____ 11. ________________________ – presidential policy that stated the US would use force to protect its economic interests in Latin America, by carrying a “Big Stick” or using “Gunboats” if necessary.

____ 12. ________________________ – a shortcut between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans for US commercial & military ships that cuts through the isthmus of Central America.

____ 13. ________________________ – the policy of using the US government to guarantee loans made to foreign countries in China & Latin America by U.S. businesses to bring greater stability to the regions.

____ 14. ________________________ – the policy of denying recognition to any Latin American government viewed as oppressive, undemocratic, or hostile to U.S. interests.

____ 15. ________________________ – this rebellion in Mexico put President Wilson’s Moral Diplomacy to the test. He refused to recognize the military dictatorship and used the 1st excuse he could to invade Mexico. When Wilson finally recognized the Carranza government, rebel leader Pancho Villa turned against the U.S.

____ 16. ________________________ – a sensationalistic style of writing that exaggerates the news to lure & enrage readers. It was used to help start the Spanish American War.

____ 17. ________________________ – USA made Cuba add this to its Constitution where its provisions were friendly to the USA, allowing the USA to intervene in Cuban affairs when necessary

____ 18. ________________________ – When Spain sent General Weyler to try to crush the Cuban rebellion by herding the entire rural population of central and western Cuba into barbed wire enclaves filling them with some 300,000 Cubans and having thousands die from hunger & disease.

____ 19. ________________________ – this was the private message sent by the Spanish minister that was published in the New York Journal. In it he criticized President McKinley. This helped create further tension between the two countries and lead to the Spanish American War.


Part III Organize the terms into 3-6 categories and give the categories a title (3 pts each = 57 pts)

Work by yourself

Part IV (use a minimum of two complete sentences per answer) [work by yourself!!] (43 pts)

1. How is the White Man’s Burden related to jingoism? (8pt)

2. What inference or conclusion can one make about what might happen because of the Platt Amendment, and how will the Cuban people feel about America because of it? (8pts)

3. What was the significance of the Roosevelt Corollary to USA-Latin American relations? (9pts)

4. How could President McKinley justify US expansionism to Americans who preferred a more isolationist foreign policy? (9pts)

5. What might happen to international trade today if the Panama Canal had never been built? (9pts)

Imperialism & Causes of American Expansionism (Colonial Expansion)

Foreign Policy – What is it? ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________



Who Won?

Leadership: “Architects of Empire”


“. . . To the general question of the influence of government upon the sea career of its people, it is seen that influence can work in two distinct but closely related ways. First, in peace: The government by its policy can favor the natural growth of a people’s industries and its tendencies to seek adventure and gain by way of the sea… the influence of the government will be felt, making or marring the sea power of the country in the matter of peaceful commerce; upon which alone, it cannot be too often insisted, a thoroughly strong navy can be based. Secondly, for war: The influence of the government will be felt in its most legitimate manner in maintaining an armed navy, of a size commensurate with the growth of its shipping. . .Colonies attached to the mother-country afford, therefore, the surest means of supporting abroad the sea power of a country. . .Such colonies the United States has not and is not likely to have….Having…no foreign establishments, either colonial or military, the ships of war of the United States, in war, will be like land birds unable to fly far from their own shores. To provide resting places for them, where they can coal and repair, will be one of the first duties of a government proposing to itself the development of the power of the nation at sea.…”

- Alfred Thayer Mahan,

The Influence of Sea Power upon History, 1660-1783. (Published in 1890)

  1. What is the benefit of having a strong navy? ____________________________________________________________________________________

  2. What is the benefit of having colonies?


Henry Cabot Lodge, a Republican senator from Massachusetts, also supported imperialism.

... we are in the Philippines as righteously [honorably1as we are there rightly and legally.

... The taking of the Philippines does not violate the principles of the Declaration of Independence, but will spread them among a people who have never known liberty, and who in a few years will be as unwilling to leave the shelter of the American flag as, those of any other territory we ever brought beneath its folds.

  1. How did Lodge defend imperialism in this statement from a Senate speech made in 1900?


SOURCE: First Open Door Note, Department of State, Washington, September 6, 1899.

"...the Government of the United States would be pleased to see his German's Majesty's Government give formal assurances, and lend its cooperation in securing like assurances from other interested powers...

"First. Will in no way interfere with any treaty port or any vested interest within any so-called "sphere of interest" or leased territory it may have in China.

"Second. That the Chinese treaty tariff of the time being shall apply to all merchandise landed or shipped to all such ports as are within said "sphere of interest" (unless they be "free ports"), no matter to what nationality it may belong, and that duties so leviable shall be collected by the Chinese Government.

"Third. That it will levy no higher harbor dies on vessels of another nationality frequenting any port in such "sphere" than shall be levied on vessels of its own nationality, and no higher railroad charges over lines built, controlled, or operated within its "sphere" on merchandise belonging to citizens or subjects of other nationalities transported through such "sphere" than shall be levied on similar merchandise belonging to its own nationals transported over equal distances." ...

  1. What is the purpose of the “First Open Door Note”? ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Causes of the Spanish-American War

Turning Points in History: The Spanish American War and its Effects

Yellow Journalism ACAPSyellow journalism 1.bmp

Title of Source(s):






Author – Who created the source? What do you know about this person or his/her point of view? How might this affect the source’s meaning?

Context – When and where was the source created? How might this affect its meaning?

Audience – For what audience was this source created? How might this affect its meaning

Purpose – For what reason was this source created? How might this affect its meaning?

Significance – What can be learned or inferred from this source? What is the main idea? Why is it important?

Senator Alfred Beveridge (R-Indiana)

From a speech in Congress on January 9, 1900.

. . . [J]ust beyond the Philippines are China's illimitable markets. . . We will not renounce our part in the mission of our race, trustee of God, of the civilization of the world. . . Where shall we turn for consumers of our surplus?. . . China is our natural customer. . . [England, Germany and Russia] have moved nearer to China by securing permanent bases on her borders. The Philippines gives us a base at the door of all the East. . . They [the Filipinos] are a barbarous race, modified by three centuries of contact with a decadent race [the Spanish]. . . It is barely possible that 1,000 men in all the archipelago are capable of self-government in the Anglo-Saxon sense. . . The Declaration [of Independence] applies only to people capable of self-government. How dare any man prostitute this expression of the very elect of self-government peoples to a race of Malay children of barbarism, schooled in Spanish methods and ideas?

Congressional Record, 56th Congress, 1st session, 704-711.

  1. How does Senator Beveridge see the Philippines to being important to the China trade? ____________________________________________________________________________________

  2. How does he use his view of Filipinos to justify American action? ____________________________________________________________________________________

President William McKinley (Republican)

In this 1901 statement to a visiting church delegation, President William McKinley defends his decision to support the annexation of the Philippines in the wake of the U.S. war in that country.

When I next realized that the Philippines had dropped into our laps I confess I did not know what to do with them. . . And one night late it came to me this way. . .1) That we could not give them back to Spain- that would be cowardly and dishonorable; 2) that we could not turn them over to France and Germany-our commercial rivals in the Orient-that would be bad business and discreditable; 3) that we not leave them to themselves-they are unfit for self-government-and they would soon have anarchy and misrule over there worse than Spain's wars; and 4) that there was nothing left for us to do but to take them all, and to educate the Filipinos, and uplift and civilize and Christianize them, and by God's grace do the very best we could by them, as our fellow-men for whom Christ also died.

Text and audio version available on the American Social History Project CD-ROM Who Built America?, 1876-1914.

  1. What are at least two reasons McKinley gives for annexing (adding) the Philippines? ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________


Reasons for U.S. Interest in the Caribbean & The Panama Canal





Questions/Main Ideas:



The Platt Amendment (1903)

"Article I: The Government of Cuba shall never enter into any treaty or other compact with any foreign powers which will impair or tend to impair the independence of Cuba, nor in any manner authorize or permit any foreign power or powers to obtain by colonization or for military or naval purposes, or otherwise, lodgment in or control over any portion of said island. ...

"Article III: The Government of Cuba consents that the United States may exercise the right to intervene for the preservation of Cuban independence, the maintenance of a government adequate for the protection of life, property, and individual liberty, and for discharging the obligations with respect to Cuba imposed by the Treaty of Paris on the United States, now to be assumed and undertaken by the Government of Cuba...

"Article VII: To enable the United States to maintain the independence of Cuba, and to protect the people thereof, as well as for its own defense, the Government of Cuba will sell or lease to the Unites States lands necessary for coaling or naval stations, at certain specified points, to be agreed upon with the President of the United States."

  1. What is the purpose of the Platt Amendment? ____________________________________________________________________________________

  2. How do you think the Cubans felt about this Amendment? ____________________________________________________________________________________

Telegram from United States Secretary of State Hay, June 9, 1903. The Colombian Government apparently does not appreciate the gravity of the situation. The canal negotiations were initiated by Colombia, and were energetically pressed upon this Government for several years. The propositions presented by Colombia, with slight modifications, were finally accepted by us. In virtue of this agreement our Congress reversed its previous judgment (favoring Nicaragua) and decided upon the Panama route. If Colombia should now reject the treaty or unduly delay its ratification, the friendly understanding between the two countries would be so seriously compromised that action might be taken by the Congress next winter which every friend of Colombia would regret.

  1. What does Secretary of State Hay think will happen if Colombia rejects the proposed treaty dealing with the Panama Canal? ____________________________________________________________________________________

Trade Routes

The Panama Canal, with its unique location at the narrowest point between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, has had a far-reaching effect on world economic and commercial developments throughout most of this [20th] century. By providing a short, relatively inexpensive passageway between these two great bodies of water, the Canal has influenced world trade patterns, spurred growth in developed countries, and has been a primary impetus [force] for economic expansion in many remote areas of the world. For example, a vessel laden with coal sailing from the east coast of the United States to Japan via the Panama Canal saves about 4,800 kilometers (3,000 miles) versus the shortest alternative all-water route, and for a vessel laden with bananas sailing from Ecuador to Europe the distance saved is about 8,000 kilometers (5,000 miles). By far, most of the traffic through the Canal moves between the east coast of the United States and the Far East, while movements between Europe and the west coast of the United States and Canada comprise the second major trade route at the waterway. Other regions and countries, however, such as the neighboring countries of Central and South America, are proportionately more dependent on this vital artery to promote their economic development and expand trade. . . .

Source: Maritime Industry, Panama Canal Authority

  1. According to the Panama Canal Authority, what are two reasons the Panama Canal is important to world trade? ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Policies of American Imperialism


"It is not true that the Unites States feels any land hunger... as regards to the other nations of the Western Hemisphere save such as are for their welfare. All that this country desires is to see the neighboring countries stable, orderly, and prosperous. Any country whose people conduct themselves well can count upon our hearty friendship. If a nation shows that it knows how to act with reasonable efficiency and decency in social and political matters, if it keeps order and pays its obligations, it need fear no interference from the United States. Chronic wrongdoing, or any impotence which results in a general loosening of the ties of civilized society [however], may in America, as elsewhere, ultimately require intervention by some civilized nation, and in the Western Hemisphere the adherence of the United States to the Monroe Doctrine may force the United States, however reluctantly, in flagrant cases of such wrongdoing or impotence, to the exercise of an international police power... It is a mere truism to say that every nation, whether in American or anywhere else, which desires to maintain its freedom, its independence, must ultimately realize that the right of such independence cannot be separated from the responsibility of making good use of it." SOURCE: The Roosevelt Corollary to the Monroe Doctrine, 1904.

  1. What is the purpose of the Roosevelt Corollary? ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

William Howard Taft “Dollar Diplomacy”

“The foreign relations of the United States actually and potentially affect the state of the Union to a degree not widely realized and hardly surpassed by any other factor in the welfare of the whole nation. The position of the United States in the moral, intellectual, and material relations of the family of nations should be a matter of vital interest to every patriotic citizen. The national prosperity and power impose upon us duties which we cannot shirk if we are to be true to our ideals. The tremendous growth of the export trade of the United States has already made that trade a very real factor in the industrial and commercial prosperity of the country. With the development of our industries, the foreign commerce of the United States must rapidly become a still more essential factor in its economic welfare.”

  1. What does Taft believe about the United States’ foreign policy? ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

William Howard Taft “Dollar Diplomacy” continued

“The diplomacy of the present administration has sought to respond to modern ideas of commercial intercourse. This policy has been characterized as substituting dollars for bullets. It is one that appeals alike to idealistic humanitarian sentiments, to the dictates of sound policy and strategy, and to legitimate commercial aims. It is an effort frankly directed to the increase of American trade upon the axiomatic principle that the government of the United States shall extend all proper support to every legitimate and beneficial American enterprise abroad.”

  1. What does Taft mean when he states “substituting dollars for bullets”? ____________________________________________________________________________________

  2. How is his policy different from previous presidents? ____________________________________________________________________________________

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