Chapter 22 – Rise to World Power (1865 – 1917)

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Chapter 22 – Rise to World Power (1865 – 1917)
Section One – Expanding Horizons
American Foreign Policy

  • Many Americans wanted an empire abroad like Britain and France had

  • Isolationism - George Washington stated in his farewell address the US should stay out of foreign alliances. We had stuck to that policy for 100 years.

  • US had expand west and south within North America

  • Frontier – unexplored, unsettled land. Frontier was now gone in US.

  • Expansionism – Idea US can gain power by talking more land

  • US traded with China, but not with Japan

  • Commodore Matthew Perry – in 1853, Commodore Perry went to Tokyo Bay with four warships and asked to trade. Japan told him to come back later. He did and got a treaty of trade with Japan

  • Treaty of Kanagawa – open two ports to US trade in Japan, who had been isolationist until then

An Age of Imperialism

  • Imperialismcreation of large, powerful empires by gaining economic and/or political control over weaker nations

  • Countries used imperialism to gain trade markets or resources

  • Asia and Africa – targets of most imperialism by European nations

  • William Seward – Sec of State under Lincoln, Seward purchases Alaska from Russia for $7.2 million.

  • Seward’s Folly - Most thought purchase of Alaska was a waste of money as everyone thought Alaska was a frozen wasteland. However, gold and oil were discovered there in the late 1890s

  • Manifest Destiny – many still believe US has a calling to help weaker nations “rise up” with our help. Racist idea that we are better than others. Many thought we should export our religion and culture to Africa, Latin America, and Asia

  • Monroe Doctrine (1823) – James Monroe stated Latin and South America were closed to European colonization and the US would supervise this.

  • US Naval Power – during the 1880s, US converts from sails to steam and wooden to steel hulls. US Navy is now one of great power.

Section Two – Imperialism in the Pacific


  • Has 8 large islands and 100 smaller ones 2000 miles west of California

  • Traded with US and European nations

  • US missionaries arrive in 1820 and translate Bible into Hawaiian language, create schools

  • Sugarcane – introduced to Hawaii by US in 1830 and American growers there make huge profits. US businesses begin to buy up all the land they can.

  • US business begin to serve as advisors to Hawaiian ruling family

  • US Tariff on sugar hurts Hawaiian-based American companies. They look to get around the tariff

  • Queen Liliuokalani – Takes control of Hawaii in 1891 and resents American influence there. Takes away powers of US planters in hopes of putting Hawaiians back in control of Hawaii

  • Provisional Government – US Planters overthrow Liliuokalani in 1893 and set up a provisional (temporary) government

  • Annexation – US decides to annex (add) Hawaii as a territory in 1900 over the wishes of Hawaiians


  • US, Great Britain and Germany meet in Berlin in 1899 to decide to split up Samoa without first asking Samoans about this

  • Germany and US each get a portion (GB decides instead to take other Pacific islands)

  • US annexes its portion of Samoa in 1899

China and the Open Door

  • China was weak as a result of war and lack of industry in late 1890s

  • Spheres of Influence – ports in which only one foreign power is alloed to trade. Germany, Japan, Great Britain, France and Russia all had spheres of influence in China, but the US did not.

  • Open Door Policy – US wants to trade in China so Sec State John Hay creates the Open Door policy. This states that any country is allowed to trade anywhere in China. China has no control over who trades in its own country

  • Boxer Rebellion – A secret group called the “Boxers” in China resent foreign control. The Boxers attack and kill many foreigners. Foreign nations join with US to defeat the Boxers and enforce the Open Door policy


  • As a result of US industrial help, Japan gains power quickly

  • Russo-Japanese War (1904 – 1906) – bloody war creating weakness in both Russia and Japan. US negotiates and end to war

  • Japan quickly learns it must have a more powerful navy

  • Many Japanese citizens decide to move to California

  • US discriminates against these immigrants (San Francisco orders Asians to attend separate schools. Japanese govt protests – looks like trouble

  • “Great White Fleet” - TR sends 16 new battleships on a world tour that stops in Japan. This mild threat solved the issues between the US and Japan (“Speak softly and carry a big stick”).

Section Three – Spanish American War
A Splendid Little War

  • Cuba lived under Spanish rule for centuries

  • Some Cubans, under Jose Marti, come to US to get money, arms, and troops for a revolution

  • Marti’s revolution fails with thousands of Cubans dying of starvation and disease in the conflict

  • US businesses worried about Spain shutting off US interests

  • Joseph Pulitzer (NY World) and William Randolph Hearst (NY Journal) pushing the public opinion about Spain in yellow journalism articles

  • Hearst said to one of his artists, “You provide the pictures and I’ll provide the war.”

  • Yellow Journalism – exaggeration of an issue in order to draw more attention and/or sell more newspapers

“Remember the Maine”

  • US citizens demanded government support the Cubans in their conflict with Spain

  • US sends the battleship Maine to Havana to keep an eye on things.

  • After three weeks, the Maine has an explosion, killing 260 sailors.

  • US newspapers blame the explosion on Spain without proof

  • US citizens want revenge and Congress declares the Spanish-American war on April 25, 1898

  • Philippines - Commodore George Dewey attacks Philippines (Spanish controlled islands in the Pacific). This shows a US motivation for war is imperialism

  • Cuba – US blockades the Spanish in Cuba, cutting off supplies.

  • Rough Riders – led by TR, this volunteer group was followed by US journalists who told heroic stories that led to TR becoming a war hero.

  • Battle of San Juan Hill – Outnumbering the Spanish 7000 to 600, TR’s Rough Riders overwhelm the Spanish

  • Armistice – Spain concedes the war on August 12, 1898

Losses in the War

  • US Ambassador John Hay calls the conflict, “A splendid little war.”

  • War was only four months long and about 400 Americans died in fighting

  • 2000 Americans die from disease such as malaria and yellow fever (tropical climate)

  • 25% of US troops were African American but were forced to be in segregated units.


  • US and Spain sign the Treaty of Paris (1898)

    • Cuba becomes and American protectorate (independent but technically under the control of another country)

    • Puerto Rico and Guam become US territories (an area completely controlled by another country)

    • Spain gives US the Philippines for $20 million

  • Platt Amendment – Cuba was permitted its independence, but the US is permitted to intervene in Cuban affairs as it deems necessary

  • US gets control of the Guantanamo Bay naval base in Cuba

  • Puerto Rico – Puerto Ricans given full US citizenship in 1917, but some are bitter about not being independent

  • Philippines – Filipinos fight US for independence. 4000 US troops die while over 200,000 Filipinos were killed. US lays out a plan for Philippines to become independent, which they do in 1946.

Section Four – Latin American Policies

  • US and Europeans want to construct a canal across Central America to save time (Route around South America is long and dangerous in winter)

  • Isthmus of Panama – the country of Panama is a narrow strip of land about 50 miles wide between the Atlantic and Pacific

  • French attempt and fail – in 1879, the French tried to build a canal but ran out money and many men died due to disease. Sell rights to US for Panama region in 1901 for $40 million

  • Columbia, who owned Panama, refused to lease land to US

  • TR supports a revolution in Panama to overthrow the Columbians by sending ships, men, and support. The one day revolt takes place on 11/2/1903

The Panama Canal

  • US recognizes Panama as a country on 11/6/1903 and two weeks later signs a 99 year lease of land for $10 million and $250,000 annually

  • TR get criticized by some in Congress, but replies, “I took the canal zone and let Congress debate, and while the debate goes on, the canal does also.” Shows TR to be a man of action.

  • Panama Canal opens August 15, 1914 when a cargo ship called the Ancon makes the first voyage.

  • Benefits of the Panama Canal

    • Shorter Distance - Former route – 12,600 miles. The Panama Canal route was only 4,900 miles

    • Security - US Navy can now get places quicker, so it helps with imperialism and protection of US

    • US Presence in Latin America

Policing the Western Hemisphere

  • TR often used an African proverb, “Speak softly and carry a big stick.”

  • TR believed the US must be an international police power to protect against anarchy (lawlessness)

  • Monroe Doctrine – US says Latin America is closed to new European colonies (1823)

  • Roosevelt Corollary – US would serve as police for Latin America and intervene as necessary.

  • Dollar Diplomacy – As President, Taft looked to move away from TR’s military ideas and instead “substitute dollars for bullets.” This meant the US would invest in other countries that could help American interests rather than send troops.

  • Some nations resent the US tampering in other countries

Relations with Mexico

  • Mexico was a very poor country in which a small group of landowners controlled the nation

  • Mexico has several quick revolutions in the early 1900s and US is not sure whom to back

  • Francisco “Poncho” Villa - attacks Columbus, New Mexico, killing 18 because of US support for a rival

  • US sends troops under General John J. Pershing to capture Villa, takes over a year because Mexicans help Villa hide

  • Relations with Mexico are not good

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