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Chapter 20 Becoming a World Power The American People, 6 th ed.

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1 Chapter 20 Becoming a World Power The American People, 6 th ed.

2 I. Steps Toward Empire

3 America as a Model Society  Persistent expansion marked the first century of America’s history.  After the Civil War, America purchased Alaska from Russia in 1867 for $7.2 million and acquired a naval coaling station on Midway Island near the Hawaiian chain which was eventually annexed in 1898.  Attempts to annex Santo Domingo failed.

4 II.Expansionism in the 1890s


6 Profits: Searching for Overseas Markets  Understanding the accepted model of national expansion, big business supported the building of a stronger navy and widespread coaling stations.  The tremendous growth in American production saddled with the depression forced American business to seek markets overseas.

7 Patriotism: Asserting National Power  Most Americans of the age saw expansion as an expression of national glory and greatness.  Piety also came into play: there existed a missionary impulse to carry Western ideals to Christian lands around the globe.  Politics also played a role: public opinion was emerging as a driving force in shaping political policy thanks to a highly competitive press.

8 III.War in Cuba And The Philippines

9 The Road to War  The Cuban struggle against Spain’s Gen. Weyler appealed to a country determined to avenge the weak.  Sugar plantations also sparked national interest.  When the U.S. Battleship Maine was sent to Havana and subsequently blown to bits, America had an excuse to wage war against Spain.


11  The most crucial battle of the Spanish- American war occurred in Manila Bay when the U.S. fleet destroyed the Spanish navy.  A subsequent Treaty of Paris granted the 7,000 islands of the Philippines to America in return for a $20 million payment to Spain.  The ratification of the treaty led to intense national debate over the nature of expansion on a global scale.


13 IV.Theodore Roosevelt’s Energetic Diplomacy

14 Foreign Policy as Darwinian Struggle  Reading the theories of Charles Darwin as a young man, Theodore Roosevelt became convinced that life was a constant struggle for survival.  To be militarily prepared and able to fight well were both tests of racial superiority and national greatness.  In practical application, this meant maintaining large navies and the conviction to use them in the negotiations of diplomacy.

15 Taking the Panama Canal  1850 treaty designating the joint administration of the U.S. and England in building the canal nullified in 1901 by the British in exchange for assurances of global usage  Where specifically to dig the canal and how to administrate the zone solved by U.S. sponsored revolution of Panama, then a province of Columbia  Panamanian independence and the Hay and Bunau-Varilla treaty created Canal Zone to be controlled by America

16 Policing the Caribbean  After Cuban independence, the U.S. forced the signing of the Platt Amendment which granted America many economic rights in Cuba and the naval base at Guantanamo Bay.  This pattern was repeated throughout the Caribbean in a policy that became known as the Roosevelt Corollary to the Monroe doctrine.




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