Economic imperialism is when the United States got involved in another country for economic reasons. Examples include controlling a place for its raw materials or as a place to trade. This idea went along with dollar diplomacy as presented by Teddy Roosevelt, which called for the U.S. to have its businesses go into a country to try to gain influence there.
Seward was the Secretary of State in the 1860’s. He bought Alaska for $7.2 million. People ridiculed this calling it Seward’s Folly. We later realized how great a purchase it was because of the resources found in Alaska.
What were the reasons given for U.S. expansion in the age of imperialism?
Expansion allowed the U.S. to increase trade. There was also the desire to spread Christianity and democracy. We had settled all of the land that is now the U.S. so we now had to gain land elsewhere. There was also competition with other countries. If we didn’t get land then they would.
What Americans were most responsible for the United States getting Hawaii?
We initially wanted Hawaii to use as a refueling base for ships sailing to Asia. Sugar planters came to Hawaii and led a revolt in which the King of Hawaii signed a new Constitution.
Did the Hawaiians want to be ruled by the United States?
Queen Liliuokalani led a last ditch effort to remove U.S. control in Hawaii. It was unsuccessful and Hawaii was annexed in 1898 and became the 50 th state in 1959.
China, once a powerful nation, had failed to industrialize and fell prey to more powerful nations. Many European countries and Japan established spheres of influence, which were areas where the country had special trading privileges.
The U.S. didn’t have a sphere of influence. As a way to get involved in the Chinese trade it proposed the Open Door Policy. The Open Door Policy allowed a country to trade in the sphere of influence of another country.
What did the Chinese think of the Open Door Policy?
They didn’t like the foreign intrusion. The Righteous Fists of Harmony (Boxers) led an unsuccessful revolt in which many Europeans were killed.
It was an agreement between Latin American countries and the United States to work together to solve problems. Latin Americans viewed this as an attempt by the U.S. to increase its trade in Latin America.
Yellow Journalists exaggerated the cruelty of the Spanish leader General Weyler. When the American warship the Maine was blown up they coined the phrase “Remember the Maine” which got the U.S. citizens demanding war. The U.S. sent down troops to help the Cubans. The most famous group involved were the Rough Riders, a mix of cowboys and college students led by Teddy Roosevelt. The most famous victory was when the Rough Riders helped to take San Juan Hill.
We put down the revolution there just as the Spanish had been doing. Emilio Aguinaldo was the Philippine leader who claimed they were doing the same the the British Colonies had done 100 years earlier.
How did we get permission to build the Panama Canal?
The U.S. offered Colombia $10 million dollars plus $250,000 for the right to build the canal. When this was unsuccessful the U.S. backed up a revolt by Panama and got permission from Panama for the same deal.
What was the biggest obstacle in building the canal?
The workers had to dig through lots of rocks and hills but the biggest problem was dealing with mosquitoes which spread malaria and yellow fever.
This built upon the Monroe Doctrine(1823) which told Europe to stay out of the Western Hemisphere. The Corollary said the U.S. could intervene to preserve peace in Latin America. (and protect our business interests)
This was based upon the statement “Speak softly and carry a big stick, and you will go far.” What it meant was that the U.S. would say what was to happen in South America and use force to back up what we said if necessary.
What went on between the U.S. and Mexico in the early 1900’s?
Mexico was in the midst of a series of revolutions. The U.S. business interests were threatened. Then Mexicans killed soldiers in the Mexican port of Vera Cruz and Pancho Villa invaded the United States and burnt villages. John Pershing led a raid into Mexico which guaranteed poor relationships between Mexico and the U.S.