Unformatted text preview: APUSH Chapter 27 - Empire and Expansion
I. America Turns Outward
12. 13. From the end of the Civil War to the 1880s, the United States was
very isolationist, but in the 1890s, due to rising exports,
manufacturing capability, power, and wealth, it began to expand onto
the world stage, using overseas markets to sell its goods.
○ The “yellow press” or “yellow journalism”
○ of Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst also influenced overseas
○ expansion, as did missionaries inspired by Reverend Josiah
○ Strong’s Our Country: It’s Possible Future and Its Present
○ Crisis. Strong spoke for civilizing and Christianizing savages.
○ People were interpreting Darwin’s theory of
○ survival-of-the-fittest to mean that the United States was the fittest
○ and needed to take over other nations to improve them.
■ Such events already were happening, as Europeans had carved up Africa and China by
■ In America, Captain Alfred Thayer Mahan’s 1890 book, The Influence of Sea Power
Upon History, 1660-1783,
■ argued that every successful world power once held a great navy. This
■ book helped start a naval race among the great powers and moved the
■ U.S. to naval supremacy. It motivated the U.S. to look to expanding
James G. Blaine pushed his “Big Sister” policy, which
sought better relations with Latin America, and in 1889, he presided
over the first Pan-American Conference, held in Washington D.C.
However, in other diplomatic affairs, America and Germany almost
went to war over the Samoan Islands (over whom could build a naval base
there), while Italy and America almost fought due to the lynching of 11
Italians in New Orleans, and the U.S. and Chile almost went to war
after the deaths of two American sailors at Valparaiso in 1892.
○ The new aggressive mood was also shown by the U.S.—Canadian
○ argument over seal hunting near the Pribilof Islands off the coast of
An incident with Venezuela and Britain wound up strengthening the Monroe Doctrine.
○ British Guiana and Venezuela had been disputing their border for
○ many years, but when gold was discovered, the situation worsened.
○ Thus, the U.S., under President Grover Cleveland, sent a note
○ written by Secretary of State Richard Olney to Britain informing them
○ that the British actions were trespassing the Monroe Doctrine and that
○ the U.S. controlled things in the Americas.
○ The British replied by stating that the affair was none of the U.S's business.
○ Cleveland angrily replied by appropriating a committee to devise a
○ new boundary and if Great Britain would not accept it, then the U.S.
○ implied it would fight for it.
○ Britain didn’t want to fight because of the damage to its
○ merchant trade that could result, the Dutch Boers of South Africa were
○ about to go to war and Germany’s Kaiser Wilhem was beginning to
○ challenge Britain's power.
○ Seeing the benefits of an alliance with the "Yankees," Great ○
○ Britain began a period of "patting the eagle's head," instead of
America "twisting the lion's tale." This was referred to as the Great
Rapprochement or reconciliation. II. Spurning the Hawaiian Pear
8. From the 1820s, when the first U.S. missionaries came, the United States had always liked the Hawaiian
Treaties signed in 1875 and 1887 guaranteed commercial trade and
U.S. rights to priceless Pearl Harbor, while Hawaiian sugar was very
profitable. But in 1890, the McKinley Tariff raised the prices on this
sugar, raising its price.
Americans felt that the best way to offset this was to annex
Hawaii—a move opposed by its Queen Liliuokalani—but in
1893, desperate Americans in Hawaii revolted.
○ They succeeded, and Hawaii seemed ready for annexation, but Grover
○ Cleveland became president again, investigated the coup, found it to be
○ wrong, and delayed the annexation of Hawaii until he basically left
○ Cleveland was bombarded for stopping “Manifest Destiny,” but his actions proved to be honorable
for him and America. III. Cubans Rise in Revolt
9. In 1895, Cuba revolted against Spain, citing years of misrule, and
the Cubans torched their sugar cane fields in hopes that such
destruction would either make Spain leave or America interfere (the
American tariff of 1894 had raised prices on it anyway).
Sure enough, America supported Cuba, and the situation worsened
when Spanish General Valeriano “Butcher” Weyler came to
Cuba to crush the revolt and ended up putting many civilians into
concentration camps that were terrible and killed many.
The American public clamored for action, especially when spurred on by the yellow press, but Cleveland
would do nothing.
○ The Mystery of the Maine Explosion
○ The yellow presses competed against each other to come up with more
○ sensational stories, and Hearst even sent artist Frederick Remington to
○ draw pictures of often-fictional atrocities.
■ For example, he drew Spanish officials brutally stripping and
■ searching an American woman, when in reality, Spanish women, not men,
■ did such acts.
■ Then, suddenly, on February 9, 1898, a letter written by Spanish
■ minister to Washington Dupuy de Lôme that ridiculed President
■ McKinley was published by Hearst.
○ On February 15th of that year, the U.S. battleship U.S.S. Maine
○ mysteriously exploded in Havana Harbor, killing 260 officers and men.
■ Despite an unknown cause, America was war-mad and therefore Spain received the
■ Hearst called down to Cuba, “You supply the pictures, I’ll supply the story.”
■ Actually, what really happened was that an accidental explosion had 10.
16. ■ basically blown up the ship—a similar conclusion to what Spanish
■ investigators suggested—but America ignored them.
■ The American public wanted war, but McKinley privately didn’t
■ like war or the violence, since he had been a Civil War major. In
■ addition, Mark Hanna and Wall Street didn’t want war because it
■ would upset business.
However, on April 11, 1898, the president sent his war message to
Congress anyway, since: (1) war with Spain seemed inevitable, (2)
America had to defend democracy, and (3) opposing a war could split the
Republican party and America.
Congress also adopted the Teller Amendment, which proclaimed that
when the U.S. had overthrown Spanish misrule, it would give the Cubans
their freedom and not conquer it. IV. Dewey’s May Day Victory at Manila
15. On paper, at least, the Spanish had the advantage over the U.S.,
since it had more troops and a supposedly better army, as well as
younger (and seemingly more daring) generals.
Navy Secretary John D. Long and his assistant secretary, Theodore
Roosevelt had modernized the U.S. navy, making it sleek and sharp.
○ On February 25, 1898, Roosevelt cabled Commodore George Dewey,
○ commanding the American Asiatic Squadron at Hong Kong, and told him to
○ take over the Philippines.
○ Dewey did so brilliantly, completely taking over the islands from the Spanish.
Dewey had naval control, but he could not storm the islands and its
fortresses, so he had to wait for reinforcements, but meanwhile, other
nations were moving their ships into Manila Harbor to protect their
○ The German navy defied American blockade regulations, and Dewey
○ threatened the navy commander with war, but luckily, this episode blew
○ over, due in part to the British assistance of America.
Finally, on August 13, 1898, American troops arrived and captured
Manila, collaborating with Filipino insurgents, led by Emilio
Aguinaldo, to overthrow the Spanish rulers.
On July 7, 1898, the U.S. annexed Hawaii (so that it could use the
islands to support Dewey, supposedly), and Hawaii received full
territorial status in 1900. V. The Confused Invasion of Cuba
● The Spanish sent warships to Cuba, panicking Americans on the
Eastern seaboard, and the fleet, commanded by Admiral Cervera, found
refuge in Santiago harbor, Cuba.
1. Then, it was promptly blockaded by a better American force.
American ground troops, led by fat General William R. Shafter, were
ill-prepared for combat in the tropical environment (i.e. they had
woolen long underwear).
The “Rough Riders,” a regiment of volunteers led by
Theodore Roosevelt and Colonel Leonard Wood, rushed to Cuba and battled
at El Caney stormed up San Juan Hill.
Admiral Cervera was finally ordered to fight the American fleet, and his fleet was destroyed. ●
● On land, the American army, commanded by General Nelson A. Miles, met little resistance as they took
over Puerto Rico.
Soon afterwards, on August 12, 1898, Spain signed an armistice.
Notably, if the Spaniards had held out for a few more months, they
might have won, for the American army was plagued with dysentery,
typhoid, and yellow fever.
1. Finally, TR wrote a “round-robin” letter demanded that the U.S. government take the troops out
before they all died. VI. America’s Course (Curse?) of Empire
● In negotiations in Paris, America got Guam and Puerto Rico and
freed Cuba, but the Philippines were a tough problem, since America
couldn’t honorably give it back to Spain after decades of
misrule, but the U.S. couldn’t just take it like an imperialistic
Finally, McKinley decided to keep the Philippines, even though they
had been taken one day after the end of the war, but he did so because
of popular public opinion and because it meshed well with business
1. The U.S. paid $20 million for the islands.
Upon the U.S. taking of the Philippines, uproar broke out, since
until now, the United States had mostly acquired territory from the
American continent, and even with Alaska, Hawaii, and the other
scattered islands, there weren’t many people living there.
The Anti-Imperialist League sprang into being, firmly opposed to
this new imperialism of America, and its members included Mark Twain,
William James, Samuel Gompers, and Andrew Carnegie.
1. Even the Filipinos wanted freedom, and denying that to them was un-American.
However, expansionists cried that the Philippines could become another Hong Kong.
1. British writer Rudyard Kipling wrote about “The White
2. Man’s Burden,” urging America to keep the Philippines and
3. “civilize them.”
In the Senate, the treaty was almost not passed, but finally,
William Jennings Bryan argued for its passage, saying that the sooner
the treaty was passed, the sooner the U.S. could get rid of the
Philippines. The treaty passed by only one vote. VII. Perplexities in Puerto Rico and Cuba
● The Foraker Act of 1900 gave Puerto Ricans a limited degree of
popular government, and in 1917, Congress granted Puerto Ricans full
1. U.S. help also transformed Puerto Rico and worked wonders in sanitation, transportation, beauty,
In the Insular Cases, the Supreme Court barely ruled that the
Constitution did not have full authority on how to deal with the
islands (Cuba and Puerto Rico), essentially letting Congress do
whatever it wanted with them. Basically, the cases said the island
residents do not necessarily share the same rights as Americans.
America could not improve Cuba that much however, other than ●
● getting rid of yellow fever with the help of General Leonard Wood and
Dr. Walter Reed.
1. In 1902, the U.S. did indeed walk away from Cuba, but it also
2. encouraged Cuba to write and pass the Platt Amendment, which became
3. their constitution.
4. This amendment said that (1) the U.S. could intervene and restore
5. order in case of anarchy, (2) that the U.S. could trade freely with
6. Cuba, and (3) that the U.S. could get two bays for naval bases, notably
7. Guantanamo Bay. VIII. New Horizons in Two Hemispheres
● The Spanish-American War lasted only 113 days and affirmed America’s presence as a world power.
However, America’s actions after the war made its German rival jealous and its Latin American neighbors
Finally, one of the happiest results of the war was the narrowing
of the bloody chasm between the U.S. North and South, which had been
formed in the Civil War.
1. General Joseph Wheeler was given a command in Cuba. IX. “Little Brown Brothers” in the Philippines
● The Filipinos had assumed that they would receive freedom after the
Spanish-American War, but when they didn’t they revolted against
1. The insurrection began on February 4, 1899, and was led by Emilio
2. Aguinaldo, who took his troops into guerrilla warfare after open combat
3. proved to be useless.
4. Stories of atrocities abounded, but finally, the rebellion was
5. broken in 1901 when U.S. soldiers invaded Aguinaldo’s
6. headquarters and captured him.
President McKinley formed a Philippine Commission in 1899 to deal
with the Filipinos, and in its second year, the organization was headed
by amiable William Howard Taft, who developed a strong attachment for
the Filipinos, calling them his “little brown brothers.”
The Americans tried to assimilate the Filipinos, but the islanders
resisted; they finally got their independence on July 4, 1946. X. Hinging the Open Door in China
● Following its defeat by Japan in 1894-1895, China had been carved
into “spheres of influence” by the European powers.
Americans were alarmed, as churches worried about their missionary
strongholds while businesses feared that they would not be able to
export their products to China.
Finally, Secretary of State John Hay dispatched his famous Open
Door note, which urged the European nations to keep fair competition
open to all nations willing and wanting to participate. This became the
“Open Door Policy.”
1. All the powers already holding spots of China were squeamish, and ●
● 2. only Italy, which had no sphere of influence of its own, accepted
4. Russia didn’t accept it at all, but the others did, on
5. certain conditions, and thus, China was “saved” from being
6. carved up.
In 1900, a super-patriotic group known as the “Boxers”
started the Boxers’ Rebellion where they revolted and took over
the capital of China, Beijing, taking all foreigners hostage, including
After a multi-national force broke the rebellion, the powers made
China pay $333 million for damages, of which the U.S. eventually
received $18 million.
Fearing that the European powers would carve China up for good, now, John Hay officially asked that
China not be carved. XI. Imperialism or Bryanism in 1900?
● Just like four years before, it was McKinley sitting on his front
porch and Bryan actively and personally campaigning, but Theodore
Roosevelt’s active campaigning took a lot of the momentum away
Bryan’s supporters concentrated on imperialism—a bad
move, considering that Americans were tired of the subject, while
McKinley’s supporters claimed that “Bryanism,” not
imperialism, was the problem, and that if Bryan became president, he
would shake up the prosperity that was in America at the time; McKinley
won easily. XII. TR: Brandisher of the Big Stick
● Six months later, a deranged murderer shot and killed William
McKinley, making Theodore Roosevelt the youngest president ever at age
1. TR promised to carry out McKinley’s policies.
Theodore Roosevelt was a barrel-chested man with a short temper,
large glasses, and a stubborn mentality that always thought he was
1. Born into a rich family and graduated from Harvard, he was highly
2. energetic and spirited, and his motto was “Speak softly and carry
3. a big stick,” or basically, “Let your actions do the
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