APUSH Chapter 27 - Chapter 27 Empire and Expansion I...

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Chapter 27 Empire and Expansion I. America Turns Outward I. From the end of the Civil War to the 1880s, the United States wasvery isolationist, but in the 1890s, due to rising exports,manufacturing capability, power, and wealth, it began to expand ontothe world stage, using overseas markets to sell its goods. The “yellow press” or “yellow journalism”of Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst also influenced overseasexpansion, as did missionaries inspired by Reverend JosiahStrong’s Our Country: It’s Possible Future and Its PresentCrisis. Strong spoke for civilizing and Christianizing savages. People were interpreting Darwin’s theory ofsurvival-of-the-fittest to mean that the United States was the fittestand needed to take over other nations to improve them. Such events already were happening, as Europeans had carved up Africa and China by this time. 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. Thisbook helped start a naval race among the great powers and moved theU.S. to naval supremacy. It motivated the U.S. to look to expandingoverseas. II. James G. Blaine pushed his “Big Sister” policy, whichsought better relations with Latin America, and in 1889, he presidedover the first Pan-American Conference, held in Washington D.C. III. However, in other diplomatic affairs, America and Germany almostwent to war over the Samoan Islands (over whom could build a naval basethere), while Italy and America almost fought due to the lynching of 11Italians in New Orleans, and the U.S. and Chile almost went to warafter the deaths of two American sailors at Valparaiso in 1892. The new aggressive mood was also shown by the U.S.—Canadianargument over seal hunting near the Pribilof Islands off the coast ofAlaska. IV. An incident with Venezuela and Britain wound up strengthening the Monroe Doctrine. British Guiana and Venezuela had been disputing their border formany years, but when gold was discovered, the situation worsened. Thus, the U.S., under President Grover Cleveland, sent a notewritten by Secretary of State Richard Olney to Britain informing themthat the British actions were trespassing the Monroe Doctrine and thatthe 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 anew boundary and if Great Britain would not accept it, then the U.S.implied it would fight for it.
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Britain didn’t want to fight because of the damage to itsmerchant trade that could result, the Dutch Boers of South Africa wereabout to go to war and Germany’s Kaiser Wilhem was beginning tochallenge Britain's power.
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