hist 1302 chapter 22 notes - CHAPTER 22 CREATING AN EMPIRE...

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CHAPTER 22: CREATING AN EMPIRE 1865—1917 I. THE ROOTS OF IMPERIALISM A. Introduction 1. The United States had a long-established tradition of expansion across the continent. 2. Republican Senator Henry Cabot Lodge now urged the country to build an overseas empire, emulating the European model of imperialism based on the acquisition and exploration of colonial possessions. B. Ideological and Religious Arguments 1. Some intellectuals, for example, invoked social Darwinism, maintaining that the United States should engage in a competitive struggle for wealth and power with other nations. “Survival of the fittest.” 2. As European nations expanded into Asia and Africa in the 1880s and 1890s, seeking colonies, markets, and raw materials, these advocates argued that the United States had to adopt similar policies to ensure national success. 3. To many Americans, the industrial progress, military strength, and political development of England and the United States were proof of an Anglo-Saxon superiority that carried with it a responsibility to extend the blessing of their rule to less able people. 4. John Fiske, a philosopher and historian, popularized these ideas in his oft-repeated lecture “Manifest Destiny.” Such attitudes led some expansionists to favor imposing American ideas and practices on other cultures regardless of their own values and customs. 5. American missionaries also promoted expansionist sentiment. Hoping to evangelize the world, American religious groups increased the number of Protestant foreign missions six-fold from 1870 to 1900. C. Strategic Concerns 1. Alfred Thayer Mahan, a naval officer and president of the Naval War College, emphasized the importance of a strong navy for national greatness in his book The Influence of Sea Power upon History . To complement the navy, Mahan proposed that the United States build a canal across the Isthmus of Panama to link its coasts, acquire naval bases in the Caribbean and the Pacific to protect the canal, and annex Hawaii and other Pacific islands to promote trade and service the fleet. 2. Mahanism found a receptive audience. Still more vocal advocates of Mahan’s program were a group of nationalistic Republicans, predominately from the Northeast. They included Henry Cabot Lodge, Theodore Roosevelt, Whitelaw Reid, Albert Shaw, John Hay and Elihu Root. 3. Even so, Mahan was not solely responsible for the large-navy policy popular among imperialists. Its origins went back to 1881, when Congress established the Naval Advisory Board, which successfully lobbied for larger naval appropriations. D. Economic Designs 1. One reason for the widespread support for a larger navy was its use to expand and protect America’s international trade. Nearly all Americans favored economic expansion through foreign trade.
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2. As early as 1844, the United States had negotiated a trade treaty with China, and ten years later a squadron under Commodore Matthew Perry had forced the Japanese to open their ports to American products.
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