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Transcript of American Imperialism
As the 20th century approached, the United States entered the world stage as an influence at least equal to such traditional powers as Britain and France. Soon the United States would emerge from the Spanish-American War as a great world power. At the same time, the United States became increasingly multi-cultural as more varied immigrant groups sought out America as a land of opportunity. Just as immigrants from southern and eastern Europe faced discrimination on the east coast, Asian Americans on the U.S. west coast also encountered racial discrimination and segregation.
The Spanish-American War (1898-1902)
America wanted to
expand overseas markets
with a strong navy.
War in Cuba
was slow and painstaking. Disease was the biggest obstacle. After the "
charge up San Juan Hill
," the Spanish fled the island and were destroyed by the waiting US Navy.
War in the Philippines
resulted in the rapid defeat of the Spanish Navy. However, after that war ended, Filipino freedom fighters turned on Americans because they did not want to be under American control. The freedom fighters were also defeated and the Philippines became a US territory.
The Panama Canal
Following the end of the Spanish-American War the United States was in an excellent position to
take advantage of markets throughout Latin America
. The center piece of this development would be the construction of a trans-oceanic canal between the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. There were three basic reasons for a canal:
shorten the sailing time
between the east and west coast.
facilitate faster movement of U.S. naval assets
from one ocean to another.
protect U.S. holdings in the Pacific.
Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882
Who and What? - The Act excluded Chinese "skilled and unskilled laborers and Chinese employed in mining" from entering the country for ten years under penalty of imprisonment and deportation.
When? - 1882, once gold began to dry up, and the railroad industry began to slow
Where? - Chinese immigration was mostly on the West Coast, so the strictest enforcement was seen in California
Why? - Americans felt that the presence of Chinese laborers resulted in lower wages in industry for everyone.
SSUSH 14 a-c