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Reasons for the growth of American Imperialism.

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brendan stockman

on 28 January 2015

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Transcript of Reasons for the growth of American Imperialism.

American Imperialism
1850s - 1914
On March 31 1854 representatives of Japan and the United States signed a historic treaty. A United States naval officer, Commodore Matthew Calbraith Perry, negotiated tirelessly for several months with Japanese officials to achieve the goal of opening the doors of trade with Japan.
Opening Japan and Commodore Matthew Perry
Political, Economic, Religious and Exploratory motives were the reasons

Political- motives were based on a nation's desire to gain power, to compete with other European countries, to expand territory, to exercise military force, to gain prestige by winning colonies, and to boost national pride and security

Economic - motives included the desire to make money, to expand and control foreign trade, to create new markets for products, to acquire raw materials and cheap labor, to compete for investments and resources, and to export industrial technology and transportation methods.

Religious- motives included the desire to spread Christianity, to protect European missionaries in other lands, to spread European values and moral beliefs, to educate peoples of other cultures, and to end slave trade in Africa.


Exploratory- motives were based on the desire to explore "unknown" or uncharted territory, to conduct scientific research, to conduct medical searches for the causes and treatment of diseases, to go on an adventure, and to investigate "unknown" lands and cultures.




The Alaska Purchase was the acquisition of Russian America by the United States from the Russian Empire in 1867 by a treaty ratified by the U.S. Senate.

Russia wanted to sell its Alaskan territory, fearing that it might be seized if war broke out with Britain. Russia's primary activity in the territory had been fur trade and missionary work among the Native Alaskans. With the purchase of Alaska, the United States added 586,412 square miles of new territory.
Americas Acquisition of Alaska
The Venezuelan Boundary Dispute officially began in 1841, when the Venezuelan Government protested alleged British encroachment on Venezuelan territory. In 1814, Great Britain had acquired British Guiana (now Guyana) by treaty with the Netherlands. Because the treaty did not define a western boundary, the British commissioned Robert Schomburgk, a surveyor and naturalist, to delineate that boundary. His 1835 survey resulted in what came to be known as the Schomburgk Line, a boundary that effectively claimed an additional 30,000 square miles for Guiana.
Venezuela Boundary Dispute
Reasons for the growth of American Imperialism.
Panama Canal 1914
Panama Canal today
Panama Canal
Connects the Atlantic ocean to the Pacific The Panama Canal is a 48 mi ship canal in Panama that connects the Atlantic Ocean (via the Caribbean Sea) to the Pacific Ocean. The canal cuts across the Isthmus of Panama and is a key conduit for international maritime trade. There are locks at each end to lift ships up to Gatun Lake, an artificial lake created to reduce the amount of excavation work required for the canal, 26 metres (85 ft) above sea level.
Americas Acquisition of Hawaii
The Kingdom of Hawaii was closely linked by missionary work and trade to the U.S. by the 1880s. In 1893 business leaders overthrew the Queen and sought annexation. President Grover Cleveland strongly disapproved, so Hawaii set up an independent republic. Southern Democrats in Congress strongly opposed a non-white addition. President William McKinley, a Republican, secured a Congressional resolution in 1898, and the small republic joined the U.S. All its citizens became full U.S. citizens. One factor was the need for advanced naval bases to fend off Japanese ambitions. The Hawaiian Islands officially became a territory of the U.S. in 1900. Following 94% voter approval of the Admission of Hawaii Act, on August 21, 1959 the Territory of Hawaii became the state of Hawaii, the 50th state.

With Hawaii came the Palmyra Atoll which had been annexed by the U.S. in 1859 but later abandoned, then later claimed by Hawaii.
The Spanish–American War was a conflict in 1898 between Spain and the United States, the result of American intervention in the Cuban War of Independence. American attacks on Spain's Pacific possessions led to involvement in the Philippine Revolution and ultimately to the Philippine–American War.
Spanish American War
America and Puerto Rico
Revolts against Spanish rule had occurred for some years in Cuba. There had been war scares before, as in the Virginius Affair in 1873. In the late 1890s, American public opinion was agitated by anti-Spanish propaganda led by journalists such as Joseph Pulitzer and William Hearst which used yellow journalism to criticize Spanish administration of Cuba. After the mysterious sinking of the American battleship Maine in Havana harbor, political pressures from the Democratic Party and certain industrialists pushed the administration of Republican President William McKinley into a war he had wished to avoid.[10] Compromise was sought by Spain, but rejected by the United States which sent an ultimatum to Spain demanding it surrender control of Cuba. First Madrid, then Washington, formally declared war.
Only one year after Spain granted Puerto Rico self-rule, American troops raise the U.S. flag over the Caribbean nation, formalizing U.S. authority over the island's one million inhabitants.

In July 1898, near the end of the Spanish-American War, U.S. forces launched an invasion of Puerto Rico, the 108-mile-long, 40-mile-wide island that was one of Spain's two principal possessions in the Caribbean. With little resistance and only seven American deaths, U.S. troops were able to secure the island by mid August. After the signing of an armistice with Spain, the island was turned over to the U.S forces on October 18. U.S. General John R. Brooke became military governor. In December, the Treaty of Paris was signed, ending the Spanish-American War and officially approving the cession of Puerto Rico to the United States.
America and Cuba and the Platt Amendment
The Platt Amendment, an amendment to a U.S. army appropriations bill, established the terms under which the United States would end its military occupation of Cuba (which had begun in 1898 during the Spanish-American War) and “leave the government and control of the island of Cuba to its people.” While the amendment was named after Senator Orville Platt of Connecticut, it was drafted largely by Secretary of War Elihu Root. The Platt Amendment laid down eight conditions to which the Cuban Government had to agree before the withdrawal of U.S. forces and the transfer of sovereignty would begin.
America and China The Open Door Policy
The Open Door Policy is a term in foreign affairs initially used to refer to the United States policy in the late 19th century and early 20th century outlined in Secretary of State John Hay's Open Door Note, dispatched in 1899 to his European counterparts. The policy proposed to keep China open to trade with all countries on an equal basis; thus, no international power would have total control of the country. The policy called upon foreign powers, within their spheres of influence, to refrain from interfering with any treaty port or any vested interest, to permit Chinese authorities to collect tariffs on an equal basis, and to show no favors to their own nationals in the matter of harbor dues or railroad charges.
Roosevelt Corollary to the Monroe Doctrine
President Theodore Roosevelt’s assertive approach to Latin America and the Caribbean has often been characterized as the “Big Stick,” and his policy came to be known as the Roosevelt Corollary to the Monroe Doctrine.
Dollar Diplomacy under President Taft
“Taft maintained an activist approach to foreign policy. On one hand, he was the initiator of what became known as Dollar Diplomacy, in which the United States used its military might to promote American business interests abroad. Taft, defended his Dollar Diplomacy as an extension of the Monroe Doctrine. Taft was a major supporter of arbitration as the most viable method of settling international disputes” Quickly becoming a world power, America sought to further her influence abroad. President Taft realized that by instituting Dollar Diplomacy, it would be pernicious to the financial gain of other countries. Thus the United States would benefit greatly.
American Arguments For and Against Imperialism and The American Anti-Imperialist League
Some key arguments against US Imperialism are as follows:
(1) The Constitution sets forth a principle that calls for the "consent of the governed." To imperialize, and thus annex other colonies would violate this important aspect of our democracy.
(2) A leader that seeks to colonize and act in a tyrannical manner abroad may be more inclined to act in such a way at home in the United States. Tolerating despotism in any form could be a tell-tale sign of a flawed government.
(3) Annexation (particularly in the Pacific) could lead to heightened US involvement in the political and military affairs of the Eastern Asians. To avoid such conflict, only avoiding imperialism could provide an alternative.

Some key arguments for US Imperialism are as follows:
(1) Have increased resources and some strategic positioning of colonies could enhance trade and boost the American economy.
(2) Kind of along the lines of Manifest Destiny, colonizing foreign lands could lead to America spreading it's wealth, influence and culture abroad. Imperialism could be a key component in creating a more civil foreign people
The American Anti-Imperialist League was an organization established on June 15, 1898, to battle the American annexation of the Philippines as an insular area. The anti-imperialists opposed expansion, believing that imperialism violated the fundamental principle that just republican government must derive from "consent of the governed."
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