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Age of Imperialism

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Michael Kober

on 7 January 2016

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Transcript of Age of Imperialism

Age of Imperialism
Commodore Perry (1853)
"...barbarians in floating volcanoes..."

USA wants to expand its "sphere of influence" into Asia, but
Japan views the West as invasive and undesirable.
The Treaty of Kanagama
[USA negotiates with force]
1) Japan would assist in saving the lives of US sailors,
who were shipwrecked off coast of Japan and no
longer be tortured as "an undesirable influence."
2) Opened trade relations between Japan and USA
3) America expanded its "sphere of influence" to Asia
The Future of the Nation's Power – the Navy
– Stretching influence beyond a nation's borders
Through the efforts of Secretary of State, William Seward, Alaska
was purchased by the USA.
Alaska became an American territory for $7.2 million. It was called "Seward's Icebox" because at the time, there was no apparent value.
1) Remove Russia's territorial claims in North America.
(America for Americans)
2) A '"stepping stone" to Asia
3) The size of the USA increased by 20%.
"The White Man's Burden"
The British writer, Rudyard Kipling, coined the term for the belief that western civilization had the responsibility to raise up the "uncivilized" people of other lands.
[European arrogance, which the USA also accepted]

USA's Rationale for Imperialism
1) The USA needed new raw material to sustain its industrialization
2) The USA needed new markets to expand its trade for its products
3) The West was conquered. "Keep looking westward."
4) America wanted to spread its democratic influences to other regions
5) American missionaries hoped to convert others to Christianity
6) Imperialism helped to end America's 1893 economic depression
7) In the spirit of TR, "America could prove itself to the world."
The Panama Canal
TR sought to link the Atlantic Ocean with the Pacific Ocean (1903)

TR's dream of connecting the eastern and western hemispheres will be realized by 1916 – one year before the USA entered WWI.

The Panama Canal Opens (1916)
The purpose of the canal was primarily for military use – to shift the American fleet efficiently from the Atlantic to the Pacific.
At the beginning of the 20th century, the USA only had one naval fleet, so the canal became essential to secure America's influence in both hemispheres. TR predicted that the interests of Germany and Japan might be in direct conflict with the interests of the USA.
America's "Good Neighbor Policy"
During the Great Depression (1929-1941), America withdrew most of its involvement in Latin America as part of FDR's hopes for the USA as being perceived as a "good neighbor."

The USA supplied money and materials to nations that allied with US. Some of the leaders in these countries were ruthless dictators, but they were anti-Communists, so they were our allies. When there were suspicions of Nazi activity (WW II) in Latin America, the USA did intervene.
The Golden Age of Imperialism

"The White Man's Burden"

Captain Alfred Mahan
Acquisition of naval bases within America's "sphere of influence" in the western hemisphere and in the Pacific will serve as "stepping stones" to Latin America and Asia.
The USA will also
Midway Island as a "coal station" in the Pacific
– to take possession of a territory)
A secondary reason for the canal was to expand trade between the western and eastern hemispheres.
Secretary of State, John Hay, sought a deal to purchase the rights to the "canal zone" from the government of Colombia, which controlled the territory of Panama.

When the government of Colombia refused the deal, TR supported the "freedom fighters" in Panama that sought independence from Colombia. He sent the US fleet to the coast of Panama; the Panamanian revolt succeeded. The independent country of Panama gave the USA the rights to the "canal zone."
Samoan Islands
The USA, England and Germany claimed rights to the Samoan Islands. Each country wanted naval bases in the South Pacific as access to Southeast Asia. Germany and the USA almost went to war over the islands, but as the navies converged, a hurricane almost destroyed the
two fleets. Both navies lost ships and the confrontation ended.

The Samoan islands were annexed and divided
between the USA and Germany peacefully.

Samoa is still a territory of the USA.
Since 1820, the USA had a presence in Hawaii.
Early Christian missionaries from the USA sought to convert the Hawaiians to Christianity.
By the mid 1800s, American planters owned vast sugar plantations and employed Koreans, Japanese, Chinese and Philippine laborers to harvest the American plantations
By 1900, 25% of the population was Japanese.

This large population of Japanese workers threatened the interest of American investors.
What if Japan sought to annex Hawaii?

American investors and American plantation owners petitioned the US Congress to
Hawaii to prevent the possible annexation of Hawaii by Japan. In 1893, the USA sent Marines to annex the islands.
To avoid the killing of her innocent people, Queen Liliuokalani
surrendered her country to the USA.

Meanwhile the country of China was annexed by major European powers.
(England, France, Germany, Austria, Italy and Russia)

China was sliced up like a pie. Each European power had its own "sphere of influence," which meant that no other power (except the country that controlled the province) had access to trade or raw materials. Conflicts over "spheres of influence" erupted, and the USA had no access to China under these conditions. Secretary of State, John Hay, negotiated ("tricked") both England and Germany to accept America's idea of an
"Open Door" Policy.
Under this policy, there would be no "spheres of influence." All territory in China would be open to all western nations for free trade. Although Chinese nationalists ("The Boxers") resisted the invasion of Westerners, America's "Open Door" policy was followed until WWI.
The Spanish American War (
TR's "Spendid Little War"
– 1898)
With outcries from the American press ("Yellow Journalism"), America sought to prove its might against Spain and in the "spirit of spreading democracy" throughout Latin America, America declared war on Spain. The press reported on the "horrible" concentration camps, which held Cuban nationalists. "Cuba Libre" was the call to arms against "imperialistic" Spain. Cuba had been a colony of Spain from the time of Columbus in the late 15th century. Now, America sought to free its neighbor.

The press also falsely printed a story accusing Spain of sinking an American battleship,
The Maine
It was an explosion inside the ship's coal room, not a Spanish mine that destroyed The Maine, but
Americans wanted to prove its military might and used the
Monroe Doctrine
as the justification for the call to war. America gained a naval station in Cuba (Guantanamo), the island of Guam in the Pacific and the Philippines.
America only freed Cuba; it help onto the Philippines until 1947 and still owns Guam.
The Roosevelt Corollary: America will control the destiny of the western hemisphere. The entire western hemisphere is within America's "sphere of influence." America will not tolerate any European interference.
America's failed foreign policies in Latin America:
"Moral Diplomacy" (Wilson – Democrat) [1912 to 1920]
America will supply aid and assistance ONLY when asked to help by Latin American nations. Yet, America interfered in a civil war in Mexico. "Poncho" Villa raided and killed 27 Americans in New Mexico in retaliation for USA's intervention.
"Dollar Diplomacy" (Taft – Republican) [1908 to 1912]
America will ONLY encourage investments in Latin America to promote the economies of Latin American nations. However, America intervened repeatedly throughout the 1920s to protect its own investments or to quell revolts in Latin America.
America sets up its own "sphere of influence"in the western hemisphere
while Europeans fight over China and the African continent.
With the Spanish American War and control of the Panama Canal Zone, the USA established the western hemisphere as its "sphere of influence."
Secretary of State, John Hay
How a canal works –
Commodore Perry's Arrival in Japan (1853)
Secretary of State, William Seward
STOP!!! Listen to the podcast about the Spanish American War
STOP!!! Listen to information about the Panama Canal and the main obstacle to building the canal.
The Roosevelt Corollary
strengthened the Monroe Doctrine.

Any European interference
in the western hemisphere
would be viewed as an
act of war against the USA.
Two views of the Monroe Doctrine
The dividing up of
by European Powers
and Japan
Japan was an isolationist country
until 1853 when it signed e Treaty
of Kanagawa with the USA. In less than
50 years after the treaty was signed,
Japan became industrialized and had
imperialistic goals in Asia.
The White Man's Burden
Who was the "BURDEN?"
The Roosevelt Corollary: TR's "Big Stick" Policy
When England and Germany
tried to seize property in
Latin America to recover
loans monies that
Nicaragua and other Latin
American countries owed,
the USA intervened and
negotiated a settlement for

Another View of European Imperialism in China
• What impact did European "spheres of influence" have on China?
• Why did Chinese Nationalists (The Righteous Fist of Harmony) attack
European missionaries, who came to China to spread Christianity?
In 1912, "Dollar Diplomacy" was tested.
Americans would not tolerate Nicaragua
independently negotiating with Germany
to build another railroad. When the USA
learned about the deal between Germany
and the Nicaraguan government, the USA threatened to withdraw its money for the initial construction of its first railroad line.
In 1912, another crisis will test "Dollar Diplomacy."
The United Fruit Company asked Congress to send US Marines into Nicaragua to suppress a revolt of fruit workers. The US government sent the US Marines into Nicaragua to protect US investments in the region.
"Poncho" Villa threatened American security when he attacked innocent
US citizen in a border raid in New Mexico. Moral Diplomacy failed when Wilson sent US forces into Mexico to capture Villa (1916 to 1917).
Could America
fulfill its goal of
bringing peace
and prosperity
to its closest
neighbor, or
would government
instability in Latin
America prevail?
Full transcript