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American Imperialism

From Isolationism to Expansionism



  • Military

    • Alfred T. Mahan argued for a strong Navy in his book “Influence of Sea Power Upon History”

    • Protection of territories

    • Refueling ports

    • Increase trade

  • Economic/Political

    • Need for raw materials and markets.

    • Open Door Policy— U.S. declares continued trade with China.

    • Boxer Rebellion

    • Dollar Diplomacy— Taft’s idea to give economic support to other countries.

    • Roosevelt Corollary of the Monroe Doctrine— justified sending U.S. troops to intervene in Central America.

  • Social

    • Spread of American institutions

    • Missionary zeal

White Man’s Burden

  • Annexation of Hawaii

    • Sandford B. Dole

    • Missionaries

    • Military Port

  • Commodore Perry opens Japan to trade

  • Henry Cabot Lodge and Theodore Roosevelt pushed for expansionism— what is that?

Desire to expand territory for economic, social, or political gain

  • How was this different from previous U.S. foreign policy?

Isolationism was original foreign policy (neutrality)

Think About It: How did these events move the U.S. into the position as a world power? Social, economic and political motives in addition to acquiring territory moved the U.S. as world power.


Spanish American War

Review this short war and its impact by filling in the blanks


  • 1898

  • USS Maine is sent to Cuba to protect U.S. interests

  • Explodes and seen as an attack on the U.S.


  • Havana, Cuba

  • San Juan Hill Victory of Rough Riders led by

Theodore Roosevelt

  • Philippines


  • Media—

Yellow journalism increases support

  • Land—

U.S. fought Spain in Cuba and the Phillipines

  • Sea—

U.S. defeats Spain quickly


  • U.S. acquired territory from Spain—Guam, Puerto Rico, and Philippines

  • Platt Amendment— U.S. could intervene in Cuba

  • What was the result? U.S. moves into world power

  • Why is this war considered a turning point? U.S. began to have more international influence

Turning Point!


  • Yellow journalism—Pulitzer and Hearst newspapers used this exaggerated form of journalism

  • U.S. vs. Spain


 DéLome letter calls President

McKinley weak. Americans are



USS Maine sinks and the U.S. blames Spain


Technological Innovations?

Poison gas


Machine guns


  • Effects of Technological Innovations

    Western Front— hundreds of miles of battle front along eastern France

    Trench warfare … led to a

    Stalemate led to …

    Massive casualties


    • President Wilson initially declared neutrality

    • Alliances:

    Allies vs. Central Powers

    • American Expeditionary Forces (AEF) led by John J. Pershing

    • Argonne Forest one of the most famous battles (1918)because it shattered the German defenses

    • Alvin York won the Congressional Medal of Honor

    • Journalism—Pulitzer and Hurst newspapers used this exaggerated form of journalism

When? 1914-1918

World War I—Why is this a Turning Point?

Another Turning Point!


  • Treaty of Versailles—

Germany reparations and accept


Woodrow Wilson’s 14 Points

created League of Nations

  • Great Migration

  • U.S. returns to isolationism

  • International instability

  • Espionage Act of 1917/Sedition Act restricted freedom of speech

  • Selective Service Act



build-up of military


joining forces with countries with similar ideology


exercising control over another nation


extreme loyalty to your nation

 Assassination of — Archduke Franz Ferdinand

Reasons for United States Entry

When 1917

Sussex Pledge

Lusitania is sunk

Germany’s unrestricted submarine warfare

Ties to Allies

Zimmerman Telegram

Sussex Pledge


The Roaring Twenties

(The Great American Mullet)

Instructions: Fill in the importance of each of the following:

Business in the Front”

Change in the Back”


 “Return to Normalcy” — President Harding’s

reduced role of U.S. government / laissez-faire


Harding & Teapot Dome Scandal

18TH AmendmentProhibition of Alcohol

19th Amendment— women’s right to vote

21st Amendment—repealed prohibition


$Economic Boom—How did these impact the


$Mass Production/Assembly Line-allowed faster, less costly means of production

$Henry Ford—built first affordable cars on a large scale

$Laissez-Faire-little government regulation led to rapid growth in business

$Buying-on-Credit-allowed consumers to purchase goods and to pay in installments; increased buying


  • Red Scare/Sacco-Vanzetti—reflected nativist feelings related to anti-communism

  • Growth of nativism-after WWI, increased fear led to Red Scare

  • Immigration Quota/Citizenship Act of 1924-restricted immigration from Southern/Eastern Europe

  • Eugenics-desire to restrict certain groups; driven by nativism (Racism by science)

  • Great Migration influenced culture-movement of African Americans to large urban areas for jobs

  • Social Darwinism-survival of the fittest applied

to society and business

SOCIAL—modernism v. traditionalism


    • Charles Lindbergh—1st person to fly the Atlantic Ocean

    • Glenn Curtiss — Aviation Pioneer that was 1st to design seaplane that could take off and land on water

Changing Role of Women—

    • Flappers-greater independence

    • Frances Willard — Temperance Movement

    • Women’s Rights Movement

Cultural Values—

    • Prohibition Organized Crime-increased

    • Scopes “Monkey” Trial— clash between traditionalism and modernism over teaching evolution.

Clarence Darrow

William Jennings Bryan

Art, Music & Literature

Langston Hughes-literature

Marcus Garvey-political activist

    • Tin Pan Alley—NYC area that mixed culture and music to form new pop music

    • Lost Generation —F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby; Ernest Hemingway; Sinclair Lewis-captured the spirit of change in the 20s with new values


Why was this a Turning Point?
Great Depression to New Deal

America’s Road to Recovery

Review this information by completing the blanks and questions.


Warning Signs—

  • Overproduction

  • Speculation and buying on margin

  • Buying on credit

  • Bad banking practices

  • Federal trade policies


What was Black Tuesday?

Day in 1929 when stock prices fell to all-time lows and led to stock market collapse


Immediate reactions—

  • People who invested in stock market couldn’t repay loans

  • Bank runs/failures

  • Reduced demand for goods/unemployment


  • Rugged individualism

  • Believed government involvement should be limited

  • Reconstruction Finance Corp.

  • Mexican Repatriation Act— Hoover passed act to send Mexican American immigrants to their home country

  • Hoovervilles

Effects of the Great Depression—no safety net at the time

  • Widespread unemployment

  • Business failures

  • Foreclosures

  • Homelessness – hobos

  • Americans looked to government to solve economic problems

Dust Bowl—

  • Where? area of the Great Plains

  • Why? periods of drought, over-production of soil, winds

  • Impact? economic disaster that destroyed harvests and farms

  • Dorothea Lange—photographer who captured the difficulties

FDR is elected (1932)—

  • Promised a New Deal- turning point in government involvement in the economy

  • “Fireside Chats” reassured Americans

  • Eleanor Roosevelt —political activist

  • Frances Perkins – 1st female U.S. Cabinet member as Secretary of Labor

New Deal provided—

  • Relief—bank holiday—CCC, PWA, WPA, (Alphabet Soup) programs

  • Recovery —support production

  • Reform—FDIC; Security Exchange Commission; Social Security Act


  • A number of people were critical of FDR’s New Deal including constitutional challenges that the federal government was overstepping its power

FDR’s Court-packing—

  • FDR plan to add appointed justices to the Supreme Court to vote in favor of New Deal

  • Viewed as challenge to separation of powers

New Monetary Policy—

  • Moved from gold standard to fiat (paper) money to expand money supply and stimulate economy 13


Instructions: What is important about the following—



Is like — a band-aid



Is like — a cast



Is like — prevention

Bank Holiday: closed all nation’s banks to stabilize and restore consumer confidence

Emergency Mortgage Loans:

to support business and consumers

Work Relief Programs:

CCC;PWA; WPA hired workers for federal projects

Decreased spending

Decreased wages


Increased spending

Increased employment

Increased wages

All of these are in effect today!

National Recovery Administration: federal program that set prices and production controls plus a minimum wage

Agricultural Adjustment

Administration: paid farmers to plant fewer crops; government also bought overages

Social Security Administration:

workers/employers pay into system that provides support for the unemployed and elderly

Securities & Exchange

Commission: organized to oversee the stock market and prevent corruption

Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.:

insures bank deposits up to $250,000

Tennessee Valley Authority:


Pacific Theatre

Hideki Tojo—military leader of Japan; prime minister during Pearl Harbor Attack Flying Tigers—volunteer U.S. pilots who supplied China Bataan Death March—U.S. prisoners forced by Japanese on 60 mi. march in Philippines Island-Hopping—military strategy of liberating islands from Japan Navajo Code Talkers—group of military who used Navajo language to code communication Chester Nimitz— U.S. Pacific fleet commander; instrumental in stopping Japan’s advance Douglas Macarthur— commanded U.S. Army in the Pacific George Marshall—acted as Chief of Staff-Army; worked with FDR regarding military/strategy Battle of Midway—turning point in war in Pacific Atomic bombs dropped—Hiroshima & Nagasaki; war ends

American Home Front: Isolationism to War

Neutrality Acts/Lend Lease Act—early U.S. attempts to remain neutral/support Britain Roosevelt—president during WWII; initially supported internationalism until Pearl Harbor Appeasement—attempt to prevent conflict by giving in to demands; ex. Germany Pearl Harbor—U.S. enters war after Japan executes surprise attack on naval base Executive Order 9066 + Internment Camps—wartime fear resulted in internment of Japanese Americans; raised constitutional issues Office of War Information + Propaganda—government organization that supported war effort; posters, radio programs, conservation War bonds, rationing, victory gardens—efforts to economically support the war Volunteering/patriotism—government encouraged citizens to support/sacrifice Enlist—Selective Service/Training Act provided build-up of armed forces in 1940; recruits known as GIs Mobilization—gathering military equipment & personnel to support war effort Vernon J. Baker—received Congressional Medal of Honor for courage in Europe U.S. entry—FDR asks Congress to declare war Dec. 8, 1941

European Theatre

Adolf Hitler—Nazi leader of Germany; extreme nationalism; wanted Europe Benito Mussolini—fascist leader of Italy Joseph Stalin—established totalitarian dictatorship in Soviet Union Dictatorship—weak economic and political factors following WWI allowed dictators to seize power Aggression—German invasions Poland, etc.; Italy built-up military; Japan seized much territory in Asia Winston Churchill—prime minister of Great Britain; defiantly defended Britain Fascism—aggressive nationalism; expansion of territory George Patton—commanded U.S. forces invading N. Africa/Sicily Dwight Eisenhower—Supreme ALLIED cOMMANDER in Europe Omar Bradley—Americancommander of D-Day invasion of Omaha and Utah beaches, coast of France D-Day Invasion & Normandy—largest amphibious operation that moved Allies eastward to German strongholds Tuskegee Airmen— African American fighter pilot group that served with distinction; paved way for military integration Holocaust—Nazi murder of nearly 6 million Jewish people Liberation of concentration camps— as Allies advanced into Europe, U.S. Army units were some of the 1st to report camp atrocities

Place the starred events below and its date in the correct location on the map. Then write the importance of each in the boxes below.

Aug.1945 Atomic bombs dropped

1942 Battle of Midway

Dec.7, 1941 Pearl Harbor attacked



Turning Point!

June 6, 1944, D-Day Invasion

A Battle of Ideology

United Nations


Team Democracy

Team Communism

United States/ Western Europe

U.S.S.R. (Soviet Union)

Who was involved?

Political Characteristics:

Economic Characteristics:

  • communist economy

  • no private property

  • government controls industry

Political Characteristics:

  • representative government

  • multi-party system

  • protected freedoms—Economic Characteristics

  • free enterprise system

  • private ownership of property

  • supply & demand set prices

  • limited government involvement

U.S. Responses: Add the significance of each. Truman Doctrine — support any country fighting communism Containment Policy prevent the spread of communism Marshall Plan —economic support given to countries in Europe NATO/Collective Security —U.S., Canada, & 10 Western European countries pledged to defend each other against communism Domino Theory —intervention in areas that could fall to communism Eisenhower Doctrine —containment policy in the Middle East

Soviet Responses: Add the significance of each.

Warsaw Pact— Soviet Union and Eastern European alliance to defend each other

Satellite Nations —communist countries of Eastern Europe

Iron Curtain — phrase used by Churchill to describe the division Western and communist Eastern Europe

Berlin Wall — built by the Soviet Union to cut off East Berlin from democratic West Berlin



UNITED STATES How did life change?

Space Race—increased funding for education & space program Education Priorities—math,science Moon-Landingcontinued advancement of science Arms Race—acceleration of defense spending Red-Scare—fear of communism led to internal security issues HUAC—Congressional committee formed to investigate disloyalty Joseph McCarthy senator who led harsh accusations against Americans as a fear of communism Rosenberg Trials—reflected fear of communist spies; couple charged with spying and executed Venona Papers—revealed identities of communist spies including Julius Rosenberg Détente—foreign policy of Nixon which relaxed tension with Soviet Union using diplomacy Star Wars—name given to Reagan’s SDI program to defend U.S. against Soviet missiles
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