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Lecture 7

HIST 201 Lecture Notes - Lecture 7: Roosevelt Corollary, Platt Amendment, Great White Fleet

Course Code
HIST 201
Robert Chiles

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The American Empire
America was emerging as a world power
There was always an idea to expand the continent through purchases and treaties
Alaska purchase, Treaty with Samoa
Americans were actually reluctant to expand overseas
Contrary to the more traditional European empires
European powers spent most of their energy establishing overseas empires
South did not want a majority black state for example
This feeling began to change in the 1890’s
Hawaii was a rehearsal for future expansion
McKinley tariff on sugar wrecked the Hawaiian economy
Overthrow of royal family and annexed
Impetus for expansion came from the Gilded Age
Desire for foreign markets
Output increased during the Gilded Age
Needed other markets to prevent a future depression
Transcontinental railroad allowed goods to be shipped to Asia
John Hay established the “Open Door” policy in China
European countries had spheres of influence in China
Led to the maintaining of the status quo
US needed a claim in the Philippines in order for it to be taken seriously in Asia
Had to flush out the Spanish Empire
Picked a fight with a declining empire
March to Spanish-American war:
Cuban rebellion beginning in 1895
US indignant to Spanish treatment to Cubans and led to a
push to war
Yellow journalism (sensational headlines)
De Lome letter
USS Maine
US submitted an ultimatum to the Spanish but was later amended
saying that they will not take Cuba
Spanish declared war soon after
Spanish-American War
Dewey eliminated Spanish fleet in Philippines a week after war was
Spanish fleet trapped and Santiago harbor and destroyed during escape
US claimed Guam, some pacific islands, Puerto Rico, and Alaska by the
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