What were the primary reasons for imperialism at



What were the primary reasons for imperialism at
Please copy down and
respond to the following.
What were the primary
reasons for imperialism
at the end of the 19th
"We need Hawaii just as much and
a good deal more than we did
California. It is manifest destiny."
"William McKinley: quote on Hawaii."
influence did
have on
What point of view does this illustration reflect?
What is the significance of the inserted map at the lower right?
1. Commercial /Business Interests
Overproduction resulted in periodic economic
depression which underscored the need for new
markets, especially overseas.
As industry expanded, new sources of raw
materials were needed
American increasingly looked to Latin America
and to East Asia, esp. China.
2. Military and Strategic Interests
• CPT Alfred Thayer Mahan Influence of Sea Power upon
History 1660-1783 (1890) traced Britain's growth as a world
power, linking it to growth as a sea power
• If the US were to emerge
as a world power, an
expanded navy was needed
• Increased demand for an
isthmian canal to bring Pacific
and Atlantic coasts together,
i.e., the Panama Canal
softly and carry a big stick,
you will go far." His foreign policy style has
Roosevelt was fond of the African proverb,
come to be called Big
Stick diplomacy.
Rationalizing Imperialism…
As part of his annual address to Congress in 1904, President
Theodore Roosevelt stated that in keeping with the Monroe
Doctrine the United States was justified in exercising
"international police power" to put an end to chronic unrest
or wrongdoing in the Western Hemisphere.
This came to be called the
Roosevelt Corollary
to the Monroe
Doctrine declared that the United States would exercise
"international police power" to get Latin American nations
to honor their financial commitments.
Americans began to be concerned when British, German, and Italian
gunboats blockaded Venezuela’s ports in 1902 because the Venezuelan
government defaulted on its debts to foreign bondholders. European
intervention in Latin America would undermine America's dominance
in the region.
The Monroe Doctrine's purpose had been to
prevent intervention in the internal affairs of Latin
American countries. The Roosevelt Corollary sought to
justify such intervention whenever the American
government thought it was necessary.
It wasn't long before the corollary was put into action. The Dominican Republic
could not pay its debts and to protect American interests the United States took
over the customs houses and established a customs receivership.
3. Religious or Missionary Interests
• The missionary impulse
saw as the white
man's burden the
need to bring
"civilization" to the less
advantaged peoples of
the world
• Civilization meant
"White Anglo-Saxon
1899 Satire of
Kipling’s phrase
“the white man’s
burden” shows
the colonial
powers being
carried as the
burden of their
4. Ideas of Social
 Darwin's ideas (survival
of the fittest ; Iron Law
of the jungle ) were
extended to human
society in general -- the
earth belonged to the
strongest and the fittest.
 Its chief exponent was
Yale Sociology professor
William Graham Sumner
(1840-1910), a former
Episcopalian priest.
5. Closing of the American Frontier
• Census of 1890 observed that
the American frontier had come
to a close.
• Based on this notion, Frederick
Jackson, postulated that the
American system, its political
and industrial institutions and
democratic traditions, had
existed on a frontier.
Analyze the United States' motivation for
expansion in the late 19th century. What was the
primary motivation?
Do you agree with the practice of
imperialism? Was imperialism
counter to the “American
Does this cartoon support or criticize
United States imperialism?
Does this
support or
Does this cartoon
support or
United States
Does this
cartoon support
or criticize
United States
Why does the quote below make
United States imperialism problematic?
“The flag did outrun the Constitution.”

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