- How did the United States become an empire?
- What are the driving factors of "new imperialism?"
Key concepts and terms
- World’s Columbian Exposition (1893)
- Louisiana Purchase Exposition (1904): "Philippine Reservation" and Spanish-American War
- Annexation of Hawaii
- 19th century imperialism: the "Scramble for Africa" and "Scramble for Asia"
- Asian colonies: India, French Indochina, Dutch Indonesia, US in Philippines
Driving factors of "New Imperialism"
- Economic crises as cause of "new imperialism"
- Panic of 1873 (end of Reconstruction)
- Panic of 1893 (collapse of railroad overbuilding): China becomes huge market for new industrial goods
- Competition between nations for natural resources (e.g. oil, gold)
- Uniquely American features: religious aspects of Manifest Destiny (duty to bring American progress / democracy to the world), the U.S. as a "city on a hill" (John Winthrop)
Spanish-American War and Imperialism
- Teddy Roosevelt and the "Rough Riders": idea that new generations of American men need a war to prove their masculine mettle
- Yellow journalism and sensationalism
- "Remember the Maine"
- 1900 U.S. Presidential Election (William Jennings Bryan vs. William McKinley)
- Lincoln’s political memory and anti-imperialism: "no man is fit to govern without another’s consent"
- Theodore Roosevelt and imperialism: self-styled "rugged Western man"
- The Strenuous Life: relationship between manliness and empire
- William McKinley and jingoism
- William Jennings Bryan and the "Cross of Gold" speech, which argues for bimetallism
- Rudyard Kipling and the "White Man’s Burden" (civilizing mission)