Loading...

HIST313: War and American Society

Unit 5: War and American Imperialism   Following the Civil War, the United States became more involved in international affairs, particularly in Latin and South America.  American naval forces traveled across the globe, securing and protecting American trading rights in Japan, China, and other parts of Asia.  In 1898, the United States took on the aging Spanish Empire and seized control of the islands of Cuba, Puerto Rico, and the Philippines.  With these acquisitions, America obtained strategic bases from which it could extend its military influence across the Caribbean and the Pacific.  Some Americans objected to this growing imperial power.  Following the Spanish-American War, numerous anti-imperialist groups organized protest campaigns.  While these campaigns had little impact on American military and political affairs, they reflected deep-seated tensions within American society about America’s founding principles and global mission. 

In this unit, we will examine the ways in which American economic and military imperialism reshaped the United States’ relationship with the developed and developing world.  We will also look at American attitudes towards race, class, and economic development and see how these social attitudes were reflected in American military actions in the late-19th and early 20th centuries.

Unit 5 Time Advisory
This unit should take you approximately 11 hours to complete.

☐    Introduction: 2 hours

☐    Subunits 5.1-5.4: 9 hours

Unit5 Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this unit, the student will be able to:

  • Identify the reasons behind the expansion of U.S. imperial ambitions following the Civil War and to describe the ways in which American imperial adventures affected America’s politics and culture.

  • Lecture: C-SPAN: American Presidents: “Life Portrait of William McKinley” and “Life and Portrait of Theodore Roosevelt” Link: C-SPAN: American Presidents:Life Portrait of William McKinley” (Adobe Flash) and “Life Portrait of Theodore Roosevelt     (Adobe Flash)
     
    Instructions: Please watch the entire 3 hour video titled “Life Portrait of William McKinley” to better understand William McKinley’s administration, particularly with regard to the context of American imperialism.  Then, watch the entire 3 hour video titled “Life Portrait of Theodore Roosevelt” to better understand Theodore Roosevelt’s life and career, particularly with regard to American imperialism and World War I.  This program addresses subunits 5.1 through 5.4.3.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

5.1 Gunboat Diplomacy   - Reading: Wikibooks: US History: “Progressive Era” Link: Wikibooks: US History:Progressive Era” (PDF)
 
Instructions: Please read the entirety of the website in order to get a sense of American imperialism at the beginning of the twentieth century.  This reading addresses subunits 5.1 through 5.1.3.
 
Terms of Use: The article above is released under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0 (HTML).  You can find the original Wikibooks version of this article here (HTML).

  • Reading: Wikibooks: US History: “Age of Invention and Gilded Age” Link: Wikibooks: US History:Age of Invention and Gilded Age” (PDF)
     
    Instructions: Please read the entirety of the website in order to get a sense of American imperialism at the end of the nineteenth century.  This reading addresses subunits 5.1 through 5.1.3.
     
    Terms of Use: The article above is released under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0 (HTML).  You can find the original Wikibooks version of this article here (HTML).

5.1.1 Military Force as a Diplomatic Tool   5.1.2 Expeditions in Latin America   5.1.3 Expeditions in the Pacific   - Reading: Fordham University’s Modern History Sourcebook: Paul Halsall’s version of Commodore Matthew Perry’s “When We Landed in Japan, 1854” Link: Fordham University’s Modern History Sourcebook: Paul Halsall’s version of Commodore Matthew Perry’s “When We Landed in Japan, 1854” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Please read the entirety of this text to better understand the American perspective on the landing in Japan.  In this document, Commodore Matthew Perry of the U.S. Navy provides a detailed account of his expedition to Japan in 1854.  Perry describes his landing in Japan and reception by Japanese royalty.  He characterizes the Japanese as quaint and lacking in military order and describes the American military officials as powerful and well organized by comparison.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above

5.2 American Expansionism   - Reading: Theriskyshift.com: Pavlos Efthymiou’s “The Emergence of The United States as a Global Power” Link: Theriskyshift.com: Pavlos Efthymiou’s “The Emergence of The United States as a Global Power” (PDF)

 Instructions: Click the link and read this essay in which the
author discusses the emergence of the U.S. as a global power from
the presidency of William McKinley (1897 - 1901) and the Spanish
American War (1898) through the end of World War I (1918) and the
presidency of Woodrow Wilson (1913 - 1921).  

 Terms of Use: This resource is licensed under a [Creative Commons
Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported
license](http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/). It is
attributed to Pavlos Efthymiou and the original version can be found
[here](http://theriskyshift.com/2013/02/the-emergence-of-the-united-states-as-a-global-power/). 

5.2.1 Growing American Involvement in World Affairs   5.2.2 Dollar Diplomacy in Latin America   - Web Media: PBS: The American Experience: “Panama Canal” Link: PBS: The American Experience: Panama Canal (Adobe Flash)
 
Instructions: Please watch the entire 90 minute documentary to better understand U.S. interventions in Latin America as exemplified by the building of the Panama Canal.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

5.2.3 Economic Links with Europe and Asia   5.2.4 Growing Need for Global Military Reach   5.3 The War With Spain   5.3.1 The Cuban Crisis   5.3.2 Invasion of Cuba and Puerto Rico   5.3.3 Battle of Manila Bay   5.3.4 Guerilla War in Philippines   5.3.5 America as an Imperial Power   5.4 Anti-Imperialism   5.4.1 Resistance to War   5.4.2 Opposition to Racist Attitudes Towards Developing World   5.4.3 Concerns About America Losing its Founding Principles