8th Grade American Expansion Inquiry Was American Expansion Abroad Justified?

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8th Grade American Expansion Inquiry

Was American Expansion Abroad Justified?

Newspaper front page about the explosion of the USS Maine, an American war ship. New York Journal. “Destruction of the War Ship Maine was the Work of an Enemy,” February 17, 1898. Public domain. Available at http://www.pbs.org/crucible/headline7.html.

Supporting Questions

1.What conditions influenced the United States’ expansion abroad?

2.What arguments were made in favor of imperialism and the Spanish-American War?

3.What arguments were made in opposition to imperialism and the Spanish-American War?

4.What were the results of the US involvement in the Spanish-American War?
8th Grade American Expansion Inquiry

Was American Expansion Abroad Justified?

New York State Social Studies Framework Key Idea & Practices

8.3 EXPANSION AND IMPERIALISM: Beginning in the second half of the 19th century, economic, political, and cultural factors contributed to a push for westward expansion and more aggressive United States foreign policy.

Gathering, Using, and Interpreting Evidence Geographic Reasoning Economics and Economic Systems

Staging the Question

UNDERSTAND Discuss a recent military intervention abroad by the United States.

Supporting Question 1

Supporting Question 2

Supporting Question 3

Supporting Question 4

What conditions influenced the United States’ expansion abroad?

What arguments were made in favor of imperialism and the Spanish-American War?

What arguments were made in opposition to imperialism and the Spanish-American War?

What were the results of US involvement in the Spanish-American War?

Performance Task

Performance Task

Performance Task

Performance Task

List conditions that influenced US foreign policy in the late 19th century.

Begin a T-chart with arguments in favor of imperialism and the Spanish-American War.

Complete the T-chart with arguments in opposition to imperialism and the Spanish-American War.

Make a claim and counterclaim that the United States benefited from the Spanish-American War.

Featured Sources

Featured Sources

Featured Sources

Featured Sources

Source A: Essay titled “The United States Becomes World Power”

Source B: Excerpts from The Influence of Sea Power Upon History, 1660–1783

Source C: Excerpts from the National Republican Party platform of 1898

Source A: New York Journal front page from February 17, 1898

Source B: Source bank: Spanish atrocities in Cuba

Source C: Senator Albert Beveridge’s campaign speech on war with Spain

Source A: Anti-Imperialist League platform

Source B: “Imperialism: Flag of an Empire”

Source C: Excerpts from Mark Twain’s published anti-imperialism critiques

Source D: Expansion

Source A: Map of American expansion

Source B: William McKinley's speech on imperialism

Source C: Excerpt from Theodore Roosevelt’s annual message before Congress

Summative Performance Task

ARGUMENT Construct an argument (e.g., detailed outline, poster, essay) that addresses the compelling question using specific claims and relevant evidence from historical sources while acknowledging competing views.

EXTENSION Stage a debate about the consequences of and justifications for the Spanish-American War, or role-play a debate between William Jennings Bryan and Theodore Roosevelt about whether American expansion abroad was justified.

Taking Informed Action

ASSESS Determine which people in the local community are affected by a recent military intervention abroad by the United States.

ACT Hold a forum about America’s role in the world and invite local experts, members of the armed forces, and/or representatives of a community organization related to the recent military intervention abroad by the United States.


Inquiry Description

This inquiry is focused on the compelling question “Was American expansion abroad justified?” In other words, did the expansion of America’s global power justify the means by which lands came under control of the United States? The inquiry calls into question motives and outcomes of imperialism by considering both the positive and negative results of United States expansion abroad. Students will focus on the Age of Imperialism near the turn of the 20th century. The focus of the inquiry is the United States’ involvement in the Spanish-American War. In answering Supporting Question 1, students learn about economic, political, and social conditions in the United States in the latter half of the 19th century that promoted American expansion. As the inquiry continues with Supporting Questions 2 and 3, students explore arguments for and against imperialism with a specific focus on United States involvement in the Spanish-American War. They also explore the role of the media in America’s move toward war and the impact of military involvement in Cuba in 1898. Supporting Question 4 focuses on the results of the Spanish-American War.

In addition to the Key Idea listed earlier, this inquiry highlights the following Conceptual Understanding:

  • (8.3b) The Spanish-American War contributed to the rise of the United States as an imperial power.

NOTE: This inquiry is expected to take four to six 40-minute class periods. The inquiry time frame could expand if teachers think their students need additional instructional experiences (i.e., supporting questions, formative performance tasks, and featured sources). Teachers are encouraged to adapt the inquiries​ in order to meet the needs and interests of their particular students. Resources can also be modified as necessary to meet individualized education programs (IEPs) or Section 504 Plans for students with disabilities.

Structure of the Inquiry

In addressing the compelling question “Was American expansion abroad justified?” students work through a series of supporting questions, formative performance tasks, and featured sources in order to construct an argument with evidence while acknowledging competing perspectives.

Staging the Compelling Question

The compelling question may be staged by having students consider a recent United States military incursion abroad. In doing so, students connect historical events to the present and begin the process of Taking Informed Action. This staging task may involve a teacher-led discussion or having students locate sources of information about the US military efforts abroad to support the discussion.

Supporting Question 1

The first supporting question—“What conditions influenced the United States’ expansion abroad?”—opens the inquiry with a consideration of economic, political, and social conditions in the United States in the latter half of the 19th century. In responding to the question, students list conditions that influenced United States foreign policy in the late 19th century. Featured sources include a secondary account reviewing the emergence of US global power in the late 19th century, excerpts from Alfred Mahan’s classic treatise on sea power, and excerpts from the 1896 Republican National Party platform.

Supporting Question 2

The second supporting question—“What arguments were made in favor of imperialism and the Spanish-American War?”—initiates up a two-part examination of the arguments for and against the Spanish-American War. The question leads students to begin a formative performance task in which they complete the first half of a T-chart by adding arguments for the war. The featured sources include excerpts from speeches by two United States senators in support of the war and selections from newspapers at the time.

Supporting Question 3

The third supporting question—“What arguments were made in opposition to the Spanish-American War?”—shifts to the other side of the debate about United States imperialism and the Spanish-American War. Students complete the T-chart they began in the previous supporting question by adding arguments against the war using sources from Mark Twain, a political cartoon, the Anti-Imperialist League platform, and a William Jennings Bryan speech.

Supporting Question 4

The fourth supporting question—“What were the results of US involvement in the Spanish-American War?”—moves students closer to answering the compelling question by having them think about the consequences of the war. Students make a claim and counterclaim that the United States benefited from the Spanish-American War based on maps of the war and excerpts from speeches by Theodore Roosevelt and William McKinley.

Summative Performance Task

At this point in the inquiry students have examined several historical sources to learn about the emergence of United States imperial policy and arguments for and against the Spanish-American War. Students should be able to demonstrate the breadth of their understanding and ability to use evidence from multiple sources to support their claims. In this task, students are asked to construct an evidence-based argument responding to the compelling question “Was American expansion abroad justified?” It is important to note that students’ arguments could take a variety of forms, including a detailed outline, poster, or essay.

Students’ arguments likely will vary, but could include any of the following:

Expansion abroad was good because it improved the United States’ economy.

Expansion abroad was justified because the United States was able spread its democratic values overseas.

The United States expansion abroad was bad because it was based on the economic exploitation of people and resources from other countries.

Expansion abroad was not justified because the United States infringed on the rights of other free people.

At the time, expansion by the United States might have made sense to people given what others were doing in the world, but from our current perspective it seems wrong.

To extend this inquiry, students could adapt the arguments by staging a debate about the consequences of and justifications for the Spanish-American War. Sources from the inquiry should inform the debate. Positions taken by students would thus reflect their arguments as they emerged from the inquiry. The debate may also be staged as a role-play between William Jennings Bryan and Theodore Roosevelt about whether American expansion abroad was justified.

Students have the opportunity to Take Informed Action beginning with the Staging the Compelling Question task. Students demonstrate that they understand by examining a recent United States military action. Students then assess the problem by interviewing people in the community who are affected by a recent military intervention abroad by the United States. Students act by holding a forum about the United States’ role in the world and inviting members of the armed forces, a local expert, and/or a representative of a community organization related to the recent US military intervention abroad.

Supporting Question 1

Featured Source

Source A: Digital History, explanation of the United States global expansion in the 19th century, “The United States Becomes a World Power,” 2014

By 1890, the United States had by far the world's most productive economy. American industry produced twice as much as its closest competitor—Britain. But the United States was not a great military or diplomatic power. Its army numbered less than 30,000 troops, and its navy had only about 10,000 seamen. Britain's army was five times the size of its American counterpart, and its navy was ten times bigger. The United States' military was small because the country was situated between two large oceans and was surrounded by weak or friendly nations. It faced no serious military threats and had little interest in asserting military power overseas.

From the Civil War until the 1890s, most Americans had little interest in territorial expansion. William Seward, the secretary of state under presidents Lincoln and Johnson, did envision American expansion into Alaska, Canada, Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean, Iceland, Greenland, Hawaii, and other Pacific islands. But he realized only two small parts of this vision. In 1867, the United States purchased Alaska from Russia for $7.2 million and occupied the Midway Islands in the Pacific.

Americans resisted expansion for two major reasons. One was that imperial rule seemed inconsistent with America's republican principles. The other was that the United States was uninterested in acquiring people with different cultures, languages, and religions. But where an older generation of moralists thought that ruling a people without their consent violated a core principle of republicanism, a younger generation believed that the United States had a duty to uplift backward societies.

By the mid-1890s, a shift had taken place in American attitudes toward expansion that was sparked partly by a European scramble for empire. Between 1870 and 1900, the European powers seized 10 million square miles of territory in Africa and Asia, a fifth of the world's land mass. About 150 million people were subjected to colonial rule. In the United States, a growing number of policy makers, bankers, manufacturers, and trade unions grew fearful that the country might be closed out in the struggle for global markets and raw materials.

A belief that the world's nations were engaged in a Darwinian struggle for survival and that countries that failed to compete were doomed to decline also contributed to a new assertiveness on the part of the United States. By the 1890s, the American economy was increasingly dependent on foreign trade. A quarter of the nation's farm products and half its petroleum were sold overseas.

Alfred Thayer Mahan, a naval strategist and the author of The Influence of Sea Power Upon History, argued that national prosperity and power depended on control of the world's sea-lanes. "Whoever rules the waves rules the world," Mahan wrote. To become a major naval power, the United States began to replace its wooden sailing ships with steel vessels powered by coal or oil in 1883. But control of the seas would also require the acquisition of naval bases and coaling stations. Germany's Kaiser Wilhelm had copies of Mahan's books placed on every ship in the German High Seas Fleet and the Japanese government put translations in its imperial bureaus.

During the late 19th century, the idea that the United States had a special mission to uplift "backward" people around the world also commanded growing support. The mainstream Protestant religious denominations established religion missions in Africa and Asia, including 500 missions in China by 1890.

During the late 1880s, American foreign policy makers began to display a new assertiveness. The United States came close to declaring war against Germany over Samoa in 1889; against Chile in 1891, over the treatment of U.S. sailors; and against Britain in 1895, over a territorial dispute between Venezuela and Britain.

American involvement in the overthrow of Hawaii's monarchy in 1893 precipitated a momentous debate over the United States' global role. They debated whether the U.S. should behave like a great power and seize colonies or whether it should remain something different.

Mintz, S., & McNeil, S. (2015). The United States Becomes a World Power. Digital History. Retrieved September 9, 2015 from http://www.digitalhistory.uh.edu/disp_textbook.cfm?smtID=2&psid=3158.

Supporting Question 1

Featured Source

Source B: Alfred Mahan, an explanation of why the United States should expand its naval power, The Influence of Sea Power Upon History, 1660–1783 (excerpts), 1890

The Influence of Sea Power Upon History, 1660–1783

…The question is eminently one in which the influence of the government should make itself felt, to build up for the nation a navy which, if not capable of reaching distant countries, shall at least be able to keep clear the chief approaches to its own. The eyes of the country have for a quarter of a century been turned from the sea….[I]t may safely be said that it is essential to the welfare of the whole country that the conditions of trade and commerce should remain, as far as possible, unaffected by an external war. In order to do this, the enemy must be kept not only out of our ports, but far away from our coasts.

Can this navy be had without restoring the merchant shipping? It is doubtful….But in a representative government any military expenditure must have a strongly represented interest behind it, convinced of its necessity. Such an interest in sea power does not exist, cannot exist here without action by the government. How such a merchant shipping should be built up, whether by subsidies or by free trade, by constant administration of tonics or by free movement in the open air, is not a military but an economical question. Even had the United States a great national shipping, it may be doubted whether a sufficient navy would follow; the distance which separates her from other great powers, in one way a protection, is also a snare. The motive, if any there be, which will give the United States a navy, is probably now quickening in the Central American Isthmus. Let us hope it will not come to the birth too late….

Public domain. www.gutenberg.org/files/13529/13529-h/13529-h.htm#Page_83

Supporting Question 1

Featured Source

Source C: Foreign policy positions advocated by the Republican Party, Republican Party Platform (excerpts), 1896

…Our foreign policy should be at all times firm, vigorous and dignified, and all our interests in the western hemisphere should be carefully watched and guarded.

The Hawaiian Islands should be controlled by the United States, and no foreign power should be permitted to interfere with them. The Nicaragua Canal should be built, owned and operated by the United States. And, by the purchase of the Danish Islands we should secure a much needed Naval station in the West Indies.

The massacres in Armenia have aroused the deep sympathy and just indignation of the American people, and we believe that the United States should exercise all the influence it can properly exert to bring these atrocities to an end. In Turkey, American residents have been exposed to gravest [grievous] dangers and American property destroyed. There, and everywhere, American citizens and American property must be absolutely protected at all hazards and at any cost.

We reassert the Monroe Doctrine in its full extent, and we reaffirm the rights of the United States to give the Doctrine effect by responding to the appeal of any American State for friendly intervention in case of European encroachment.

We have not interfered and shall not interfere, with the existing possession of any European power in this hemisphere, and to the ultimate union of all the English speaking parts of the continent by the free consent of its inhabitants; from the hour of achieving their own independence the people of the United States have regarded with sympathy the struggles of other American peoples to free themselves from European domination. We watch with deep and abiding interest the heroic battles of the Cuban patriots against cruelty and oppression, and best hopes go out for the full success of their determined contest for liberty. The government of Spain, having lost control of Cuba, and being unable to protect the property or lives of resident American citizens, or to comply with its Treaty obligations, we believe that the government of the United States should actively use its influence and good offices to restore peace and give independence to the Island.

The peace and security of the Republic and the maintenance of its rightful influence among the nations of the earth demand a naval power commensurate with its position and responsibilities. We, therefore, favor the continued enlargement of the navy, and a complete system of harbor and sea-coast defenses….

Public domain. Available online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=29629.

Supporting Question 2

Featured Source

Source A: Newspaper front page about the USS Maine explosion, “Destruction of the War Ship Maine was the Work of an Enemy,” New York Journal, February 17, 1898

Public domain. Available at http://www.pbs.org/crucible/headline7.html.

Supporting Question 2

Featured Source

Source B: Source bank: Spanish atrocities in Cuba

Senator Redfield Proctor, speech on Spanish atrocities in Cuba delivered in the United States Senate (excerpts), March 17, 1898

NOTE: Senator Redfield Proctor, a Vermont Republican, delivered this speech on March 17, 1898, after a visit to Cuba. His testimony helped sway politicians and business leaders toward war.
I went to Cuba with a strong conviction that the picture had been overdrawn. I could not believe that out of a population of one million six hundred thousand, two hundred thousand had died within these Spanish forts....My inquiries were entirely outside of sensational sources....What I saw I cannot tell so that others can see it. It must be seen with one's own eyes to be realized....To me the strongest appeal is not the barbarity practiced by Weyler, nor the loss of the Maine...but the spectacle of a million and a half people, the entire native population of Cuba, struggling for freedom and deliverance from the worst misgovernment of which I ever had knowledge....

Public domain. Available at http://users.humboldt.edu/jcbaker/spanwar.shtml.

Barber for the Los Angeles Herald, illustration of suffering in Cuban “reconcentration” camps, “Fearful Cases of Starvation in Cuba,” March 20, 1898

NOTE: This illustration appeared in the Los Angeles Herald on March 20, 1898, accompanying a story about Senator Proctor’s speech. Illustrations such as this one appeared in newspapers around the country and played a role in influencing the public in support of calls for war with the Spanish.

Public domain. Available at http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85042461/1898-03-20/ed-1/seq-2/.

Supporting Question 2

Featured Source

Source C: Senator Albert Beveridge, pro-expansion abroad campaign speech to the United States Senate, “March of the Flag” (excerpts), 1898

Hawaii is ours; Porto Rico is to be ours; at the prayer of her people Cuba finally will be ours; in the islands of the East, even to the gates of Asia, coaling stations are to be ours at the very least; the flag of a liberal government is to float over the Philippines, and may it be the banner that Taylor unfurled in Texas and Fremont carried to the coast.

The Opposition tells us that we ought not to govern a people without their consent. I answer, the rule of liberty that all just government derives its authority from the consent of the governed, applies only to those who are capable of self-government. We govern the Indians without their consent, we govern our territories without their consent, we govern our children without their consent. How do they know what our government would be without their consent? Would not the people of the Philippines prefer the just, humane, civilizing government of this Republic to the savage, bloody rule of pillage and extortion from which we have rescued them?...

The ocean does not separate us from lands of our duty and desire—the oceans join us, rivers never to be dredged, canals never to be re paired. Steam joins us; electricity joins us—the very elements are in league with our destiny. Cuba not contiguous? Porto Rico not contiguous! Hawaii and the Philippines [not] contiguous! The oceans make them contiguous. And our navy will make them contiguous….

And so, while we did not need the territory taken during the past century at the time it was acquired, we do need what we have taken in 1891 and we need it now. The resource and the commerce of the immensely rich dominions will be increased as much as American energy is greater than Spanish sloth.

In Cuba, alone, there are 15,000,000 acres of forest unacquainted with the ax, exhaustless mines of iron, priceless deposits of manganese, millions of dollars' worth of which we must buy, to-day, from the Black Sea districts. There are millions of acres yet unexplored.

The resources of Porto Rico have only been trifled with. The riches of` the Philippines have hardly been touched by the finger-tips of modern methods. And they produce what we consume, and consume what we produce—the very predestination of reciprocity—a reciprocity "not made with hands, eternal in the heavens." They sell hemp, sugar, cocoanuts, fruits of the tropics, timber of price like mahogany; they buy flour, clothing, tools, implements, machinery and all that we can raise and make. Their trade will be ours in time. Do you indorse that policy with your vote?

Cuba is as large as Pennsylvania, and is the richest spot on the globe. Hawaii is as large as New Jersey; Porto Rico half as large as Hawaii; the Philippines larger than all New England, New York, New Jersey and Delaware combined. Together they are larger than the British Isles, larger than France, larger than Germany, larger than Japan….

There are so many real things to be done—canals to be dug, railways to be laid, forests to be felled, cities to be builded, fields to be tilled, markets to be won, ships to be launched, peoples to be saved, civilization to be proclaimed and the Rag of liberty Hung to the eager air of every sea. Is this an hour to waste upon triflers with nature's laws? Is this a season to give our destiny over to word-mongers and prosperity-wreckers? No! It is an hour to remember our duty to our homes. It is a moment to realize the opportunities fate has opened to us. And so is all hour for us to stand by the Government.

We can not fly from our world duties; it is ours to execute the purpose of a fate that has driven us to be greater than our small intentions. We can not retreat from any soil where Providence has unfurled our banner; it is ours to save that soil for liberty and civilization.

Public domain. Available at http://legacy.fordham.edu/halsall/mod/1898beveridge.asp.

Supporting Question 3

Featured Source

Source A: Anti-Imperialist League platform (excerpts), 1899

We hold that the policy known as imperialism is hostile to liberty and tends toward militarism, an evil from which it has been our glory to be free. We regret that it has become necessary in the land of Washington and Lincoln to reaffirm that all men, of whatever race or color, are entitled to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. We maintain that governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed. We insist that the subjugation of any people is "criminal aggression" and open disloyalty to the distinctive principles of our Government.

We earnestly condemn the policy of the present National Administration in the Philippines. It seeks to extinguish the spirit of 1776 in those islands. We deplore the sacrifice of our soldiers and sailors, whose bravery deserves admiration even in an unjust war. We denounce the slaughter of the Filipinos as a needless horror. We protest against the extension of American sovereignty by Spanish methods.

We demand the immediate cessation of the war against liberty, begun by Spain and continued by us. We urge that Congress be promptly convened to announce to the Filipinos our purpose to concede to them the independence for which they have so long fought and which of right is theirs.

The United States have always protested against the doctrine of international law which permits the subjugation of the weak by the strong. A self governing state cannot accept sovereignty over an unwilling people. The United States cannot act upon the ancient heresy that might makes right….

We deny that the obligation of all citizens to support their Government in times of grave National peril applies to the present situation. If an Administration may with impunity ignore the issues upon which it was chosen, deliberately create a condition of war anywhere on the face of the globe, debauch the civil service for spoils to promote the adventure, organize a truth suppressing censorship and demand of all citizens a suspension of judgement and their unanimous support while it chooses to continue the fighting, representative government itself is imperiled….

We propose to contribute to the defeat of any person or party that stands for the forcible subjugation of any people. We shall oppose for reelection all who in the White House or in Congress betray American liberty in pursuit of un-American gains. We still hope that both of our great political parties will support and defend the Declaration of Independence in the closing campaign of the century.

We hold, with Abraham Lincoln, that "no man is good enough to govern another man without that man’s consent. When the white man governs himself, that is self-government, but when he governs himself and also governs another man, that is more than self-government that is despotism." "Our reliance is in the love of liberty which God has planted in us. Our defense is in the spirit which prizes liberty as the heritage of all men in all lands. Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves, and under a just God cannot long retain it."

Public domain. From Speeches, Correspondence and Political Papers of Carl Schurz, edited by Frederic Bancroft. Copyright © 1913. G.P. Putnam’s Sons. http://www.wwnorton.com/college/history/ralph/workbook/ralprs30a.htm.

Supporting Question 3

Featured Source

Source B: William Jennings Bryan, anti-imperialism speech in Indiana, “Imperialism: Flag of an Empire” (excerpts), 1900

[27] Those who would have this nation enter upon a career of empire must consider not only the effect of imperialism on the Filipinos, but they must also calculate its effects upon our own nation. We cannot repudiate the principle of self-government in the Philippines without weakening that principle here.

[28] Lincoln said that the safety of this nation was not in its fleets, its armies, or its forts, but in the spirit which prizes liberty as the heritage of all men, in all lands, everywhere, and he warned his countrymen that they could not destroy this spirit without planting the seeds of despotism at their own doors….

[32] Our opponents, conscious of the weakness of their cause, seek to confuse imperialism with expansion, and have even dared to claim Jefferson as a supporter of their policy. Jefferson spoke so freely and used language with such precision that no one can be ignorant of his views. On one occasion he declared: “If there be one principle more deeply rooted than any other in the mind of every American, it is that we should have nothing to do with conquest.” And again he said: “Conquest is not in our principles; it is inconsistent with our government.”

[33] The forcible annexation of territory to be governed by arbitrary power differs as much from the acquisition of territory to be built up into states as a monarchy differs from a democracy. The democratic party does not oppose expansion when expansion enlarges the area of the republic and incorporates land which can be settled by American citizens, or adds to our population people who are willing to become citizens and are capable of discharging their duties as such.

Public domain. Available at http://voicesofdemocracy.umd.edu/william-jennings-bryan-imperialism-speech-text/.

Supporting Question 3

Featured Source

Source C: Mark Twain, a collection of anti-imperialism critiques, 1900–1901

NOTE: Mark Twain, explanation of opposition of United States imperialists’ policies, New York Herald, October 15, 1900.

I left these shores, at Vancouver, a red-hot imperialist. I wanted the American eagle to go screaming into the Pacific. It seemed tiresome and tame for it to content itself with the Rockies. Why not spread its wings over the Phillippines, I asked myself? And I thought it would be a real good thing to do

I said to myself, here are a people who have suffered for three centuries. We can make them as free as ourselves, give them a government and country of their own, put a miniature of the American constitution afloat in the Pacific, start a brand new republic to take its place among the free nations of the world. It seemed to me a great task to which had addressed ourselves.

But I have thought some more, since then, and I have read carefully the treaty of Paris, and I have seen that we do not intend to free, but to subjugate the people of the Phillippines. We have gone there to conquer, not to redeem. . .

It should, it seems to me, be our pleasure and duty to make those people free, and let them deal with their own domestic questions in their own way. And so I am an anti-imperialist. I am opposed to having the eagle put its talons on any other land.

Public domain. New York Herald, October 15, 1900. http://www.loc.gov/rr/hispanic/1898/twain.html.

NOTE: Mark Twain, critique of the United States imperialist policy, "To the Person Sitting in Darkness," New York: Anti-Imperialist League of New York, (excerpts), February, 1901

There must be two Americas: one that sets the captive free, and one that takes a once-captive's new freedom away from him, and picks a quarrel with him with nothing to found it on; then kills him to get his land….

True, we have crushed a deceived and confiding people; we have turned against the weak and the friendless who trusted us; we have stamped out a just and intelligent and well-ordered republic; we have stabbed an ally in the back and slapped the face of a guest; we have bought a Shadow from an enemy that hadn't it to sell; we have robbed a trusting friend of his land and his liberty; we have invited clean young men to shoulder a discredited musket and do bandit's work under a flag which bandits have been accustomed to fear, not to follow; we have debauched America's honor and blackened her face before the world….

And as for a flag for the Philippine Province, it is easily managed. We can have a special one—our States do it: we can have just our usual flag, with the white stripes painted black and the stars replaced by the skull and cross-bones.

Public domain. From "To the Person Sitting in Darkness," New York: Anti-Imperialist League of New York, February, 1901. http://www.loc.gov/rr/hispanic/1898/twain.html.

Supporting Question 3

Featured Source

Source D: Artist unknown, political cartoon criticizing imperialism, “Expansion,” The Public, January 31, 1902


Public domain. Available at http://oll.libertyfund.org/pages/the-spanish-american-war-and-the-anti-imperialism-league-1902.

Supporting Question 4

Featured Source

Source A: Map of American expansion 1867-1899, 2015

NOTE: This map shows the United States and its territorial possessions and the years when they were acquired.

Created for the New York State K–12 Social Studies Toolkit by Agate Publishing, Inc., 2015. Adapted from Exciting Experiences in Our Wars with Spain and the Filipinos (Chicago: Book Publishers Union, 1899), by Marshall Everett, p. 395. Available at: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:GreaterAmericaMap.jpg.

Supporting Question 4

Featured Source

Source B: William McKinley, speech on imperialism to the Ohio Society in New York City (excerpts), March 3, 1900

After thirty-three years of unbroken peace came an unavoidable war. Happily, the conclusion was quickly reached without a suspicion of unworthy motive, or practice, or purpose on our part and with fadeless honor on our arms. I cannot forget the quick response of the people to the country's need, and the quarter of a million men who freely offered their lives to the country's service. It was an impressive spectacle of national strength. It demonstrated our mighty reserve power and taught us that large standing armies are unnecessary as a "Minute Man" ready to join the ranks for national defense.

Out of these recent events have come to the United States grave trials and responsibilities. As it was the nation's war, so are its results the nation's problem. Its solution rests upon us all. It is too serious to stifle. It is too earnest for response. No phrase or catchword can conceal the sacred obligation it involves. No use of epithets, no aspersion of motive of those who differ, will contribute to that sober judgment so essential to right conclusions. No political outcry can abrogate our treaty of peace with Spain, or absolve us from its solemn engagements. It is the people's question, and will be until its determination is written out in their enlightened verdict. We must choose between manly doing and base desertion. It will never be the latter. It must be soberly settled in justice and good conscience, and it will be. Righteousness which exalteth a nation must control in its solution….

There can be no imperialism. Those who fear it are against it. Those who have faith in the republic are against it. So that there is universal abhorrence for it and unanimous opposition to it. Our only difference is that those who do not agree with us have no confidence in the virtue or capacity or high purpose or good faith of this free people as a civilizing agency: while we believe that the century of free government which the American people has enjoyed has not rendered them irresolute and faithless, but has fitted them for the great task of lifting up and assisting to better conditions and larger liberty those distant people who have through the issue of battle become our wards.

Let us fear not. There is no occasion for faint hearts, no excuse for regrets. Nations do not grow in strength and the cause of liberty and law by the doing of easy things. The harder the task the greater will be the result, the benefit, and the honor. To doubt our power to accomplish it is to lose our faith in the soundness and strengths of our popular institutions.

The liberators will never become the oppressors. A self-governed people will never permit despotism in any government which they foster and defend.

Gentlemen, we have the new care and can not shift it. And, breaking up the camp of ease and isolation, let us bravely and hopefully and soberly continue the march of faithful service and falter not until the work is done. It is not possible that 75 million American freemen are unable to establish liberty and justice and good government in our new possessions. The burden is our opportunity. The opportunity is greater than the burden. May God give us strength to bear the one and wisdom so to embrace the other as to carry to our distant acquisitions the guarantees of "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."

Public domain. Available at https://archive.org/stream/memvolamerhi00pellrich/memvolamerhi00pellrich_djvu.txt.

Supporting Question 4

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Source C: Theodore Roosevelt, annual message before Congress, “Roosevelt Corollary (to the Monroe Doctrine)” (excerpts), 1904

It is not true that the Unites States feels any land hunger or entertains any projects as regards to the other nations of the Western Hemisphere save such as are for their welfare. All that this country desires is to see the neighboring countries stable, orderly, and prosperous. Any country whose people conduct themselves well can count upon our hearty friendship. If a nation shows that it knows how to act with reasonable efficiency and decency in social and political matters, if it keeps order and pays its obligations, it need fear no interference from the United States. Chronic wrongdoing, or any impotence which results in a general loosening of the ties of civilized society [however], may in America, as elsewhere, ultimately require intervention by some civilized nation, and in the Western Hemisphere the adherence of the United States to the Monroe Doctrine may force the United States, however reluctantly, in flagrant cases of such wrongdoing or impotence, to the exercise of an international police power.

...It is a mere truism to say that every nation, whether in American or any where else, which desires to maintain its freedom, its independence, must ultimately realize that the right of such independence can not be separated from the responsibility of making good use of it.

Public domain. https://www.gilderlehrman.org/sites/default/files/inline-pdfs/Corollary%20to%20the%20Monroe%20Doctrine%20%28abridged%29.pdf.

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