At the turn of the century, the United States pursued a more vigorous and aggressive foreign policy than it had in the past, securing the country a place as a new world power. During this period, U. S



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P6 | APUSH | Ms. Wiley | Intro to American Imperialism, D___ Name:

Background: At the turn of the century, the United States pursued a more vigorous and aggressive foreign policy than it had in the past, securing the country a place as a new world power. During this period, U.S. economic power grew, driven by new inventions, a massive influx of immigrants, and an explosion of industrialization that resulted in a production rate that vastly outstripped that which people in the U.S. could consume. Following a devastating economic recession in the 1890s, U.S. foreign policy leaders focused on finding foreign markets to absorb excess goods. This renewed emphasis on exploring international opportunities led to a buildup of U.S. naval forces and, eventually, the nation’s first colonies. Though America abruptly entered the imperialist age by annexing Hawaii and declaring war on Spain in 1898, the nation quickly succeeded in seizing control of several overseas peoples.


The American Domain, ca. 1900 The United States claimed numerous islands in the South Pacific, intervened in Latin America and China to secure its economic interests, and took on Alaska.
Essential Question: Is imperialism compatible with democracy?

Justifying Imperialism Through The White Man’s Burden (Rudyard Kipling):

Below you will find an excerpt from Rudyard Kipling’s “The White Man’s Burden,” as well as political cartoons commenting on the work itself. Written in 1898, the poem was a reaction to the U.S. imperialist conquest of the Philippines and other former Spanish colonies. In essence, it justifies imperialism as a noble and necessary enterprise, while justifying the concept of Social Darwinism.




    1. Explain the excerpt in your own words:



    2. How are non-Westerners portrayed in the poem?



    3. What “burdens” does Kipling mention/allude to?



    4. To what extent do you see evidence of social Darwinism and paternalism in this excerpt?


    Take up the White Man’s burden—
    Send forth the best ye breed—
    Go bind your sons to exile
    To serve your captives’ need;
    To wait, in heavy harness,
    On fluttered folk and wild -
    Your new-caught sullen peoples,
    Half devil and half child.


Take up the White Man's burden—
In patience to abide,


To veil the threat of terror
And check the show of pride;
By open speech and simple,
An hundred times made plain,


To seek another's profit
And work another's gain.


Take up the White Man's burden—
The savage wars of peace—


Fill full the mouth of Famine,
And bid the sickness cease…




    1. How does this cartoon satirize the White Man’s Burden?


    2. How does the artist feel about imperialism? Westerners?

    file:the white mans burden.gif

Title: The White (?) Man’s Burden



  1. How does this cartoon satirize the White Man’s Burden?



  1. How does the artist feel about imperialism? Westerners?




Can’t make out the text? Title of the cartoon: “The White Man’s Burden (Apologies to Kipling).” The rocks towards the bottom of the cartoon have the following words written on them: vice, superstition, oppression, ignorance, brutality. The rocks towards the top of the cartoon, which are golden due to the figure at the very top of the image (“civilization”), have the following words written on them: cruelty, slavery, vice, ignorance.

Platform of the American Anti-Imperialist League (October 18, 1899)

The American Anti-Imperialist League was founded in 1899, after the United States occupied Cuba and Puerto Rico and the Philippine Islands. Cuba became nominally independent, although the United States retained until 1934 the legal right to intervene in Cuban domestic and foreign affairs. Both Puerto Rico and the Philippines became American colonies. The Filipinos revolted against American rule in February, 1899, and were suppressed in 1902 after a bloody, ruthless guerrilla war. Most Americans supported overseas expansion, but some of the nation's most illustrious citizens - including Andrew Carnegie and Mark Twain - were appa11ed by American imperialism. In 1899 they founded the American Anti-Imperialist League in order to campaign, unsuccessfully as it turned out, against the annexation of the Philippines.

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 has 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.

…Whether the ruthless slaughter of the Filipinos shall end next month or next year is but an incident in a contest that must go on until the declaration of independence and the constitution of the United States are rescued from the hands of their betrayers. . . . The training of a great people for a century, the aspiration for liberty of a vast immigration are forces that will hurl aside those who in the delirium of conquest seek to destroy the character of our institutions.

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 re-election all who in the white house or in congress betray American liberty in pursuit of un-American ends. 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 other'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."


9. Make a list of key arguments made by the Anti-Imperialist League. Were these strong arguments? Why or why not?


10. How might a supporter of expansion and imperialism respond to the claims made above?

We cordially invite the co-operation of all men and women who remain loyal to the declaration of independence and the constitution of the United States.

Imperialism in Hawaii, PBS Video:


  1. Describe the capital city of Honolulu circa 1890:



  2. Describe the “Hawaiian Kingdom” at this time and what they expected from the new Queen. Include population statistics.



  3. What was the role of American sugar planters in Hawaii? What did they expect from the Queen?



  4. Why did panic spread across U.S.-owned plantations in Hawaii? What was the result?



  5. How did D.C. respond to U.S. interests in Hawaii?



  6. How did the Queen feel about annexation? What did her new constitution seek to do?



  7. How did the business community/annexationists respond?



  8. What led to the Queen’s overthrow?



  1. Describe the takeover (1893):



  2. What is meant by the statement “she [the Queen] had great faith in America”?

Note: In 1993, one hundred years after the Queen was overthrown, the U.S. government issued an apology resolution to the Hawaiian people.




Directory: cms -> lib010 -> PA01916442 -> Centricity -> Domain -> 2100
2100 -> Soc ∙ Ms. Wiley ∙ Culture Resources & Analysis, d name
2100 -> Edge fall Quarter 2003
2100 -> Actively read both secondary sources and respond to corresponding prompts
2100 -> In Aaron Huey’s Ted Talk he made mention of the word "genocide" when describing the formation and expansion of the U. S. at the expense of its indigenous people
2100 -> Document Number Document Name
2100 -> Case, the experiment helped to persuade the U. S
2100 -> In this exercise, you will look at a sample dbq, investigate the documents, build an outline that responds to the question, and evaluate a sample response
2100 -> John Ross Major Ridge
2100 -> The way Columbus's story used to be told
2100 -> Charles C. Mann, August 2011 Trade is an economic activity, but its greatest impact may be biological. Charles C. Mann on stowaway earthworms, far-flung potatoes and the world made by Columbus


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