Unit 5 Class Notes- imperialism and wwi american Expansionism

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Secretary of State William Seward was an early proponent of U.S. expansion.

  • 1867: Seward negotiated the purchase of Alaska from Russia for $7.2million, approximately 2 cents per acre!

    • Some thought this purchase was a mistake and labeled it “Seward’s Icebox” or “Seward’s Folly”

    • BUT…Alaska contained valuable timber, mineral, and eventually oil resources.

America Takes Hawaii
The Hawaiian Islands had been strategically important to Americans for nearly a century

  • Since the 1790s, American merchants used the islands as a refueling station on their way to China.

  • Beginning in the 1820s, American missionaries started Christian schools and churches on the islands. Their descendants would become sugar planters, selling most of their crop to the United States.

  • In 1887, American military and economic leaders negotiated the rights to build a naval base at Pearl Harbor, which would become a refueling station for American naval ships.

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