The Spanish American War &
Pacific Expansion of the
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U.S. Expansionism in the
1800sall of the frontier lands
In 1890 the Census Bureau announces
have been settled. The U.S. now has motivation to
expand and become a World Power.
There were four reasons the U.S. had a desire to expand.
Find new Economic markets.
Social Darwinism – Survival of the fittest.
Christianize “uncivilized” people of the world.
Did not want to be left out of international scramble for
1890 – The Influence of Sea Power
Upon History is written by Alfred
Thayer Mahan, a U.S. navy strategist.
● Mahan said the U.S. needs a strong navy and
bases to serve as stepping stones to markets in
Latin America and Asia.
● Believed we should construct a canal through
Central America (Panama Canal)
● U.S. Navy increases in world
status from 12th in 1889 to
3rd in 1899.
Anti- imperialists were people who did not believe in taking over
other countries because thought the idea was undemocratic and
Many Americans were uneasy about forcing colonial rule on
Opponents of colonialism, like Mark Twain and Andrew Carnegie,
felt this went against principals of American Government.
Heavily debated topic in Congress, but in the end the imperialists
won the argument and proceeded to become involved in World
Cuba was originally a Spanish colony. Due to this
Spain Controlled Cuba. The Cubans would revolt
against Spanish in the 1890s.
During this same time the U.S. is interested in Cuba
because of Sugar plantations ($50 million invested)
and the proximity Cuba was to U.S.
Concentration Camps in Cuba were created by Spanish
military commanders. These camps put Cuban
revolutionaries in “reconcentration” camps.
While imprisoned in the camps many Cubans died from
disease & starvation.
3 Causes of the Spanish American
1. De Lôme Letter
2. The U.S.S. Maine exploded on Feb 15, 1898 in
3. Yellow Journalism
De Lôme Letter: Cause of the Spanish
Dupuy de Lôme was the Spanish
Ambassador to the U.S.
Delome wrote a letter that
McKinley as weak.
The letter outraged Americans.
“We Blamed the Maine on Spain”:
Cause of the Spanish American War
The U.S.S. Maine was sent to Cuba to protect
American citizens & property in due riots
breaking out over Spanish-Cuban conflicts.
The U.S.S. Maine exploded on Feb 15, 1898 in the
Havana Harbor (Cuba). During this explosion
258 American soldiers were killed
Americans and Military leaders assumed this was a
result of the Spanish military.
What really caused explosion?
It was discovered in 1976 the reason the U.S.S.
Maine exploded was due to a faulty boiler
Yellow Journalism: Cause of the Spanish
Yellow Journalism- Sensational headlines & stories designed to stir
up emotions of readers.
The NY World and NY Journal sought to gain new readers &
increase their circulation. They would use yellow journalism to
achieve this feat.
On Feb 17, 1898, the headlines of the NY World & NY Journal
blamed the Spanish for U.S.S. Maine explosion.
Spain was willing to free Cuban prisoners as a result of US
protests, but would not grant them independence
President McKinley asks Congress to declare war on Spain
in April 1898.
Roosevelt was the Assistant Secretary of
the Navy in the McKinley administration.
Roosevelt was an Imperialist and American
nationalist. Theodore Roosevelt was a
supporter of Mahan’s ideals.
He criticized President McKinley as having
He would Resign his position to go and fight
the backbone of a chocolate éclair
War in Cuba
The U.S. declares war on the Spanish in April 1898
17,000 U.S. troops arrive when they land in Cuba on June 1898
Rough Riders was a special unit of the U.S. Army cavalry soldiers
led by T. Roosevelt
Most of them were
• College students
• Ex-polo players
Spanish are defeated and war in Cuba is won by Americans
when they stormed San Juan Hill, took it from Spanish. War
ends November of 1898
-Spanish have left Cuba and
U.S. allows independence .
-U.S. also sends military to
the Philippines to aid them as
they were in a revolt against
the Spanish who were
controlling them as a Spanish
-The Philippines were a
Spanish territory and the
U.S. wanted to take have a
naval base that was near
of the Filipino
• July 4, 1946:
Asst. Sec of Navy, Theodore
Roosevelt decided to send
the U.S. Navy to Manila Bay
to attack Spanish in May
Emilio Aguinaldo was a
Filipino leader helped U.S.
fight. However he became
angry & revolts when U.S.
does not leave.
President McKinley reasons
for not leaving:
● Christianize the people
● The Philippines were not fit
for self government
Dewey Captures Manila!
Another U.S. Victory
-U.S. defeats the Spanish
at the Battle of Manila
-Result of victory, Spanish
territories in the Pacific
are lost to the United
Gained the following:
Guam- Island that was port of call
(rest stop) between U.S. to Asia
Midway & Samoa- U.S. would
create Navy bases on these islands.
The Treaty of Paris: 1898
• When the Treaty of Paris was signed Cuba
was free from Spanish rule.
• The Treaty stated Spain would give up
Puerto Rico and the island of
• The U. S. paid Spain
$20 mil. for the
• The U. S. becomes
an imperial (world bully) power!
U.S. Emerges as an Imperialist
New Territories adds 100,000 square miles & 10 million people to U.S.
-Americans go into Hawaii for sugar and pineapple plantations
-Missionaries were sent to convert the natives
-Queen Liliuokalani (native ruler) tries to take back land from Americans
-Sandford B. Dole (lawyer) leads a movement to limit native rights and
overthrow the queen
-Dole’s actions leads to him the leader of the colony until it is annexed in 1898.
- His cousin develops the Dole pineapple company in 1898.
U.S. can send troops to keep Cuba in order
Goals Accomplished through American Imperialism:
U.S. Influence in Cuba and the U.S. gets naval stations
U.S. Imperialism in the 1890s
• U.S. becomes an imperialist nation – takes
over weaker nations.
• U.S. President Foreign policies:
– Roosevelt Corollary-Theodore Roosevelt
declared the U.S. could intervene in
Latin America to serve as “International
– Open Door Policy -allow equal trade to
all nations in China.
– William Taft – created “Dollar
Diplomacy” – U.S. businesses invested
in foreign nations. Troops would be sent
to countries that could not repay loans
and banks would seize businesses
• Ships were sailing 16,000 miles
around the tip of S. America to
reach to Pacific/Atlantic Coast in
• A canal built between the
isthmus of Panama was the the
best place to solve this problem.
• Roosevelt helps Panama receive
their independence from
• Building of the Panama
Canal occurs in 1903 by
Americans (finished in 1914)
Completion of Panama Canal
Obstacles in building canal were
mudslides and diseases, such as malaria
and yellow fever.
Diseases came from mosquitoes so
swamps were drained, vegetation cut
down, and standing water sprayed
prevent mosquitoes from breeding.
The canal made a 68 day trip into a 20
day trip (over 7,000 miles) and millions of
dollars annually off of the trip from the
Pacific and Atlantic.
United States granted control of Panama
Canal as a result of helping them become