Chapter 12 Sec. 3
Theodore Roosevelt becomes President after
President McKinley is assassinated in 1901. By
far the most energetic President ever to hold
• He was a strong proponent of increasing
American power on the world stage. He
accepted some of the ideas of Anglo-
Saxonism-about having a duty to shape the
“less civilized” corners of the earth.
• He believed in something called “sphere of
influence” –an area where a foreign nation
controlled economic development such as
railroads and mining.
• He wanted an Open Door Policy in china—
allowing everyone to trade with China.
• He believed in a strong global military
• “Speak softly and carry a big stick”– meaning
you don’t have to fire your guns, just show
Roosevelt saw construction of a canal through
Central America as vital to American power in
the world. A canal would save time and
money for both commercial and military
The US offered Colombia $10 million for the
right to construct a canal but they said no.
So then the US persuaded some Panamanians to
revolt against the Colombia government with
our help. Within 2 weeks Panama was an
independent country and the US had a treaty
with them to build a canal.