• Why were European countries practicing
• Basically 4 reasons why:
• 1. For Trade (New Markets) and Raw
2. Strategic Reasons
They started to not only trade with these
countries but also invest in these countries. So
then they needed to protect their
investments-with a powerful navy
In order to do that they started to exert control
over those territories where their investments
were and soon these areas became colonies.
The next thing we know Africa and
Asia have been carved up by countries
like Britain, France and Spain.
The US starts to feel like they better get a “piece
of the pie” or else…..
• We are a great nation—we should grab our
own colonies before nothing is left
But also we have 4.social reasons-
Attitudes towards other Peoples
• Josiah Strong, a popular minister in the late
1800’s linked Anglo-Saxonism-as a “superior
race” . He said the Anglo- Saxon was “divinely
commissioned to be, in a peculiar sense, his
• “The White Man’s Burden”
White Man’s Burden Take up the White
Send forth the best ye
Go bind your sons to
To serve your captives'
To wait in heavy
On fluttered folk and
Your new-caught, sullen
Half-devil and half-child.
Expansion in the Pacific-Hawaii
• As trade with China and Japan
increased, many Americans became interested
in Hawaii. Ships traveling between China and
the US regularly stopped in Hawaii. Americans
soon discovered that the climate and soil of
the islands were suitable for growing
sugarcane. Planters became very powerful and
wealthy. Soon tensions between the planters
and the Hawaiians mounted.
In 1891 Queen Liliuokalani ascended
to the Hawaiian throne.
Faced with an economic crisis and the
queen’s action, the planters backed an
attempt to overthrow the queen.
Supported by the US marines, a group
of planters, with the help of Samuel
Dole, forced the queen to give up
power and set up a temporary
government. Five years later, the US
Building a Modern Navy
• As Americans were becoming
more willing to risk war in
defense of American interest
overseas, support for building a
large modern navy and acquiring
navy bases began to grow.
Alfred T. Mahan wrote a book called The
Influence of Sea Power. In it he wrote about
the importance of a nation having a great
navy. It became a best seller and helped to
build public support for a big navy. Along with
a very powerful senator, Henry Cabot
Lodge, the US was well on its way to becoming
one of the top naval powers in the world.
Summary: By the 1890’s, several ideas
had come together:
• Business leaders wanted new market overseas
and raw materials
• Anglo Saxonism had convinced many Americans
that they had a destiny to dominate the world
• Growing European imperialism threatened
• Combined with Mahan’s influence, these ideas
convinced congress to authorize the construction
of a modern American navy.