The American Journey Modern Times © 2009

Chapter 8: Rise to World Power

Chapter Overviews

Section 1: Expanding Horizons

After expanding from Atlantic to Pacific oceans, Americans hoped to expand beyond the nation’s borders to areas where they could expand trade and compete for political influence. As part of this vision, the United States purchased Alaska from Russia and established the Pan-American Union with Latin American countries. The U.S. Navy was strengthened to support America’s growing role in world affairs.

Section 2: Imperialism in the Pacific

The first Americans came to the Hawaiian Islands in the early 1800s, and were missionaries and sugarcane growers. They eventually overthrew the Hawaiian monarchy, and convinced Congress to annex the territory. The United States went on to annex Samoa, which further strengthened American presence in the Pacific.

In their efforts to build empires, Japan and the European powers had established trading territories in China. The United States promoted the Open Door policy, which allowed Americans to trade there as well. Japan ignored the new policy, which led to conflicts with Russia, and the Russo-Japanese War. Many Japanese immigrated to the United States, but were segregated from whites, a practice that strained relations between Japan and the United States.

Section 3: Spanish-American War

An attack on an American battleship, along with sensational journalism, heightened Americans concerns about the violent rebellion in Cuba, and finally pushed the country into a war with Spain. The Rough Riders were among those who fought in the brief but deadly war in which the United States defeated Spain and ended Spanish rule of Cuba.

After the war, Cuba became an American protectorate, and Puerto Rico and Guam became territories. Despite opposition from anti-imperialists, the United States government acquired the Philippines from Spain. Philippine forces who had fought alongside the Americans, expected independence, but the United States did not relinquish control until 1946.

Section 4: Latin American Policies

Americans wanted to build a canal in Central America so that ships could travel more cheaply and easily from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean. In order to acquire a site for the canal and secure a presence in Latin America, the United States supported Panama’s fight for independence. The Panama canal was finally completed in 1914.

To prevent instability in Latin America, the United States established the Roosevelt Corollary, which extended the policies of the Monroe Doctrine. Roosevelt’s successor, William Howard Taft, supported a “dollar diplomacy” that called for American intervention when other nations’ affairs threatened American business interests.

Brutal revolts in Mexico led President Woodrow Wilson to favor a “moral diplomacy” that supported spreading democracy to Latin America.

Glencoe Online Learning CenterSocial Studies HomeProduct InfoSite MapContact Us

The McGraw-Hill CompaniesGlencoe