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Toward Empire

Chapter 21:
Toward Empire

Toward EmpireAs the American frontier “closed,” many in America pushed for new frontiers of an empire for exploration, settlement, and new markets. (Image: New York World)

Review the Chapter


Each primary source document listed below has its own introduction and review questions.

Albert Beveridge, "The March of the Flag" (1898)

Alfred Thayer Mahan, The Interest of America in Sea Power (1897)

Carl Schurz, Platform of the American Anti-Imperialist League (1899)

Congressional Speeches on Imperialism by Senator Albert Beveridge (Indiana) and Senator George Hoar (Massachusetts) (1900)

Essay by Mark Twain, "To the Person Sitting in Darkness," in North American Review (February 1901), pp. 461-473

Extract from the Magazine Article Titled, "Our Poorer Brother", by Theodore Roosevelt, 1897, in American Ideals and Other Essays, Social and Political (New York: Putnam, 1897), pp. 206-219.

Henry Cabot Lodge, "The Business World vs. the Politicians" (1895)

Mark Twain, "Incident in the Philippines" (1924)

Platform for the American Anti-Imperialist League, October 18, 1899, Papers of the American Anti-Imperialist League, Michigan Historical Collection, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

Platt Amendment (1901)

Poem by Ernest Howard Crosby, "The Real 'White Man's Burden'" (1899)

Poem by Rudyard Kipling, "The White Man's Burden" (1899)

Theodore Roosevelt, “The Strenuous Life” (1900)

William Graham Sumner, from "On Empire and the Philippines" (1898)

William McKinley, "Decision on the Philippines" (1900)


Click on a link below to view the image and read a detailed caption.

A Nauseating Job, But It Must Be Done

African American Troops in the Spanish- American War

Americans Guard Filipino Prisoners, 1899

Bill of Fare, 1901

Civilization Begins at Home, 1898

Emilio Aguinaldo

Explosion on the Maine

Filipino Guerillas

His Foresight, 1901

Iolani Palace, Hawaii

Maine Explosion. 1898

Our Top-Heavy Navy - Puck Cartoon

Our Victorious Fleet in Cuban Waters - Illustration

Queen Liliuokalani, 1887 - Portrait

Suspicions of Spain - New York Journal Headline

Teddy Roosevelt - Rough Rider

The Man Behind the Egg, 1903

U.S. Soldiers in the Philippines, 1899

Uncle Sam Teaching the World - Puck Cartoon


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Burial of the Maine Victims

Roosevelt's Rough Riders


These maps and their captions illustrate and describe important historical aspects of this period.

Interactive Map: Activities of the United States in the Caribbean, 1898–1930s

Interactive Map: World Colonial Empires, 1900

Atlas Map: American Involvement in Latin America, 1899-1939

Atlas Map: The American Empire, c. 1900

Atlas Map: The Spanish-American War, 1898-1899

Map Workbook Activity: American Empire

Map Workbook Activity: The United States In Latin America, 1900–1930

America Past and Present, Take Notes and Answer Analysis Questions

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