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United States Becomes a World Power
At the turn of
the 20th century, the United States emerged as a world power. The
Spanish American War and the acquisition of the Philippines represented both
an extension of earlier expansionist impulses and a sharp departure from assumptions
that had guided American foreign policy in the past. For the first time, the
United States made a major strategic commitment in the Far East, acquired territory
never intended for statehood, and committed itself to police actions and intervention
in the Caribbean and Central America.
Not since the Mexican
War had the United States expanded so rapidly. In 1898 and 1899, the United
States annexed Hawaii and acquired the Philippines, Puerto Rico, parts of the
Samoan islands, and other Pacific islands. Expansion raised the fateful
question of whether the newly annexed peoples would receive the rights of American
McKinley, "The Alternatives in Cuba," 1897
Handouts and fact sheets:
and the Spanish American War
Birth of the American Empire as Seen Through Political Cartoons
(1896-1905) (In PDF format)
your knowledge by taking our Spanish-American War quiz
G. Paterson, ed., Major Problems in American and Foreign Policy
Documents and essays chronicle the history and analyze the major controversies
in American foreign affairs.
Spanish American War in Motion Pictures
This Library of Congress website contains 68 motion pictures produced
between 1898 and 1901 of the Spanish-American War and the subsequent
Philippine Revolution. The films show troops, ships, notable figures,
and parades, as well as reenactments of battles and other war-time events.
Brief essays provide historical context.
World of 1898: The Spanish American War
Library of Congress site includes valuable information on the history of Puerto
Rico and the Philippines.
A War in Perspective:
Website examines the place of the Spanish American war in public memory.