ORE of American History is now a consistently updated digital resource. Visit About to learn more, meet the editorial board, or explore the latest articles.

Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM the OXFORD RESEARCH ENCYCLOPEDIA, AMERICAN HISTORY (americanhistory.oxfordre.com). (c) Oxford University Press USA, 2016. All Rights Reserved. Personal use only; commercial use is strictly prohibited. Please see applicable Privacy Policy and Legal Notice (for details see Privacy Policy).

date: 25 March 2017

U.S. Imperialism, 1898–1914

Summary and Keywords

U.S. imperialism took a variety of forms in the early 20th century, ranging from colonies in Puerto Rico and the Philippines to protectorates in Cuba, Panama, and other countries in Latin America, and open door policies such as that in China. Formal colonies would be ruled with U.S.-appointed colonial governors and supported by U.S. troops. Protectorates and open door policies promoted business expansion overseas through American oversight of foreign governments and, in the case of threats to economic and strategic interests, the deployment of U.S. marines. In all of these imperial forms, U.S. empire-building both reflected and shaped complex social, cultural, and political histories with ramifications for both foreign nations and America itself.

Keywords: United States, imperialism, colonialism, empire, expansion, Puerto Rico, the Philippines, Cuba, Panama Canal

Imperial Ambitions

At the turn of the 20th century, imperialism was well established as a mode of global governance in which a dominant nation exerted control over others through either territorial rule or various forms of economic, cultural, or military influence. Imperialist practices spread as the Industrial Revolution of the late 19th century brought new manufacturing capacity to Western Europe, the United States, and Japan. With factories producing greater quantities of steel, cigarettes, and cars, among other commodities, industrialized nations increasingly looked overseas for both raw materials and new markets.

In the U.S. context, a host of economic, geopolitical, cultural, and political motives caused what scholars call the “new imperialism” beginning in 1898. In the Depression of the 1890s, the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) argued the U.S. economy could only expand with new markets overseas and called on President William McKinley (1897–1901) to bring the American flag to every corner of the globe. Organized labor, under the leadership of Samuel Gompers and the American Federation of Labor, rejected NAM’s argument that the economy suffered from “overproduction,” arguing instead that America’s economic problems stemmed from what they called “underconsumption,” a problem that could be solved domestically if employers paid their workers higher wages. Ultimately, NAM’s assessment prevailed, in part because of support from the conservative press, leaders of business and finance, and members of the McKinley administration, including William Day, assistant secretary of state, who called on American business to tap the “vast undeveloped fields of Africa and the Far East.” Though labor lost this argument, they would initially oppose American colonialism abroad.1

Geopolitical concerns also drove imperialists to act. In the 1880s, the United States embarked on a significant expansion of the navy, with Congress voting to fund construction of ninety new ships. Alfred Thayer Mahan’s The Influence of Sea-Power (1890) urged American leaders to take control of the seas in order to make the United States a world power. As the United States expanded its navy, leaders in Washington sought coaling stations for ships traveling in the Caribbean and Pacific. By 1887, the United States had won control of Pearl Harbor in Hawaii and the harbor of Pago Pago in Samoa. Control of additional foreign territory would be needed to expand the navy further still.

Alongside economic and geopolitical motives, imperialism was also shaped by ideologies of race and gender. Albert Beveridge, the Republican senator from Indiana and a leading proponent of U.S. expansion, summoned his fellow Americans to a duty of conquest in saying, “God has not been preparing the English-speaking and Teutonic peoples for a thousand years for nothing but vain and idle self-contemplation and self-admiration. No!” According to Beveridge, “superior races” had a duty to rule over races incapable of self-government. “They are not a self-governing race,” he said of Filipinos. “They are Orientals, Malays, instructed by Spaniards in the latter’s worst estate.”2 In this way, imperialists drew on racial ideologies to justify U.S. expansion.

Paternalism was an important component of race and gender ideologies in this period. Supporters defended empire as the benevolent rule of wise authorities over unruly children. They even went so far as to claim that the main beneficiaries of foreign rule were the colonized themselves. In his landmark poem “The White Man’s Burden,” Rudyard Kipling, already famous in America as the “unofficial poet-laureate of the British Empire,” urged Americans to follow the British lead, wage “savage wars of peace,” and annex the Philippines for the sake of the Filipinos. Kipling’s poem, which appealed to Americans looking to dignify American imperialism and was published in newspapers throughout the United States, denigrated Filipinos as “sullen peoples, Half-devil and half-child.” With such attitudes, Western imperialists infantilized foreign peoples of color.3

At the same time, as industrialization and changing relations between the sexes generated new challenges to masculine authority, war and expansion were put forward as a means of restoring lost manhood. Theodore Roosevelt, for example, championed the rigors of martial combat as a means of regenerating manly virtues in an industrial society gone “soft” from material comforts. Roosevelt became the most famous member of the Rough Riders, an all-volunteer brigade of American soldiers that fought against the Spanish in Cuba during the War of 1898. Seeking to turn military heroics to political advantage, he won media attention by publishing blow-by-blow accounts of his experiences, and the press obligingly turned the future president into “The Hero of San Juan Hill.”

Jingoists like Roosevelt claimed war could strengthen American democracy by building manly character. With the U.S. western frontier officially closed to new settlement, jingoists highlighted how combat overseas provided a new way to cultivate masculine strength and independence. Women suffrage activists sometimes supported imperialism out of their own strategic interests in raising the question of women’s voting rights in new territories and at the federal level. At the same time, other women activists argued for diplomacy and became leading voices in the cause of arbitration. Frances Willard, the leader of the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union—the largest women’s association in the United States in this period—argued that men must be taught some of the same values as women, that “true glory consists not in physical feats of warfare, but in mental and moral ability.” Though American arbitrationists successfully used diplomacy to avoid war with Britain in the 1897 border dispute known as the Venezuela Crisis, they lost out to the jingoists one year later in the War of 1898.4

Forging Empire

With the resurgence of the Cuban movement for independence from Spain in the late 1890s, President McKinley ordered the U.S. warship Maine to Havana Harbor in January 1898 in order to protect American businesses interests on the island. When an explosion (initially assumed to be the result of a Spanish bomb but later found to be caused by an onboard coal bin fire) sank the Maine and killed 266 Americans, a sensational press whipped up nationalist sentiment and called for war with Spain. McKinley made careful preparations for war by preparing the army and navy and ordering Admiral George Dewey to prepare to attack the Philippines. After a three-month war lasting from the beginning of fighting on April 29 to the signed armistice on August 12, the Treaty of Paris was signed in December 1898.

Energetic debates between imperialists (largely Republican) and anti-imperialists (largely Democrat) raged as Congress prepared to vote on ratifying the Treaty of Paris in early 1899. Under the terms of the treaty, the United States would acquire Puerto Rico and the Philippines in exchange for a $20 million dollar payment. Unlike Hawaii, which Republicans annexed as a war measure in July 1898, these new territories would not be considered future states and their residents would not be granted full citizenship rights. Anti-imperialists opposed the treaty for a variety of reasons, with some arguing for the right of self-determination among foreign people. Others, such as William Graham Sumner, a professor of sociology at Yale who asserted that the United States would never succeed in uplifting “uncivilized and half-civilized peoples,” justified their opposition on racial grounds. Henry Cabot Lodge, the leading imperialist in the U.S. Senate in the 1890s, managed to mobilize just enough support for ratification, with a two-thirds majority in favor of the Treaty of Paris, in February 1899.5

Initial reactions among Filipinos and Puerto Ricans varied dramatically. Filipino nationalists—engaged, like the Cubans, in their own independence struggle against Spain—were angered by the treaty. Under the leadership of Emilio Aguinaldo, Filipino nationalists began fighting U.S. troops the same month the treaty was ratified. The ensuing guerrilla war lasted four years and claimed the lives of 4,165 Americans and 400,000 Filipinos.6 Puerto Ricans, on the other hand, initially welcomed American forces. Having just acquired greater autonomy and expanded male suffrage under Spanish rule, liberal elites assumed their hard-won rights would be honored under U.S. rule. Working-class Puerto Ricans hoped for a new era of union organizing and labor protections, while coffee growers and other landowners anticipated expanded economic opportunities should free trade with the United States become a reality.7 When the Foraker Act of 1900 established civilian rule on the island and denied Puerto Rico a path to statehood, many Puerto Rican elites turned against American colonizers.

American officials undertook a number of imperial projects in Puerto Rico and the Philippines, including public health and education initiatives. In 1899, the U.S. military government ordered a compulsory vaccination campaign in Puerto Rico. Though the campaign was carried out under martial law, colonial officials touted the campaign as a “lesson to the world.” Similarly, in the Philippines, U.S. officials performed eighteen million small pox vaccinations in the period from 1898 to 1915.8 Notably, the United States launched an extensive public health campaign against yellow fever in Cuba, even though Cuba was not a formal colony of the United States and most Cubans had already developed immunity to the disease in childhood. As historian Mariola Espinosa has written, “Public health was an integral part of the ‘civilizing mission’ that served as the rationalization for most imperialist ventures.”9

The United States also developed schools in the Philippines and Puerto Rico with the aim of not only teaching English, but also Americanizing colonial subjects. In 1909, the U.S. Bureau of Education in the Philippines began offering “industrial education” to prepare Filipinos for work in manufacturing. Though colonial officials supported the program with great enthusiasm as a way to uplift “backward races,” it proved largely a failure.10 In Puerto Rico, schooling was also made a colonial priority, though, as in the Philippines, it rarely took the form envisioned by colonial officials. Samuel McCune Lindsay, the commissioner of education of Puerto Rico, stated in 1902, “Colonization carried forward by the armies of war is vastly more costly than that carried forward by the armies of peace, whose outpost and garrisons are the public schools of the advancing nation.”11 Yet, as recent scholarship has shown, teachers in the U.S. colonial schools of Puerto Rico remade the curriculum to suit local interests.12

America’s new empire became the subject of a series of Supreme Court cases in the early 1900s known collectively as the Insular Cases. In these cases, the Supreme Court wrestled with some of the weightiest legal questions of the early 20th century. Downes v. Bidwell (1901), the most important of the early Insular Cases, took up the question of whether or not customs could be charged on goods shipped between the mainland United States and Puerto Rico. In deciding that customs could be charged, the court ruled that Puerto Rico, and by extension the Philippines, stood outside the protections of the U.S. constitution. Puerto Rico and the Philippines were defined as “unincorporated” territories and residents were defined as citizens of those territories, not of the United States. Dissenting judges wrote eloquently of America’s new imperialism and the threat it posed to the republic.13

Informal Imperialism

Alongside American efforts to manage formal colonies in Puerto Rico and the Philippines, the United States also engaged in what historians call “informal” imperialism, or control over foreign territory that stopped short of establishing a complete colonial government. Whereas formal imperialism resulted in colonies, informal imperialism yielded what contemporaries termed “protectorates.”

In the Dominican Republic, for instance, President Theodore Roosevelt (1901–1909) took control of the Dominican customs house in 1904. By terms of a 1907 treaty, the United States deposited Dominican customs revenue in a U.S. bank and paid 55 percent to international creditors and the balance to the Dominican government.14 President William Howard Taft (1909–1913) would send in U.S. marines in 1912 to restore order. President Woodrow Wilson (1913–1921) ordered troops to the island again in 1916, resulting in the U.S. Navy occupying the island until 1924.15 Such patterns of intervention would repeat in other parts of Latin America, where the United States established the protectorates of Panama (Panama was made a U.S. protectorate from 1903 to 1939, and the Panama Canal Zone was leased from Panama in 1903), Haiti (occupied by U.S. troops from 1915 to 1934), and Nicaragua (occupied by U.S. troops from 1909 to 1910, 1912 to 1925, and 1926 to 1933).16 In using military force to establish preeminence in the region, these interventions bolstered the American claim that Latin America was a U.S. sphere of influence.

In Cuba, where the War of 1898 began, the United States began a military occupation of the island in 1898. As a result of the Teller Amendment, which Congress passed before the War of 1898 to prohibit the United States from annexing Cuba, President McKinley sought to preserve American influence there through other means. The United States occupied the island from 1898 to 1902, and General Leonard Wood was appointed military governor in 1899. The Platt Amendment of 1901 severely compromised Cuban sovereignty by granting Americans the right to intervene in island affairs whenever American-owned property was threatened. It also curtailed the right to negotiate treaties with other nations and required the lease of land at Guantanamo Bay for a U.S. naval base. Under considerable pressure from General Wood and the U.S. occupying forces, Cubans made the Platt Amendment part of their constitution in 1901. When it became clear that the first president of the Republic of Cuba, Tomás Estrada Palma, was merely a puppet of Washington, Cuban nationalists protested and President Theodore Roosevelt sent in the navy in 1906. That same year, William Howard Taft, then U.S. secretary of war, would briefly preside as provisional governor. His tenure was followed by a military occupation, administered by the U.S. Army, lasting more than two years. As was typical U.S. practice in protectorates, U.S. troops landed in Cuba multiple times in the early 20th century, including in World War I to protect sugar interests. Cuba remained a protectorate from 1898 to 1934, and experienced military occupation five different times, from 1898 to 1902, 1906 to 1909, 1912, 1917, and 1922.

American influence also took the form of enclaves in Cuba when thousands of Americans moved to the island to build American communities on the Isles of Pines, a portion of Cuba officially excluded from Cuban control under the terms of the Platt Amendment. Still others acquired fruit and vegetable farms in all six of the Cuban provinces and established American towns complete with churches, shops, and houses built to look like home.17 Thus, American intervention held not only political significance but also social meaning as American citizens and the culture they brought with them became embedded within Cuban society.

Despite purported differences, the administrations of Roosevelt, Taft, and Wilson were marked by a number of continuities in their imperial policy in Latin America. Shortly after taking office, President Theodore Roosevelt adopted the advice of his friend Brooks Adams to “speak softly and carry a big stick.”18 In 1904, in the context of a six-year-old revolution in the Dominican Republic, Roosevelt issued a new standard for U.S. involvement overseas. In what became known as the “Roosevelt Corollary,” Roosevelt stated, “The adherence of the United States to the Monroe Doctrine may force the United States, however reluctantly, in flagrant cases of such wrong doing or impotence, to the exercise of an international police power.”19 President Taft signaled something of a departure from Roosevelt’s foreign policy with his “Dollar Diplomacy,” designed to substitute “dollars for bullets” in international affairs. Yet as historian Walter LaFeber has argued, Dollar Diplomacy was a misnomer since the practice so often upended local economies and led to disorder, thereby precipitating the use of U.S. military force.20 In violating the sovereignty of other nations, Taft, like Roosevelt before him, practiced an imperialist foreign policy. President Wilson, though a Democrat, would continue to engage the United States in various forms of imperial power, including the occupations of the Dominican Republic and Haiti. In Mexico, Wilson sent in troops in 1914 and 1916 in the context of the Mexican Revolution that began in 1910. With some 40 percent of Mexican land owned by American capitalists, the revolution often targeted overweening U.S. influence. Mexican leaders such as Venustiano Carranza feared Mexico would be made into a U.S. protectorate.21

U.S. imperialism in China took a different form than that in Latin America. Through investments overseas in railroads, shipping, and other sectors, U.S. investors hoped to develop new markets. Yet unlike in Latin America, where the U.S. government backed private investors with the frequent use of the U.S. Navy, the U.S. exerted military force in China only occasionally (most notably in suppressing the Boxer Uprising of 1900). America’s Open Door policy of 1899 represented an early effort to engage in trade with countries far removed from the sphere of U.S. military dominance in Latin America. John Hay, secretary of state under McKinley, issued an “Open Door” note in 1899 to the European imperial powers as well as Japan, requesting equal trade opportunity. A second note would follow in 1900. Though Japan and the European powers did not lend their full support to the measure, Hay and the McKinley administration touted the Open Door note as if it were a universally accepted policy. Supporters of the Open Door, such as Alfred Thayer Mahan, professor at the Naval War College, claimed it was as essential as the Panama Canal since commerce was the “energizer of material civilization.”22

Challenging U.S. Imperialism

The study of U.S. imperialism requires understanding not only the reach and power of American imperial ambitions but also its limits. Indeed, a variety of subjects in American colonies and residents of U.S. protectorates challenged American imperial practices. In America’s formal colonies, protest took the form of the brutal guerilla war in the Philippines and growing anti-American sentiment in Puerto Rico. Though Filipino nationalists sent five separate diplomatic missions to Washington after the war with the aim of attaining independence, not one was successful.23 In Puerto Rico, with mounting frustration over the lack of statehood status, the House of Delegates in San Juan organized a protest of U.S. colonial rule in 1909 and set in motion a political movement for independence.24

Colonial subjects seeking entrance to the U.S. mainland won the right of entry through legal cases in U.S. courts. Isabella Gonzalez, a widowed twenty-year-old, traveled from Puerto Rico to New York hoping to gain entry and be reunited with her brother. When immigration officials detained her and alleged she was “likely to become a public charge,” a common charge brought against women from foreign countries in this period, she brought her case to court, asserting her right as a resident of a U.S. colony to enter the mainland. In Gonzalez v. Williams (1904), the Supreme Court sided with Gonzalez and defined Puerto Ricans as “U.S. Nationals,” a new legal category that allowed Puerto Ricans and Filipinos to enter the U.S. mainland free of immigration restrictions.25

Like colonial subjects, residents in a variety of protectorates also contested America’s empire. In the Panama Canal Zone, to take one example, white and non-white workers mounted significant protests. Led by chief engineer George Washington Goethals, American officials in the Panama Canal Zone aimed to create a highly efficient and orderly construction project through a benevolent kind of despotism.26 Canal officials used police spies, vagrancy laws, and race- and skill-based segregation laws to impede labor organizing. Under the terms of the U.S. military occupation of the Canal Zone, U.S. officials could even deport workers, including white Americans citizens, who threatened to strike. Laboring under these constraints, skilled white Americans working the steam shovels and cranes in the Canal Zone turned to their unions in the mainland United States to assert their workplace demands in Washington.27

As white American workers pressed for better pay and benefits, canal officials began recruiting West Indians and other alien workers. Unlike white American canal workers, West Indians and other noncitizens lacked the power of U.S. domestic unions to press their cause. Yet, they still managed to attain a measure of agency in the Canal Zone by voting with their feet. Quitting, changing jobs, and refusing to show up for work proved effective strategies for these workers to win more tolerable working conditions. By refusing to work every day, for example, West Indians forced foremen to maintain a much larger labor pool than was needed on any given day, thereby affording laborers an occasional respite from the grueling pace of construction work.28

Progressive reformers took great interest in the canal, seeing it as a grand experiment in state intervention. Reformers such as Gertrude Beeks and Arthur Bullard hailed the collectivist approach to government that seemed to benefit white American workers. Yet, these same reformers paid little attention to the West Indian laborers also working in the zone, or to the Panamanians whose sovereignty had been so clearly compromised. As historian Julie Greene writes, “In the years to come, such neglect of the wider world would shape the character of the American empire.”29

Discussion of the Literature

In the study of U.S. imperialism, much has changed since the days when historian William Appleman Williams was a target of surveillance by the House Un-American Activities Committee.30 Williams’s two most influential works, The Tragedy of American Diplomacy (1959) and The Contours of American History (1961), challenged the idea long accepted by scholars in the early Cold War period that the imperialism of the 1890s was merely an aberration caused by a short-lived crisis of American character. He argued instead that imperialism was part of a much longer history stretching into the 20th century in which the United States exerted various forms of control in Latin America and other parts of the world that compromised the sovereignty of foreign peoples and benefited the U.S. economy.

By the late 1970s and early 1980s, after the Vietnam War spurred a broad critique of U.S. foreign policy, the term imperialism began to be accepted by scholars who had long preferred the more anodyne term expansion.31 While Williams and others in the “New Left” school of American diplomatic history favored economic aspects of imperialism, others began exploring cultural histories of empire.32 Historian Emily Rosenberg led the way in exploring cultural questions alongside economic ones in her book Spreading the American Dream (1982). Influential new collections such as Cultures of United States Imperialism (1993) and Close Encounters of Empire (1998) explored such subjects as anti-imperialist novels published in the early 20th century and the construction of racial categories in the U.S. census of the Philippines. From the late 1990s and into the current day, new scholarship has drawn on the work of both the New Left and the cultural turn to further expand the study of imperialism to include the study of gender, race, and class. Kristin Hoganson’s Fighting for American Manhood (2000) explored gender politics in the run up to the War of 1898. Paul Kramer’s The Blood of Government (2006) examined changing ideas of race in the U.S. war in the Philippines. Julie Greene’s The Canal Builders (2009) provided a working-class history of U.S. empire in Panama. New works track the circulation of ideas, people, capital, and commodities in ways that expand the study of imperialism further still.33

Primary Sources

Records of U.S. imperialism are scattered across numerous archives in the United States and abroad. In the U.S. National Archives (NARA), RG 350 Bureau of Insular Affairs provides a wealth of documents and serves as a starting point for further research in other collections. NARA also holds the papers of relevant Senate and House committees on insular affairs as well as the records of U.S. military occupations abroad. The Library of Congress holds the personal papers of many U.S. colonial officials, including, for instance, the George Washington Goethals Papers. Overseas archives are critically important to the study of imperialism. These include but are not limited to: Archivo General de Puerto Rico, San Juan, Puerto Rico; Rizal Library, Ateneo de Manila University, Quezon City, Philippines; and Archivos de Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores, Panama City, Panama. Digital collections are beginning to make documents from this period more accessible. See especially, “The United States and Its Territories, 1870–1925: The Age of Imperialism.”

Further Reading

Azuma, Eiichiro. Between Two Empires: Race, History, and Transnationalism in Japanese America. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005.Find this resource:

Bender, Daniel E. and Jana K. Lipman. Making the Empire Work: Labor and United States Imperialism. New York: New York University Press, 2015.Find this resource:

Colby, Jason M. The Business of Empire: United Fruit, Race, and U.S. Expansion in Central America. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2011.Find this resource:

Findlay, Eileen. Imposing Decency: The Politics of Sexuality and Race in Puerto Rico, 1870–1920. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2000.Find this resource:

Gerstle, Gary. American Crucible: Race and Nation in the Twentieth Century. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2002.Find this resource:

Gobat, Michel. Confronting the American Dream: Nicaragua under U.S. Imperial Rule Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2005.Find this resource:

Grandin, Greg. Empire’s Workshop: Latin America, The United States, and the Rise of the New Imperialism. New York: Metropolitan, 2006.Find this resource:

Grandin, Greg. Fordlandia: The Rise and Fall of Henry Ford’s Forgotten Jungle City. New York: Metropolitan, 2009.Find this resource:

Greene, Julie. The Canal Builders: Making America’s Empire at the Panama Canal. New York: Penguin, 2009.Find this resource:

Hoganson, Kristin L. Fighting for American Manhood: How Gender Politics Provoked the Spanish-American and Philippine-American Wars. New Haven, CT: Yale, 2000.Find this resource:

Jacobson, Matthew Frye. Barbarian Virtues: The United States Encounters Foreign People At Home and Abroad, 1876–1917. New York: Hill and Wang, 2001.Find this resource:

Joseph, Gilbert M., Catherine C. LeGrand, and Ricardo D. Salvatore, eds. Close Encounters of Empire: Writing the Cultural History of U.S.-Latin American Relations. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1998.Find this resource:

Kaplan, Amy and Donald E. Pease, eds. Cultures of United States Empire. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1993.Find this resource:

Kramer, Paul A. The Blood of Government: Race, Empire, the United States and the Philippines. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2006.Find this resource:

LaFeber, Walter. The New Cambridge History of American Foreign Relations: The American Search for Opportunity, 1865–1913. Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press, 2013.Find this resource:

Lipman, Jana K. Guantanamo: A Working-Class History between Empire and Revolution. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2008.Find this resource:

Morgan, James G. Into New Territory: American Historians and the Concept of U.S. Imperialism. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 2014.Find this resource:

McCoy, Alfred W. and Francisco A. Scarano, eds. Colonial Crucible: Empire in the Making of the Modern American State. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 2009.Find this resource:

Neuman, Gerald L. and Tomiko Brown-Nagin, eds. Reconsidering the Insular Cases: The Past and Future of American Empire. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2015.Find this resource:

Nichols, Christopher McKnight. Promise and Peril: America at the Dawn of a Global Age. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2011.Find this resource:

Paterson, Thomas G. et al., eds. American Foreign Relations: A History. Boston: Wadsworth, 2010.Find this resource:

Pérez Jr., Louis A. On Becoming Cuban: Identity, Nationality, and Culture. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1999.Find this resource:

Renda, Mary. Taking Haiti: Military Occupation and the Culture of U.S. Imperialism, 1915–1940. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2001.Find this resource:

Rosenberg, Emily. Spreading the American Dream. New York: Hill and Wang, 1982.Find this resource:

Schulzinger, Robert D., ed. A Companion to American Foreign Relations. Malden, MA: Blackwell, 2003.Find this resource:

Sneider, Allison L. Suffragists in an Imperial Age: U.S. Expansion and the Woman Question, 1870–1929. New York: Oxford University Press, 2008.Find this resource:

Thompson, Lanny. Imperial Archipelago: Representation and Rule in the Insular Territories under U.S. Dominion after 1898. Honolulu: Hawaii University Press, 2010.Find this resource:

Tyrrell, Ian. Reforming the World: The Creation of America’s Moral Empire. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2010.Find this resource:

Tyrrell, Ian and Jay Sexton, eds. Empire’s Twin: U.S. Anti-Imperialism from the Founding Era to the Age of Terrorism. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2015.Find this resource:

Williams, William Appleman. The Tragedy of American Diplomacy. New York: World Publishing, 1959.Find this resource:

Williams, William Appleman. The Contours of American History. Chicago: Quadrangle, 1961.Find this resource:

Zimmerman, Andrew. Alabama in Africa: Booker T. Washington, The German Empire, and the Globalization of the New South. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2010.Find this resource:


(1.) Matthew Frye Jacobson, Barbarian Virtues: The United States Encounters Foreign People At Home and Abroad, 1876–1917 (New York: Hill and Wang, 2001).

(2.) Gary Gerstle, American Crucible: Race and Nation in the Twentieth Century (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2002), 14–23.

(3.) Mary Renda, Taking Haiti: Military Occupation and the Culture of U.S. Imperialism, 1915–1940 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2001).

(4.) Kristin L. Hoganson, Fighting for American Manhood: How Gender Politics Provoked the Spanish-American and Philippine-American Wars (New Haven, CT: Yale, 2000)

(5.) Walter LaFeber, The New Cambridge History of American Foreign Relations: The American Search for Opportunity, 1865–1913 (Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press, 2013), 137–139.

(6.) Julian Go, “Anti-imperialism in the U.S. territories after 1898,” in Empire’s Twin: U.S. Anti-Imperialism from the Founding Era to the Age of Terrorism, eds. Ian Tyrrell and Jay Sexton (Ithaca, NY: Cornell, 2015), 88.

(7.) Eileen J. Findlay, “Love in the Tropics: Marriage, Divorce, and the Construction of Benevolent Colonialism in Puerto Rico,” in Close Encounters of Empire: Writing the Cultural History of U.S.-Latin American Relations, eds. Gilbert M. Joseph, et al. (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1998), 139.

(8.) Michael Willrich, Pox: An American History (New York: Penguin, 2011).

(9.) Mariola Espinosa, “A Fever for Empire: U.S. Disease Eradication in Cuba as Colonial Public Health,” in Colonial Crucible: Empire in the Making of the Modern American State, eds. Alfred McCoy and Francisco A. Scarano (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 2009), 291.

(10.) Glenn Anthony May, “The Business of Education in the Colonial Philippines, 1909–30,” in Colonial Crucible, 152.

(11.) Quoted in Pablo Navarro-Rivera, “The Imperial Enterprise and Educational Policies in Colonial Puerto Rico,” in Colonial Crucible, 164.

(12.) Solsirée Del Moral, “Negotiating Colonialism: ‘Race,’ Class, Education in Early-Twentieth-Century Puerto Rico,” in Colonial Crucible.

(13.) Gerald L. Neuman and Tomiko Brown-Nagin, eds., Reconsidering the Insular Cases: The Past and Future of American Empire (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2015).

(14.) Jesse Hoffnung-Garskof, A Tale of Two Cities: Santo Domingo and New York after 1950 (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2008), 21.

(15.) Frank Ninkovich, “The United States and Imperialism” in A Companion to American Foreign Relations, ed. Robert D. Schulzinger (Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishing, 2003), 87.

(16.) Thomas G. Paterson, et al., eds., American Foreign Relations: A History (Boston: Wadsworth, 2010), 231–233.

(17.) Louis A. Pérez, Jr., On Becoming Cuban: Identity, Nationality and Culture (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1999).

(18.) LaFeber, New Cambridge History, 188.

(19.) Paterson, American Foreign Relations, 216–237.

(20.) LaFeber, New Cambridge History, 216.

(21.) Paterson, American Foreign Relations, 237.

(22.) Paterson, American Foreign Relations, 211, 225.

(23.) Go, “Anti-imperialism,” 90.

(24.) Go, “Anti-imperialism,” 85–86.

(25.) Robert McGreevey, “Empire and Migration: Coastwise Shipping, National Status, and the Colonial Legal Origins of Puerto Rican Migration to the United States,” Journal of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era 11.4 (October 2012): 553–573.

(26.) Julie Greene, The Canal Builders: Making America’s Empire at the Panama Canal (New York: Penguin, 2009), 74.

(27.) Greene, Canal Builders, 88.

(28.) Greene, Canal Builders, 93, 146.

(29.) Greene, Canal Builders, 225.

(30.) James G. Morgan, Into New Territory: American Historians and the Concept of U.S. Imperialism (Madison: University of Wisconsin, 2014), 27.

(31.) Emily Rosenberg, “The ‘Empire’ Strikes Back,” Reviews in American History 16.4 (December 1988): 585–586.

(32.) Morgan, Into New Territory, 213.

(33.) For a stimulating and comprehensive review of emerging scholarship on U.S. imperialism, see Paul A. Kramer, “Power and Connection: Imperial Histories of the United States in the World,” American Historical Review 116.5 (December 2011): 1348–1391.