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American Imperialism


Teach students about America’s Age of Imperialism, a period between the mid-19th and 20th centuries when the U.S. expanded its political and economic influence into new territories throughout the world. This informative array of primary source documents — which ranges from pivotal presidential policy statements to political cartoons, photographs and anti-imperialist literature — provides ample material to provoke lively classroom discussions about U.S. foreign policy, both past and present. Historian: Christine Brendel Scriabine, broadsheets written by Fred Stopsky with Christine Brendel Scriabine. The contents of this Jackdaw feature:


  • Origins of American Imperialism
  • The Road to Expansion
  • The Policy of Intervention
  • The United States and Asia

Timeline: 1823-1934

Historical Documents

  • Excerpts from President Monroe’s message to Congress (Monroe Doctrine), 1823.
  • President Fillmore’s message to emperor of Japan, 1852, with illustrated Japanese translation.
  • Graphic views of U.S.-Caribbean relations, 1851-1896.
  • Queen Liliuokalani letter regarding crown lands of Hawaii, 1898.
  • Lou Henry Hoover letter describing Boxer Rebellion, 1900.
  • Spanish-American War documents and photographs, 1898.
  • Excerpt from Senator Beveridge speech on Philippines, 1900.
  • Excerpt from Anti-Imperialist League pamphlet, 1899.
  • Proclamation, U.S. government to the inhabitants of Guam, 1900.
  • Pages of treaty with Cuba and text of Platt Amendment, 1903.
  • Excerpts from President Roosevelt’s annual message to Congress (Roosevelt Corollary), 1904.
  • Political cartoons concerning U.S.-Mexican relations, 1913-1916.
  • Map and photographs relating to U.S. military intervention in Nicaragua, 1926-1929.
  • Letter to president of Nicaragua referencing FDR’s Good Neighbor Policy, 1933.

Reproducible Student Activities

Price: $69.50



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