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America as a World Power, 1890-1914
Guide: Imperialism

These resources demonstrate how the United States became an imperial power. Use these resources to help students understand the events and ideas that led to U.S. imperialism. Use the Export to My Lists button above to turn this into a research list for your students.

Time Period Key Understandings

  • Labor unions developed as social and political movements
  • Rural and urban areas have distinct needs that shape political and economic concerns
  • Racial and ethnic groups have fought to obtain civil rights and liberties
  • Government accountability relies on a politically engaged populace
  • Society's idea of morality changes over time
  • A balance between public safety and economic growth is desirable
  • A nation's diplomatic powers rest in its ability to have a foreign presence
  • There are multiple factors that a nation must consider when deciding to go to war
  • The U.S. has gone through periods where it feels it is in its best interest to remain detached from certain global events
  • Negotiating a peace involves compromises and consensus and can extend well beyond the end of hostilities

Key Questions

  • Analyze the United States' motivations for expansion in the late 19th century. What do you think was the primary motivation?
  • What are some arguments for and against imperialism?
  • Would you consider yourself to be an imperialist? Why or why not?


  1. Overview: Imperialism
  2. Topic Center Overview: America as a World Power, 1890–1914
  3. Visuals: Imperialism (Visual)
  4. Outline: Outline
  5. Lesson: Introduction
  6. Glossary Terms: Treaty of Kanagawa
  7. Facts & Figures: Territories and Date Acquired
  8. Reference Articles: Boxer Rebellion
  9. Reference Articles: creation of the U.S. empire
  10. Reference Articles: Hawaii annexation
  11. Reference Articles: United Fruit Company
  12. Political Cartoons, Posters & Document Images: Political cartoon: "Declined with thanks"
  13. Political, Government & Court Documents: American Anti-Imperialist League Platform (1899)
  14. Political, Government & Court Documents: Monroe Doctrine (1823)
  15. Newspapers & Magazines: Beveridge, Albert J.: "The March of the Flag" article (1898)

MLA Citation

"Imperialism." History Hub, ABC-CLIO, 2019, historyhub.abc-clio.com/Search/Display/2153042. Accessed 25 Aug. 2019.

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Entry ID: 2153042

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