AP U.S. History
1994 DBQ Outline
Q: To what extent was late nineteenth-century and early twentieth-century United States expansionism a continuation of past United States expansionism and to what extent was it a departure?
Use the documents and your knowledge of United States history to 1914 to construct your answer
Main Idea: British, German, and Russian imperialists are all taking part in expansion into lands around the world, in continents such as Africa and Asia.
Main Idea: White influence will soon make an inevitable growth into all parts of the Earth, leading to a “survival of the fittest” between competing races.
Main Idea: America must respond to expansionism in the Pacific by other countries by strengthening its great sea power.
Main Idea: Imperialism and expansion go against traditional American values, betraying the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution
Main Idea: America has the God-given duty to expand and spread its influence around the world, and the nation should not give up territory obtained in the Pacific and Asia.
Main Idea: American expansionism isn’t a result of the hunger for land and resources, but a desire to bring aid to less fortunate peoples and bring stability and prosperity to their societies.
Main Idea: American diplomacy helped create the “open door” in China, allowing other nations to partake in the wealth of the country.
Main Idea: American annexation of new non-continental territory brings about more problems for Congress, such as the decision of whether or not to grant American citizenship to the territory’s native inhabitants
Thesis: American expansionism in the late 19th century and early 20th century was, to a large extent, a continuation of past United States expansionism, while also departing with previous expansionism in some aspects.
Manifest Destiny- Much like West, America had the “God-given” duty to expand and spread its influence (Document B, Document E)
Imperialism was more of a competition than Western expansion, America was competing with other nations in its race to secure more territory (Document A, Document B, Document C)
During the period of time between the late 19th century and early 20th century, America was going through significant changes. Following a revolution in Cuba against the Spanish, and the Americans intervening to start the Spanish-American War, the Americans received several territorial concessions from their defeated opponent. Thus, America started on the path to imperialism, going to gain several more territories in a short amount of time. Such an expansion in the late 19th century and early 20th century was, to a large extent, a continuation of past United States expansionism, while also departing with previous expansionism in some aspects.
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