US as a World power


America claims an empire

Imperialism and America

1867 - 1898

1867- US acquisition of Alaska: William Seward (Sec. of States) arranged for the US to buy Alaska for $7.2 million from the Russians. The acquisition of Alaska gave the US a land rich in timber, minerals and oil.

1867-US acquisition of the Midway Islands: US took over the Midway Islands which lies 1300 miles north of Hawaii and soon led to the acquisition of Hawaii.

US Acquisition of HawaII: Hawaiian Islands had helped the US especially economically. Sugar planters in Hawaii sold most of their crops to the US.

Key people:

Admiral Alfred Mahan: (US Navy) who wanted the government to build American Naval power so they'll be able to compete with other powerful nations.

President William Mckinley: 25th president of the US. Also favored annexation of Hawaii.

Sanford B. Dole: head of the marines that overthrew the queen and set up a government which ended monarchy.

Spanish American War

1896 - 1898

Yellow Journalism: style of writing that exaggerates the news to lure readers.

1898- USS Maine explosion: USS Maine was sent to Cuba to bring Americans in danger and to protect American property. But sadly the ship blew up in the harbor of Havana and killed 260+ men.

Spanish American War: The public favored war and Pres. Mckinley asked congress authority to use force against spain and on April 20th, US declared war.

War in the Philippines: First battle of the war took place in the Philippine Islands. Americans teamed up with Filipino rebels led by Emilio Aguinaldo. In august, Spanish in manila surrendered to the US.

War in the Carribean: William T. Sampson formed a blockade and attacked Cuba to the harbor of Santiago de Cuba.

Key Person:

William Hearst: Newspaper tycoon who used the power of press to lure people for war.

Joseph Pulitzer: Also a newspaper tycoon who used power of press to cry for war.

Pres. William Mckinley: tried to prevent war and tried to persuade the Spanish government to adopt a conciliatory policy with the Cuban insurrectionist

George Dewey: gave the command to open fire on the Spanish fleet at Manila.

William T. Sampson: US Navy known for his victory in the Battle of Santiago de Cuba.

Key policies:

Treaty of Paris: Agreement that led to Spain surrendering control of Cuba. it marked the end of the Spanish Empire in America and the Pacific Ocean.

Acquiring new lands


Governing Puerto Rico: US didn't give Puerto Ricans any promises regarding independence after the war. US forces led by Gen. Nelson A. Miles took over the island. Then the Foraker Act came which returned to a Civil Govt.

1898-Hostilities with Cuba: Cuba wanted independence from the US. They made a constitution but the US did not accept it. They made them add the Platt Amendment, once the US added the Platt, the US forces left Cuba.

1899- Philippine American war: Filipinos led by Emilio Aguinaldo (leader of the rebel in the Philippines) began fighting against the US. The US were doing the things Spain did before. US forced Filipinos to live on a designated place. The place were very dirty, full of starvation and diseases that killed so many citizens.

1900- Boxer Rebellion: attempted to drive all foreigners from China. They were opposing Christianity and Foreign Imperialism. Thousands of Chinese people died during this time.

Key People:
Jose Marti: National hero of Cuba. He is a political activist, poet, teacher and journalist.

Secretary of State John Hay: issued a series of policy statements known as the "open door notes" to protect american interests.

Key Policy
Open Door notes: notes made for the leaders of imperialist nations proposing that these nations will share their trading rights with the US.

America as a world power


1903- US acquisition of Panama Canal: US helped Panama get its independence from Colombia. Then the US and Panama decided to make a treaty that says the US would pay Panama an annual rent for the land to build the canal.

1903- US role in Panama's rebellion from Colombia:The US helped Panama organized a rebellion to fight against Colombia when negotiations for the canal broke down. This soon led to the independence of Panama.

1914- US intervention in the Mexican revolution: US invaded Veracruz. The main goal of this invasion was to remove Huerta's from power and change the way of the government.

Key Policy:

1904- Roosevelt's Corollary to the Monroe Doctrine: this was added to the Monroe Doctrine and this basically says the US will use force to protect its economic interest in Latin America.

1905- Dollar Diplomacy: using the US government to guarantee loans made to foreign countries by American businesspeople. This was also used to justify keeping European powers out of the Caribbean.

The First World war

World war I begins


1907- Alliance system: Group of nations and/or people that came together to attack an enemy nation. Triple Entente was France, Russia and Britain. Then the Triple alliance followed which had Germany, Austria- Hungary and Turkey.

Balkans and Ethnic rivalries: In the Balkan peninsula there were ethnic rivalries and Europe leading powers fought over interest.

1920- War and the booming US economy: Businesses produced more because resources were badly needed and almost every product were on higher demand due to the sending home of the soldiers after war.

1917- A world safe for Democracy:a new world order that serves as a declaration that US will enter the WWI to make the world safe for democracy.

Key Person:

President Wilson and the "peace effort": Pres WIlson's peace effort made US a neutral country during the war and he got a Nobel peace prize for his efforts.

Key Legislations:

Pres. Wilson's "peace without victory" speech: President Wilson said that the US entered to help their allies to win cause without a winner there will be no real lasting peace. Problems will come again.

American power tips the balance

1917 - 1918

Military Industrial production:

Convoy system: William S. Sims convinced the British to try this system where a heavy guard of destroyers escorted merchants ships back and forth across the Atlantic in groups. Basically groups of merchant vessels sailing together with or without naval escorts.for mutual security and protection.

Nov. 13, 1918: The war ended. Austria Hungary surrendered to the allies. Germany didn't have enough manpower and supplies so they agreed to cease-fire and signed the Armistice that officially ended the war.

May 1917- Selective service act of 1917: this act required men to register with the government to be randomly selected for military service.

World war looms

Dictators threaten World Peace


1919- Hitler and Nazism in Germany: Adolf Hitler was a forceful leader. He formed Nazism which was like the German version of Fascism. He wanted militaristic expansionism. He wanted to make life better by giving the government the power.

1921- Mussolini and Fascism in Italy: Benito Mussolini was establishing a totalitarian regime in Italy. Mussolini formed the Fascist Party. Fascism place the interests of the state above those of individuals.

1922- Stalin transforms Russia: A communist state was formed and called the Soviet Union. Stalin took over the country, Stalin abolished privately owned farms because he wanted a large farms owned by the government. He turned the Soviet Union into a great industrial power. But Stalin would not let anyone against him go, he was responsible for the death of over 8 million people.

1939- Rise of totalitarian governments: Stalin established a totalitarian government which means that the government will have complete control the citizens. Basically people doesnt have any rights.

1931- Imperialist in Japan: Japanese conquered the province of Manchuria. Japanese controlled the entire province. This invasion put militarists in control of Japan's government which was what they really wanted from the very beginning.

1930's- US clings to isolationism: Great depression and tragic memories from WWI led to the push towards isolationism. Isolationists advocated non-involvement in European and Asian conflicts and to be not a part in any issues in international politics.

Key Policy:

Nationalism: The loyalty to the country above anything else.

Failure of the Treaty of Versailles: This treaty was suppose to ensure lasting peace by punishing Germany and creating the League of the Nations but it ended up creating geographical and economical problems that cause WWII.


1933 - 1945

1929- SS: "Schutzstaffel". A small personal body guard. The camp was turned over to the SS and they expanded the camp and used it to keep other "undesirables".

1933-1945- Concentration camps: labor camps where Jews were sent. People in the camp were suffering from hunger, humiliation and a lot of work that ends in death.

1938- Night of the broken glass: also known as the "Kristallnacht". Nazi attacked Jewish homes, businesses and synagogues all over Germany. 100 Jews were killed and more than hundreds were injured. Also over 30,000 Jews were arrested.

Ghettos: segregated Jewish areas in Polish cities. Nazis made sure they wont get out so they sealed off the Ghetto with barbed wires and stone walls.

1941- Auschwitz: Another concentration camp established by the Nazi regime. It was the largest Nazi death camp. Over 1 Million of people were killed there and they were mostly Jews. It was a symbol of death.

"in search of ways to improve the Master race" : People in the camp died cause of medical experiments carried out by camp doctors. Some were injected deadly germs and they basically were a material for an experiment to study effects of diseases on variety of people. Many were used to test methods of "Sterilization".

Key Person:

Josef Mengele: SS physician and did medical experimentation's using some prisoners in the concentration camp.

Heinrich Himmler: One of the most powerful man in Nazi Germany. He became police president in Munich and head of Political police in Bavaria. He used his power to build a state within a state, he also set up the first Nazi concentration camp (Dachau).

Key policy:

1935- Nuremberg laws: these were laws and policies by Germans and prohibited Jews from their basic rights.

US Immigration policy- "Persons of exceptional merit": Jews flew from the Third Reich. They sailed form Germany to Havana, Cuba.

1941- The Final Solution: It was the process where the Germans take the Jews, imprison them, put them to the concentration camp and then they kill them.

1943- Final Stage: It was considered as the final stage of WWII. It was the fall of the German Reich. This all started when the allies began air raids on German cities.

War in Europe


1938- Unification with Austria: Austria was Hitlers first target. Plus majority of Austria's people were German who pretty much favored the unification. The US and other parts of the world didn't do anything about it.

19389- Blitzkrieg in Poland: Germany invaded Poland and took down them down using "lighting war" in a short time and this was considered as the 1st meeting of WWII.

1940- Fall of the Maginot line and France: France along with Great Britain declared war against Germany. Soon Germany invaded France. France lasted 6 weeks and soon they surrendered.

1940- Battle of Britain: Germany attacked Britain but the Royal Air force held them off, but of course the Nazis didnt stop, they tried attacking them at night but the British smuggled an enigma machine to decipher messages. After everything the Royal Air Force prevented the blitz from doing any more serious damage.

Key Persons:

Neville Chamberlain: British prime minister. He was associated with the policy of appeasement toward Germany. He also played a key role on negotiating the Munich Agreement of 1938.

Edouard Daladier: Prime minister of France. He signed the Munich agreement which gave Germany the power to take possession of Sudetenland without hearing anything from France and Great Britain.

Charles de Gaulle: A french general who flew to England and set up a government-in-exile and said that France may have lost the battle but not the war.

Winston Churchill: British prime minister and led the country to victory against Nazi Germany. He thought that by signing the Munich Agreement, Daladier and Chamberlain adopted a shameful policy of appeasement.

Key Policy:

Munich Agreement of 1938: It was an agreement that says Hitler could invade Czechoslovakia with a promise that he wont invade other countries. And he wouldn't also hear anything from Britain or France. But that did not really work out.

Nonaggression pact 1939: Its a pact by Stalin and Hitler that Germany and Russia would never attack each other even though they were enemies before.

America moves toward war


1940's- Axis Powers: Germany, Italy and Japan signed a mutual defense treaty (Tripartite pact).

Axis War Strategy: Germany had the land and took over Europe while Japan had the sea power and soon take the pacific.

1941- Germany attacks Soviet Union: Individual surface attacks by individual U boats gave way to what became known as the wolf pack attack.

1944- "Great Arsenal of defense": After the war the US defense spending increased. It;s always been more than 3.6% of GDP and during war US would spend as much as it can.

US support for Stalin: After Hitler broke the agreement with Stalin, the US began sending the Soviet Union lend-lease supplies which provided aid to Stalin.

The US "Undeclared war":

US and Japan peace talks:

1941 (Dec 7)- Attack on Pearl Harbor: Planes and submarines from Japan attacked Pearl Harbor. 9 US ships sunk and 21 were severely damaged. Over 2000 died and over 1000 were injured. Japan attacked Pearl Harbor because they thought we would give up Hawaii and they can take over the Pacific island.

1941(Dec 8): US declared war on Japan and Japan's allies (Germany and Italy) declared war on the US. This officially made US a part of the WWII.

Key Person:

FDR: Was the President during this time and broke the 2 term presidency.

Winston Churchill: agreed with Roosevelt that the US should help aid Stalin so that the British would be prepared to work with the devil himself.

Key Policy:

3 term president: Roosevelt broke the tradition of 2 term presidency. This will give the president the chance to get reelected.

1941- Lend lease act: an act where the US supported its allies. US would help aid USSR, Britain and other allied nations with supplies.

1941- Atlantic Charter: Declaration by Roosevelt and Churchill that consists principles to guide postwar settlement.

The US in WWII

Mobilizing for defense

1941 - 1944

Selective service recruitment: Millions of Americans volunteered for military service but that wasn't enough so the Selective service system expanded draft so that there would be more soldiers that would meet the armed forces' needs. Volunteers and draftees went to military bases for 8 weeks to have there basic training.

1940's- Contributions from minority groups: Even though discrimination was still an issue, over 30,000 Mexican Americans joined the armed forces. African Americans also served but they were still segregated til they protested and finally saw combat. Asian Americans also joined the armed forces, and Native Americans enlisted in the armed services too (also women).

1942- Manhattan Project: it was a code name used for research wok that was across the country. It was a US government research project that made the first atomic bomb.

1942- Industrial contributions: Factories across the nation were completely changed to War Production. They built tanks, planes, boats and command cars. "From making mechanical pencils to bomb parts, from filling bottles with drinks to filling shells with explosives."

1944- Labors contribution: Almost 18 Million worked in war industries. It increased compared from 1941. Almost half of the workers were women. Also more than 2 million workers were minorities. Just like women they also suffered discrimination at first.

War Bonds: these are debt securities that helped financed military operations during the war. It was seen as a way to reduce inflation and remove money from circulation.

Key persons:

Henry J. Kaiser: An American Industrialist known as father of shipbuilding. He established Kaiser shipyard which built Liberty Ship.

Albert Einstein: Einstein urged the study for Nuclear Fission for the military purposes. This led to the massive Manhattan project.

Key Policy:

Government economic controls: Roosevelt created the Office of Price Administration.The OPA fought freezing prices of most goods. Congress also raised taxes and imposed taxes to people who didn't pay before.

War Production board: They made sure that armed forces and war industries get the supplies they needed in order to win the war.

Treasury Department:

War for Europe and North Africa

1941 - 1945

1941- Europe first then Japan: Churchill and worked with Roosevelt to work out war plans. They thought that Europe was a great threat compared to Japan. So they decided to strike Europe first and gain upper hand of Europe and then they could have more resources for the Pacific war.

1942- Battle of the Atlantic: Hitler ordered submarine raids ships along America's east coast. German prevented food and war supplies from reaching Great Britain and Soviet Union. For a long time Hitler succeeded but Americans fought back by organizing their cargo ships into convoys. Convoys were escorted by destroyers with sonar for detecting submarines underwater. And also they were escorted by planes that used radar to spot U boats. So the Allies were able to destroy German U boats before anything else.

1942- Battle of Stalingrad: HItler wanted to destroy Stalingrad which was a major Russian industrial center. Germans bombed the city and went through every house. Then the Soviet came to trap the Germans but Hitler told his troops to fight no matter what but they were hungry and the winter weather didn't help so the German's surrendered in the end.

1944- D-Day: Massive attack that marked the first day of invasion for Operation Overload which was to set France free from the Nazis. But although it was a "Massive attack", it took France months before they were fully liberated from the Nazis.

1944- Battle of the Bulge: Germans break through allied lines to recapture a port. Hitler wanted to split up American/British forces and disrupt their supplies.

1945- Unconditional Surrender (Germany): Germany signed the unconditional surrender which ended the war which lasted for 6 years.

1945- V-E Day: Victory in Europe day. This basically means war in Europe is over.

Key Persons:

Dwight D. Eisenhower: American Gen. who commanded the Operation Torch which was an invasion of Axis controlled North Africa.

"Il Duce- the most hated man in Italy":

Harry S. Truman: President Roosevelt died on April 12, 1945 which made Truman the Vice president as the nations 33rd president.

Minority groups that received honors and awards during the war were the all-black 99th Pursuit Squadron (Tuskegee Airmen), the all-black 92nd Infantry Division (The Buffaloes), the all Mexican-American Company E of the 141st Regiment 36th division, and the 100th Battalion of Hawaiian Nisei (Nisei meaning American citizens whose parents emigrated from Japan). The 100th was merged with the all-Nisei 442nd Regimental Combat Team.

The Home Front

1941 - 1944

1941- Economy was doing great during the war, a lot of working opportunities came even for women. There were more opportunities for woman to work.

1941- The war cause mass migration, a lot of individuals and families migrated to find a lot more job opportunities.

1943- Racial tensions (Detroit riots): A riot between White people and African Americans which lasted for 3 days.

1943- Racial tensions (zoot-suit): this was an anti mexican riot. This all began when sailors in LA said that they were attacked by zoot suit wearing mexican americans which made people just attacking mexican neighborhoods and just attacking as much zoot suiters that they could find.

1942- Internment of Japanese Americans: Because of the attack on Pearl Harbor, Roosevelt signed an order remove anyone of Japanese ancestry from several Western states. And Japanese Am were also sent to remote prison camps.

Key Person:

1942- James Farmer: founded an interracial organization called the Congress of Racial Equality to confront urban segregation in the North.

Key Policy:

1942- Executive order 9066: It was an order that authorized the Secretary of War to assign certain areas as military zones. And put Japanese Americans to internment camps.

1944- Korematsu vs US: a supreme court case appealing to the constitutionality of Executive order 9066.

War in the Pacific

1941 - 1944

1942- Japan takes control of the Philippines: Gen. MacArthur together with his allies battled versus Japan to take control of the Philippines. But they (Filipino & Americans) lost and President Roosevelt told them to leave but MacArthur stated his famous line "I shall return".

1942- Battle of Midway: it marked as a turning point in the pacific war. Allies went from one island to another island and gained their territory back from Japan.

"Island hopping" : Its a strategy where the allies went form one island to another. And with each island they move closer to Japan.

1942- Guadalcanal: thousands of troops attacked Guadalcanal and it was called "Island of Death" because of the bad conditions of the place.

1944- Battle of Leyte Gulf: MacArthur came back to the Philippines and the Allied troops and ships and moved in on the Leyte islands in the Philippines. Although Japan used KAMIKAZE TACTICS where they crash their "bomb-laden" planes into allied ships.

1944- Battle for Iwo Jima: The island of Iwo Jima was heavily defended. Though allied won, both sides lost A LOT.

1945- Battle of Okinawa: US marines attacked the Okinawa island and Japan again used Kamikaze tactics and damaged hundred of ships. Thousands of marines died BUT more Japanese including 2 generals died.

Manhattan Project: a secret US government project to build atomic bombs.

1945- Decision to use the atomic bomb: US President Truman decided that they will use atomic bombs. US warned Japan but they didn't surrender so the US dropped the first bomb at Hiroshima but Japan still didn't surrender so US dropped another bomb at Nagasaki then Japan surrendered September 2, 1945.

1945- Nuremberg War trials: remaining Nazis were put into trial for the crimes they committed. Some got to go, a lot went to prison and only some were sentenced for death.

Occupation of Japan: Japan was under the command of Gen. MacArthur. He introduced free market practices and called for a NEW CONSTITUTION. MacArthur also made an improvement on Japan's poor economy.

Key Person:

Navajo code talkers: confounded the enemy by talking in a seemingly unbreakable code.

Gen. Douglas MacArthur: commanded allied force in the Pacific during WWII.

Admiral Nimitz: Commander-in-Chief, Pacific Ocean Areas giving him control of all Allied forces in the central Pacific. Commanding on the defensive.

J. robert Oppenheimer: become almost synonymous with the atomic bomb, and also with the dilemma facing scientists when the interests of the nation and their own conscience collide.

Japanese Emperor Hirohito: emperor of Japan. He insisted to end the war after the bombing.

Rudolph Hess: a member of Hitler's inner circle. He tried to negotiate peace with British but he ended up being imprisoned and captured.

Key policy:

Debate over the atomic bomb: There was a debate whether the US will drop the atomic bomb so Japan will surrender. US saw it as the only way to end the war was by bombing Japan's mainland but some said that Japan lost enough they will just simple surrender without the dropping of the atomic bomb.

1945- Yalta conference: Roosevelt, Churchill and Stalin discussed postwar plans. They also talked about Germany being divided into 4 occupied zones. And the UNITED NATIONS would formed. This is an organization to keep peace among nations all over the world up until today.