American Imperialism Timeline

  • McKinley Tariff

    enacted by Congress which created a crisis by ending Hawaii’s favored position in the sugar trade. The law permitted all countries to ship sugar duty-free to the United States. It also gave sugar producers in the United States a subsidy of two cents per pound. This caused sugar prices to drop, and the Hawaiian economy suffered.
  • Spanish American War

    Spanish American War
    on February 9, 1898, the journal published a letter written by Spain’s minister to the United States, which was intercepted by a Cuban spy and sold to Hearst. This letter ridiculed McKinley as “weak, and a bidder for the admiration of the crowd.” The nation teetered on the brink of war until a tragedy in Cuba pushed it over the edge. The battleship USS Maine had been sent to Havana to protect US lives and property. On February 15 the Maine blew up, killing 260 sailors. Spanish officials agreed t
  • Teller Amendment

    stated that once Cuba won its independence from Spain, the US would “leave the government and control of the Island to its people.”
  • Annexation of Hawaii

    Annexation of Hawaii
    without authorization, the US minister to Hawaii, John L Stevens, ordered marines ashore from the cruiser Boston, supposedly to protect American lives and property. With Gatling guns and cannons in place, the marines took up positions facing Iolani Palace and Liliuokalani. The revolutionaries established a new government with Sanford B Dole as president. Again acting without authority, Stevens recognized the new government and proclaimed Hawaii to be under US protection on February 1, 1893. From
  • Annexation of the Philippines

    some Americans questioned whether it was proper to annex a foreign territory and rule its government and its people. Businesspeople wanted the islands to serve as a trading post for goods from Asia as well as a place for merchant ships to refuel. Some other supporter believed that the United States would bring democracy to the Philippines. Others held that US rule of the islands was necessary to keep out European powers. Opponents of annexation responded that by denying the Philippines independe
  • The Boxer Rebellion

    The Boxer Rebellion
    in the spring of 1900 the Boxers attacked Western missionaries and traders in northern China, killing more than 200 people. This uprising was supported by some Chinese government officials. The Boxers laid siege to the large, walled-in foreign settlement in Beijing, China’s capital. Foreign countries responded by sending troops to China. In August, after an eight-week siege, the international force rescued the foreigners.
  • Hay-Bunau-Varilla Treaty

    agreement that gave the US sovereignty over a 10-mile-wide canal zone across the Isthmus of Panama
  • US and the Panama Canal

    US and the Panama Canal
    in 1901 Secretary of State John Hay began negotiations with the Republic of Columbia, which then included Panama. A treaty was drafted in 1903. In return for a 99-year lease on a six-mile strip of land across the isthmus, the US agreed to pay Colombia $10 million and a yearly rental of $250,000. Colombia’s senate held out for better terms and adjourned without ratifying the treaty. Bunau-Varilla traveled to Washington DC to get US support for the revolution. On October 9, 1903, he met privatel
  • Roosevelt Corollary

    President Theodore Roosevelt’s addition to the Monroe Doctrine; stated that the US would police affairs in the Western Hemisphere to keep Europeans from intervening in the region.
  • The Great White Fleet

    The Great White Fleet
    concerned by Japan’s growing power, Roosevelt decided to remind the Japanese of US military might. In late 1907 he sent a fleet of four destroyers and 16 battleships, painted a dazzling white, on a 46,000-mile world cruise that included a stop in the Japanese port of Yokohama.
  • Dollar Diplomacy

    President William Howard Taft’s policy of influencing Latin American affairs through economic influence rather than military force.