[audio]Nationalism and U.S. Expansion

U.S. Territories: Click for larger view
Map detailing land acquisitions in the expansion of the U.S. (Click for larger view)
  • Diplomatic relations is a relationship between government officials of different nations with frequent discussions and cooperation.
  • The U.S. developed diplomatic relations with major countries because:
    a. American merchants trading overseas wanted the protection of the U.S. government.
    b. American merchants were involved in world trade.


  • Nationalism is the feeling of a people that the way of life in their country is particularly good.
  • In the late 1800s, nations became more important while kings and princes became less important.
  • People from different nations who spoke the same language and common culture would join together to form a new nation, ignoring any kind of leader they had in the past.

U.S. Expansion in North America

  • 1800s - nationalism increased in the U.S. as the country expanded.
  • 1912 - all the U.S. territories in North America had been formed into the 48 states.
  • The U.S. and Russia were alike because both countries expanded greatly during the 1800s.
  • The U.S. expanded west from its population centers in places such as Chicago and St. Louis, while Russia expanded east from its center at Moscow.
  • 1833 - a French writer, Alexis de Tocqueville compared the American and Russian patterns of expansion and predicted that during the 1900s the two countries were destined to be the largest and most powerful nations on earth. The U.S. would be democratic and productive, while Russia would be dictatorial and destructive. De Tocqueville thought that these two countries must inevitably come into conflict.
  • The Civil War increased nationalism in the United States because Abraham Lincoln refused to allow southern states to secede from the nation. The country could only grow, not shrink.

[audio] U.S. Expansion After the Civil War

  • After the Civil War the U.S. began expanding its control and influence beyond North America to other countries.
  • Reasons the U.S. tried to influence other nations:
    (1) Economic, (2) Military, and (3) Moral.

Economic Reasons

  • The primary reason the U.S. expanded its influence in foreign countries: Economic reasons - industrialization in the late 1800s increased the need to trade with other countries. Manufacturers spent money constructing factories with assembly lines, but big companies often produced more products than the American people could buy. This caused companies to find places to sell their products.
  • Sales of American goods to foreign countries were important to the workers in the U.S. because:
    a. Companies depend on overseas sales to keep their business going.
    b. Workers would be out of jobs if the companies were out of business.
    c. Workers depend on overseas sales to keep their jobs.
  • Late 1800s - products and natural resources the U.S. imported:
    (1) sugar from Cuba and Hawaii
    (2) coffee from Latin American countries
    (3) silk from China
    (4) minerals and rubber from Southeast Asian countries

Military Reasons

  • After the Civil War, the military was used to protect settlers and to push Native Americans onto reservations. Merchant ships are unarmed ships that carry products and natural resources.
  • The U.S. started building new ships because:
    a. Shipping products overseas required modern ships.
    b. The U.S. began building new coal burning, steam-powered merchant ships.
  • The U.S. needed naval ports in the Pacific because:
    a. The U.S. found competition with the merchants of France and Great Britain.
    b. These merchants would prevent other countries from trading with territories they controlled.
    c. The U.S. built their own ports along their route to trade.
  • Countries that had the largest navies in 1898: (1) Great Britain; (2) France; and (3) Germany.


Moral Reasons

  • Some Europeans and Americans felt superior to people in other parts of the world because they believed the Christian religion made them morally superior. They sent missionaries to other countries to bring them into the Christian religion.