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Learn About the United States Becomes a World Power

At the turn of the 20th century, the United States emerged as a world power. The Spanish American War and the acquisition of the Philippines represented both an extension of earlier expansionist impulses and a sharp departure from assumptions that had guided American foreign policy in the past. For the first time, the United States made a major strategic commitment in the Far East, acquired territory never intended for statehood, and committed itself to police actions and intervention in the Caribbean and Central America.

 Not since the Mexican War had the United States expanded so rapidly.  In 1898 and 1899, the United States annexed Hawaii and acquired the Philippines, Puerto Rico, parts of the Samoan islands, and other Pacific islands.  Expansion raised the fateful question of whether the newly annexed peoples would receive the rights of American citizens.

Maps:
Map of territorial growth, 1880.
Map of territorial growth, 1900.
War-related maps
http://lcweb.loc.gov/rr/hispanic/1898/maps.html
War-related maps
http://www.phil-am-war.org/maps.htm
Images:
Wreck of the U.S.S. Maine.
image 2 text about image 2
image 3 text about image 3
Click for more images. Timelines:
Click here for timeline of the Spanish American War.
Fact sheets and lesson plans:
Fact sheetmaybe an s2:
Imperialism and the Spanish American War
http://www.digitalhistory.uh.edu/historyonline/us27.cfm
Recommended lesson plan:
The Birth of the American Empire as Seen Through Political Cartoons (1896-1905) (In PDF format)
http://www.oah.org/pubs/magazine/1898/martinez-lesson.pdf
Fact checks:
Test your knowledge by taking our Spanish-American War quiz

Recommended readings:
Thomas G. Paterson, ed., Major Problems in American and Foreign Policy
Documents and essays chronicle the history and analyze the major controversies in American foreign affairs.
Recommended film{maybe an s} :
The Spanish American War in Motion Pictures
http://lcweb2.loc.gov/ammem/sawhtml/
This Library of Congress website contains 68 motion pictures produced between 1898 and 1901 of the Spanish-American War and the subsequent Philippine Revolution. The films show troops, ships, notable figures, and parades, as well as reenactments of battles and other war-time events. Brief essays provide historical context.
Learn more:
learn more film
Recommended Web site:
The World of 1898: The Spanish American War
http://lcweb.loc.gov/rr/hispanic/1898/intro.html
This Library of Congress site includes valuable information on the history of Puerto Rico and the Philippines.
A War in Perspective: 1898-1998
http://www.nypl.org/research/chss/epo/spanexhib/page_2.html
This Website examines the place of the Spanish American war in public memory.

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Anika Devi received her Bachelor’s degree in Media, Culture and Communication from New York University in 2012. She began freelancing for Business Solutions BD in 2010 and joined the team as a staff writer three years later. She currently serves as the assistant editor.
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