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Ch 14: American Imperialism & World War I

About This Chapter

Watch videos and learn how and why America transformed itself into an imperial power in the latter and early parts of the 19th and 20th centuries. These easy-to-follow lessons are just a portion of our online study guide and video collection.

American Imperialism and World War I - Chapter Summary and Learning Objectives

Although one of America's founding fathers, George Washington, was opposed to the idea of the country becoming involved in foreign affairs, during the late 1800s and early 1900s, the United States began to exert its influence around the globe. In this chapter, you'll learn how America sought to secure its place on the international stage through diplomatic and military efforts. You'll also find out some of these efforts led to the country's involvement in a naval arms race as well as a regional and world war.

In particular, you'll learn how sensationalist journalism precipitated the start of the Spanish-American War and a new American presence in Guam, Guantanamo Bay in Cuba, Puerto Rico and the Philippines. Dollar and missionary diplomacy as means of economic and social influence will be discussed, along with how imperialism served as one of the primary causes of World War I. After you've finished watching the videos and testing your own knowledge of American imperialism, you should have an understanding of:

  • The economic, military, political and social factors that contributed to American imperialism
  • The main courses of action associated with imperialism
  • How the Spanish-American War differed from the American Revolution and the Civil War
  • The annexation of Hawaii and American influence in China and Japan
  • How the Platt Amendment and Roosevelt Corollary related to non-colonial expansion in the Western Hemisphere
  • How the assassination of an international personality served as the start of World War I

VideoObjective
American Imperialism: Definition, Reasons and Rising International PowerDefine American Imperialism and global objectives, including the country's status as a rising power in the latter part of the 19th century.
The Spanish-American War: Causes, Goals and ResultsIdentify the causes and nationalistic objectives of the Spanish-American War, including expansionist outcomes.
American Imperialism in Hawaii, China and the PhilippinesProvide an overview of American imperialistic activities in China, Hawaii and the Philippines.
Causes of World War I: Factors That Led to WarIdentify the events and nationalistic sentiments that led to World War I.
The United States in World War I: Official Position, Isolation and InterventionSummarize the official position of the United States in World War I, including its desire to remain neutral.
American Involvement in World War I: How the War Changed after America's EntryDescribe how America's entry into the war changed the dynamics of the conflict.
End of World War I: the Treaty of Versailles and the League of NationsDiscuss how the war came to an end, including the signing of the Treaty of Versailles and the establishment of the League of Nations.

7 Lessons in Chapter 14: American Imperialism & World War I
American Imperialism: Definition, Reasons & Rising International Power

1. American Imperialism: Definition, Reasons & Rising International Power

When George Washington left office, he warned against getting drawn into global issues, yet just over 100 years later, the U.S. began its rise to become the dominant world power. What started this rise of American Imperialism?

The Spanish-American War: Causes, Goals & Results

2. The Spanish-American War: Causes, Goals & Results

The Spanish-American war was a new kind of war involvement for the U.S. It was not for freedom, it was not an internal conflict. It was fought over expansion and the idea of spreading American influence in the Caribbean and in the Philippines.

American Imperialism in Hawaii, China & the Philippines

3. American Imperialism in Hawaii, China & the Philippines

American imperialism had a major effect on the world. In this lesson, find out how a nation became a part of the U.S. for almost 50 years and how one kingdom became a U.S. state. The effect of U.S. imperialism in Asia and the Pacific had a long-lasting and far-reaching effect that we can still see today!

Causes of World War I: Factors That Led to War

4. Causes of World War I: Factors That Led to War

Although World War I began in Europe, it is important to take a look at World War I in relation to U.S. history as well. The U.S. was greatly affected by the war. In this lesson, we'll take a quick and direct look at the causes that led up the war and the assassination that was the final catalyst.

The United States in World War I: Official Position, Isolation & Intervention

5. The United States in World War I: Official Position, Isolation & Intervention

The United States' best option was to stay out of World War I. They had nothing to gain from getting involved. So, they tried to stay neutral, but as American interests started to lean toward the Allied Powers, many events happened to give the States the final push to enter the war.

American Involvement in World War I: How the War Changed After America's Entry

6. American Involvement in World War I: How the War Changed After America's Entry

As much as the U.S. wanted to stay neutral during World War I, it proved impossible. This meant the U.S. had to raise the forces and money to wage war. Find out how Americans played their part in WWI in this lesson.

End of WWI: the Treaty of Versailles & the League of Nations

7. End of WWI: the Treaty of Versailles & the League of Nations

In this lesson, we will examine the Treaty of Versailles. We will explore the treaty's negotiations at the Paris Peace Conference, take a look at the treaty's terms, and discuss Germany's reaction to the treaty.

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