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American businesses had been active in Nicaragua since the s. A long believer in Captain Mahan's theory of sea power, Roosevelt began to revitalize the navy.

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The horrors of the Civil War had interrupted the original Manifest Destiny that began in the s. Now, as pioneers settled the last western frontiers, expansionists looked yet farther to the west—toward Asia and the Pacific. A leading expansionist, Captain Alfred T. Mahan, cautioned that the Pacific could "be entered and controlled only by a vigorous contest.

He argued that a strong navy would require island possessions to serve as naval bases. The time had come, Mahan wrote, for Americans to turn their "eyes outward, instead of inward only, to seek the welfare of the country.

American ships had long been active in the Pacific. The New England whaling fleets scoured the ocean in search of their prey. The China trade had been enriching Yankee merchants since Japan, however, had effectively closed its doors to outsiders, and it restricted foreign ships to a small part of Nagasaki.

More about President Millard Fillmore, including a picture. Perry, commander of the United States naval forces in the China seas, was a staunch expansionist. Back in he warned President Fillmore that the British, who had already taken control of Hong Kong and Singapore, would soon control all trade in the area.

Perry recommended that the United States take "active measures to secure a number of ports of refuge" in Japan. President Fillmore agreed with Perry. In he ordered the Commodore to open negotiations with the Emperor of Japan. Edo Bay is located near Tokyo.

Brief history of the samurai including definitions of daimyo, shogun, etc. Kayama Yezaimon, daimyo of Uraga, raced to the battlement, the clash of the warning gong still ringing in his ears. Stopping beside the brass cannon that guarded the entrance of Edo Bay, he scanned the horizon. The summer sun flashed high above the blue Pacific, and beneath it four ships approached with the tide. As the ships sailed closer, the daimyo, his samurai, and their retainers watched in silent awe.

Two huge steam frigates spouted thick black clouds as they maneuvered against the wind. With their paddle-wheels churning the water, the frigates came about, bringing their gun-decks to bear upon the shore defenses. Two sailing ships waited downwind in support. Bright signal flags fluttered from halyards. Abe Masahiro, head of the Roju governing council under Shogun Ieyoshi.

Through a telescope he studied the ships, which were well beyond the range of his small shore batteries. The ships bristled with cannon much more formidable than his own. Identical flags flapped at the stern of each vessel—red and white stripes, with white stars on a patch of blue. Kayama barked out an order. A samurai ran forward and dropped to one knee.

The daimyo instructed the samurai to ride to the castle of Abe Masahiro, and to inform the shogun that a barbarian fleet blocked the mouth of Edo Bay. From the fo'c'sle of the sloop of war Saratoga, Lieutenant John Goldsborough watched as dozens of Japanese galleys approached the American fleet. They were all fantastically decorated with flags and banners. They were propelled by from ten to twenty oars each with generally two or three men at each oar.

None of the boats were permitted to come alongside any ship in the Squadron, though they all appeared quite anxious to go alongside the Flagship. Still none were permitted until we were fully convinced that a high officer was in one of the boats. Then he alone, with an interpreter who spoke Dutch, was allowed to come over the Susquehanna's side. Part of the U. Japanese Squadron under Commodore Perry's command.

The Commodore intended to deliver the letter personally to an official representative. Since the Commodore was of the highest rank in the United States Navy, Contee said, he would meet only with a Japanese official of equal status. Two days later, Kayama Yezaimon visited the Susquehanna. He informed Captain Adams that the Americans must take their message to Nagasaki. Perry refused to meet with Kayama, but he wrote a message.

After several more days of haggling, a suitable representative, "Prince" Toda, arrived in Uraga. With cannon salutes and a marching band, Perry led a parade of marines to meet the Japanese delegation. He presented Toda with the president's letter, enclosed in a rosewood box trimmed with gold, and announced that he would return for the emperor's answer in the spring. Perry impressed the Japanese officials with his diplomacy and with the technological superiority of his ships and weapons.

The Japanese shogunate decided to grant the minor trade concessions that President Fillmore asked for in his letter. Forming a treaty with the Americans, they reasoned, would prevent another European power from imposing even greater concessions. In February , Perry returned to Edo with eight ships. He accepted the favorable reply to Fillmore's letter and visited several Japanese ports before beginning the long voyage home. His diplomatic mission had officially established the United States' presence in Asia.

Still, the Americans never realized that they had been negotiating with a mere shogun. For the emperor to consult with barbarians was unthinkable.

Images of Hawaii from space. As ships crossed the vast ocean to trade in Asia, islands in the Pacific became important stops for coal, provisions, and repairs. In the South Pacific, the American navy negotiated with awestruck natives for the rights to build bases on the islands of Midway and Samoa. The Hawaiian Islands, which lie closest to the American mainland, had long been an important stop for the Pacific fleet. Pearl Harbor, on the island of Oahu, offered one of the most attractive natural bases in the Pacific.

In the early s, missionaries from New England made the arduous voyage to Hawaii and settled there. They sent back news of fantastic economic possibilities in the islands. Soon other Americans followed to become sugar planters and to establish profitable businesses. To the native Hawaiians, or Kanaka, their island was a paradise. The sea, the abundant fruit trees, and the rich, fertile soil provided the Kanaka with all their necessities. Because of the perfect year-round climate, their simple shelters were adequate and comfortable.

To the Americans, however, the Kanaka behaved like foolish children, as one early visitor described:. The ease with which the Hawaiians on their own land can secure their food supply has undoubtably interfered with their social and industrial advancement. The fact that food is supplied by nature takes from the native all desire for the acquisition of more land. Today's food can be had for the picking, and tomorrow's as well. Instead of grasping all he can get, he divides with his neighbor, and confidently expects his neighbor to divide with him.

Treaties between the United States and Hawaii: While the Kanaka were content to live in their traditional, idyllic ways, Americans were busy building huge plantations, warehouses, railroads, drydocks, banks, hotels, and stores. They soon dominated the island's economy, and they were able to influence its government as well. Americans created and controlled Hawaii's legislature and cabinet, and they limited the power of the native king. As the nineteenth century drew to a close, disputes arose between the Kanaka and those of foreign descent.

Others called for the annexation of Hawaii by the United States. Annexation would eliminate the recent trade restrictions on sugar and revive the island's faltering economy. Secret organizations, such as the Annexation Club, plotted revolution. Biography of Queen Liliuokalani. Background information about the Hawaiian monarchy. In the midst of this unrest, Queen Liliuokalani assumed the throne upon the death of her brother, King Kalakaua.

At age fifty-two, Liliuokalani had already governed the islands as regent during her brother's long absences. She was well qualified to take control of the government. An American newspaper reporter who interviewed the new queen described her as "strong and resolute. Her manner was dignified, and she had the ease and authoritative air of one accustomed to rule.

Liliuokalani, however, was determined to eliminate American influence in the government. She tried to create a new constitution that would strengthen the traditional monarchy, but her cabinet refused to cooperate. The American residents were outraged. They organized the Committee of Safety and appointed members of the Annexation Club as its leaders. On the morning of January 17, , armed members of the committee attacked.

They took over the government office building. From its steps they read a proclamation abolishing the monarchy and establishing a provisional government. The provisional government "would exist until terms of union with the United States of America have been negotiated and agreed upon. Dole, an elderly judge with a flowing, white beard, became its president. Text of the Constitution of , which gave Queen Liliuokalani the right to rule Hawaii. Hawaiians who were loyal to their queen tried to come to her defense and stop the revolution.

When they arrived in Honolulu, however, American troops confronted them. The United States' minister, John L. Stevens, had sent for a battalion of marines and an artillery company from the cruiser Boston.

They were ordered to protect the provisional government. For the Hawaiians, resistance was hopeless. Queen Liliuokalani sadly surrendered her throne.

She wrote a document in which she "yielded to the superior forces of the United States. They quickly drew up a treaty, and President Harrison signed it and submitted it to Congress. Biography and photo of Grover Cleveland. Text of a speech by President Cleveland in which he expresses his "desire to aid in the restoration of the status existing before the lawless landing of the United States forces at Honolulu on the 16th of January []". Before the Senate could approve the treaty, however, a new president took office.

This president, Grover Cleveland, had reservations about taking over an independent country. He withdrew the treaty and sent a special commissioner to Hawaii to investigate the revolution. The commissioner reported that Minister Stevens had conspired with a small group of revolutionaries to overthrow the government. Cleveland replaced Stevens with a new minister and tried to restore Liliuokalani to the throne.

President Dole flatly refused to give the government back to the Hawaiians. He told President Cleveland that the United States had no right to meddle in Hawaii's internal affairs. Congress agreed, and it adopted a "hands off" policy toward the island. Dole's new government then created an army and held a constitutional convention. On July 4th, , the government unveiled the completed constitution and declared an independent Republic of Hawaii. Despite Liliuokalani's pleas for help, other governments quickly recognized the new republic.

In desperation, supporters of the queen began to collect weapons and to make secret plans to overthrow the republic and restore the monarchy. They planned to strike on the morning of January 7, , but informers told the government about their plot.

At dawn, as the queen's supporters slipped silently ashore on Waikiki, government soldiers opened fire. A few of the rebels fell dead or wounded; others surrendered. The government declared martial law.

During the next few days, government troops defeated the disorganized rebels in a series of brief but deadly skirmishes. Within two weeks, they completely suppressed the uprising and captured its followers, including Queen Liliuokalani. The prisoners were tried for treason. Liliuokalani was forced to sign a document in which she finally renounced all claims to the throne. Biography and photo of William McKinley. Excerpts from the Apology Resolution signed by President Clinton to acknowledge the th anniversary of the overthrow of Kingdom of Hawaii.

Now secure in its power, the republican government turned its attention to international relations and trade. In , however, the election of a Republican, William McKinley, as president of the United States, rekindled Hawaiian hopes for annexation. President McKinley, like many Republicans, favored expansionism, and he welcomed the new annexation treaty. A joint resolution of Congress annexing Hawaii passed both houses, and the islands became American possessions.

While Congress was considering the annexation treaty, an American fleet was steaming across the Pacific to attack the Philippine Islands. The United States had gone to war. January 25, —The U. Maine enters Havana harbor, about three weeks before it was blown up. Cuba in Provides background information about the Cuban insurgency against foreign control both before and just after the Maine incident. Map of Cuba This is an interactive map—for example, click on Havana for a more detailed view of the city.

For a wider view of the region: Map of Caribbean region Map of Latin America. The battleship Maine drifted lazily at its mooring. Although the Havana night was moonless, the Maine's gleaming white hull—longer than a football field—contrasted against the blackness of the sea and sky. Smoke wisped from its two mustard-colored funnels. Random lights sparkled from its portholes and its bridge. In the captain's cabin, Charles Sigsbee sat at a table writing a letter to his wife.

The trouble in Cuba, he wrote, would soon be over. The new Spanish governor of the island seemed to have the situation under control. During the three weeks that the Maine had been in Havana, Captain Sigsbee had seen no sign of Cuban rebels. He'd entertained the Spanish officers in his mess, and he and his staff had been entertained lavishly by the local officials. Although Sigsbee found the bullfights to which he'd been invited somewhat barbaric, the Spanish officers behaved as perfect gentlemen.

Even Fitzhugh Lee, the American consul, seemed optimistic. A month earlier the old general Lee had commanded a cavalry division under his uncle Robert E. To the Cubans, it was a floating American fortress right in their capital city.

Aboard the Maine, "taps" sounded at ten minutes past nine. Captain Sigsbee describes what happened next. I laid down my pen and listened to the notes of the bugle, which were singularly beautiful in the oppressive stillness of the night. I was enclosing my letter in its envelope when the explosion came. It was a bursting, rending, and crashing roar of immense volume, largely metallic in character.

It was followed by heavy, ominous metallic sounds. There was a trembling and lurching motion of the vessel, a list to port. The electric lights went out. Then there was intense blackness and smoke. The situation could not be mistaken. The Maine was blown up and sinking. For a moment the instinct of self-preservation took charge of me, but this was immediately dominated by the habit of command.

Captain Sigsbee managed to reach the deck, now slanted down sharply toward the submerged bow. He climbed aft toward the only part of the ship that was not awash. Fires had broken out all over the vessel, and they lit the harbor in an eerie red glow.

In Havana lights began to shine from windows that had just been smashed by the blast. Most of the crew had been asleep in their berths at the forward part of the ship, which was already at the bottom of the harbor. The stern sunk more slowly.

The Spanish-American War Centennial's photo of the Maine, photos of pieces of the Maine, reputed photo of explosion, accounts of the destruction, New York Times report, crew roster and much more. Stereoscopic view of the disaster. More photos of the wreckage and salvage effort. Crews from nearby ships manned lifeboats to rescue the surviving crewmen of the Maine. The Spanish officers and crews did all that humanity and gallantry could compass. The twisted, burnt wreckage of the Maine's stern and bridge was still above water in the morning.

It remained there for years. Two hundred fifty-four seamen were dead, and fifty-nine sailors were wounded. Eight of the wounded later died. The navy conducted an investigation into the cause of the disaster, but it never discovered who was responsible for the explosion. Drawing of "The Yellow Kid". The American press, however, had no doubts about who was responsible for sinking the Maine. It was the cowardly Spanish, they cried. They showed how Spanish saboteurs had fastened an underwater mine to the Maine and had detonated it from shore.

Delivering the World The film shows a one-horse paneled newspaper van arriving to deliver the "New York World" to a crowd of newspaper carriers. The location is presumed to be Union Square in New York. As one of the few sources of public information, newspapers had reached unprecedented influence and importance. Journalistic giants, such as Hearst and Joseph Pulitzer of the World, viciously competed for the reader's attention.

They were determined to reach a daily circulation of a million people, and they didn't mind fabricating stories in order to reach their goal. They competed in other ways as well.

The World was the first newspaper to introduce colored comics, and the Journal immediately copied it. The two papers often printed the same comics under different titles. One of these involved the adventures of "The Yellow Kid," a little boy who always wore a yellow gown. Since color presses were new in the s, the finished product was not always perfect. The colors, especially the Yellow Kid's costume, often smeared. Soon people were calling the World, the Journal, and other papers like them "the yellow press.

A minor revolt in Cuba against the Spanish colonial government provided a colorful topic. For months now the papers had been painting in lurid detail the horrors of Cuban life under oppressive Spanish rule. The Spanish had confined many Cubans to concentration camps.

The press called them "death camps. Newspapers sent hundreds of reporters, artists, and photographers south to recount Spanish atrocities. The correspondents, including such notables as author Stephen Crane and artist Frederick Remington, found little to report on when they arrived.

Puck magazine published this cartoon depicting Cuba's difficult situation in the s. Remington's boss, William Randolph Hearst, sent a cable in reply: You furnish the pictures, I'll furnish the war. For weeks after the Maine disaster, the Journal devoted more than eight pages a day to the story. Not to be outdone, other papers followed Hearst's lead. Hundreds of editorials demanded that the Maine and American honor be avenged.

Soon a rallying cry could be heard everywhere—in the papers, on the streets, and in the halls of Congress: To hell with Spain. Next, President McKinley insisted that Spain agree to a cease-fire with the Cuban rebels and negotiate a permanent settlement with them.

After a slight delay, Spain agreed to the American demands. Two days later, McKinley asked Congress for authority to use military force to end the Cuban conflict. Essentially, this was a declaration of war. The United States Army was not prepared for war. After the Civil War, the country had drastically reduced its army. Most army units had been scattered throughout the west, where they had fought and confined Native Americans. Volunteer and National Guard units quickly assembled in Tennessee.

Regular-army divisions, filled with new recruits, rushed to Florida to await the invasion of Cuba. Back to the Pacific The navy, however, needed little preparation.

The Pacific fleet was visiting Hong Kong when the news of war arrived. Commodore George Dewey quickly provisioned his ships and set off to attack the Spanish colony in the Philippine Islands.

World map showing location of the Philippine Islands. Map of the Philippine Islands. Photo of the U. Photo and biography of Captain Gridley. Photos of the U. Photo of Commodore George Dewey. Once at sea, Commodore Dewey had his men paint all the ships. Once a bright white, the ships were soon covered with a dull gray to make them less visible to the enemy. Next, Dewey ordered that everything made of wood, including the piano on his flagship Olympia, be tossed over the side.

Splintered wood presented a greater danger to his crews than enemy shells. Then with chests, chairs, and tables bobbing in the water behind them, the ships went after the Spanish fleet. Commodore George Dewey is depicted here commanding the battle of Manila Bay.

He does so from his flagship Olympia. After searching throughout an oppressive tropical night, Dewey found the Spaniards in the shallows of Manila Bay. At dawn on the first of May, the Olympia led the fleet in single file toward its enemy.

The Spanish opened fire long before the Americans were within range. The Olympia moved still closer. When it reached effective range, it turned sharply to the west, bringing all its guns to bear upon the Spanish fleet. With a deafening roar, the huge cruiser's guns erupted. The flagship swung around in a wide circle, and each ship followed, guns blasting as it passed.

Just two hours after the beginning of the battle we hauled out and, withdrawing a few miles, the order was given for breakfast. I was exhausted from the heat, loss of sleep, and lack of proper food. I went up on deck. From this vantage point, I could see the destruction we had wrought. World front page announcing the victory.

This presentation features 68 motion pictures produced between and of the Spanish- American War and the subsequent Philippine Revolution. When the thick, black smoke that had obscured the battle cleared, he saw the Spanish fleet, battered and afire. The battle had been won. Eight seamen suffered wounds aboard the Boston the same ship that had helped "liberate" Hawaii. One man died from the heat before the battle began. They represented the total casualties for the fleet.

When the news of the stunning victory reached home, Americans cheered ecstatically. Dewey, "the conqueror of the Philippines," became an instant national hero. Stores soon filled with merchandise bearing his image. Few Americans knew what and where the Philippines were, but the press assured them that the islands were a welcome possession.

Photobiography of Teddy Roosevelt. A brief biography of TR. Rough Riders Despite Dewey's early victory, the war in the Caribbean was getting off to a slow start. More than , soldiers rushed enthusiastically into the service. The army's quartermaster corps, however, had only fifty-seven men to supply the army with equipment.

Soldiers gathered in Florida and waited impatiently for supplies and transportation. Some individuals organized and outfitted their own regiments. One such individual, the Assistant Secretary of the Navy, resigned his post and formed a volunteer regiment of cavalry.