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Unit 7: 1890-1945

General Timelines

Timeline #1: Spanish-American War (1898)

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Timeline #2: Other Territorial Acquisitions

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Timeline #3: The Progressive Movement

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Timeline #4: World War 1

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Timeline #5: The New Era

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Timeline #6: The Great Depression

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Timeline #7: The 1st New Deal (1933-1934)

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Timeline #8: The 2nd New Deal (1935-1938)

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Timeline #9: Interwar Period Foreign Policy

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Timeline #10: World War 2

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General Maps

Map # 1: Spanish-American War in Cuba

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Map # 2: Other Territorial Acquisitions

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Map # 3: US in Progressive Era

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Map # 4: US Involvement in Latin America

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Map # 5: US in World War 1

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Map # 6: Europe in World War 1

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Map # 7: US in the New Era (1920s)

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Map # 8: US in the Great Depression

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Map # 9: US in the New Deal

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Map # 10: Europe in the Interwar Period

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Map # 11: The Pacific in the Interwar Period

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Map # 12: Europe in World War 2

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Map # 13: The Pacific in World War 2

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Course Content

Spanish-American War:


Causes of the War

Situation in Cuba

  • Cuba & Puerto Rico were Spain's last colonies

    • In early 1800s, all of Spain's other colonies in America got independence

  • Cubans wanted independence from Spain

    • In 1895, Cuban revolutionary Jose Martí led a revolt against the Spanish​

    • US sympathized with Cubans, but the Spanish hated the independence movement

  • Spanish General Valeriano Weyler instituted harsher policies in Cuba to suppress the revolutionaries

    • Put some Cubans in concentration camps where thousands died​

    • US media covered this situation, causing Americans to sympathize with the Cubans​

  • To help the Cubans, US called Spain to recall Weyler's brutal actions

    • Spain refused

  • In February 1898, American ship USS Maine sunk in Havana harbor due to an engine explosion

    • American media falsely blamed it on the Spanish, causing anti-Spanish sentiment in US​

  • Spain again refused to end hostilities in Cuba, so US declared war on Spain


Battles of the War

Overview of War

  • A very short war (April - August 1898)

    • Only ~400 US troops died, but ~5000 died of disease​

  • US had supply problems for its army

    • Had to rely on National Guard & volunteer regiments instead of actual military

      • Had little experience w/ large-scale war

    • Had shortage of rifles & ammunition

  • Many Blacks also served in the US army for the war

    • Mostly formed volunteer regiments or served in the 4 Black US regiments

    • War gave them a sense of freedom as many Cuban soldiers were also Black

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Battles in Cuba

Spanish Gen. Pascual Cervera slipped past the US navy & stationed himself at the port city of Santiago de Cuba (May 1898)

US needed to defeat Spanish forces at El Caney & San Juan Hill to retake Santiago de Cuba

US Gen. William Shafter was the main commander of troops to Cuba. His troops were very disorganized

After US forces had control of Spanish forts near Santiago de Cuba, Spanish troops tried leaving Santiago harbor but were attacked by US troops. US troops held Spanish Gen. Pascual captive (Jul 3, 1898)

Asst Sec of Navy, Theodore Roosevelt, led a regiment called "Rough Riders" as they were disorganized. He defeated the Spanish at El Caney & San Juan Hill (Jul 1, 1898)

Gen. Shafter employed Gen. Joseph Wheeler to attack the Spanish fort at Las Guasimas, but he lost (Jun 1898)

  • Yellow fever was spreading rapidly among US troops, so US withdrew its troops from Cuba

  • US only left one volunteer Black regiment in charge of Cuba

    • They were from the southern states, so they were more immune to yellow fever than other troops

Battles in Puerto Rico

US Navy Adm. William T Sampson attacked Puerto Rican capital, San Juan, & imposed naval blockade of it (May 12, 1898)

US Gen. Nelson A Miles arrived w/ 1300 soldiers to lead land campaigns. Battles of Yauco, Fajardo, and Guayama were all inconclusive as both parties retreated (Jul - Aug 1898)

US troops lost Battle of Coamo (Aug 9) & Battle of Asomante (Aug 12)

  • Because US forces were losing in Puerto Rico, they withdrew in Aug 1898

  • In Treaty of Paris (Dec 1898), Spain ceded Puerto Rico to the US

Battles in Philippines

US Navy Cmd. George Dewey led huge US victory at Battle of Manila Bay (May 1, 1898)

Emilio Aguinaldo gained support of other Filipinos in support of the US against Spanish rule. He declared independence of Philippines on Jul 12

On Aug 5, Spanish forces came to Manila to establish control. US forces defeated them at Battle of Manila (Aug 13, 1898), giving the Philippines to US

Battles in Guam

US fleet led by Capt. Henry Glass was on his way to Philippines & instead invaded Guam's Apra Harbor (Jun 20, 1898)

Local officials didn't know Spain & US were at war, so they didn't care to defend

Glass informed them that they were at war & forced them to surrender (Jun 21, 1898)

End of the War

Treaty of Paris (Dec 1898)

Cuba gets independence from Spain

US gets Puerto Rico and Guam

US pays $20 million to Spain for Philippines

Situation in Puerto Rico

  • Puerto Rico was a Spanish colony & long sought independence from Spain

    • In 1898, Luis Miñoz Rivera got some autonomy for Puerto Rico

  • However, in Dec 1898, Puerto Rico was in US's hands

    • Was under US military rule until 1900​

  • In 1900, US passed Foraker Act

    • Created a government in Puerto Rico: US-appointed governor, 2 legislative assemblies, judicial system

  • In 1917, US passed Jones-Shafroth Act

    • Made all Puerto Ricans US citizens

  • Puerto Rico economically benefited from the US

    • It had a thriving sugar industry & could trade with US without tariffs


Philippine-American War (1899-1902)

  • After Treaty of Paris (Dec 1898), Filipinos felt betrayed as they wanted independence from US & Spain

  • Emilio Aguinaldo led the Filipinos to revolt against the US

  • In 1900, US Gen. Arthur MacArthur became the governor of US-occupied Philippines

  • Americans had brutal war tactics

    • Destroyed homes & plantations, forced people into concentration camps, etc.

    • In the end, over 200k Filipino civilians died while only about 6k US troops died

  • William Howard Taft (future US president) was Governor-General of Philippines (1901-1903)

    • Developed infrastructure in Philippines: Built roads, schools, bridges, sewers, etc.

    • Gave Filipinos some autonomy

  • Philippines was very dependent on US economy

  • US governors were actually preparing Philippines for independence

  • Philippines got independence from US in 1946


Development in Cuba

  • After Cuba got independence from Spain in 1898, US army was stationed there to help develop the nation

    • Gen. Leonard Wood was Governor of Cuba during that time

    • Build roads, schools, hospitals, etc. in Cuba

    • Set up Cuban government system

  • US then made Platt Amendment to Cuban constitution (1901)

    • Limited Cuba's ability to make treaties w/ other nations

    • Gave US the right to intervene in Cuba to preserve Cuban independence

    • Basically established US as the dominant power over Cuba

  • US then economically dominated Cuba

    • Bought many plantations, factories, railroads, etc.

    • Developed its thriving sugar economy

    • Known as "Yankee imperialism" where US is economically dominating Cuba




Debates about Imperialism

  • As the US was developing into an imperial power during the Spanish-American, this sparked lots of debates about the ethics & benefits of imperialism

  • The viewpoints of both sides are highlighted below:


  • Believed Filipinos are racially inferior & need US dominance

  • Believed Philippines brings economic opportunities to US

  • Wanted to compete with European colonial empires

  • Believed US has "closed" its frontier & needs to expand more


  • Believed in self-determination (each nation chooses their own government)

  • Believed Filipinos are racially inferior & don't deserve to be part of US

  • Believed US had a tradition of isolation from foreign dominance

Acquiring New Territories

Alaska Purchase (1867)

Alaska was a Russian territory. Russia had little interest & not many settlers there. Russia didn't have resources to cater to Alaska

Russia was weakened by Crimean War & didn't have money to govern Alaska. US wanted Alaska to continue its Manifest Destiny & gain power in Asia-Pacific region

Russia agreed to sell Alaska to Pres. Andrew Johnson for $7.2 billion in Oct 1867

  • Alaska was purchased by William H Seward, the Secretary of State of Presidents Lincoln & Johnson

  • Many people opposed Alaska's purchase

    • Called it "Seward's Folly" as they thought the land was worthless​

  • Eventually, valuable resources were found in Alaska, making it beneficial to the US

    • Gold was found in Yukon, near Alaska, in 1896

      • Lots of people went to Alaska & Yukon

    • Oil was discovered in Northern Alaska in 1968

    • Also has coal, timber, natural gas, fur, and lots of salmon & fishing

  • Alaska was ruled by the US military since 1867

  • Alaska got a civil government in 1884

  • Alaska became the 49th state in 1959

Annexation of Hawaii (1898)

In mid 1800s, many Americans came to Hawaii for its thriving sugar industry. Hawaii's sugar industry benefited from trade w/ the US

The McKinley Tariff (1890) imposed a tariff on imported sugar, which devastated the Hawaiian sugar industry as they couldn't sell in America

Americans in Hawaii believed that if they join the US, they won't have to pay the tariff anymore

The Spanish-American War (1898) spurred increased imperialism, allowing president McKinley to annex Hawaii (1898). He believed Hawaii was a good base to conquer Philippines

Dole went to DC to petition annexation, but Grover Cleveland was becoming president & he opposed annexation (1893)

Samuel Dole led other American planters in an uprising against Hawaiian Queen Liliuokalani (Jan 1893)

Open Door Policy in China (1899)

  • In late 1800s, many European nations were carving spheres of influence in China

    • US wanted to join, so the US also carved its own sphere of influence in China

  • Sec of State John Hay wrote the Open Door notes (1899), a set of rules for the spheres of influence:

    • Each nation should have free access to ports within its sphere & respect the spheres of other nations

    • Only the Chinese government should collect taxes

    • No nation should be exempt from paying taxes at harbors or railroads

  • The Open Door notes allowed the US to continue its trade with China


Annexation of American Samoa (1900)

US wanted to annex the Samoan islands (in South Pacific) as a naval base & as a gateway to Asian trade

In 1872, US agreed to help a Samoan tribe in the 2nd Samoan Civil War (1898-1899) in order to build a naval base. Germany & Britain also intervened in the war

In Tripartite Convention (1899), they divided Samoa: US got Eastern part, Germany got Western part, and Britain got other trade concessions

  • American Samoa was a strategic naval base for the US during World War 2

  • US Navy controlled American Samoa from 1900-1951

  • US Dept. of Interior controlled American Samoa from 1951-1977

  • Since 1977, governors of American Samoa have been elected by the people of American Samoa

The Progressive Movement:


Societal Progressive Movements


  • Muckrakers were a group of journalists who wrote about societal problems

  • Lincoln Steffens published an article exposing political machines

    • His book was The Shame of Cities

    • Led to public outcry & reform of city governments

  • Ida Tarbell wrote about the bad and dangerous business practices of Rockefeller's Standard Oil Company & Trust

  • Upton Sinclair wrote The Jungle, exposing the dangerous working conditions in Chicago's meatpacking industry

    • His actions led to Pure Food and Drug Act & Meat Inspection Act (1906)


The Social Gospel

  • A movement within Christianity to bring social reform

    • Mostly within Protestantism, partially within Catholics & Jews as well​

    • Used religious revival to bring social reform​

    • Provided material aid & spiritual aid to the urban poor

  • Salvation Army was a famous example of this

  • Catholic priest John Ryan was a famous social reformer who used Catholicism for reform


The Settlement Houses

  • A group of houses to provide shelter & food to the urban poor

  • Jane Addams opened the Hull House in 1889, one of the 1st settlement houses in US

    • Led to the creation of hundreds of settlement houses nationwide​

    • Many unmarried college women worked here

  • Led to the creation of the profession of social workers

    • Many universities now had classes for sociology



  • The rise of cities led to a need for more services in the cities (medical, legal, managerial, etc. services)

    • This led to the rise of a new middle class

  • This rise in the middle class professions led to the idea of professionalism

    • Before, anyone could pursue any job without any training

    • Now, governments and private groups made professional standards & licenses for jobs

  • In 1901, professional doctors created American Medical Association

    • Had strict educational requirements to obtain a license

    • Some states passed laws requiring licensing of all physicians

  • National Association of Manufacturers (est. 1895) was a professional group of manufacturing businessmen

  • US Chamber of Commerce (Est. 1912) was a group of professional businessmen

  • American Farm Bureau Federation (est. 1920) promoted rights for farmers & improved education on farming methods


Working Condition Reforms

  • Labor unions and the American Federation of Labor pressured states to pass labor laws

    • Some states passed child labor laws, workers' compensation, & limitation of women's working hours

  • In 1911, a fire in the Triangle Shirtwaist Company in NYC killed 146 workers

    • Led to a movement for better working conditions​

    • Many city governments like Tammany Hall led working condition reforms


African-Americans & Reform

  • Booker T Washington sought to uplift the Black community by encouraging them to get an education

    • In his speech, the Atlanta Compromise (1895), he reasserted th​ese views

  • W. E. B. DuBois disagreed w/ Washington. He believed Blacks should work on getting civil rights

    • He met w/ other Blacks in the Niagara Movement (1905) to work on getting civil rights​

  • DuBois founded the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) in 1909

    • An organization to campaign for civil rights for Blacks​

    • NAACP won many court cases to give some civil rights to Blacks

  • Many people also opposed lunching

    • Ida B Wells was a prominent anti-lynching activist



  • Temperance was the anti-alcohol movement

    • Many women were active as they sought to limit the drunkenness of their husbands​

      • Also wanted to limit the expenses their husbands spend on alcohol​

  • Women's Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) (est. 1873) used Christianity to promote temperance

    • Frances Willard was the president after 1879​

  • Many states started to prohibit alcohol

  • After WW1, alcohol became a moral issue → 18th amendment (1919) banned alcohol consumption


Immigration Restriction & Eugenics

  • Many believed immigration was causing social problems, but they disagreed on how to solve this​​

    • Some wanted to assimilate immigrants into American society

    • Others wanted to slow immigration

  • This led to the eugenic movement

    • Forced the sterilization of the "racially inferior" and those w/ bad genetic qualities

    • Madison Grant wrote The Passing of the Great Race (1916) & was a famous eugenicist

    • Sen. William P Dillingham (R-VT) was the head of a committee that studied immigration

      • Concluded that these immigrants are less assimilable than the German/Irish immigrants from the early 1800s

  • Many factory owners liked immigration as it brings cheap labor

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Women's Reform Movements

Women in Professions & New Image of Women

  • Many women went to colleges and entered into high-ranking professions themselves

    • Some were physicians, lawyers, managers, etc.​

    • Women dominated the nursing industry

  • Many women had professions involving helping others (social workers, teachers, etc.)

    • Some Black women taught in Black schools​

  • Husbands worked outside the home, children went to school, and domestic appliances could help w/ domestic chores, so women had more free time

    • Women could spend more time on their education & their job

  • Some women remained single & lived w/ other women to have time to pursue their education

    • Known as "Boston Marriages"​



  • Many women's clubs were arising for women to show their intellect & high social status

    • General Federation of Women's Clubs (GFWC) (est. 1892) had 1 million members by 1917​

  • In early 1900s, clubs focused more on gaining women's rights

  • Black women joined separate Black women's clubs

    • Discussed racial issues like segregation & lynching

  • These clubs led to the passage of many laws to protect women's rights

    • Compensation for widows, food/drug regulations, workplace safety regulations, etc.

  • Women's Trade Union League (est. 1903) sought to campaign for women's rights in workplaces

    • Organized strikes & marches for women​


Women's Suffrage

  • National American Women Suffrage Association (Est. 1890) sought to campaign for women's suffrage

    • Led by Anna Howard Shaw & Carrie Chapman Catt, Susan B Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lucy Stone​

  • Promoted the idea that women are the moral voice in society

    • Since women occupy a separate domestic sphere, they have a different perspective

    • Believed women could curb belligerence by men

      • Gained support after many soldiers returned home from WW1​

  • In 1910s, many states gave women's suffrage

  • 19th amendment to give women's suffrage was ratified in 1920


Governmental Reform

City & State-Level Governmental Reform

  • The first step to reforming political machines was decreasing the power of political parties

    • Before, parties gave their own ballots to their supporters

    • Now, election officials created their own general ballot, causing party loyalty to decline

      • Many illiterate people couldn't read the new ballots

      • This caused voter turnout to decline​

  • There were also new forms of city governance

    • Commission Plan: City is led by a nonpartisan city council (about 400 cities adopted this)

    • Council-Manager Plan: Businessman from outside the city would run the city government

      • This person would be uninfluenced by political corruption in the city​

  • Many state governments also had reforms

    • Initiative: The idea where people would submit legislation directly to the voters in the election

    • Referendum: The idea where a legislative policy could be returned to the voters in the election

    • Some states instituted a primary election

  • Robert La Follette was the Wisconsin governor & Senator who led many reforms in Wisconsin


The Rise of Socialism

  • Impoverished farmers led the socialist movement as they hated capitalism

    • Eugene V Debs was the leader of socialism & the socialist presidential candidate in 1912

      • Won over 1 million votes

  • Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) (known as "Wobblies") was a worldwide organization to promote socialism

    • Wanted one large union instead of multiple smaller unions

    • William "Big Bill" Haywood was one of the founders & leaders of the IWW

      • One of the leaders of the Socialist Party

  • IWW appealed especially to many miners and temporary workers in the West

  • IWW membership declined after 1917 when the gov outlawed the IWW due to an IWW-led strike


Theodore Roosevelt's Actions

Roosevelt's "Square Deal"

  • Theodore Roosevelt was William McKinley's VP & took over when McKinley was assassinated in 1901

    • Roosevelt was very young & was interested in lots of progressive reforms​

  • Roosevelt's reform program was known as the "Square Deal"

    • Had 3 parts: Regulation of corporations, consumer protection, conservation of nature​

  • To regulate corporations, Roosevelt filed many anti-trust cases against large corporations

    • Established Dept. of Commerce and Labor (est. 1903) to help with anti-trust cases

    • Filed a lawsuit against Northern Securities Company (1904), which was successful

    • Passed Hepburn Act (1906) to regulate railroads & strengthen Interstate Commerce Commission

  • For consumer protection, Roosevelt passed laws to regulate the food industry

    • Pure Food & Drug Act (1906) and Meat Inspection Act (1906) promoted safe food products

  • For conservation of nature, he passed laws to conserve forests & natural areas

    • Established National Forest Service (1905)​

      • Gifford Pinchot was its first director​

    • National Reclamation Act (1902) funded irrigation project in the West

    • Created 5 national parks & 18 nat'l monuments

      • John Muir, a prominent conservationist, encouraged him to do this

    • In Hetch Hetchy Controversy, residents of SF wanted to build a dam in Hetch Hetchy Valley of Yosemite to provide them water

      • John Muir opposed the project, but SF residents & Roosevelt promoted it

      • In 1913, the bill for the dam was signed​


Panic of 1907