The Moroccan-American Treaty of Peace and Friendship, sealed by Sultan Mohammed III.
1898 political cartoon: "Ten Thousand Miles From Tip to Tip" meaning the extension of U.S. domination (symbolized by a bald eagle) from Puerto Rico to the Philippines. The cartoon contrasts this with a map of the smaller United States 100 years earlier in 1798.
U.S. westward expansionportions of each territory were granted statehood since the 18th century.
A New Map of Texas, Oregon, and California, Samuel Augustus Mitchell, 1846
Caricature by Louis Dalrymple showing Uncle Sam lecturing four children labeled Philippines, Hawaii, Puerto Rico and Cuba, in front of children holding books labeled with various U.S. states. A black boy is washing windows, a Native American sits separate from the class, and a Chinese boy is outside the door. The caption reads: "School Begins. Uncle Sam (to his new class in Civilization): Now, children, you've got to learn these lessons whether you want to or not! But just take a look at the class ahead of you, and remember that, in a little while, you will feel as glad to be here as they are!"
This cartoon reflects the view of Judge magazine regarding America's imperial ambitions following McKinley's quick victory in the Spanish–American War of 1898. The American flag flies from the Philippines and Hawaii in the Pacific to Cuba and Puerto Rico in the Caribbean.
One of the New York Journals most infamous cartoons, depicting Philippine–American War General Jacob H. Smith's order "Kill Everyone over Ten," from the front page on May 5, 1902.
A map of "Greater America" c. 1900, including overseas territories.
American troops marching in Vladivostok during the Allied intervention in the Russian Civil War, August 1918
Protest against the deployment of Pershing II missiles in Europe, The Hague, Netherlands, 1983
On the cover of Puck published on April 6, 1901, in the wake of gainful victory in the Spanish–American War, Columbia—the National personification of the U.S.—preens herself with an Easter bonnet in the form of a warship bearing the words "World Power" and the word "Expansion" on the smoke coming out of its stack.
1903 cartoon, "Go Away, Little Man, and Don't Bother Me", depicts President Roosevelt intimidating Colombia to acquire the Panama Canal Zone
In 1899, Uncle Sam balances his new possessions which are depicted as savage children. The figures are Puerto Rico, Hawaii, Cuba, Philippines and "Ladrone Island" (Guam, largest of the Mariana Islands, which were formerly known as the Ladrones Islands).
American occupation of Mexico City in 1847
Ceremonies during the annexation of the Republic of Hawaii, 1898
CIA's Extraordinary Rendition and Detention Program – countries involved in the Program, according to the 2013 Open Society Foundation's report on torture.
A U.S. soldier stands guard duty near a burning oil well in the Rumaila oil field, Iraq, April 2003
Naval Base Guam in the U.S. territory of Guam
Enlargement of NATO
A convoy of U.S. soldiers during the American-led intervention in the Syrian Civil War, December 2018
Map of the United States and directly controlled territories at its greatest extent from 1898 to 1902, after the Spanish–American War
A map of Central America, showing the places affected by Theodore Roosevelt's Big Stick policy
McDonald's in Saint Petersburg, Russia
Combined Air and Space Operations Center (CAOC) at Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar, 2015
Political cartoon depicting Theodore Roosevelt using the Monroe Doctrine to keep European powers out of the Dominican Republic.

List of treaties to which the United States has been a party or which have had direct relevance to U.S. history.

- List of United States treaties

Their sovereignty was systematically undermined by US state policy (usually involving unequal or broken treaties) and white settler-colonialism.

- American imperialism

424 related topics


Spanish–American War

Period of armed conflict between Spain and the United States.

(clockwise from top left) Signal Corps extending telegraph lines

USS Iowa (BB-4)

Filipino soldiers wearing Spanish pith helmets outside Manila

The Spanish signing the Treaty of Paris

Roosevelt and his Rough Riders at San Juan Hill

Replacing of the Spanish flag at Fort San Antonio Abad (Fort Malate)
Cuban War of Independence
A Spanish satirical drawing published in La Campana de Gràcia (1896) criticizing U.S. behavior regarding Cuba by Manuel Moliné. Upper text reads (in old Catalan): "Uncle Sam's craving", and below: "To keep the island so it won't get lost".
An American cartoon published in Judge, February 6, 1897: Columbia (representing the American people) reaches out to the oppressed Cuba (the caption under the chained child reads "Spain's 16th Century methods") while Uncle Sam (representing the U.S. government) sits blindfolded, refusing to see the atrocities or use his guns to intervene (cartoon by Grant E. Hamilton).
Illustrated map published by the Guardia Civil showing the Kingdom of Spain and its remaining colonial possessions in 1895 (Caroline and Mariana Islands, as well as Spanish Sahara, Morocco, Guinea and Guam are not included.)
The American transport ship Seneca, a chartered vessel that carried troops to Puerto Rico and Cuba
Spanish Vessels captured up to evening of May 1, 1898
CHAP. 189. – An Act Declaring that war exists between the United States of America and the Kingdom of Spain on April 25, 1898.
The last stand of the Spanish Garrison in Cuba by Murat Halstead, 1898
The Pacific theatre of the Spanish–American War
Spanish Marines trenched during the Battle of Manila Bay
The Battle of Manila Bay
Spanish artillery regiment during the Philippine Campaign
Group of Tagalog Filipino revolutionaries during the Spanish-American War of 1898
Spanish infantry troops and officers in Manila
The Spanish armored cruiser, which was destroyed during the Battle of Santiago on July 3, 1898
Detail from Charge of the 24th and 25th Colored Infantry and Rescue of Rough Riders at San Juan Hill, July 2, 1898, depicting the Battle of San Juan Hill
Mauser Model 1893 rifle, used by the Spanish infantry and superior to American rifles; the Springfield Model 1892-99 and the Krag-Jørgensen rifle. Because of this superiority the US Army developed the M1903 Springfield.
Charge of the Rough Riders
Receiving the news of the surrender of Santiago
The Santiago Campaign (1898)
Crewmen pose under the gun turrets of USS Iowa (BB-4) in 1898.
Spanish troops before they departed to engage the American forces at Hormigueros, Puerto Rico
A monument in Guánica, Puerto Rico, for the U.S. infantrymen who lost their lives in the Spanish–American War in 1898.
Oil on canvas painted and signed with initials A.A. by Antonio Antón and Antonio Iboleón, around 1897. It is an ideal view of the Spanish Squadron of Instruction in 1896, before the war of 1898, since the ships represented never sailed together. On the left the Battleship Pelayo with insignia, followed by the cruisers Cristóbal Colón, Infanta María Teresa and Alfonso XIII; on the right, the cruiser Carlos V with insignia, Almirante Oquendo and Vizcaya. On the starboard side of the Pelayo sails the torpedo boat Destructor; Two Furor-class destroyer boats sail along the bows of the Carlos V. Stormy sea and partly cloudy skies.
Cámara's squadron in the Suez Canal in July 1898. His flagship, the battleship Pelayo, can be seen in the foreground. The last ship of the line is the armored cruiser Carlos V. Finally this squad would not fight in the war.
Jules Cambon, the French ambassador to the United States, signing the memorandum of ratification on behalf of Spain
US Army "War with Spain" campaign streamer
Cross of Military Merit for Combat in Cuba

The idea of American imperialism changed in the public's mind after the short and successful Spanish–American War.

Theodore Roosevelt

American politician, statesman, conservationist, naturalist, historian, and writer who served as the 26th president of the United States from 1901 to 1909.

Portrait by Pach Bros., c. 1904
Theodore Roosevelt at age 11
The Roosevelt coat of arms as displayed on Theodore Roosevelt's bookplate, featuring three roses in a meadow (in reference to the family name, which means "rose field" in Dutch).
6-year-old Theodore and 5-year-old Elliott watch Lincoln's funeral procession from the second-floor window of their grandfather's mansion (at top left, facing the camera), Manhattan, April 25, 1865
Roosevelt's taxidermy kit
Roosevelt's birthplace at 28 East 20th Street in Manhattan, New York City
Roosevelt as New York State Assemblyman, 1883
Theodore Roosevelt as Badlands hunter in 1885. New York studio photo.
NYC Police Commissioner Roosevelt walks the beat with journalist Jacob Riis in 1894—Illustration from Riis's autobiography.
The Asiatic Squadron destroying the Spanish fleet in the Battle of Manila Bay on May 1, 1898
Colonel Theodore Roosevelt
Colonel Roosevelt and the Rough Riders after capturing Kettle Hill in Cuba in July 1898, along with members of the 3rd Volunteers and the regular Army black 10th Cavalry
Bureau of Engraving and Printing engraved portrait of Roosevelt as President
Official White House portrait by John Singer Sargent
Roosevelt driving through a sequoia tree tunnel
The U.S.'s intentions to influence the area (especially the Panama Canal construction and control) led to the separation of Panama from Colombia in 1903
1903 cartoon: "Go Away, Little Man, and Don't Bother Me". Roosevelt intimidating Colombia to acquire the Panama Canal Zone.
1904 election results
Roosevelt family at Oyster Bay, circa 1903
Roosevelt shortly after leaving office, October 1910
Roosevelt standing next to the elephant he shot on safari
Punch depicts no-holds-barred fight between Taft and Roosevelt
Roosevelt campaigning for president, 1912
Theodore Roosevelt's medical x-ray on October 14, 1912, after the assassination attempt, showing the bullet that would remain inside his body for life
The bullet-damaged speech and eyeglass case on display at the Theodore Roosevelt Birthplace in Manhattan, New York City
From left to right (seated): Fr. John Augustine Zahm, Cândido Rondon, Kermit Roosevelt, Cherrie, Miller, four Brazilians, Roosevelt, Fiala. Only Roosevelt, Kermit, Cherrie, Rondon, and the Brazilians traveled down the River of Doubt.
Former President Theodore Roosevelt in Allentown, Pennsylvania, 1914
Theodore and Edith Roosevelt's Grave at Youngs Memorial Cemetery
Part of the Works of Theodore Roosevelt
Sagamore Hill, Roosevelt's Long Island estate
"The Man of the Hour" Roosevelt as Warrior in 1898 and Peacemaker in 1905 settling war between Russia and Japan
1910 cartoon showing Roosevelt's many roles from 1899 to 1910
Theodore Roosevelt and pilot Hoxsey at St. Louis, October 11, 1910.

In the 1890s, Roosevelt had been an ardent imperialist and vigorously defended the permanent acquisition of the Philippines in the 1900 campaign.

Vietnam War

Conflict in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia from 1 November 1955 to the fall of Saigon on 30 April 1975.

Clockwise from top left: U.S. combat operations in Ia Đrăng

ARVN Rangers defending Saigon during the 1968 Tết Offensive

Two A-4C Skyhawks after the Gulf of Tonkin incident

ARVN recapture Quảng Trị during the 1972 Easter Offensive

Civilians fleeing the 1972 Battle of Quảng Trị

Burial of 300 victims of the 1968 Huế Massacre
The Geneva Conference, 1954
Ba Cut in Can Tho Military Court 1956, commander of religious movement the Hòa Hảo, which had fought against the Việt Minh, Vietnamese National Army and Cao Dai movement throughout the first war
Map of insurgency and "disturbances", 1957 to 1960
U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower and Secretary of State John Foster Dulles greet President Ngô Đình Diệm of South Vietnam in Washington, 8 May 1957
The Ho Chi Minh trail, known as the Truong Son Road by the North Vietnamese, cuts through Laos. This would develop into a complex logistical system which would allow the North Vietnamese to maintain the war effort despite the largest aerial bombardment campaign in history
The Ho Chi Minh trail required, on average, four months of rough-terrain travel for combatants from North Vietnam destined for the Southern battlefields.
President Kennedy's news conference of 23 March 1961
South Vietnam, Military Regions, 1967
Kennedy and McNamara
ARVN forces capture a Viet Cong
Ngô Đình Diệm after being shot and killed in a coup on 2 November 1963
Viet Cong fighters crossing a river
A U.S. B-66 Destroyer and four F-105 Thunderchiefs dropping bombs on North Vietnam during Operation Rolling Thunder
ARVN Forces and a US Advisor inspect a downed helicopter, Battle of Dong Xoai, June 1965
A Marine from 1st Battalion, 3rd Marines, moves a suspected Viet Cong during a search and clear operation held by the battalion 15 mi west of Da Nang Air Base, 1965.
Peasants suspected of being Viet Cong under detention of U.S. Army, 1966
Heavily bandaged woman burned by napalm, with a tag attached to her arm which reads "VNC Female" meaning Vietnamese civilian
A US "tunnel rat" soldier prepares to enter a Viet Cong tunnel.
Viet Cong soldier crouches in a bunker with an SKS rifle
ARVN forces assault a stronghold in the Mekong Delta.
Viet Cong before departing to participate in the Tet Offensive around Saigon-Gia Dinh
North Vietnamese regular army forces
The ruins of a section of Saigon, in the Cholon neighborhood, following fierce fighting between ARVN forces and Viet Cong Main Force battalions
Soviet Premier Alexei Kosygin with U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson at the Glassboro Summit Conference where the two representatives discussed the possibilities of a peace settlement
Propaganda leaflet urging the defection of Viet Cong and North Vietnamese to the side of the Republic of Vietnam
ARVN and US Special Forces, September 1968
An alleged Viet Cong captured during an attack on an American outpost near the Cambodian border is interrogated.
Pathet Lao soldiers in Vientiane, 1972
Soviet advisers inspecting the debris of a B-52 downed in the vicinity of Hanoi
American POWs recently released from North Vietnamese prison camps, 1973
Civilians in a NVA/Viet Cong controlled zone. Civilians were required to show appropriate flags, during the War of the flags
Memorial commemorating the 1974 Buon Me Thuot campaign, depicting a Montagnard of the Central Highlands, a NVA soldier and a T-54 tank
The capture of Hue, March 1975
Victorious PAVN troops at the Presidential Palace, Saigon
Anti-war demonstration in the US, 1967
Ho Chi Minh from the Việt Minh independence movement and Việt Cộng with East German sailors in Stralsund harbour, 1957
Leonid Brezhnev (left) was the Soviet Union's leader during the Vietnam War.
Soviet anti-air instructors and North Vietnamese crewmen in the spring of 1965 at an anti-aircraft training center in Vietnam
Vietnam People's Air Force pilots walk by their aircraft, the MiG-17. The development of the North Vietnamese Vietnam People's Air Force (VPAF) during the war was assisted by Warsaw Pact nations throughout the war. Between 1966 and 1972 a total of 17 flying aces was credited by the VPAF against US fighters.
Fidel Castro meeting with Võ Nguyên Giáp at the Vietnam Military History Museum
East German solidarity stamp depicting a Vietnamese mother and child with the text "Unconquerable Vietnam"
The Thai Queen's Cobra battalion in Phuoc Tho
An Australian soldier in Vietnam
Victims of the My Lai massacre
Napalm burn victims during the war being treated at the 67th Combat Support Hospital
Interment of victims of the Huế Massacre
Da Nang, South Vietnam, 1968
A nurse treats a Vietnamese child, 1967
Female Viet Cong guerrilla in combat
Master-Sergeant and pharmacist Do Thi Trinh, part of the WAFC, supplying medication to ARVN dependents
Memorial temple to Nguyễn Thị Định and the female volunteers of the Viet Cong whom she commanded. They came to call themselves the "Long-Haired Army".
A wounded African-American soldier being carried away, 1968
Guerrillas assemble shells and rockets delivered along the Ho Chi Minh Trail.
UH-1D helicopters airlift members of a U.S. infantry regiment, 1966
North Vietnamese SAM crew in front of SA-2 launcher. The Soviet Union provided North Vietnam with considerable anti-air defence around installations.
Bombs being dropped by the B-52 Stratofortress long-range strategic bomber.
B-52 wreckage in Huu Tiep Lake, Hanoi. Downed during Operation Linebacker II, its remains have turned into a war monument.
Vietnamese refugees fleeing Vietnam, 1984
A bombed Buddha statue in Laos. U.S. bombing campaigns made Vietnam the single most bombed country in history.
Captured U.S.-supplied armored vehicles and artillery pieces
A young Marine private waits on the beach during the Marine landing, Da Nang, 3 August 1965
A marine gets his wounds treated during operations in Huế City, in 1968
Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara and General Westmoreland talk with General Tee on conditions of the war in Vietnam.
U.S. helicopter spraying chemical defoliants in the Mekong Delta, South Vietnam, 1969
Handicapped children in Vietnam, most of them victims of Agent Orange, 2004
Cemetery for ten unmarried girls who volunteered for logistical activities, who died in a B-52 raid at Đồng Lộc Junction, a strategic junction along the Ho Chi Minh trail
Stone plaque with photo of the "Thương tiếc" (Mourning Soldier) statue, originally, installed at the Republic of Vietnam National Military Cemetery. The original statue was demolished in April 1975.

Opposition to the Vietnam War tended to unite groups opposed to U.S. anti-communism and imperialism, and for those involved with the New Left, such as the Catholic Worker Movement.

Niall Ferguson

Scottish historian based in the United States who is the Milbank Family Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University and a Senior Faculty Fellow at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard University.

Ferguson in 2011
Niall Ferguson recording the third of his 2012 BBC Reith Lecture at Gresham College.

Ferguson writes and lectures on international history, economic and financial history and British and American imperialism.

United States non-interventionism

Eventually applied by the United States between the late 18th century and the first half of the 20th century whereby it sought to avoid alliances with other nations in order to prevent itself from being drawn into wars which were not related to the direct territorial self-defense of the United States.

Wake Up, America! Civilization Calls, poster by James Montgomery Flagg, 1917
Protest march to prevent American involvement in World War II before the attack on Pearl Harbor.

Due to the Cold-War subsequent to the Second World War's end, and the rise of the United States as a global superpower, its traditional foreign policy turned into a diplomatic and military interventionism, engaging or somehow intervening in virtually any overseas armed conflict ever since; and concluding multiple bilateral and regional military alliances, chiefly the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO).

William McKinley

The 25th president of the United States, serving from 1897 until his assassination in 1901.

McKinley, aged 15
Rutherford B. Hayes was McKinley's mentor during and after the Civil War.
McKinley in 1865, just after the war, photograph by Mathew Brady
Ida Saxton McKinley
Katherine McKinley
Representative McKinley
'Judge' magazine cover from September 1890, showing McKinley (left) having helped dispatch Speaker Reed's opponent in early-voting Maine, hurrying off with the victor to McKinley's "jerrymandered" Ohio district
Even after his final run for president in 1884, James G. Blaine was still seen as a possible candidate for the Republican nomination. In this 1890 Puck cartoon, he is startling Reed and McKinley (right) as they make their plans for 1892.
McKinley's close friend and adviser, Mark Hanna
Louis Dalrymple cartoon from Puck magazine, June 24, 1896, showing McKinley about to crown himself with the Republican nomination. The "priests" are Hanna (in green) and Representative Charles H. Grosvenor (red); H. H. Kohlsaat is the page holding the robe.
Before the 1896 convention, McKinley tried to avoid coming down on one side or the other of the currency question. William Allen Rogers's cartoon from Harper's Weekly, June 1896, showing McKinley riding the rail of the currency question.
William and Ida McKinley (to her husband's left) pose with members of the "Flower Delegation" from Oil City, Pennsylvania, before the McKinley home. Although women could not vote in most states, they might influence male relatives and were encouraged to visit Canton.
A Man of Mark 1896 Homer Davenport cartoon of McKinley as Hanna's creature, from William Randolph Hearst's New York Journal
1896 Electoral vote results
Editorial cartoon intervention in Cuba. Columbia (the American people) reaches out to help oppressed Cuba in 1897 while Uncle Sam (the U.S. government) is blind to the crisis and will not use its powerful guns to help. Judge magazine, February 6, 1897.
Signing of the Treaty of Paris
Annexation of the Republic of Hawaii in 1898
American soldiers scale the walls of Beijing to relieve the siege of the International Legations, August 1900
1900 reelection poster with the theme that McKinley has returned prosperity to America
McKinley, (right of center) flanked by Georgia Governor Allen D. Candler (front row to McKinley's right) and Gen. William Rufus Shafter, reviewing the Atlanta Peace Jubilee parade, December 15, 1898
McKinley ran on his record of prosperity and victory in 1900, winning easy re-election over William Jennings Bryan.
McKinley entering the Temple of Music on September 6, 1901, shortly before the shots were fired
Artist's conception of the shooting of McKinley
The official Presidential portrait of William McKinley, by Harriet Anderson Stubbs Murphy
Chief Justice Melville Fuller swears in William McKinley as president; outgoing President Grover Cleveland at right
McKinley's tomb in Canton, Ohio
William McKinley Monument by Hermon MacNeil in front of the Ohio Statehouse, Columbus
McKinley Monument by Alexander Phimister Proctor in front of Buffalo City Hall, Buffalo
McKinley on the $500 bill
Louisiana Purchase Exposition stamp (1904) honoring McKinley, who had signed a bill authorizing a subsidy for that upcoming event
McKinley Monument in front of Lucas County Courthouse, Toledo

McKinley defeated Bryan again in the 1900 presidential election in a campaign focused on imperialism, protectionism, and free silver.

Filibuster (military)

Someone who engages in an unauthorized military expedition into a foreign country or territory to foster or support a political revolution or secession.

Filibuster William Walker launched several expeditions into Latin America
Battle of San Jacinto in Nicaragua in 1856

In the traditional historiography in both the United States and Latin America, Walker's filibustering represented the high tide of antebellum American imperialism.


Continuation or reimposition of imperialist rule by a state over another nominally independent state (usually, a former colony).

Kwame Nkrumah (pictured on a Soviet postage stamp) was a Ghanaian politician and coined the term "neocolonialism".
Usage of:
People in Brisbane protesting Australia's claim on East Timorese oil, in May 2017
Protest against U.S. involvement in the military intervention in Yemen, New York City, 2017
Combined Air and Space Operations Center (CAOC) at Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar, 2015
Map of the European Union in the world, with Overseas Countries and Territories (OCT) in green and Outermost Regions (OMR) in blue

Noam Chomsky has been a prominent critic of "American imperialism"; he believes that the basic principle of the foreign policy of the United States is the establishment of "open societies" that are economically and politically controlled by the United States and where U.S.-based businesses can prosper.

New Imperialism

The Congress of Vienna by Jean-Baptiste Isabey (1819). The congress was actually a series of face-to-face meetings between colonial powers. It served to divide and reappropriate imperial holdings.
Comparison of Africa in the years 1880 and 1913
British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli and Queen Victoria
Indigenous African soldier pledging alliance to the Spanish flag. European armies would regularly enlist native men to garrison their own land.
Map of British India
Colonial government official J. Rozet, an Indo Eurasian, in negotiation with tribal chiefs (Roti Islanders), Pariti, Timor, 1896.
A shocked mandarin in official robes in the back, with Queen Victoria (Britain), Wilhelm II (Germany), Nicholas II (Russia), Marianne (France), and Emperor Meiji (Japan) discussing how to cut up Chine ("China" in French).
Persia at the beginning of the Great Game in 1814
Central Asia, circa 1848
Du Petit-Thouars taking over Tahiti on September 9, 1842.
Dutch, Indo-Eurasian and Javanese professors of law at the opening of the Rechts Hogeschool in 1924.

In historical contexts, New Imperialism characterizes a period of colonial expansion by European powers, the United States, and Japan during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Noam Chomsky

American linguist, philosopher, cognitive scientist, historical essayist, social critic, and political activist.

Chomsky in 2017
Carol Schatz, whom Chomsky married in 1949
The Great Dome at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where Chomsky began working in 1955
Chomsky, photographed in 1977
Chomsky speaking in support of the Occupy movement in 2011
Set inclusions described by the Chomsky hierarchy
Chomsky at the 2003 World Social Forum, a convention for counter-hegemonic globalization, in Porto Alegre
Chomsky (far right) and his wife Valeria (second from right) with David and Carolee Krieger of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, 2014
Chomsky receiving an award from the president of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, David Krieger (2014)

An outspoken opponent of U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War, which he saw as an act of American imperialism, in 1967 Chomsky rose to national attention for his anti-war essay "The Responsibility of Intellectuals".