Library

Platt Amendment

Author:   Elihu Root Date:1901 Annotation: In 1901, after the United States had occupied Cuba for five years, Secretary of War Elihu Root drafted a set of articles (later known as the Platt Amendment) outlining the rules that governed future U.S.-Cuban relations. In 1902, despite considerable Cuban resistance, the articles became a part of the Cuban…
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First Open Door Note

Author:   John Hay Date:1899 Annotation: First Open Door Note. In 1899, Secretary of State John Hay issued a statement addressing the U.S. policy toward China. The U.S. sent notes to Britain, Germany, France, Italy, Japan, and Russia to explain the Open Door Policy. The policy supported the principle that foreign countries have equal access to…
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The Hawaiian Situation: The Invasion of Hawaii

Author:   Eugene Tyler Chamberlain Date:1893 Annotation: Hawaiian annexation. After a century of American rule, many native Hawaiians remain bitter about how the United States acquired the islands, located 2,500 miles from the West Coast. In 1893, a small group of sugar and pineapple-growing businessmen, aided by the American minister to Hawaii and backed by heavily…
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The Hawaiian Situation: Our Present Duty

Author:   William M. Springer Date:1893 Annotation: Hawaiian annexation, 1893   Document: In the complications which have arisen recently in the Hawaiian Islands a few residents, prompted by their personal interests, nearly all of whom are of foreign birth and many of whom are aliens, have sought to embroil our government in the internal affairs of a…
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A Plea for Annexation

Author:   John Stevens Date:1893 Annotation: An article that appeared in The North American Review concerning the annexation of Hawaii. John Stevens, the author, was United States Minister to Hawaii. The U.S. annexation of the Hawaiian Islands in 1898 extended U.S. territory in the Pacific and secured commercial interests in Hawaii. Document: A grave question is now before the…
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Sea Power

Author:   Alfred T. Mahan Date:1890 Annotation: Alfred Thayer Mahan was influential in helping to build-up naval defenses before World War I. He emphasized the importance of sea power and was inspirational in establishing navies around the world. Several ships, including the USS Mahan, were named in his honor. Mahan, a naval strategist and the author of The…
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The Pursuit and Capture of Chief Joseph

Date:1936 Annotation: Account of the pursuit and capture of Chief Joseph and the Nez Perce in 1877. The last great war between the U.S. government and an Indian nation ended at 4 p.m., October 5, 1877, in the Bear Paw Mountains of northern Montana. Chief Joseph of the Nez Perce nation surrendered 87 men, 184 women,…
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The Farce of the Chinese Exclusion Laws

Date:1898 Annotation: Article on Chinese exclusion in the North American Review. From 1882 until 1943, most Chinese immigrants were barred from entering the United States. The Chinese Exclusion Act was the nation’s first law to ban immigration by race or nationality. All Chinese people–except travelers, merchants, teachers, students, and those born in the United States–were barred…
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Plessy v. Ferguson

Date:1896 Annotation: In 1890, Louisiana passed a law prohibiting people of different races from traveling together on trains. This law was one of many forms of segregation, formal and informal, that came to be known as Jim Crow (named after a minstrel song). A group of African American educators, lawyers, journalists, and civic leaders in New…
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Populist Party Platform

Date:1896 Annotation: Platform of the Populist Party in 1896. In the late 19th century, the Populist Party increased in popularity among western farmers, largely because they were in opposition to the gold standard. They had not faired well financially under industrialization, and they mounted a campaign against corrupt government and economic power. They claimed they were…
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