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The Brief American Pageant , Sixth Edition
David M. Kennedy, Stanford University
Lizabeth Cohen, Harvard University
Thomas A. Bailey
Mel Piehl, Valparaiso University
Suggested Lecture Topics
Chapter 27
Developing The Chapter: Suggested Lecture Or Discussion Topics


  • Explain more fully the different views of the causes of imperialism, including the idea of expansion as a way to create new economic markets. Show how these factors affected the Spanish-American War and the decision to take the Philippines.

    REFERENCE: Walter LaFeber, The New Empire (1963).

  • Analyze the complicated mix of "idealism" and "realism" in the Spanish-American War, and explain why some Americans were deeply concerned about the oppressed Cubans while others were more interested in the war as an occasion to demonstrate and spread America's new national power abroad.

    REFERENCE: Ernest May, Imperial Democracy (1961).

  • Demonstrate how the political impact of the war was much greater than the impact of the actual chaotic fighting. The focus might be on the ways in which the war raised up new heroes (Theodore Roosevelt and George Dewey) and created a new sense of the United States as a great world power.

    REFERENCE: David Trask, The War with Spain in 1898 (1981).

  • Consider why the question of whether to hold on to the Philippines was so controversial and why the proimperialist forces were able to win by a narrow margin. The discussion might center on both the short-term and long-term consequences of the Philippine acquisition.

    REFERENCE: H. W. Brands, Bound to Empire: The United States and the Philippines (1992).



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