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The idea that the United States is unique in the world, usually in the sense that the United States is better than all other nations due to our history and form of government.
City Upon a Hill
An image borrowed from the Bible by Puritan minister John Winthrop to describe the United States as a model society that the rest of the world should look up to as an example.
The idea that people, businesses and nations operate by Charles Darwin's survival of the fittest principle. That is, successful nations are successful because they are inherently better than others. At the turn of the century, White culture was seen as superior to others because Europeans and the United States were imperial nations and had defeated the people of their colonies.
Contiguous United States
The 48 states that touch. In other words, all the states except Alaska and Hawaii.
A nickname for the purchase of Alaska, alluding to the idea that it was a mistake.
White Man's Burden
The idea that White Americans and Europeans had an obligation to teach the people of the rest of the world how to be civilized.
Alfred T. Mahan
Author of the book "The Influence of Seapower upon History."
The Influence of Seapower upon History
Book by Alfred T. Mahan in which he argued that great nations have colonies and navies to protect trade with those colonies. This book inspired Theodore Roosevelt and led to the acquisition of overseas colonies such as Hawaii, the Philippines, Guam and Samoa.
Naval base on Oahu in Hawaii. The United States annexed Hawaii in part to gain control over this important coaling station.
Last queen of the independent Kingdom of Hawaii.
Annexation of Hawaii
June 14, 1900 resolution by Congress that made Hawaii a territory of the United States.
Island group in the Pacific annexed by the United States. It was divided with Germany and remains an American territory.
American Anti-Imperialist League
Organization of Americans opposed to imperialism.
Island nation just south of Florida that was a Spanish colony until the United States secured its independence in the Spanish-American War.
Cuban poet and leader of the Cuban independence movement.