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menuAmerican Social History Project  ·    Center for Media and Learning

  • Theme > Expansion and Imperialism (x)
  • Historical Eras > Industrialization and Expansion (1877-1913) (x)

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Uncle Sam Teaches a Class In "Self-Government"

In this political cartoon from shortly after the conclusion of the Spanish-American War in 1898, "Uncle Sam" disciplines a class of unruly "children," representing Cuba, the Philippines, Puerto Rico, and Hawaii. The mustachioed figure reading the [...]

Uncle Sam Finds "Something Lacking" In New Possessions

The outcome of the Spanish-American War had far-reaching consequences for several of Spain's former colonies. The United States annexed Puerto Rico, the Philippines, and Guam, while Cuba became independent but subject to American influence. This [...]

"Showing the Light to the Filipinos"

From 1898 to 1902, the United States waged a bloody war in the Philippines. Filipinos wanted independence from centuries of Spanish colonial rule. U.S. leaders, however, saw the opportunity to control the Philippines and gain access to markets in [...]

The White(?) Man's Burden

This cartoon, published in March of 1899 in Life magazine, depicts the figures of Uncle Sam, John Bull and Kaiser Wilhelm as three heavy burdens being borne on the backs of non-white people, who are stooped over under their weight.

A Senator Speaks in Support of Empire

In this speech, Republican Senator from Indiana Albert J. Beveridge strongly advocates the annexation of the Philippines.

African-American Democrats Speak Out Against U.S. Imperialism

In this statement during the 1900 presidential election, the Negro National Democratic League criticizes the Republican administration's expansionist foreign policy, and gives its endorsement to the Democratic candidate, William Jennings Bryan.

"The White Man's Burden: The United States and the Philippine Islands"

In February 1899, British novelist and poet Rudyard Kipling wrote a poem entitled "The White Man's Burden: The United States and The Philippine Islands." In this poem, Kipling urged the U.S. to take up the "burden" of empire, as had Britain and [...]

"The Real White Man's Burden"

This satire of Rudyard Kipling's "The White Man's Burden" was written by Ernest Crosby, a pacifist and president of the Anti-Imperialist League of New York. Crosby's verses poke fun at Kipling's assumption that the "civilized" way of life is [...]

"The 'White Man's Burden': Uncle Sam to Kipling"

"Droch" was the pen name of Robert Bridges, a critic and editor at Scribner's and Life magazines and a friend to both Woodrow Wilson and Theodore Roosevelt. In this response to Rudyard Kipling's "The White Man's Burden," he opens by sarcastically [...]

"The Brown Man's Burden"

Much like Lulu Baxter Guy's "The Black Man's Burden," Henry Labouchère's "The Brown Man's Burden" shifts the emphasis of Kipling's notorious poem, offering a view of imperialism from the perspective of those who were most directly affected by [...]