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The Purchase of Alaska & The Annexation of Hawaii

History of Alaska

  • Russia had colonized Alaska during the 1700s

  • Alaska is a land of 500,000 square miles

  • The Eskimo people of Alaska called the Inuit people have lived there for thousands of years

The U.S. purchases Alaska

  • In 1867-Russia offered to sell Alaska to the U.S.

  • The American Secretary of State- William Seward said that the U.S. would buy Alaska for $7.2 million (2 cents an acre)

  • Russia agreed to the deal and the U.S. purchased Alaska in 1867


  • Many Americans thought this was a foolish waste of American money and they made fun of William Seward by referring to the U.S. purchase of Alaska as "Seward's Icebox" or as "Seward's folly"

  • A folly is a mistake

  • The newspapers of the time thought this was a bad idea to buy a frozen land



  • In the 1880s - Gold was discovered in Alaska's state capital---Juneau, Alaska


  • Alaska has a huge oil supply---that the U.S. has not tapped into as of yet-because we buy our oil from the Middle East-but we save Alaska's oil for an emergency oil supply if we ever run out of oil or need it


  • Also, once the oil in the Middle East is gone-we can control the world oil supply and set the prices of oil at a higher price than today


  • Alaska also has lots of fish, lumber and other natural resources


  • Alaska officially became a state in 1959


History of Hawaii

  • Hawaii has been inhabited since 600 AD by the Hawaii island native people-it is a very beautiful set of islands

  • The Hawaiians had their own traditions, cultures, religion and a monarchy for a government; which means that they were ruled by a king or queen

  • Hawaiians have luaus, they have dances with fire and the ladies wear grass skirts when they dance


  • In 1778---an English Sea Captain named James Cook landed in Hawaii

  • 1820s---Christian missionaries arrived in Hawaii to convert the Hawaiians to Christianity

  • 1890s---Many Americans moved to Hawaii to live and farm and open businesses-and many had become wealthy by building large pineapple and sugar cane plantations

The Hawaiian Queen

  • The Hawaiian King had died, and in the 1890s and the ruler of Hawaii was Queen Liliuokalani

  • The Hawaiian Queen Liliuokalani wanted to restore power to the native Hawaiian people-she wanted the Americans to stop taking over her land, her people, etc.

    King Kamehamena III introduced the first Hawaii Constitution


  • 1893---The American planters and the Hawaiian people revolted against each other

  • 1893-The Americans overthrew Queen Liliuokalani and the Hawaiian Government

  • The Hawaiians asked the U.S. to annex it as a state---but the president of the U.S. said "No"


  • So Hawaii was ruled by Americans individually for years


  • 1898----The United States decided to annex Hawaii as a U.S. possession


  • 1959---Hawaii was made the 50th state in the U.S.


The Spanish American War

Spain's colonies in 1898

  • The country of Spain had lost all of it's western colonies by 1898; except 2: which were Puerto Rico and Cuba

  • Spain did not want to lose Cuba or Puerto Rico

  • Consider the fact that Spain was the first country to colonize and explore (Christopher Columbus)---so it had ruled colonies for only about 300 years

Cuba Revolts

  • In 1895-The colony of Cuba attempted to revolt against Spain to win it's independence like America

  • The country of Spain began jailing and killing thousands of Cubans to stop the Cuban fight for Independence

United States 1898

  • William McKinley was the United States President in 1898

  • McKinley knew that Americans in Cuba were in danger of being killed or jailed, so he sent the "USS MAINE" Battleship to Havana, Cuba in January 1898 to protect the Americans

The USS Maine Battleship explodes in Cuba's harbor

  • February 15, 1898---the USS Maine Battleship exploded in the Havana, Cuba harbor---this killed 260 American sailors
  • Two American newspapers blamed the Spanish for the explosion by publishing "Remember the Maine" and crying out for War against Spain
  • There was no proof that Spain had blown up the American battleship-it might have been the Cubans who did it

The U.S. declares war on Spain

  • The U.S. declared war on Spain

  • The U.S. decided to attack the Spanish colonies of Puerto Rico and Cuba

  • McKinley sent U.S. battleships to all Spanish territories to attack the Spanish

George Dewey

  • George Dewey was an admiral who was in charge of a fleet of battleships that sailed to the Philippines; which were Spanish territories at that time
  • George Dewey and his men won the Philippine battles and the Americans wiped out the Spanish fleet

The Rough Riders   

  • Theodore Roosevelt (Teddy Roosevelt, future President of U.S.)-was the Secretary of the Navy in 1898
  • Teddy quit his job and organized volunteer men called "The Rough Riders" to go to Cuba to help the Cubans fight for Independence
  • The Rough Riders were men who volunteered to fight against Spain and they consisted of cowhands, sheriffs, African Americans, and Buffalo Soldiers etc.
  • Buffalo Soldiers were the men who had been in the American cavalries and who had fought the Indians in the Plains wars

The Battle of San Juan Hill

  • July 1, 1898---The Rough Riders and Teddy Roosevelt made a charge up San Juan Hill in Cuba and they defeated the Spanish
  • Despite the fact that the Americans had the low ground-they had won the battle
  • The Battle of San Juan Hill instantly made Teddy Roosevelt and the Rough Riders a hero

America's purpose in the Spanish American War

  • America was trying to show the world that if Americans are attacked or Killed-America will defend itself and protect it's people
  • America also wanted to help Cubans fight for independence from foreign rule like we had fought from Britain
  • America showed that it was a mighty world power in the Spanish American War by winning the War for Cuba

Emilio Aguinaldo

  • Emilio Aguinaldo was a Philippine man who did not like Spanish rule
  • Emilio Aguinaldo helped the Americans fight the Spanish in the Philippines
  • After the Spanish were defeated-Emilio wanted the Philippines to become an independent nation of it's own and he wanted Americans out

The Results of the Spanish American War


  • Emilio continued to fight against the Philippines being a U.S. territory after the war
  • In 1946-the Philippines gained it's Independence

  • (Guam and Puerto Rico are still part of the U.S. and their people are U.S. citizens)