In which John Green teaches you about Imperialism. In the late 19th century, the great powers of Europe were running around the world obtaining colonial possessions, especially in Africa and Asia. The United States, which as a young country was especially suceptible to peer pressure, followed along and snapped up some colonies of its own. The US saw that Spain’s hold on its empire was weak, and like some kind of expansionist predator, it jumped into the Cuban War for Independence and turned it into the Spanish-Cuban-Phillipino-American War, which usually just gets called the Spanish-American War. John will tell you how America turned this war into colonial possessions like Puerto Rico, The Philippines, and almost even got to keep Cuba. The US was busy in the Pacific as well, wresting control of Hawaii from the Hawaiians. All this and more in a globe-trotting, oppressing episode of Crash Course US History.
Our Subbable Dooblydoo message today is from James Williams. He writes, “Gracie Mckenna, luck is, indeed, for suckers.”
You can support Crash Course directly by subscribing and pledging a monthly gift at You could even have your own message in the Dooblydoo. If you subscribed via Subbable when the service first launched, you may need to go back and resubscribe. Thanks for your support.
Hey teachers and students – Check out CommonLit’s free collection of reading passages and curriculum resources to learn more about the events of this episode. As America transitioned from the 19th to the 20th century, she experimented with imperialism through war and annexation; one of the most lasting effects of this time was the annexation of Hawaii, America’s 50th state:
America’s imperial aims continued for decades, particularly with the Monroe Doctrine: