US Expansion 1867–1903


Map Code: Ax01273

Between 1867–1903, the United States acquired Alaska, Hawaii, Guam, Puerto Rico, American Samoa and the Philippines. The Panama Canal zone, which consisted of the canal and a 5-mile (9.8-km) radius on each bank, was made ‘unincorporated US territory’ in 1903 by the new Republic of Panama. Alaska was purchased from Russia in March 1867, while Hawaii became a US territory in 1900 after it asked for annexation, having overthrown the Queen of Hawaii. The US saw Hawaii as an important naval acquisition, with its bases acting as a defence against Japanese naval ambitions. Military acquisitions were Puerto Rico, Guam and the Philippines, which were acquired under the Treaty of Paris in 1898, after the Spanish-American War. Spain also relinquished Cuba, which was placed under US control until its independence in 1902. In exchange, an agreement was signed in 1903 to lease Guantánamo Bay in southeastern Cuba, to the US.

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