US History - Territorial Expansion 3

US History - Territorial Expansion 3

In the first part of US History - Territorial expansion we had discussed Louisiana Purchase, Florida Purchase and Oregon Treaty. In the second part US History, Annexation of Mexican Territories discussed. In this one, we shall see the remaining expansion of USA.

Alaska Purchase

Alaska is the USA state in the North West corner of North America. It is largest US state. Its area is about double of Pakistan or four times the area of California. It is near to the polar region. In fact, its northern part comes under the Arctic Circle. In the mid of 18th century Russian under the tsar expansion policy came here by crossing Bering strait and made it part of Russia. In the second half of 19th century, Russia was facing the internal issue and due to being far away from European Russia, it found difficult to hold its grip on Alaska. Their at that time rival Britain was also in near areas like Yukon and British Colombia have come close to Alaska, They found it better to sell this area to the USA instead it would be occupied by Britain.  So, in 1867 Russia sold it to the USA for the cost of $7.2 million.  Alaska got Statehood in 1959.


US History - Territorial Expansion

Hawaii Annexation

Hawaii was an independent kingdoms 1893. During the nineteenth century, Americans were concerned regarding potential colonization of Hawaii by European Powers. America does not want any strong European control in Pacific waters.

In the last decade of the 19th century when Hawaii queen Liliuokalani tried to establish a stronger grip. USA ambassador in Hawaii John Stevens conspired a coup against monarchy and deposed the queen. The coup was led by an American origin Jewish Hawaii leader Sanford Ballard Dole. Dole requested America to annex Hawaii which President Cleveland rejected and asked the Dole to restore the Queen. Later in 1898, at the end of the Spanish-American war, President McKinley annexed Hawaii in the USA. Hawaii got status of State in 1959.

American-Spanish War

By the end of the nineteenth century, Spain who once ruled most of the Latin America countries in the height of its empire has Cuba as its major remaining colony. Cuban had tried multiple times to get independence but all such attempts were suppressed by the iron hand. Spanish cruelty in Cuba raised a large public demand to get free Cuba from Spain.  In 1998 War broke out between Spain and USA when USA demanded complete Spanish withdrawal from Cuba and admitted its right of independence after a US warship allegedly sunk by Spain in Havana harbor. The war ended in complete America victory and wiped out the remaining symbols of Spanish empire from the Pacific Ocean and Carrabin Sea.  Cuba became independent as the result of this war.  The USA take over the Philippine Guam and Puerto Rico. The peace treaty was signed in Paris and USA paid $20,000,000 to Spain to renounce its claim\ to these territories. Philippine got independent in 1946 whereas Guam and Puerto Rico are still US territories.

Other territories Annexation

  • In 1899 USA annexed Samoa according to a treaty of Berlin according to which Samoa was distributed between USA and Germany whereas UK control is admitted in Polynesian island Tonga.
  • The USA bought Virgin Island from Denmark in 1917. During the World War 2, USA took control of Greenland when Germany occupied Denmark to avoid any Nazi occupation there. After the war in 1946 before passing the island to Denmark, USA offered it to sell Greenland which Denmark refused.
  • Last major annexation in US History is theNorthern Mariana Islands, these were part of Japanese Pacific empire and came under US control at the end of World War 2.


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