Date of Award

Spring 6-12-2015

Document Type

Undergraduate Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of arts (BA)


Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences

First Advisor

Michael Allen


The year 1898, with the annexation of Hawaii and the results of Spanish-American War – namely the acquisition of more overseas territory – has traditionally served as the benchmark for what would be known as ‘American Imperialism’. At the time, and in the 117 years since, very little material has been produced which questions either the nature of ‘American Imperialism’ or its assumed start date. This paper seeks to accomplish exactly those aims. By first exploring the historiography of the broader nature of ‘imperialism’, then seeing how the ‘American System’ adapted and applied it, I will use specific case-study examples to test the hypothesis that rather than beginning in 1898, ‘American Imperialism’ actually ended in that year, and has not been a policy or practice of the United States since.