Topic Progress:

The Roots of Empire

Directions: Before you start listen to part of a talk in a US history class.

*Vocabulary is sometimes provided in written form when it may be unfamiliar to the student, but essential for understanding the lecture

Vocabulary
isolationism
late 1800s

TRANSCRIPT

The Roots of Empire

In the last decades of the nineteenth century, after the Civil War, the United States changed from a country that wanted to stay isolated from the rest of the world to one that wanted to expand American influence. The nation’s earlier isolationism originated from the deep scars left by the Civil War and its need to recover both economically and mentally from that event. But as the industrial revolution changed the way the country worked and the American West reached its farthest point, American attitudes toward foreign expansion shifted. Businesses were looking for new markets to export their factory-built goods, oil, and tobacco products, as well as generous trade agreements to secure access to raw materials. Early social reformers saw opportunities to spread Christianity and the benefits of American life to those in less developed nations. The country moved quickly to ready itself for the creation of an American empire.

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