Session Handouts:
Morning Session, "America Becomes an Imperial Power"

America Becomes an Imperial Power

Afternoon Session, "Teaching with Historical Documentaries"

Website Resources:

“Spanish American War” Historical Thinking Matters
Historical Thinking Matters is a website focused on key topics in U.S. history, that is designed to teach students how to critically read primary sources and how to critique and construct historical narratives. An online interactive component engages students with a warm up activity, a video to provide historical context, and guided work with a variety of primary sources. Students work with source analysis to formulate an answer (in the form of an essay) to the question: “Why did the United States invade Cuba?”

“Crucible of Empire: The Spanish American War” PBS
This site offers a timeline of the major events before, during, and after the war; original 1890s sheet music popular during the War; photographs of the major figures involved; newspaper articles and headlines from 1890s newspapers; classroom activities for teachers and students; historical resources, including recent scholarship concerning the war, bibliographies, and links to other web sites; and a quiz designed to test visitor knowledge about the war and this colorful moment in American history.

“A War in Perspective: Public Appeals, Memory, and the Spanish American Conflict” New York Public Library
The War in Perspective site supports an exhibition of the same name at The New York Public Library Humanities and Social Sciences Library. This comparative survey of public appeals, popular participation, and national memories provides a re-examination of the Spanish-American War and its consequences beyond traditional military, political, and diplomatic perspectives. The site provides access to a wide variety of primary source materials.

“The Spanish American War in Motion Pictures” American Memory Collection of the Library of Congress
This presentation features 68 motion pictures produced between 1898 and 1901 of the Spanish-American War and the subsequent Philippine Revolution. These films were made by the Edison Manufacturing Company and the American Mutoscope & Biograph Company and consist of actualities filmed in the U.S., Cuba, and the Philippines, showing troops, ships, notable figures, and parades, as well as reenactments of battles and other war-time events. The Special Presentation presents the motion pictures in chronological order together with brief essays that provide a historical context for their filming.

“The World of 1898: The Spanish American War” Library of Congress
This website organized by the Library of Congress, provides resources and documents about the Spanish-American War, the period before the war, and some of the people who participated in the fighting or commented about it. Information about Cuba, Guam, the Philippines, Puerto Rico, Spain, and the United States is provided in chronologies, bibliographies, and a variety of pictorial and textual material from bilingual sources, supplemented by an overview essay about the war and the period.

“Debate: Should the U.S. Annex the Philippines?” American Social History Project
In this activity, students analyze primary documents from a variety of perspectives to gain an understanding of contemporary arguments for and against U.S. annexation of the Philippines at the turn of the twentieth century. After reading the documents, students choose one document, prepare their arguments, and debate U.S. annexation of the Philippines from the perspective of the author of their document. The activity can also substitute written responses for oral debate. Presented by the American Social History Project

“American Soldiers in the Philippines Write Home about the War” American Social History Project
This activity asks students to read and analyze letters written by U.S. soldiers serving in the Philippine-American War. Designed for high school students, it uses primary documents from the perspective of frontline soldiers to explore questions of imperialism, racial difference, and war in the early twentieth century.

“Savage Acts: Wars, Fairs, and Empire: 1898 – 1904” American Social History Project
Access the viewer’s guide for “Savage Acts” and other American Social History Project documentaries.

“American Imperialism: Political and Economic Expansion (1826-1914)” The Omaha Project: Omaha Public Schools and University of Nebraska
This module poses questions on various imperialism-related documents and photographs.