Imperialism and Populism in the Critical 1890s


Bederman, “Gendering Imperialism”

Why is TR’s early life important to author’s interpretation?

What did race have to do with TR’s imperial goals?

Why were  Americans sensitive or concerned about the apparent decline of manliness (over-civilized) in American society?

How did foreign policy relate to this apparent decline of manliness?


Anders Stephanson, “Global Competition and Manifest Destiny on the Cusp of the 20th Century

How does Stephanson’s approach differ from Bederman?
Do they overlap at all in their portrayal of American foreign policy at this time?
How specificallly might you use both in teaching?

How does Stephanson explain the rise of expansionist sentiment in the US in the 1890s?

How does the author characterize American entrance into war with Spain?

What complicated American officials’ efforts to gain control of the territories gained by war with Spain?

How did Teddy Roosevelt’s view of Indians and conquest of  American West shape his views of other foreign lands and peoples?


Beveridge, “The March of the Flag”

On what grounds does he justify annexation of the Philippines?

Why might Americans believe they were God’s chosen people?

How does he tie his support to American economy?

How will other people benefit from American expansionism?

How does he answer the criticism about consent of the governed?
What examples does he cite to support this idea?

What else will America do for the Philippines?

How does this idea equate with foreign policy today?


Anti-Imperialist League Denounces US Policy

How does the League see American imperialism?

Whose methods does it accuse imperialists of using?

How does it attack Beveridge’s argument that Filipinos not ready to govern themselves?

If this permitted to happen, how does it imply that  such action will eventually hurt America?


Burns, “The Populist Protest”

What is the greater significance of the Populist movement?

Why should we care about these farmers today?

What problems did American farmers faced in late 1800s?

What was the significant social or political impact of their condition?

How did their response compare to workers?

How did the Farmers’ Alliance fire up people and keep them organized and motivated?

How did the Alliance first attempt to solve the problem of low prices?

How did Alliance leaders see their political party as different from Republ and Demo of that day?

How did the party deal with women?

What unique problems did Southern Alliance face?

Why was Populism potentially threatening to the South?

How did industrialists, laborers, and general farmers conceptualize liberty?

How did the Populists see it differently?


Littlefield, “The Wizard of Oz”

No significant questions.  Just be sure to understand how he ties Populism to the Wizard of Oz and what each character represented.