Growing into a leading nation, the United States hoped to further its international standing by emulating European nations that were expanding their influence throughout the world. During the 1870s, the U.S. "new imperialism" was directed towards finding access to resources, markets for surplus production, and opportunities for overseas investments. Although the U.S. did expand its influence in other countries, it preferred market expansion to the traditional European territorial colonialsim.
Alaska: Secretary of state William H. Seward negotiated the purchase of Alaska in 1867. $7.2 million was paid to Russia for Alaska, and it was highly contested by Congress. Also known as "Seward’s Icebox" or "Seward’s folly," it was generally thought to be useless, but later proved to be an excellent addition.
Pan Americanism, James Blaine: In 1881 Secretary of State James G. Blaine advocated the creation of an International Bureau of American Republics to promote a customs union of trade and political stability for the Western Hemisphere. The assassination of Garfield kept Blaine from his organization until 1889.
US mediation of border disputes: The United States offered its aid to promote the peaceful resolution of border conflict between a number of states. The United States also worked to bring an end to the War of the Pacific which was fought between Chile and the alliance of Peru and Bolivia.
Port of Pago Pago: Restless stirrings in America were felt in the far-off Samoan Island in the South Pacific. The U.S. navy sought access to the Port of Pago Pago as a refueling station. The U.S. ratified a treaty with Samoa in 1878 which gave America trading rights and a naval base at Pago Pago.
Tariff autonomy to Japan: During the Meiji period following the collapse of the shogunate, Japan transformed, from its traditionally isolationist feudal society into a world power, taking on imperialistic quailites. Emperor Meiji took it upon himself to enact tariffs, and thus, Japan controlled its own tariffs.
Hawaiian Revolution: Hawaii’s wholesale sugar prices plummeted as a result of the elimination of the duty-free status enjoyed by Hawaiian sugar. Facing ruin, the planters deposed Queen Liliuokalani in Jan 1893, proclaimed the independent Republic of Hawaii, and requested U.S. annexation. Hawaii was claimed as an American territory in 1898.
Sino-Japanese War: A Chinese patrol clashed with Japanese troops on the Marco Polo Bridge near Beijing on July 7, 1937. Using the incident as a pretext to begin hostilities, the Japanese army in Manchuria moved troops into the area, precipitating another Sino-Japanese war. Although the war was never actually declared.
Captain Mahan, The Influence of Sea Power: A Union naval officer during the American Civil War from 1861 to 1865, Mahan served in the navy for nearly 40 years. He was promoted to the rank of captain in 1885. The title of The Influence of Sea Power upon History, received international recognition as a comprehensive of naval strategy.