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Explore manifest destiny and american exceptionalism

America’s Age of Imperialism
Prepare: Read Chapters 4 and 6 of the textbook and watch To Conquer or Redeem.

Reflect: As you learn about American Imperialism, think about the factors that contributed to it. Consider the importance of the expansion of the Navy, the technological advancements, and the need for markets brought on by the Industrial Revolution. Think also about the idea of Manifest Destiny. It is often connected to the settlement and development of the American West, but how was it also connected to American Imperialism? Take the time to notice President Theodore Roosevelt’s role in promoting American Imperialism and the factors contributing to America’s expanding role in the world.

Write: Refer to your textbook and the film. Thoroughly address the following points:

• Explain Manifest Destiny and American exceptionalism.
• How were these ideas applied to U.S. foreign policy at the turn of the 20th century?
• What do you see as the positives and negatives of American Imperialism?

Your initial post should be at least 250 words in length. Provide specific examples to support your points. Be sure to quote or paraphrase sources, according to APA style

Required Resources


• Barnes, L. & Bowles, M. (2014).The American story: Perspectives and encounters from 1877. San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education, Inc.
• Chapter 4: American on the World Stage
• Chapter 5: The Progressive Era
• Chapter 6: The First World War


• Sinclair, U. (1906). Chapter Nine. In The Jungle. Retrieved from

• The Jungle is a novel written during the Progressive Era that describes the living and working conditions of the urban laborers in the Chicago Stockyards. Although a work of fiction, Upton Sinclair lived in the poor neighborhoods and worked in the meat packing industry while researching this book. Upton Sinclair hoped to bring attention to the poverty endured by the immigrants who worked in the meat packing industry in the early 1900s, but the American public instead focused on the filthy conditions in which their food was processed, prompting President Theodore Roosevelt to push through legislation regulating the food and drug industry. This is a primary source that can be used for the Final Project.


• The progressive era. In R. Hawksworth (Executive producer), America in the 20th Century. Retrieved from

• This video discusses the various aspects and evolution of the Progressive Movement. It explains the causes taken up by Progressives and areas in which they succeeded and the areas in which they failed.

• Wood, S. (Writer & Producer). (2010). To conquer or redeem [Series episode]. In G. Lucas (Executive producer), Manifest Destiny. Retrieved from

• This video discusses American Imperialism and explains its connection to Manifest Destiny and Americanexceptionalism.

Recommended Resources


• Zecker, R. M. (2009). “Let each reader judge”: Lynching, race, and immigrant newspapers. Journal of American Ethnic History, 29(1), 31-66. Retrieved from the

• This scholarly journal article discusses race and ethnicity in the first few decades of the 1800s. It explains the ways that lynching was discussed in immigrant newspapers and how many immigrants came to understand and fit into the racial hierarchy in place. This is a scholarly secondary source that can be used in the Final Project. This article can be accessed from the EBSCOhost database in the Ashford University Library.


• Bauer, C. (Writer). (1990). Upton Sinclair: The jungle [Video file]. Retrieved from

• This film takes a closer look at Chicago Stockyards of the early 1900s, which served as the setting for The Jungle, as well as the author and the impact of the book.

• Chicago Historical Society. (2001). The stockyards [Virtual exhibit]. Retrieved from

• This virtual exhibit, sponsored by the Chicago Historical Society, allows students the opportunity to explore the setting of The Jungle through commentary and photos and shows how the area changed in subsequent years.

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