Introduction to Imperialism


Students will be introduced to the concept of imperialism, and specifically the three justifications US foreign policy leaders used to justify US Imperialism at the turn of the twentieth century. 

Warm Up

Define Imperialism. 


Students will be introduced to the major issues surrounding US Foreign policy at the turn of the twentieth century. 


  • Students will demonstrate an understanding of the transformation of the American economy and the changing social and political conditions in the United States in response to Imperialism around 1898.
  • Students will identify the three main justifications of US Imperialism. 
  • Students will analyze the negative and positive effects of Imperialism on US cultural identity. 
  • Students will identify the factors that lead the US to leave behind its isolationist foreign policy. 


Introductory and Guided Activities

  • Teacher will model to students the proper way to take Sub-Heading notes from their textbook.  Teacher will give a lecture and notes on the first section of the chapter covering Imperialism in the class text

Independent Activities

  • Students will take notes on the remaining sections of the chapter in groups. 
  • Each member of the group will be responsible for taking notes on one section of the chapter. 
  • Group will then take turns and give a lecture to other members of the group on their notes. 


  • Teacher will walk around while students are giving lectures to their group members
  • Notes on the entire chapter will be collected for a grade. 


  • Teacher will lead a discussion with students asking them what if any similarities they see between US foreign policy at the turn of the twentieth century and current US foreign policy in Afghanistan and Iraq.