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Historical Documents and Maps


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Historical Documents | Historical Maps


Historical Documents


103d Congress S. J. Res. 19 (November 23, 1993)

In this resolution, signed by President Clinton, US Congress apologizes to indigenous Hawaiians for the "illegal acts" of US merchants who overthrew the constitutional government of Hawaii in 1893. The document acknowledges a version of US history that Congress had long denied, and which condemns the annexation of Pacific Islands. However, the 1993 statement remains silent on how the US government should compensate Hawaiians for their loss of sovereignty. (Library of Congress)

The Paralyzing Influence of Imperialism (1900)

Former US Secretary of State and three times Democratic presidential nominee William Jennings Bryan delivers a penetrating critique of early US imperialism in the Philippines. His forewarnings remain pertinent to contemporary US foreign policy in Iraq. (Source: Official Proceedings of the Democratic National Convention Held in Kansas City, Mo., July 4, 5 and 6, 1900, Chicago, 1900, pp. 205-227)

President Grover Cleveland's Message (December 18, 1893)

President Cleveland's contemporary critique of US annexation of Hawaii identifies US imperial tendencies that would shape subsequent administrations' policy. Cleveland describes how "a disposition and a condition of mind" led the conspirators to violate "international rules" and overthrow "by an act of war… the Government of a feeble but friendly and confiding people." The statement also paints a patriotic vision of the US as an "enlightened" nation of morality and honor, which Cleveland feared expansionist projects would undermine. The President prophesies that pragmatic intervention would never win hearts and minds. (Civics Online)


Historical Maps


US Territorial Maps 1775-1920

These US territorial maps show the expansion of US territory from 1775 to 1920. The US increased its size dramatically beyond the original 13 colonies, using annexations, land purchases, and war. (University of Virginia)

US Territorial Expansions in the West, the Caribbean and the Pacific

These maps illustrate the westward expansion of US territory from 1783 to 1890, to the detriment of the native North American cultures. Maps also include the dates of several US interventions in the Caribbean and some major annexations in the Pacific. (Times Atlas of World History)




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