Theses Doctoral

Imperialists of 1898: Naval Conceptions of American Expansion

Morgan, Michelle C.

The author of this dissertation examines the role of the United States Navy in the American annexation of the Philippines during the War of 1898. Many historians have considered the American “Imperialist Moment,” but few have considered the primary role played by the United States Navy. The Navy had experienced a period of remarkable growth during the 1880s and 1890s, when that service had switched from the power of sail to steam. The change to steam had been possible only through the study of the British Royal Navy and its engineers. When the U.S. Navy completed its modernization project in the 1890s, it came away with a British understanding of naval engineering and of naval priorities – including the desire to possess naval bases around the globe.

This dissertation contains a detailed account of how the U.S. Navy came to understand its needs, and this dissertation demonstrates how the War of 1898 brought home to naval planners the necessity of possessing exclusive American coal stores during wartime. Last, this dissertation includes the thoughts of the most significant American naval planners of the time and their British mentors. This paper is an intellectual history of the U.S. Navy of the late nineteenth century and a specific history of the basis for American foreign policy of the twentieth century.

Keywords: History of U.S. Foreign Policy, American Naval History, War of 1898


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Thesis Advisors
Brinkley, Alan
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
September 30, 2022