In 1898, as you point out, the United States burst from being a continental empire, if you want to call it that, within North America to taking territory overseas for the first time in those countries that you mentioned. This was a huge turning point for the United States, and everybody that studies American history is aware of this episode.
.. As for Andrew Carnegie, he was a great believer in the principles of America. And in his famous article denouncing American expansion, he wrote, with what face shall we hang in the school houses of the Philippines our own Declaration of Independence and yet deny independence to them? The United States paid $20 million to Spain to buy the Philippines.
Andrew Carnegie offered to pay the U.S. Treasury $20 million to buy the Philippines so he could set the Philippines free and give them independence.
.. Teddy Roosevelt definitely believed that war was the only condition of life that was worth living, that peace was only for (unintelligible) jellyfish who had no place in the great American nation.
He wanted to go out and fight. Even when he sent his sons to fight in World War I, he wrote that he hoped they’d come back missing a few limbs. The business factor was also huge back in 1898 and has continued to be.
.. We’ve twisted ourselves into pretzel-like shapes over many years trying to explain what is Puerto Rico and what is Guam compared to the United States? And we do this because we can’t use the word colony. We can’t call them colonies, so they have to be dependencies, territories, commonwealth, free-associated state. We’ve gone through a whole vocabulary – a whole lexicon of vocabulary in order to get through this difficult minefield.
4. I’ve heard that Lord Jeffery Amherst distributed smallpox-infected blankets to the Indians during the French and Indian War. True?
In the summer of 1763, attacks by Native Americans against colonists on the western frontier seriously challenged British military control. In a letter to Colonel Henry Bouquet dated July 7, 1763, Amherst writes “Could it not be contrived to send the Small Pox among those disaffected tribes of Indians?” In a later letter to Bouquet Amherst repeats the idea: “You will do well to try to inoculate the Indians by means of blankets, as well as to try every other method that can serve to extirpate this execrable race.” There is evidence that the Captain at Fort Pitt (outside Pittsburgh, PA — then the western frontier) did give two infected blankets and one infected handkerchief to Indians in June of 1763. This action happened before Amherst mentioned the idea in his correspondence. It is also highly unlikely that the tactic caused any infection.
It is accurate to say that Lord Jeffery Amherst advocated biological warfare against Indians, but there is no evidence that any infected blankets were distributed at his command. For more about Lord Jeffery Amherst’s military career, see Professor Kevin Sweeney’s article “The Very Model of a Modern Major General.” For a detailed examination of Amherst’s role in the Fort Pitt smallpox episode, see “The British, the Indians, and Smallpox: What Actually Happened at Fort Pitt in 1763?” by Philip Ranlet.