Rise of the U.S. on the Global Stage
America and the World, 1900-1909


125px-Flag_of_the_United_States_(Pantone)-1.svg.pngThe 1900 Census
June 1, 1900: The United States Department of the Interior conducted the 1900 Census
Per the 1900 Census, the population of the United States of America was 76,212,168, a population increase of 21% since 1890.
Census Population Totals, 1900-2010
Leavins-U.S. Population Growth, 1900-2010.jpg

125px-Flag_of_the_United_States_(Pantone).svg.png125px-Flag_of_Hawaii.svg.pngHawaii Becomes an American Territory

June 14, 1900: Having already been annexed by the United States in 1898, the Hawaiian Islands were designated by federal legislation (April 30, 1900 legislation) to be the Hawaii Territory. Hawaii would remain a U.S. territory until becoming the 50th state in the American Union in 1959. Stanford B. Dole became the first Territorial Governor of Hawaii.

HawaiiTerritoryGovernorStanfordBDole.jpg744px-Sanforddoleinauguration.jpgAbove: Stanford B. Dole; Dole's Inauguration (at right)

125px-Flag_of_the_United_States_(Pantone).svg.pngparty_republican.jpgUnited-States-Presidential-Seal.png1900 Presidential Election

November 6, 1900: President William McKinley (Republican) re-elected to a second term. He defeated Democratic nominee, William Jennings Bryan, just as he did in 1896.

Beginning with Abraham Lincoln's 1860 victory, the Republican Party won every presidential election from 1860 to 1908, with only two exceptions, those being Democrat Grover Cleveland's presidential victories in 1884 and 1892. To put it another way, of the 13 presidential elections held from 1860 to 1908, the Republican Party won 11 while the Democratic Party won only 2.

USA-Flag.pngUnited-States-Presidential-Seal.pngparty_republican.jpgRepublicans and the Presidency, 1861-1913

Republican domination of presidential elections, 1860-1908

1860: Abraham Lincoln, Republican1864: Abraham Lincoln, Republican (Andrew Johnson became President after Lincoln was assassinated in 1865)1868: Ulysses S. Grant, Republican1872: Ulysses S. Grant, Republican1876: Rutherford B. Hayes, Republican1880: James Garfield, Republican (Chester Arthur became President after Garfield was assassinated in 1881)

1884: Grover Cleveland, Democrat

1888: Benjamin Harrison, Republican

1892: Grover Cleveland, Democrat

1896: William McKinley, Republican1900: William McKinley, Republican (Theodore Roosevelt became President after McKinley was assassinated in 1901)1904: Theodore Roosevelt, Republican1908: William Howard Taft, Republican


Launch of the Texas Oil Boom as the Spindletop Well Spews a Geyser in Beaumont, Texas

January 10, 1901:

125px-Flag_of_the_United_Kingdom.svg.pngEngland-flag-shaded-1.jpgThe-Church-of-England-logo.pngThe Death of Great Britain's Queen Victoria, 1837 - 1901

January 22, 1901:

Great Britain's Queen Victoria, who reigned from 1837 to 1901, died after over 62 years of rule. During her reign, the British Empire expanded to its greatest heights. And upon her death, Great Britain arguably remained the most powerful country in the world. But in many respects, British dominance on the world stage was dying a slow but irreversible death.

Victoria's death would be followed a few months later by the assassination of the American president, William McKinley.

220px-Queen_Victoria_by_Bassano.jpgbritish empire map end 19c.jpg

The British Empire

Edward VII Became the King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain

January 22, 1901

King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain Edward VII, 1901-1910

Alabama and Civil Rights

The Alabama Constitution of 1901
In April 1901, Alabama voters approved a measure to draft a new Constitution of the State. Over the course of the year, a convention drafted and adopted a new constitution that was ultimately ratified by Alabama voters. The 1901 Constitution was designed to ensure white supremacy, few government services, and continued political control by the propertied classes. In short, the 1901 Constitution was designed to maintain the status quo of life in Alabama. The 1901 Alabama Constitution is still in effect, though it has been amended many times. Moreover, due to federal court decisions and federal civil rights legislation, the white supremacist aspects of the 1901 Alabama Constitution have been largely rendered moot, and in some cases, some of the more offensive items have been removed through the State governmental processes.

The William McKinley Assassination

September 6, 1901: President William McKinley was mortally wounded by two gunshots in Buffalo, New York at the Temple of Music at the Pan-American Exposition. The assassin was Leon Czolgosz, a political anarchist.

McKinley-6Sept1901-TempleOfMusic.jpg220px-McKinleyAssassination.jpgAbove: President William McKinley entering the Temple of Music; An artist's depiction of the shooting of McKinley
Above: Leon Czolgosz, anarchist and assassin of President William McKinley
President William McKinley

The William McKinley Assassination

September 14, 1901: After days of suffering (he developed infections) from his gunshot wound, President William McKinley died in Buffalo, New York.

Vice President Theodore Roosevelt (from New York) thus ascended to become the President of the United States. McKinley died in the early hours of September 14. Roosevelt had been informed that McKinley--who for a time had been thought in recovery--was actually dying. As such, Roosevelt journeyed to Buffalo.

Hours after McKinley's death, on September 14, 1901, Theodore Roosevelt took the Presidential Oath of Office at the Ansley Wilcox House in Buffalo, New York.

Above: Artist's depiction of Theodore Roosevelt taking the Presidential Oath of Office

The Death of William McKinley, September 14, 1901

The Presidency of Theodore Roosevelt

September 14, 1901: Theodore Roosevelt became President of the United States

Theodore Roosevelt (Republican), 26th American PresidentYears in Office: 1901-1909220px-President_Theodore_Roosevelt,_1904.jpg
President Theodore Roosevelt

Teddy Roosevelt and Booker T. Washington Dine Together in the White House

October 16, 1901: That evening, President Theodore Roosevelt and African-American Booker T. Washington (a prominent educator of African-Americans) dined together in the White House, an unprecedented event suggesting a new more-enhanced status of African-Americans in general.

The moment was significant, but limited. Roosevelt never embraced full legal and social equality for African-Americans. In fact, no president ever completely denounced Jim Crow segregation until President John F. Kennedy did on June 11, 1963 (over 61 years later) in a nationally televised address on civil rights.

Above: Booker T. Washington and Theodore Roosevelt


Mass Culture: College Football

January 1, 1902: On New Year's Day, Michigan and Stanford played in the first ever Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California. Michigan won 49 to 0.


Vladimir Lenin's Theory of Revolution

March 1902: What is to be Done?, a book by Vladimir Lenin, was first published. Lenin was a Russian Marxist revolutionary living in exile in Europe.

What is to be Done? was a book in which Lenin explained his vision about how the working class could be moved towards embracing Marxist socialism. Lenin did not believe that a working class (proletarian) revolution would just spontaneously arise. In this work Lenin argued that a revolutionary vanguard (a cadre of dedicated revolutionaries) would be needed to lead the working class against the bourgeoisie (the capitalist class).

Lenin, moreover, called for the creation of a relatively small and disciplined revolutionary party that would spread Marxist ideas among the working class.

What is to be Done? became an important juncture in the evolution of Marxist thought and activism. In a sense, the rise ofMarxist-Leninism can be dated from the 1902 publication of What is to be Done?

Above: Vladimir Lenin and the cover of his book, What is to be Done?

Excerpt: What is to be Done?

Cuba Becomes an Independent Nation

May 20, 1902: In the aftermath of the Spanish-American War, and the subsequent American control of the for Spanish Caribbean Island, Cuba formally became an independent nation. For the rest of the 20th Century and into the 21st Century, Cuba and the United States would have a testy relationship.

Above: Map of Cuba


Mass Culture: Major League Baseball's First World Series Championship

October 1 to October 13, 1903: For the first time, Major League Baseball had a championship series between a National League team and an American League team. The two teams who played in the first World Series were the Boston Americans and the Pittsburgh Pirates. Boston prevailed in the best-of-nine series, winning 5 games to 3. The 1903 Championship games were played in both Boston and Pittsburgh.,

Above: A crowd on the playing field prior to game 3 of the first World Series, and a photo of both teams

Above: 1903 World Series Program

Baseball Almanac: The 1903 World Series

The Creation of Panama as an Independent Nation

November 3, 1903: In an American-backed independent movement, Panama declared its secession from Colombia and quickly became an independent nation. The independence of Panama cleared the way for the United States to build a transoceanic canal on the isthmus of Panama.

Because of the off-shore presence of U.S. warships, the Colombian government did not make a major effort to retain Panama as a part of its territory. Panamanian independence became a quick fait accompli.

Above: A hemispheric map of North and South America. The nation of Panama is darkened. Not the strategic location of the country. A canal through Panama would allow shipping to go from ocean to ocean (i.e. Atlantic and Pacific) without having to sail around the southern tip of South America.

The Dawn of the Airplane and the Expansion of Human Flight

December 17, 1903: The Wright Brothers (Orville and Wilbur) successfully tested a heavier-than-air aircraft in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. The Wright Brothers inaugurated over a century of mechanized flight with their airplane.

KittyHawk(1765x1229).jpgAbove: The Wright Brothers' aircraft at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina

The Wright Brothers did not invent human flight. The dawn of human aviation began in France in the 1780s when the French Montgolfier Brothers successfully pioneered lighter-than-air human aviation with hot air balloons. When the Wright brothers flew their craft in 1903, human beings had been flying for 120 years.

By the late 1800s and early 1900s, aviators had become fairly proficient with both hot air and gas (helium and hydrogen) aircraft. And there had been some success with gliders. And some degree of rocketry technology existed as well. Yet controlled heavier-than-air mechanized flight still evaded human engineering, until the Wright Brothers cleared the hurdle in December 1903. In doing so, humanity had entered a far more dynamic age of flight.

In a little over ten years, military aircraft patrolled the skies over the Western Front in World War One. In the aftermath of WWI commercial aviation began to fan out in many parts of the world. The oceans themselves were eventually traversed by aviators in airplanes. The world, in a sense, became smaller.

In World War Two (1939-1941) airplanes played pivotal roles in combat and logistics. Entire cities were virtually destroyed by bombs dropped by airplanes. In August 1945, nuclear warfare dawned when the United States dropped two atomic bombs on cities in Japan.

During WWII and after, airplane technology dovetailed with rocket technology, and humanity entered the jet age. During WWII, Nazi Germany developed navigable ballistic missiles, and in 1957, the Soviet Union launched, by rocket, a man-made satellite into orbit around the earth.

During the 20th Century, the United States consistently played a prominent role in breakthroughs in aviation. In 1927, Charles Lindbergh became the first to fly non-stop in an airplane across the Atlantic Ocean. An American became the first to break the speed of sound. And the United States became the first (and so far the only) nation to put human beings on the moon.

In short, what began at Kitty Hawk sparked a revolution in human transportation, both over the earth and beyond.

The Wright Brothers and Kitty Hawk


The Russo-Japanese War

February 8, 1904 to September 5, 1905: The Russo-Japanese War.

Above: Depiction of the destruction of the Russian Fleet.

The Russo-Japanese War

American Technology

May 1904-1914: The U.S. construction of the Panama Canal


History of the Panama Canal

The Democratic Party's 1904 Platform

July 1904:

1904 Democratic Party Platform

1904 Presidential Election

November 8, 1904: President Theodore Roosevelt won the Presidential Election of 1904.


President Theodore Roosevelt, who had originally ascended to the presidency via the death of President William McKinley, was elected president in his own right. He would continue to serve as President until the end of his newly elected term in 1909.


Bloody Sunday

January 22, 1905: In St. Petersburg, Russia, Imperial Guards fired upon Russian subjects who were seeking to petition Czar Nicholas II.

Above: A painting depicting the shooting of Russian commoners by the Czar's Imperial Guards

Breakthroughs in Physics

June 9, 1905 to November 21, 1905: The German physics journal, Annalen der Physik, published, in separate issues, four articles by Albert Einstein. In these four articles, Einstein offered ideas that transformed the discipline of physics, and cast aside conventional notions of time, space, and light.

Born in the German Empire, young Albert Einstein left his native land for Switzerland in order to avoid German military service. While working at a Swiss Patent office in the early 20th century, Einstein offered several ideas that transformed our understanding of the way the universe operates. One particularly revolutionary insight put forward by Einstein in 1905 was his theory of Special Relativity, an insight which overturned the common sense notions that time and space are constant. In contrast, he argued that time and space were relative, and only the Speed of Light was constant, and had no relative speed to other objects.

In the 16th century Polish astronomer Nicolas Copernicus--who demonstrated that the earth was not the center of the universe--seemingly had turned the universe's architecture on its head. Now, in the early 20th century, the German-Swiss physicist, Albert Einstein, had turned the universe's clothing inside-out.

Albert Einstein in 1905, the year the Annus Mirablis papers were published in a series of four articles in Annalen der Physik, a scientific journal published in Germany. It is from one of these articles that Einstein presented the famous mass-energy equivalency formula pictured above right. The formula essentially states: Energy (E) equals Mass (m) multiplied by the Speed of Light (c) squared. The formula signaled the potential energy that resides in the atoms of elements. The formula signaled that the atomic age was fast approaching.


The Age of Progressivism

February 28, 1906: Upton Sinclair's The Jungle was published. Sinclair's novel provided stark and realistic portrayals of the unsanitary meatpacking industry. In short order, the Congress passed legislation regulating the industry, legislation that proved to be a definitive moment in the Progressive Era (c. 1890-c.1920). Upton Sinclair, a socialist, was considered a prominentmuckraking American writer.

The Presidency of Theodore Roosevelt

June 30, 1906: President Theodore "Teddy" Roosevelt signed the Pure Food and Drug Act into law, as well as the Meat Inspection Act. Signature pieces of Progressive Era legislation, the Pure Food and Drug Act and the Meat Inspection Actjointly required that food and medicines meet certain minimal standards of cleanliness, safety, and truth in labeling. Upton Sinclair's The Jungle played an important role in inspiring federal legislation to regulate the meatpacking industry.


Above left is a smiling Teddy Roosevelt. Above right is a cartoon showing President Roosevelt taking on the Meatpacking Industry.

Atlanta Race Riot of 1906

September 22-24, 1906

Above: Cover of Le Petit Journal, October 1906

1906 Atlanta Race Riot


Oklahoma Becomes the 46th State

November 16, 1907: Oklahoma became the 46th State.

Above: The United States with Oklahoma highlighted in red

The Rise of the United States as a World Power

December 1907 to February 1909: The Great White Fleet of the United States circumnavigates the planet in a vigorous show of American naval power


Story of the Great White Fleet


American Technology

August 12, 1908: The Dawn of the Age of the Model T Ford

Henry Ford's Model T automobile rolled off an assembly line. By 1914, the Model T revolutionized American transportation under the Ford Motor Company's innovative assembly line production techniques. The Model T became, in time, the car that thousands and thousands of Americans could afford to purchase. The development of the mass usage of automobiles radically changed the nature of American transportation. The car necessitated that state and local governments build thousands of miles of paved roads so that cars could travel from place to place efficiently. As did the railroad, the automobile roads linked American cities with smaller towns, plus the rural countryside. In short, like the railroads, automobiles made the United States an increasingly linked and "smaller" place.

Cars even changed American romance. Prior to the age of the automobile, young people tended to court one another in chaperoned settings. With the advent of mass usage of cars, however, young people increasingly began unchaperoned dating.

Above left is a 1908 advertisement of the Model T. Above right is a 1910 Model T

Above: Henry Ford in 1919

Future President of the United States Lyndon Baines Johnson Born in the Hill Country of Texas

August 27, 1908:

Above: Future President of the United States Lyndon B. Johnson as a baby

LBJ Library: Lyndon B. Johnson Baby Photo

1908 Presidential Election

November 1908: Republican William Howard Taft was elected President of the United States, defeating Democratic nominee, William Jennings Bryan.

William Howard Taft is pictured to the left of his challenger, William Jennings Bryan. Bryan received the Democratic presidential nomination in 1896, 1900, and 1908, losing all three times to his Republican opponent.


The Civil Rights Movement

February 12, 1909: The Birth of the NAACP

The Founding of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). The organization was formed on the 100th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln's birth. The NAACP was formed to promote and support civil rights and opportunities for African-Americans. Throughout the United States, African-American citizens faced a wide variety of bigotry and discrimination. But particularly in the South, African-Americans lived as second-class citizens under Jim Crow Segregation, a social system of racial separation and Black subordination to the white majority. One of the founders of the NAACP was civil rights activist W.E. B. DuBois. The NAACP exists to this day.


The Presidency of William Howard Taft

March 4, 1909: Republican William Howard Taft became President of the United States.

1909-1913: William Howard Taft (Republican), 27th American President
William Howard Taft (Republican) won the Presidential Election of 1908.

President William Howard Taft

125px-Flag_of_France.svg.png125px-Flag_of_the_United_Kingdom.svg.pngLouis Bleriot, a French Aviator, Flew Over the English Channel

July 25, 1909: French aviator Louis Bleriot flew his Bleriot XI monoplane (an airplane with only one level of wings) over the English Channel, thus winning a cash prize contest sponsored by a British newspaper. The flight was the first heavier-than-air crossing of the English Channel. For both France and aviation in general, it was an important milestone in aviation history.

220px-Louis_Blériot_1909.JPG220px-Ernest_Montaut19.jpgAbove: Depictions of Bleriot flying over the English Channel, and arriving in England (the Cliffs of Dover)

220px-Bleriot_and_aeroplane.jpgAbove: Photo of Bleriot and his airplane, the Bleriot XI

Historic Aircraft: The Bleriot XI