|The United States Expands
In 1867, the United States purchased Alaska from Russia for
$7.2 million. At the time, people thought the purchase was
foolish, but in 1880 gold was discovered in the new territory.
Hawaii also became a United States territory in 1898 after
American planters revolted and overthrew the queen. Both
Alaska and Hawaii became states in 1959.
War with Spain
When the battleship USS Maine was destroyed, the United
States declared war on Spain in April 1898. Admiral George
Dewey led the American fleet to attack the Spanish colony of
the Philippines. Theodore Roosevelt formed a group called the
Rough Riders and went to battle in Cuba. In August 1898, the
Spanish-American War ended. A peace treaty gave Cuba its
independence, and the United States possession of Puerto
Rico, Guam, and the Philippines. In 1946, the Philippines
became independent. Today, Guam and Puerto Rico are still
part of the United States.