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Introduction: The United States in the Pacific

This section consists of three parts. In the first, the development of American interests in the Pacific during the middle nineteenth century is outlined. The second, covering the period 1890-1900, marks a decisive change in American policy, resulting in the formal annexation of significant territory. In the third, the focus is on developments in China. As was the case in the Caribbean, however, the United States was not the only power with interests in the Pacific region. The British held Australia and New Zealand, the Dutch and Portuguese were in the East Indies, the French held much of Polynesia, and Indo-China and the Spanish were in the Philippines, to name only a few. All of these powers also had trade concessions on the mainland of China.