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American Imperialism and Foreign Policy
Terms in this set (48)
the takeover of a country or territory by a stronger nation with the intent of dominancy the political, economic, and social life of the people
"White Man's Burden"
the belief that as a white and therefore civilized people, there was a duty for these "superior" people to extend their civilization to those they colonized
Alfred Thayer Mahan
encouraged increased military strength for the US; urged the gov't to build up naval power to compete with other powerful nations
patriotism in the form of aggressive foreign policy
meant that European powers could not colonize on the North American continent (intended to protect American dominance in Latin America); was more powerful as a statement toward the end of the 19th century
William Seward pushed for the US to acquire Alaska from Russia and eventually the US purchased Alaska from Russia for $7.2 million (the land was rich in minerals, timber, and oil)
settled by missionaries and entrepreneurs; overthrew Queen Liliuokalani; not officially annexed until 1898
Hawaii was very important to the US because 1. it was a major sugar market and 2. it's location was great for a naval base and as a stop on trans-pacific journeys. While the white sugar planters called for annexation, Queen Liliuokalani wanted a "Hawaii for Hawaiians." Rebels backed by the US and with the help from US marines, Queen L was overthrown. McKinley succeeded Cleveland and declared the Hawaiian Islands American territory.
one of Spain's few remaining colonies however Cubans were attempting (and failing) to claim their independence; the Cuban resistance evoked feelings of empathy in many Americans, there was also American economic interest in Cuba, yellow journalism played a huge role is promoted the Cuban cause; one of the main reasons that US declared war on Spain
was sent to Cuba to restore order after the Cuban revolt; to crush the rebellion, tried to herd the rural population of Cuba into concentration camps where thousands died of hunger/disease
sensational style of writing which exaggerates the news to lure and enrage readers
the New York Journal published a private letter written by de Lôme (Spanish minister to the US) and which criticized Pres. M for being "weak" and "a bidder for the admiration of the crowd"; even though the Spanish apologized and the minister resigned, Americans were angry over the insult against their president
Spanish American War
- relatively short (April-August 1898)
- first media war (short films, photography, journalism)
US went in with objectives
(save Cuba, protect US interest)
but with unanticipated results
(the acquirement of Puerto Rico, Guam, and the purchase of the Philippines)
for which they had no plan
- US navy did great but the standing military (composed mainly of volunteer regiments) had their hardships
- a result of the war is that the US becomes a major player in international affairs of Caribbean and East Asia
a US battleship sent to Cuba to bring home American citizens in danger from fighting and to protect American property; on Feb. 15, 1898, it blows up unexpectedly in the harbor of Havana; 260+ men are killed; American resentment → outrage
After the Spanish-American War, the US would guarantee Cuban self-rule
a volunteer cavalry army under the command of Leonard Wood and Theodore Roosevelt; they had to fight on foot because their horses didn't reach Cuba on time
San Juan Hill
the victory that declared TR a war hero even though he only played a minor role; a strategically important victory
pretty irrelevant to the US initially however the capture of Manila (the capital) was a strategic move to 1. divide Spanish forces and 2. perhaps ensure that Spain would listen to US demands after the war; the war was fought for 3 years here is rough terrains and many horrible atrocities were committed by Americans on Filipinos (public opinion begins to turn towards anti-imperialist sentiment); in the end the US did help to establish schools, brought economic prosperity, reformed the tax code/legal system, etc.
during the Spanish-American war, the US fought alongside Filipino nationalists led by Aguinaldo; nationalists hoped for independence
Treaty of Paris (1898)
US and Spain meet in Paris to agree on a treaty; Spain freed Cuba, turned over the islands of Guam and Puerto Rico to the US, and sold the Philippines to the US for $20 million
After the Spanish-American War and the Teller Amendment, the US agreed to withdraw troops in 1901 on the condition that Cuba signed this amendment:
- Cuba cannot make treaties/deals with foreign powers (US pretty much gets exclusive rights)
- US reserves the right to intervene in Cuba
- US can buy/lease land for naval stations
Cuban nationalists see this as "selling their souls"
- Question: Does the Constitution apply to new territories? -->
(they are a part of the US!) and
(this is different/ doesn't apply)
- a series of Supreme Court cases that ruled:
1. Constitutional rights were not automatically extended to territorial possessions
2. Congress gets to decide whether or not to grant Constitutional rights
in 1900 in Puerto Rico, US ended military rule and set up a gov't, although the US appoints PR's governor and upper legislature
Secretary of State who wrote letter to European powers, requesting them to keep an "open door" in Asia and when no nation explicitly rejected the proposal, he confirmed that US involvement was a "go!"
Spheres of influence
regional domination of trade by an external power
Open Door Policy
all foreign nations would have equal trading privileges in China; this would save China from a complete takeover by any one power; would safeguard "equal and impartial trade with all parts of the Chinese empire"
anti-foreign movement that took place in China
"Big Stick" policy
- TR said "speak softly but carry a big stick"
- aggressive foreign policy
- US should act boldly and decisively
- meant to build US reputation as a world power
- imperialists loved this policy
- Ex. Panama Canal, Roosevelt Corollary, Japan
- it would provide a convenient passage for the navy between the Atlantic and Pacific
- Colombia owned Panama and refused to grant the US privileges to start the project
- TR backed/supported a successful rebellion in Panama (get Colombia out!)
- Hay-Behau-Varilla Treaty - after Panama's independence, they granted US long-term control of the canal zone ($10 mil upfront and $250,000 annually)
Latin American nations had trouble paying off debts to European creditors so European nations prepared to enforce debt payments . . . As a response, in 1904 TR declared that the US will intervene on behalf of Latin America countries whenever necessary ("speaking softly" but had a threat of a "big stick"); this was an additional consequence of the Monroe Doctrine
Agreement between Japan and the US (during TR's candidacy) which meant that Japan would restrict their emigration to the US and the US would get rid of discriminatory laws
Taft followed a policy of using the govt to guarantee loans made to foreign countries by American business people; used to justify keeping European powers out of the Caribbean
Henry Cabot Lodge
Massachusetts senator who created the Lodge Corollary
yet another addition to the Monroe Doctrine; this was a response to Japan's attempt to buy land in the Western Hemisphere (mexico);
corollary excluded non-Europe powers from owning territory in the Western Hemisphere
- a part of Wilson's "new freedom"
- opposed both "Big Stick" and "Dollar Diplomacy" policies
- there was a moral responsibility of the US to oppose govts that were undemocratic, oppressive, and hostile
- respect other nations' rights and promote democracy
Mexican Civil War
a general who ran the dictatorship that ruled Mexico after the Mexican Civil War; had the previous democratic leader killed; fell from power 1914 and replaced by Carranza
a naval blockade and trade embargo in Mexico by the US; US sailors went ashore and were arrested however Huerta refused to apologize after their release --> Wilson orders navy to occupy Veracruz; Argentina, Brazil, and Chile mediated peace agreement (no one is happy though . . .)
after Huerta's fall and Carranza's rise in Mexico, a new group of revolutionaries (led by Villa) rise immediately; led a raid across US-Mexico border and murdered people in Texas and New Mexico (America was NOT happy about this)
John J. Pershing
sent by Wilson to go to Mexico to chase Villa and get him
1. What were the motivations of US imperialism at the end of the 19th century?
1. Socio- Economic: America needs breathing room to handle potential over population, new markets and resources to support growth of industry, spirit of "The West"
2. Missionary: social darwinism, white man's burden
3. Manliness Impulse: Serious concerns about "over- civilization," need a mission to show masculinity, jingoism (patriotism in the form of agressive foreign policy)
4. Strategy: If the U.S wants to save itself and not get left behind, it must expand as everyone else in the world is getting stronger, social darwinism in an international sense, Alfred Thayer
1. What were the goals of US imperialism at the end of the 19th century?
1. Building up American Naval power to compete with other powerful nations
2. Acquiring raw materials for its factories and new markets for its agricultural and manufactured goods
3. Increased Foreign trade to solve problems such as US overproduction, unemployment and economic depression
4. Spreading Christianity and "civilization" to the world's "inferior peoples"
2. What were the arguments for and against American imperialism?
1. Look at motivations for imperialism
1. Imperialism went against Declaration of Independence by denying self- government to newly acquired territories
2. Must settle race- related issues at home before taking on social problems elsewhere (Argued by Booker T. Washington)
3. Immigrants would compete for US jobs (Argued by Samuel Gompers)
2. Was it inevitable that the US would become an imperial power?
1. Anti- colonial/ isolationist history
2. Monroe Doctrine is a stance against colonialism
3. Presidents wavered on issues (like Panama Canal and annexation of Hawaii)
4. Suspicion of integrating people from other places/ lands into US and giving them rights
3. What were the main causes of the Spanish-American War?
1. Yellow Journalism: look above for more details
2. The De Lôme Letter: "..."
3. The U.S.S Maine: "..."
These events continually increased the tension between the United States and Spain. The U.S.S Maine tragedy rallied Americans and turned ALL public opinion to favor war.
4. What were the results of the Spanish-American War? How do they relate to the statement--the US went in with objectives, but with unanticipated results for which they had no plan?
The S-A War ended with the Treaty of Paris, where the US acquired Puerto Rico, Guam, and purchased the Philippines for $20 mil. The was also resulted in the Teller Amendment, where the US guaranteed Cuban Self- rule. By the end of the S-A War, the US became a major player in international affairs of Caribbean and East Asia. There was 385 battle deaths, however several thousand deaths from disease. The total cost of the war was $250 million.
The U.S. went into the war with a goal of freeing Cuba from Spain. U.S. interest in purchasing Cuba had begun long before the war; American capitalists had millions of dollars invested in large sugar cane plantations on the island. With events like the De Lôme Letter and the U.S.S Maine, American's continually got interested and involved. However, the short 3 month war ended with unexpected results. The US ended up acquiring both Guam and Puerto Rico, territories which they had no intention of acquiring before the war. Never did the US expect to buy the Philippines either. The US's only goal was to free Cuba and they ended with a lot more.
5. Evaluate the successes and failures of US foreign policy in Hawaii, Cuba, the Philippines, Puerto Rico, China, Mexico, and Panama.
6. Compare/contrast the foreign policies of Roosevelt, Taft, and Wilson.
Roosevelt: followed a much more agressive foreign policy as he believed the US should act boldly and decisively. His foreign policy is often characterized as "speaking softly but carrying a big stick." His goal was to build US reputation as a world power (Panama Canal, Japan, Roosevelt Corollary). Roosevelt was known as a realist, focused on balancing power and what were they best interested of the US.
Taft: More about money than war. With his policy of "Dollar Diplomacy," the US government guaranteed loans made to countries by American businesspeople. He was focused on expansion through controlling economic interests and trade relations.
Wilson: Compared to the others, Wilson was an idealist, concentrating on the noble or ethical responsibility of the US. With his "Missionary Diplomacy," he said the US has a moral responsibility to deny recognition to any Latin American govts. it viewed as oppressive, undemocratic or hostile to U.S. interests. He was not about raw materials and national superiority, instead he was focused on respecting other nations rights and promoting democracy.
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