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Chapter 22 Age of Empire: American Foreign Policy, 1890-1914
Terms in this set (29)
Why did the United States express limited interest in overseas expansion in the 1860s and 1870s?
Post- Civil War reconstruction
What did Mahan not believe was needed to build on the American empire?
The reopening of the American frontier
Why were the Midway Islands important to American expansion?
The Midway Islands provided a more stable path to Asian markets and a vital naval coaling station, which steamships needed in order to travel further afield
Which is not one of the reasons the Anti-Imperial League gave for opposing the creation of an American empire?
Fear that the United States would suffer a foreign invasion
What was the role of the Taft Commission?
The Taft Commission introduced reforms to modernize and improve daily life in the Philippines. Many of these reforms were legislative in nature, impacting the structure and composition of local governments. In exchange for the support of resistance leaders, for example, the commission offered them political appointments
What challenges did the U.S. military have to overcome in the Spanish-American War? What accounted for the nation's eventual victory?
The Spanish-American War posed a series of challenges to the United States' military capacities. The new U.S. Navy, while impressive, was still untested, and no one was certain how the new ships would perform. Further, the country had a limited army, with fewer than thirty thousand soldier and sailors. While over one million men ultimately volunteered for service, they were untrained, and the army was ill-prepared to house, arm, and feed them all. Eventually, American naval strength, combined with the proximity of American supplies relative to the distance Spanish forces traveled, made the decisive difference. In a war upon the sea, the U.S. Navy proved superior in both the Philippines and the blockade of Cuba.
How did Hay's suggestion of an open door policy in China benefit the United States over other nations?
The United States produced goods of better quality and lower cost than other countries.
How did the Boxer Rebellion strengthen American ties with China?
The United States provided troops to fight the rebels
How does the "Open Door notes" episode represent a new, nonmilitary tactic in the expansion of the American empire?
The Open Door notes and the American foray into China revealed the power of economic clout. Given the unprecedented technological advances of the industrial revolution, American goods were often less expensive and of better quality than those produced in other countries, and they were highly sought after in Asia. Therefore, when Hay derided the spheres of influence model, wherein each country had its own room to maneuver in China, he was able to flood Chinese markets with American trade. Through these maneuvers, the United States was able to augment its global standing considerably without the use of its military forces.
How did Colombia react to the United States' proposal to construct a canal through Central America?
They felt that Roosevelt's deal offered too little money.
With the Roosevelt Corollary, Roosevelt sought to establish ________.
the right of the United States to involve itself in Latin American affairs whenever necessary
Compare Roosevelt's foreign policy in Latin America and Asia. Why did he employ these different methods?
Roosevelt's strategy of "speaking softly and carrying a big stick" worked well in Latin America, where the United States had a strong military presence and could quickly and easily act on any threat of military action. Roosevelt's threat of force was therefore credible in that region, and he was able to wield it effectively. In Asia, however, the United States had less of a military presence. Instead, Roosevelt sought to maintain a balance of power, wherein the various Asian countries kept each other in check and no single player grew too powerful. When the power balance tipped, Roosevelt acted to broker a peace deal between Russia and Japan as a means of restoring balance.
Why did some Central American nations object to Taft's paying off their debt to Europe with U.S. dollars?
Because they felt it gave the United States too much leverage
What two countries were engaged in a negotiation that the Lodge Corollary disallowed?
Mexico and Japan
What problems did Taft's foreign policy create for the United States?
Taft's policies created some troubles that were immediate, and others that would not bear fruit until decades later. The tremendous debts in Central America created years of economic instability there and fostered nationalist movements driven by resentment of America's interference in the region. In Asia, Taft's efforts at China-Japan mediation heightened tensions between Japan and the United States—tensions that would explode, ultimately, with the outbreak of World War II—and spurred Japan to consolidate its power throughout the region.
Turner, Mahan, and the Roots of Empire
In the last decades of the nineteenth century, after the Civil War, the United States pivoted from a profoundly isolationist approach to a distinct zeal for American expansion. The nation's earlier isolation is originated from thedeepscarsleftbytheCivilWaranditsneedtorecoverbotheconomically and mentally from that event. But as the industrial revolution changed the way the country worked and the American West reached its farthest point, American attitudes toward foreign expansion shifted. Businesses sought new markets to export their factory-built goods, oil, and tobacco products, as well as generous trade agreements to secure access to raw materials. Early social reformers saw opportunities to spread Christian gospel and the benefits of American life to those in less developed nations. With the rhetoric of Fredrick J. Turner and the strategies of Alfred Mahan underpinning the desire for expansion abroad, the country moved quickly to ready itself for the creation of an American empire.
The Spanish-American War and Overseas Empire
In the wake of the Civil War, American economic growth combined with the efforts of Evangelist missionaries to push for greater international influence and overseas presence. By confronting Spain over its imperial rule in Cuba, the United States took control of valuable territories in Central America and the
Chapter 22 | Age of Empire: American Foreign Policy, 1890-1914 657
Pacific. For the United States, the first step toward becoming an empire was a decisive military one. By engaging with Spain, the United States was able to gain valuable territories in Latin America and Asia, as well as send a message to other global powers. The untested U.S. Navy proved superior to the Spanish fleet,andthemilitarystrategistswhoplannedthewarinthebroadercontextofempirecaughttheSpanish by surprise. The annexation of the former Spanish colonies of Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Philippines, combined with the acquisition of Hawaii, Samoa, and Wake Island, positioned the United States as the predominant world power in the South Pacific and the Caribbean. While some prominent figures in the United States vehemently disagreed with the idea of American empire building, their concerns were overruled by an American public—and a government—that understood American power overseas as a form of prestige, prosperity, and progress.
Economic Imperialism in East Asia
The United States shifted from isolationism to empire building with its involvement—and victory—in the Spanish-American War. But at the same time, the country sought to expand its reach through another powerful tool: its economic clout. The Industrial Revolution gave American businesses an edge in delivering high-quality products at lowered costs, and the pursuit of an "open door" policy with China opened new markets to American goods. This trade agreement allowed the United States to continue to build power through economic advantage.
Roosevelt's "Big Stick" Foreign Policy
When Roosevelt succeeded McKinley as president, he implemented a key strategy for building an American empire: the threat, rather than the outright use, of military force. McKinley had engaged the U.S. military in several successful skirmishes and then used the country's superior industrial power to negotiate beneficial foreign trade agreements. Roosevelt, with his "big stick" policy, was able to keep the United States out of military conflicts by employing the legitimate threat of force. Nonetheless, as negotiationswithJapanillustrated,themaintenanceofanempirewasfraughtwithcomplexity.Changing alliances,shiftingeconomicneeds,andpowerpoliticsallmeantthattheUnitedStateswouldneedtotread carefully to maintain its status as a world power
Taft's "Dollar Diplomacy"
All around the globe, Taft sought to use U.S. economic might as a lever in foreign policy. He relied less on military action, or the threat of such action, than McKinley or Roosevelt before him; however, he both threatened and used military force when economic coercion proved unsuccessful, as it did in his bid to pay off Central America's debts with U.S. dollars. In Asia, Taft tried to continue to support the balance of power, but his efforts backfired and alienated Japan. Increasing tensions between the United States and Japan would finally explode nearly thirty years later, with the outbreak of World War II.
a group of diverse and prominent Americans who banded together in 1898 to protest the idea of American empire building
Taft's foreign policy, which involved using American economic power to push for favorable foreign policies
an idea proposed by Fredrick Jackson Turner, which stated that the encounter of European traditions and a native wilderness was integral to the development of American democracy, individualism, and innovative character
Open Door notes
the circular notes sent by Secretary of State Hay claiming that there should be "open doors" in China, allowing all countries equal and total access to all markets, ports, and railroads without any special considerations from the Chinese authorities; while ostensibly leveling the playing field, this strategy greatly benefited the United States
a statement by Theodore Roosevelt that the United States would use military force to act as an international police power and correct any chronic wrongdoing by any Latin American nation threatening the stability of the region
Theodore Roosevelt's cavalry unit, which fought in Cuba during the Spanish-American War
the pejorative name given by the press to Secretary of State Seward's acquisition of Alaska in 1867
sphere of influence
the goal of foreign countries such as Japan, Russia, France, and Germany to carve out an area of the Chinese market that they could exploit through tariff and transportation agreements
sensationalist newspapers who sought to manufacture news stories in order to sell more papers
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