Following the Civil War, America wanted to do 3 things:
1. Reconstructing the South
2. Settling the West
3. Becoming Industrial
The US was not interested inexpanding nations, territories or having international influence.
Our Foreign Policy—(how we deal with other nations)-was called Isolationism—the policy of avoiding involvement in world affairs
European countries however did the opposite-they started to practice expansionism and imperialism-the economic andpolitical domination -taking over smaller countries
Why?• Most industrial nations had placed tariffs on their products-intended to protect their products, however in effect what they did was they reduced trade between the countries. So now what?? What do companies do when the countries around them stop trading?
They look for other markets
Overseas—Africa and Asia.
They started to not only trade with these countries but also invest in these countries. So then they need to protect their investments.In order to do that they started to exert control over those territories where their investments were and soon these areas became colonies.
The next thing we know Africa andAsia have been carved up by countries like Britain, France and Spain.The US starts to feel like they better get a “piece of the pie” or else…..
So we have economic pressures to expand.• In search of new markets• Dwindling of natural resources• “We are raising more than we can consume, we are making more than we can use”
But also we have social andphilosophic reasons for expansion• Social Protest of the time: populist movement, free silver, etc.—look outward not inward• Darwin theory again— “survival of the fitness”• Subjugation of the Indians• A feeling of superiority- John Fiske & Josiah Strong, a popular minister in the late 1800’s linked Anglo-Saxonism to Christian missionary ideas. He said the Anglo- Saxon was “divinely commissioned to be, in a peculiar sense, his brother’s keeper”• “The White Man’s Burden”
The White Man’s Burden
Rudyard Kipling Take up the WhiteWhite Man’s Burden Mans burden-- Send forth the best ye breed-- Go bind your sons to exile To serve your captives need; To wait in heavy harness, On fluttered folk and wild-- Your new-caught, sullen peoples, Half-devil and half-child.
Political ReasonsAlfred T. Mahan wrote a book called The Influence of Sea Power. In it he wrote about the importance of a nation having a great navy. It became a best seller and helped to build public support for a big navy. Along with a very powerful senator, Henry Cabot Lodge, the US was well on its way to becoming one of the top naval powers in the world.
Expansion in the Pacific- Hawaii
Expansion in the Pacific-Hawaii• As trade with China and Japan increased, many Americans became interested in Hawaii. Ships traveling between China and the US regularly stopped in Hawaii. Americans soon discovered that the climate and soil of the islands were suitable for growing sugarcane. Planters became very powerful and wealthy. Soon tensions between the planters and the Hawaiians mounted.
In 1891 Queen Liliuokalani ascended to the Hawaiian throne.
Faced with an economic crisis and thequeen’s action, the planters backed an attempt to overthrow the queen.Supported by the US marines, a group of planters, with the help of Samuel Dole, forced the queen to give up power and set up a temporary government. Five years later, the US annexed Hawaii.
Summary: By the 1890’s, several ideas had come together:• Business leaders wanted new market overseas• Anglo Saxonism had convinced many Americans that they had a destiny to dominate the world• Growing European imperialism threatened America’s security• Combined with Mahan’s influence, these ideas convinced congress to authorize the construction of a modern American navy.
The Spanish American War 1898• Why did the US go to war against Spain in 1898 and why was the outcome significant?
By the late 1800’s, Spain was no longer a world power. Its empire only nowconsisted of the Philippines, Cuba and Puerto Rico
In Cuba its sugarcane plantationsgenerated lots of money for Spain and produced almost 1/3 of the entire world’s sugar.
In 1868, Cuban declared its independence from Spain and launched a guerrilla war against her. The US business leaders were interested in what was happening in Cuba because American businesses had invested money in the Cuban economy.
• Most Americans were supportive of the Cuban rebels—they compared their struggle with the American patriots during the Revolutionary war. Some even smuggled guns into Cuba.
Yellow JournalismBut it was the newspaper reports that led most Americans to support the rebels. William Randolph Hearst and Joseph Pulitzer owned big newspapers in the US. They competed against each other to sell papers. Each created outrageous stories of the Spanish misrule. This kind of sensational reporting, in which writers’ exaggerated or even made up stories to attract readers became know as yellow journalism.
There is no doubt that the Cuban people indeed suffered horribly. General Valeriano Weyler’s harsh policies quickly earned him the nickname El Carricero (the butcher). To prevent the rebels from engaging in guerrilla warfare, he herded hundreds of thousands of rural men, women, and children into re- concentration camps, where ten of thousands died of starvation and disease.
President Mckinley wanted toremain neutral.But 2 incidents increased tensionsbetween the US and Spain,
1.The De Lome LetterA letter written by Enrique De Lome, the Spanish ambassador to Washington, To a friend in Cuba. In it he criticized President McKinley calling him “weak and catering to the rabble and besides, a low politician”. This intensified anti –Spanish feelings in the US.
2. The U.S.S.Maine IncidentAfter a major riot had broken out in the streets of Havana, President McKinley sent the battleship U.S.S.Maine to Cuba in case Americans had to be evacuated. For two weeks the Maine sat in Havana harbor. Then after a tremendous explosion rocked the battleship, the ship sank, killing more than 260 sailors.
“Remember the Maine”
Under great public pressure McKinley asked Congress to declare war on Spain.
A “Splendid Little War”• The war lasted only 4 months. It began in the Philippines and ended in Cuba and Puerto Rico.
• In the Philippines Emilio Aguinaldo led the rebel forces to fight the Spanish on his own. At first, Aguinaldo believed the Americans were his allies, but when American troops arrived in the islands he became suspicious. The Americans quickly seized the Philippine capital of Manila from the Spanish but refused to allow Aguinaldo’s forces into the city. Soon hostilities between the Filipinos and the Americans began to grow.
Meanwhile fighting had begun in Cuba. Theodore Roosevelt quit his assistant secretary of the navy job so that he could join the fighting. He helped form the Rough Riders—a mixture of cowboys, miners, college athletes and law officers. Their most famous battle was the battle of San Juan Hill
• The Spanish surrender soon after a few major defeats. Leaders met to discuss the terms of a peace treaty.
Treaty of Paris• 1. Cuba would become a “free nation”—under the Platt amendment the US would have assess to naval and military bases in Cuba and the right to intervene to protect Cuban independence and keep order—a protectorate
• 2. US would annex Puerto Rico & Guam• In 1917 the US made PR citizens of the US• In 1947 the right to elect a governor.• The debate over whether to grant PR statehood, allow it to become an independent country or continue it as a commonwealth of the US continues today.
• 3. What to do about the Philippines?? Remain true to its republican ideals or become an imperial power??
How to combine imperialistic intentions with the deep-seated American beliefs in liberty and self- governing?• Do we remain true to its republican ideals or become an imperial power?
The Debate Raged On• For Against Financial reasons: cost of an•Military benefits—naval base empire far outweighed eco.in Asia benefits•Economic benefits-large Eco. reasons: a flood of cheapmarket for American goods labor would lower wages•Ideological reasons-duty to Geo. reasons: it was a worldteach the “less civilized” away•Religious reasons-opportunity Basic racism against Filipinosto convert Filipinos to Military reasons: army couldChristianity be used at home•A way to reinvigorate the Anti-Imperialist League wasnation formed with Wm. J. Bryan as a charter member as well as many capitalists Imperialism was immoral
• When I next realized that the Philippines had dropped into our laps I confess I did not know what to do with them. I sought counsel from all also. I walked the floor of the White House night after night until midnight; and I am not ashamed to tell you, gentlemen, that I went down on my knees and prayed Almighty God for light and guidance more than one night. And one night late it came to me this way—I don’t know how it was, but it came: (1) That we could not give them back to Spain—that would be cowardly and dishonorable; (2) that we could not turn them over to France and Germany—our commercial rivals in the Orient—that would be bad business and discreditable; (3) that we could not leave them to themselves—they were unfit for self-government—and they would soon have anarchy and misrule over there worse than Spain’s was; and (4) that there was nothing left for us to do but to take them all, and to educate the Filipinos, and uplift and civilize and Christianize them, and by God’s grace do the very best we could by them, as our fellow-men for whom Christ also died. And then I went to bed, and went to sleep, and slept soundly, and the next morning I sent for the chief engineer of the War Department (our map-maker), and I told him to put the Philippines on the map of the United States (pointing to a large map on the wall of his office), and there they are, and there they will stay while I am President!
The Philippine War• The US quickly learned that controlling its new empire would not be easy. Aguinaldo called the American decision to annex his homeland a “violent and aggressive seizure”. He ordered his troops to attack the American solders in the Philippines.
The Philippine War• The least remembered of all wars as well as on of the longest 1898-1902 and most vicious.• To fight the Filipino guerrillas Gen. Arthur MacArthur adopted many of the same policies that America had condemned Spain for using in Cuba—re-concentration camps—thousands died, a spirit of savagery grew (p. 708) 15 Filipinos were killed for every one wounded-compared to the US in the Civil War 1 died for every 5 wounded.
• American engaged 200,000 deaths: 4,300• Filipinos: more than 50,000• Finally Emilio Aguinaldo, the Rebel leader, was captured and declared his own allegiance to the US.• William Howard Taft became the first governor and announced an American mission—to get the Philippines read for independence. He tried to win the hearts and minds of the people by reforming education, transportation and health care. He built roads, bridges, RR etc., and slowly the reforms reduced hostilities.• In July 4, 1946 the island gained their independence