America Becomes an Imperial Power
I. Why did America join the imperialist club at the end of the 19th Century?
1. Commercial/Business Interests Exports and investments in foreign lands increases dramatically as a result of the Industrial Revolution. Farmers and some manufacturers depend on exports for financial success. Producers wanted markets for ‘excess’ production.
Important business leaders argue that US prosperity and security requires expansion overseas and global activity.
1. Commercial/Business Interests U. S. Foreign Investments: 1869-1908
American Foreign Trade: 1870-1914 1. Commercial/Business Interests
2. Military/Strategic Reasons The US needed a powerful navy and military bases throughout the world to protect its economic interests. Need a powerful navy to protect the highway.
Need military bases at strategic points (in the Pacific, and Caribbean) to have a powerful navy.
2. Military/Strategic Interests Alfred T. Mahan - The Influence of Sea Power on History: 1660-1783
Many intertwined ideas encourage empire nationalism, capitalism, Social Darwinism, and prejudice Imperialists assert racial hierarchy of “civilized” peoples; White Anglo-Saxons at top; dark skinned (Africans, Indians) on bottom. 3. Belief in Cultural Superiority
“ White Man’s Burden”: Belief that white peoples are dominant and need to expand to civilize the inferior peoples of the world.
3. Social Darwinist Thinking The White Man’s Burden The Hierarchy of Race
“ Seward’s Folly”: 1867 Secretary of State William Seward negotiates the U.S. purchase of Alaska from Russia for $7.2 million
“ Seward’s Icebox”: 1867
III. Hawaii: "Crossroads of the Pacific"
Hawaiian Queen Liliuokalani Hawaii for the Hawaiians!
Annexation of Hawaii US missionaries, businessmen, and navy see Hawaii as base for profit and expansion White (American) sugar planters came to dominate the island by the 1890s. Hawaiians attempt to regain control, but U.S. Marines seize power.
Result : 1898, Hawaii is annexed (becomes a territory of the U.S.)
U. S. View of Hawaiians Hawaii becomes a U. S. Protectorate in 1849 by virtue of economic treaties.
The Imperialist Taylor
A. Why Interest in Cuba? Cubans want freedom from Spanish rule and they revolt. 2. US investments dominate Cuba (sugar), and most Cuban trade is with the U.S. 3. US public support grows for Cubans. Rebels were damaging economic life of island with sabotage. U.S. investors want war over. Spanish Gen. Weyler began to put population into concentration camps leading to many deaths.
Yellow journalism —Exaggerated news stories stirred up emotions in US. Stirred up excessive Patriotism
Spanish Misrule in Cuba
Valeriano Weyler’s “Reconcentration” Policy
“ Yellow Journalism” & Jingoism Joseph Pulitzer William Randolph Hearst Hearst to Frederick Remington: You furnish the pictures, and I’ll furnish the war!
Feb. 9, 1898: New York Journal released a copy of Spanish Minister de Lome’s letter criticizing President McKinley as weak. Feb. 15: USS Maine, a U.S. navy ship in Cuba explodes—266 men killed. Unclear the cause, but in the public mind the de Lome letter and explosion linked. Spain responsible. B. McKinley’s Ultimatum and War Decision
April 20, 1898: U.S. declares war on Spain.
De Lôme Letter Dupuy de Lôme, Spanish Ambassador to the U.S.
Criticized President McKinley as weak and a bidder for the admiration of the crowd, besides being a would-be politician who tries to leave a door open behind himself while keeping on good terms with the jingoes of his party.
USS Maine Post-Explosion
Artist’s Rendering of Maine Explosion
Remember the Maine and to Hell with Spain! Funeral for Maine victims in Havana
C. Spanish-American War Less than 10% of US deaths were from combat; most died from yellow fever/typhoid First US victory in war in Philippines via new navy; imperialists see islands as key to US expansion in Pacific/Asia
Spanish, already weakened, lose quickly.
Theodore Roosevelt Assistant Secretary of the Navy in the McKinley administration. Imperialist and American nationalist. Criticized President McKinley as having the backbone of a chocolate éclair!
Resigns his position to fight in Cuba.
D. Theodore Roosevelt in the War He resigns his position as Assistant Secretary of the Navy to join the army. He leads a group of calvary known as __.
They are successful in battles against the Spanish in Cuba including Battle of San Juan Hill.
The “Rough Riders”
E. Treaty of Paris (1898) US gets Puerto Rico, Guam, and Philippines from Spain Teller Amendment (in war declaration) blocks US annexation of Cuba, but McKinley assumes Cuba needs US tutelage
Senate debates treaty and empire (1899)
F. Should Cuba be Independent? Senator Orville Platt Platt Amendment (1903) 1. Cuba was not to enter into any agreements with foreign powers that would endanger its independence. 2. The U.S. could intervene in Cuban affairs if necessary to maintain an efficient, independent govt. 3. Cuba must lease Guantanamo Bay to the U.S. for naval and coaling station. 4. Cuba must not build up an excessive public debt.
The Spanish-American War (1898): “That Splendid Little War”
Dewey Captures Manila!
Is He To Be a Despot?
What to do w/ the Philippines? Grant the Philippines independence? Naval strategists wanted a base in Asia.
Could be key to maintaining influence in China- competition with European powers for China market.
What to do w/ the Philippines? McKinley to a group of ministers (p. 313 Zinn) : “ I sought counsel from all sides… but got little help…. I went down on my knees and prayed Almighty God for guidance…. [I]t came: We could not give them back to Spain… We could not turn them over to [our rivals] We could not leave them to themselves- they were unfit for self-government There was nothing left for us to do but to take them all and to educate… uplift… civilize… and Christianize them.
And then I went to bed and slept soundly.”
Emilio Aguinaldo Leads rebellion against American occupation of the Philippines after the Spanish-American War. It took the US 3 years and 70,000 troops to crush the rebellion.
War ended in the Philippines, with more than 4,200 U.S. soldiers, 20,000 Filipino soldiers, and 200,000 Filipino civilians dead.
Emilio Aguinaldo L eader of the Filipino Uprising.
July 4, 1946: Philippine independence
William H. Taft, 1st Gov.-General of the Philippines
Our “Sphere of Influence”
The American Anti-Imperialist League Mark Twain, Andrew Carnegie, William James, and William Jennings Bryan among the leaders.
Campaigned against the annexation of the Philippines and other acts of imperialism.
I. Panama Canal US wanted a canal across Central America to avoid shipping goods and naval vessels around tip of South America US chose Panama as a likely location for the canal. US supported a revolt by a pro-US group willing to allow the canal to be built by Americans.
US bought rights to canal for $10M.
Panama Canal TR in Panama (Construction begins in 1904)
Declares that not only would US act if European powers intervened in the Americas (Monroe Doctrine), but the US could intervene first in order to prevent that possibility. II. The Roosevelt Corollary to the Monroe Doctrine: 1905
Result: U.S. gave themselves the power to act as they wished with the Americas.
The Roosevelt Corollary to the Monroe Doctrine: 1905 Chronic wrongdoing… may in America, as elsewhere, ultimately require intervention by some civilized nation, and in the Western Hemisphere the adherence of the United States to the Monroe Doctrine may force the United States, however reluctantly, in flagrant cases of such wrongdoing or impotence, to the exercise of an international police power .
Speak Softly, But Carry a Big Stick!
Stereotypes of the Chinese Immigrant Oriental [Chinese] Exclusion Act, 1887
The Boxer Rebellion: 1900
The Peaceful Harmonious Fists.
The Open Door Policy Give all nations equal access to trade in China.
Guaranteed that China would NOT be taken over by any one foreign power.
The Open Door Policy
America as a Pacific Power
America's New Role
The Cares of a Growing Family
Constable of the World
Treaty of Portsmouth: 1905 Nobel Peace Prize for TR
The Great White Fleet: 1907
President Taft’s “Dollar Diplomacy” Improve financial opportunities for American businesses. Use private capital to further U. S. interests overseas.
Therefore, the U.S. should create stability and order abroad that would best promote America’s commercial interests.
President Wilson’s “Moral Diplomacy”
The U. S. should be the conscience of the world.
U. S. Global Investments & Investments in Latin America, 1914
U. S. Interventions in Latin America: 1898-1920s
Uncle Sam: One of the “Boys?”
What the U. S. Has Fought For