Immigrant labor had made the US economy globally powerful. Immigrants followed the American dream, which was tied land and expansion. How might new immigrants shaped people’s opinions about outside cultures?
The World’s Fair The first Ferris Wheel Goods from Scandinavia, coffee from Costa Rica, St. Bernards from Switzerland, showing Americans a world beyond their borders. Herman Webster Mudgett aka Dr. H. H. Holmes: a serial killer who used the fair to lure his victims to their death. Dr. Holmes had built his "World's Fair Hotel" complete with a gas chamber, dissection table and a crematorium to dispose of the bodies. Holmes would remove the skeletons of his victims and sell them for medical and scientific study.
DEPRESSION: Farmers fell into deep debt. Crop surpluses dropped prices. Laborers worked for low, unstable wages. Violent strikes broke out. Something had to change. The Frontier had defined the (whites mostly) US experience from its inception. Thomas Jefferson, Lewis and Clark, Manifest Destiny and all that contributed to the white American Identity. Gadsden Purchase, Oregon Territory, US Mexican war. Images of the frontier lured people to the country. Even when immigrants found themselves working in terrible factories, there still existed the vision of the frontier. When it ran out, this vision was threatened. 1893 Depression worsened the outlook. Business had also built empires on the extraction of materials in the West. Robber Barons profited from lending and building gov’t sponsored infrastructure. The US need to expand secure new markets, raw materials, and cheap labor. The US didn’t really have the same needs as Britain and other colonial powers because they could grow sugar, fruit, wheat, cattle, etc. – everything. Strategic importance – if were gonna be with the big boys, we need to assert ourselves. Logical extension of manifest destiny into imperialism. The White Man’s burden. After election, McKinley said, “We want a foreign market for our surplus products”.
Open the door to new markets. The US had built up surpluses. Access to 400mil in China What are the externalities of expansion of trade?
Mahan Born at West point Second in his class at the Naval Academy Union Lieutenant in the Civil War Became naval historian. 1890 wrote advocating a strong navy in the pacific and Caribbean would help protect trade and open up the pacific. Also wanted a canal . Henry Cabot Lodge Mass. Sen. Slender and aristocratically bewhiskered (AP). It was natural for superior races to expand and advance civilization Teddy Roosevelt Called the US failure to annex Hawaii in 1893, a “crime against white civilization” Philospher and anti-imperialist William James wrote that TR “gushes over war as the ideal condition of human society”
The fact that white Europeans had spread their dominance over the world, they were “fittest” to survive Skull measurements were also used to prove male superiority. Achievements of blacks were dismissed as aberrations. Both SD and SR were strengthen by social racism. Protestant churches sent missionaries overseas to “lift up” the other races. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Craniometry
US Marines at the time of the overthrow, January 1893
The Spanish had rounded up rural inhabitants into “reconcentrados” Hearst and Pulitzer were both getting rich off newspapers. The hyperbolized stories and fabricated some. Hearst to
Teller Amendment = no annexation Blacks fighting to free blacks = war of liberation being fought. Plessy v. Ferguson 1896 Separate But Equal Poll Taxes, prohibition of interracial marriages, segregation of public places.
How might these men be connected?
United Fruit transported their bananas on ships called the white fleet. The built railways, schools, provided jobs, silenced union organizing, became massive landowners, and influenced a coup in Guatemala.
Spanish American War - Context
Beyond Manifest Destiny
America Enters the Age of Imperialism
“The taste of Empire is in the mouth of the people even as the taste of
blood is in the jungle”.
-Washington Post Editorial
“The Frontier is Closed”
Frederick Jackson Turner
Surplus of Goods
Build a canal to improve trade
Catch up with other empires
Tap into new markets
Open door policy
The Open-Door Policy
Imperialist = expansion
Anti-Imperialists = non-expansion
Third group (The Open-Door) = oppose
traditional colonialism but favor
economic expansion. Businessmen,
politicians, intellectuals. “informal
“I want my war!”
A.T. Mahan, Navy Captain
• Naval Dominance
Henry Cabot Lodge, Sen. MA
• Social Darwinist
• War was natural
• Monroe Doctrine
“The great nations are rapidly absorbing…all the
waste places of the earth. It is a movement which
makes for civilization and the advancement of the
race. As one of the great nations of the world, the
United States must not fall out of the line of march”
-Henry Cabot Lodge
- Survival of the “fittest” humans
- Skulls measurements “proved” superiority
“By the nearly unanimous consent of anthropologists this type
[the pure Negro of central Africa] occupies the lowest position
in the evolutionary scale…The attempt to suddenly transform
the Negro mind by foreign culture must be as futile as the
attempt would be to suddenly transform his physical type.”Encyclopedia Britannica, 1884
Media and Yellow Journalism
Hearst vs. Pulitzer
• Yellow Journalism
• “You furnish the pictures and I’ll furnish
the war” William Randolph Hearst
• “Cuban Babes Prey to Famine”
• “Thousands of Children of the
• “Perishing in Island Towns
Sights that Sicken Strong Men”
HUNGRY, FRANTIC FLAMES. They Leap
Madly Upon the Splendid Pleasure Palace
by the Bay of Monterey, Encircling Del
Monte in Their Ravenous Embrace From
Pinnacle to Foundation. Leaping Higher,
Higher, Higher, With Desperate Desire.
Running Madly Riotous Through Cornice,
Archway and Facade. Rushing in Upon the
Trembling Guests with Savage Fury.
Appalled and Panic-Striken the Breathless
Fugitives Gaze Upon the Scene of Terror.
The Magnificent Hotel and Its Rich
Adornments Now a Smoldering heap of
Ashes. The "Examiner" Sends a Special
Train to Monterey to Gather Full Details of
the Terrible Disaster. Arrival of the
Unfortunate Victims on the Morning's Train
— A History of Hotel del Monte — The
Plans for Rebuilding the Celebrated Hostelry
— Pariculars and Supposed Origin of the
The Spanish-American War: Cuba
Fear of a black government
Teller Amendment 1898
• Supported by anti-imperialists and
• No annexation of Cuba