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Chapter 24: . The Nation at War, 1900-1920 #1 And Schlicke . Introduction. German government took out an advertisement warning Americans and other voyagers from setting sail for England. NOTICE-

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Chapter 24

Chapter 24:

The Nation at War, 1900-1920 #1

And Schlicke



  • German government took out an advertisement warning Americans and other voyagers from setting sail for England

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Travellers intending to embark on the Atlantic voyage are reminded that a state of war exists between Germany and her allies and Great Britain and her allies; that the zone of war includes the waters adjacent to the British Isles; that, in accordance with formal notice given by the Imperial German Government, vessels flying the flag of Great Britain, or of any of her allies, are liable to destruction in those waters and that travelers sailing in the war zone on ships of Great Britain or her allies do so at their own risk.

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  • that afternoon, the British steamship Lusitania set sail from New York

    • was secretly carrying a load of ammunition as well as passengers

  • six days later, the Lusitania reached the coast of Ireland where German U-boats (submarines) were known to patrol

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  • Great Britain had imposed a naval blockade of Germany when the war started, Germany then declared the area around the British Isles a war zone

    • all enemy vessels – armed or unarmed – were at risk

  • President Woodrow Wilson had protested the German action and warned Germany of its “strict accountability” for any American losses resulting from U-boat attacks

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  • the submarine U-20 was there as the Lusitania arrived in Ireland and fired a single torpedo

    • caused a boiler to explode that blew a hole in the Lusitania’s side

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  • the ship listed immediately, making it difficult to launch lifeboats

    • within 18 minutes, the ship sank

    • nearly 1,200 people died (128 Americans)

      • was the worst sinking since the Titanic

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  • Theodore Roosevelt – called it “an act of piracy” and demanded war

  • most Americans, like Wilson hoped that negotiations could solve the problem

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  • Wilson issued a series of diplomatic notes demanding a change in policy

    • first Lusitania note called on Germany to abandon unrestricted submarine warfare, disavow the sinking, and compensate for lost American lives

    • Wilson drafted a second Lusitania note insisting on specific pledges

    • third note – almost an ultimatum – warned Germany that the United States would view similar sinkings as “deliberately unfriendly”

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  • Germany had already ordered U-boat commanders not to sink passenger liners without warning

    • but a U-boat would mistakenly torpedo a British liner (the Arabic) and kill two Americans

  • issued the Arabic pledge – promising that U-boats would stop and warn liners, unless they tried to resist or escape

    • apologized for American deaths

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  • Lusitania and Arabic crises contained the elements that would lead to war

    • new weapons, like the submarine – strained the old rules of international law

  • a generation of progressives, inspired with confidence in human progress, did not easily accept war

  • in the end, diplomacy failed

    • April 1917 – the United States entered a war that changed the nation’s history

A new world power

A New World Power

  • Americans after 1900 continued to pay relatively little attention to foreign affairs

    • foreign policy was something to be left to the president in office, an attitude the presidents themselves favored

  • foreign policy they pursued from 1901 – 1920 was aggressive and nationalistic

    • United States intervened in Europe, the Far East, and Latin America

      • dominated the Caribbean

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  • 1898 – possessed the Philippines, Puerto Rico, and Guam

    • required a colonial policy – a change in foreign policy, reflecting an outward approach

      • United States built a navy, protected its colonial empire, and became increasingly involved in international affairs

      • also more and more involved in economic ventures abroad

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  • “I Took the Canal Zone”

    • convinced the US should take a more active international role, Theodore Roosevelt spent his presidency preparing the nation for becoming a world power

      • modernized the army

      • established the Army War college – imposed stiff tests for the promotion of officers

      • general staff to oversee military planning and mobilization

      • doubled the strength of the navy during his term in office

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  • consolidated the country’s new position in the Caribbean and Central America

  • plans for an Isthmian canal in Central America

    • wanted a canal to link the Atlantic and Pacific oceans

  • Hay-Pauncefote Treaty of 1901 – permitted the US to construct and control an Isthmian canal, provided it would be free and open to ships of all nations

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  • Isthmian Canal Commission – had investigated two possible routes, one through Nicaragua – and one through Panama

    • chose the shorter route through Panama (where a French company had already tried and failed)

  • Hay negotiated an agreement with the Colombian chargé d’affaires

    • Hay-Herrán Convention – gave the US a 99-year lease (with option for renewal) on a canal zone 6 miles wide

      • US agreed to pay Colombia a onetime fee of $10 million and an annual rental of $250,000

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  • Colombian Senate rejected the treaty

  • Roosevelt – considered seizing Panama, then hinted that he would welcome a Panamanian revolt from Colombia

    • Panamanians took the hint

  • Roosevelt moved quickly to support them

    • sent the cruiser Nashville to prevent Colombian troops from putting down the revolt, and promptly recognized the new Republic of Panama

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  • Hay-Bunau-Varilla Treaty – granted the US control of a canal zone 10 miles wide across the Isthmus of Panama

    • US guaranteed independence of Panama and agreed to pay the same fees offered to Colombia

  • used giant steam shovels and thousands of laborers from Jamaica

  • August 15, 1914 – the first ocean steamer sailed through the completed canal

    • had cost $375 million to build

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  • because of the negative actions taken by Roosevelt in seizing the canal, Wilson agreed to pay Colombia $25 million in cash, and express “sincere regret” over American actions

    • Roosevelt’s friends in the Senate blocked the agreement

  • Colombian-American relations remained strained until 1921

    • the two countries signed a treaty that included Wilson’s first two provisions but omitted the apology

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  • Roosevelt took great pride in the canal

    • claimed it was “by far the most important action in foreign affairs”

  • “If I had followed traditional conservative methods, I would have submitted a dignified state paper of 200 pages to Congress and the debate on it would have been going on yet; but I took the Canal Zone and let Congress debate; and while the debate goes on the Canal does also.”

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  • The Roosevelt Corollary

    • United States developed a Caribbean policy to ensure its dominance in the region

      • established protectorates over some countries and subsidized others to keep them dependent

      • purchased islands to keep them out of the hands of other powers

        • like the Danish West Indies (now the US Virgin Islands)

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  • intervened often in Latin America to protect the canal zone, promote regional stability, and exclude foreign influences

  • a problem was the scale of Latin American debts to European powers

    • a situation that invited European intervention

  • Venezuela defaulted on debts – England, Germany, and Italy sent Venezuela an ultimatum and blockaded its ports

    • American pressure forced a settlement on the issue, but the general problem remained

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  • after the Dominican Republic defaulted on its debts Roosevelt issued an announcement

    • the Roosevelt Corollary of the Monroe Doctrine – warned Latin American nations to keep their affairs in order or face American intervention

      • American officials collected customs and saw to the payment of the Dominican debt

      • established protectorates in Cuba and Panama

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“Speak softly and carry a big stick.”

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  • US Senate added the Lodge Corollary – warned foreign corporations not to purchase harbors and other sites of military significance in Latin America

  • the Roosevelt Corollary guided American policy in Latin America until the 1930s – when Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Good Neighbor policy replaced it

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  • Ventures in the Far East

    • Open Door Policy (China)

    • Congress refused to arm the Philippines and the islands were vulnerable to the growing power of Japan

    • Russia and Japan went to war and Roosevelt offered to mediate the conflict

      • both Russia and Japan accepted

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  • Roosevelt’s conference ended the war

    • Japan emerged as the dominant force in the Far East

  • Taft-Katsura Agreement (1905) – reorganized Japan’s dominance over Korea in return for its promise not to invade the Philippines

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  • relations between the US and Japan were still difficult

    • San Francisco school board ordered the segregation of Japanese, Chinese, and Korean children in to a separate Oriental school

    • California legislature considered a bill limiting the immigration of Japanese laborers into the state

      • resentment mounted and Roosevelt intervened to persuade the school board to rescind its order

      • also obtained a “Gentlemen’s Agreement” – from Japan who promised to stop the flow of Japanese agricultural laborers into the US

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  • Roosevelt sent 16 battleships of the new American fleet around the world to show strength

    • included a stop in Tokyo where the Japanese welcomed the fleet

  • Japanese-American relations improved and the two nations, in an exchange of diplomatic notes, reached the comprehensive Root-Takahira Agreement

    • promised to maintain the status quo in the Pacific, uphold the Open Door, and support Chinese independence

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  • in later years, anger mounted in Japan (1913) when the California legislature prohibited Japanese residents from owning property in the state

  • start of World War I – Japan seized some German colonies

    • in 1915, it issued the Twenty-One demands insisting on authority over China

    • Japan coveted an Asian empire and began to eye American possessions in the Pacific

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  • Taft and Dollar Diplomacy

    • Taft tried to continue Roosevelt’s policies

    • pursued a policy of “dollar diplomacy” to promote American financial and business interests abroad

    • had profit-seeking motives

    • aimed to substitute economic ties for military alliances with the idea of increasing American influence and bringing lasting peace

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  • Taft – worked to replace European loans with American ones

    • to reduce the danger of outside meddling

  • Willard Straight – an agent of American bankers argued that dollar diplomacy was the financial arm of the Open Door

    • wanted to build railroads in Manchuria in northern China

      • the secretary of state’s plan reversed the policy

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  • Russia and Japan – found reasons to cooperate with each other and staked out spheres of influence in violation of the Open Door

    • instead of cultivating friendship (as Roosevelt had envisioned) , Taft had started an intense rivalry with Japan for commercial advantage in China

Foreign policy under wilson

Foreign Policy Under Wilson

  • Wilson – conducted his own diplomacy

    • composed important diplomatic notes on his own typewriter

    • sent personal emissaries abroad

    • carried on major negotiations without the knowledge of his secretaries of state

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  • Wilson – believed in a principled, ethical world, where militarism, colonialism, and war were brought under control

    • stressed moral purposes over material interests

  • chose moral diplomacy – designed to bring right to the world, preserve peace, and extend to other people the blessings of democracy

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  • Conducting Moral Diplomacy

    • William Jennings Bryan – was a fervent pacifist, he believed in the American duty to “help” less favored nations

      • began an idealistic campaign to negotiate treaties of arbitration throughout the world

      • “cooling-off” treaties – provided for submitting all international disputes to permanent commissions of investigation

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  • idea of “cooling-off treaties” was based on the era’s confidence in commissions and that human reason, given time for emotions to fade, could settle problems without war

  • negotiated treaties with thirty nations

    • the treaties were naïve, and they did not work

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  • Wilson and Bryan – negotiated the treaty with Colombia apologizing for Roosevelt’s Panamanian policy

    • but other problems and impatient with the results of his idealistic approach, Wilson continued the Roosevelt-Taft policies

      • defended the Monroe Doctrine, gave unspoken support to the Roosevelt Corollary, and intervened in Latin America more than had Roosevelt or Taft

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  • negotiated a treaty with Nicaragua to grant the United States exclusive rights to build a canal and lease sites for naval bases

    • made Nicaragua an American satellite

  • sent marines to Haiti to quell a revolution

  • occupied the Dominican Republic

    • American troops were “protecting” Nicaragua, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, and Cuba

      • four nations that were US dependencies in all but name

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  • Troubles Across the Border

    • PorfirioDíaz – president of Mexico who was overthrown in 1911

      • had encouraged foreign investments in Mexican mines, railroads, oil, and land

        • most Mexicans had remained poor though

    • his overthrow led to a decade of violence that tested Wilson’s policies and brought the US close to war with Mexico

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  • Francisco I. Madero – followed Díaz as President, but could not keep order

  • General Victoriano Huerta – ousted Madero in 1913 with help from the rich, the army, and the Catholic Church

    • Madero was thrown in jail and murdered

      • many nations recognized Huerta, but Wilson refused

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  • Wilson – announced a new policy toward revolutionary regimes in Latin America

    • to win American recognition, they must not only exercise power, but reflect “a just government based upon law, not upon arbitrary or irregular force”

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  • Wilson – withheld recognition from Huerta and maneuvered to oust him

    • stationed naval units off Mexico’s ports to cut off arms shipments to Huerta’s regime

      • caused trouble

  • several American sailors, who had gone ashore in Tampico to purchase supplies, were arrested

    • were promptly released, but the American admiral demanded an apology and a 21-gun salute to the American flag

      • Huerta agreed – if the Americans also saluted the Mexican flag

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  • Wilson – asked Congress for authority to use military force if necessary

    • learned that a German ship was landing arms at Veracruz on Mexico’s eastern coast

  • American warships shelled the harbor, and marines went ashore

    • they took the city

      • Mexicans of all factions denounced the invasion, and for a time the two countries hovered on the edge of war

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  • Wilson claimed that he only wanted to help Mexico

  • weakened by rebellion, Huerta resigned

  • Wilson – recognized the new government under Venustiano Carranza

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  • Francisco (“Pancho”) Villa – one of Carranza’s generals – revolted

    • wanted to goad the US into an action that would help him seize power, he raided border towns – injuring American civilians

      • removed 17 Americans from a train in Mexico and murdered them

      • invaded Columbus, New Mexico – killing 16 Americans and burning the town

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  • Wilson – ordered General John J. Pershing on a punitive expedition to seize Villa in Mexico

    • he led 6,000 troops deep into Mexican territory

      • at first, Carranza agreed to the drive, but he changed his mind

    • the wily Villa, eluded Pershing, Carranza protested, and Wilson (worried about events in Europe) ordered Pershing home

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  • Wilson – wanted to help the Mexicans achieve political and agrarian reform

    • motives and methods were condescending

      • tried to impose gradual progressive reform on a society sharply divided along class and other lines

  • interfered in the affairs of another country

    • revealed the themes – moralism, combined with pragmatic self-interest and a desire for peace – that shaped his policies in Europe

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