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The US Builds an Empire. 1890 - 1899. The US in 1890. The frontier – safety valve or not – was gone The country’s population was rising rapidly The industrialization that had caused much controversy was making HUGE money

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The US Builds an Empire

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the us in 1890
The US in 1890
  • The frontier – safety valve or not – was gone
  • The country’s population was rising rapidly
  • The industrialization that had caused much controversy was making HUGE money
  • Industrial production was second to none – we would soon outstrip Germany and Britain combined in the production of steel
imperialism was seen as an answer by both liberals and conservatives
Imperialism was seen as an answer – by both liberals and conservatives
  • Hearst and Pulitzer pushed for conquest in their respective newspapers
  • The “yellow journalism” pointed – in its sensational way – to conquest being the answer to all of America’s alleged ills
  • Reverend Josiah Strong called on Americans to spread their superior society to the “backward” people of the world
  • Theodore Roosevelt and Henry Cabot Lodge saw Social Darwinism and the survival of the fittest as a valid reason for foreign intervention
  • The earth belonged to the strong and fit – clearly the US

Henry Cabot Lodge – (R) MA

the theory
The Theory
  • Since the major players (Britain, France, Russia) had scooped up much of the available territory, the newer colonial nations had to move to get whatever was left over
  • If a country were left out, their ability to expand markets and market share would be impaired, leaving them vulnerable to manipulation by others – especially Great Britain
enter alfred thayer mahan
Enter Alfred Thayer Mahan
  • In 1890, Admiral Mahan published his now famous book: The Influence of Sea Power upon History: 1660 – 1783
  • The book argued that control of the seas was the key to world dominance

Alfred Thayer Mahan

the book
The Book
  • Widely read, the book catalogued the exploits of the British, French and Dutch as they built their early colonial empires
  • It also showed the beginnings of the second British Empire in India and the Far East
its influence
Its Influence
  • Read by the British, Germans, Italians, and Japanese this little tome had far reaching influence
    • It vindicated the British policy of a navy that was as large as the next two combined
    • It spurred the new Kaiser to build his own navy – specifically designed to challenge Britain on the seas
    • The Japanese used it as a justification of a huge naval program – and empire building
  • The US also began to expand its capabilities
blaine and the big sister approach
Blaine and the “Big Sister” Approach
  • Designed to stimulate trade in Latin America, the United States, under the leadership of Secretary of State Blaine advanced the theory that the US would be the leader and the nations of Latin America would open their markets to US goods
  • The first Pan-American conference in 1889 called on mutual trade and began to sketch a new era of cooperation between the US and its neighbors
early international issues
Early International Issues
  • 1889 – The US and Germany almost went to war over Samoa – the only thing that prevented shooting was the British Navy between the other two countries’ forces
  • Eleven Italians were lynched in New Orleans in 1891 – the two countries almost went to war – the US backed down and paid a fine instead
  • Two Americans were killed in Valparaiso, Chile – and the countries allowed hostilities to escalate
    • Only after the threat of attack from Chile’s superior and modern navy did the US back off
  • The US and Canada exchanged heated diplomatic barbs over seal hunting in Alaskan waters
  • This new belligerence reflected a new national mood at the end of the nineteenth century
crisis in venezuela
Crisis in Venezuela
  • Venezuela claimed the region shown here in slanted green lines as their own (Indigenous Venezuela).
  • The British claimed much of eastern Venezuela as their own
  • When gold was found on in Venezuela, all bets were off
the us response
The US Response
  • Claiming to be “practically sovereign” in the western hemisphere, the United States sent a notably nasty note to the British demanding that they file for arbitration in their dispute
  • The British, equally undiplomatic, told the US to “buzz off” – that the Monroe Doctrine was irrelevant and that Britain would decide its own fate, thank you very much
this response
This response . . .
  • Got President Cleveland very upset
  • He had Congress appoint a commission that would survey the land and declare a border – if the British did not agree, then the US would fight for that border
  • The country was all for war
  • The British, on the other hand, were not
britain and the european situation
Britain – and the European Situation
  • The British were afraid of much by 1895-6
  • The French and Russians were not friendly
    • France wanted an African east-west railway and were beginning to move toward the Sudan to secure the route
    • Russia wanted control of the Khyber Pass in British India
  • The German Kaiser was beginning to build his new navy
in addition
In addition . . .
  • They were afraid of a major US interest in Canada
  • While they outnumbered the US navy 32 – 5 in battleships, they were afraid of US commerce raiders
and then came the kaiser
And then came the Kaiser . . .
  • In 1896 an unauthorized raiding party of 600 armed British were captured by the Boers in South Africa
  • The Kaiser sent the now famous Krueger Telegram, congratulating the Boers and offering assistance
  • The British quickly turned from anger at the US to fury at Germany
  • They agreed to arbitration in Venezuela – and got much of what they asked for
the results
The Results
  • This near war accomplished much
    • The US got to appear victorious
    • The Monroe Doctrine was greatly enhanced
    • Latin American nations saw that the US would protect them from hostile Europeans
  • Britain began to change its policy to one of friendship toward the US

President Grover Cleveland (1885-9, 1893-7)

imperial conquests
Imperial Conquests
  • Hawaii
    • US interests in Hawaii go all the way back to the early 1800s.
    • The islands produced many somewhat exotic crops greatly demanded in the US
  • The beginning of the end
    • 1887 – the US received exclusive rights to the “harbor at the mouth of the Pearl River in Oahu”
the exact wording
The Exact Wording
  • "His Majesty the King of the Hawaiian Islands, grants to the Government of the U.S. the exclusive right to enter the harbor of Pearl River, in the Island of Oahu, and to establish and maintain there a coaling and repair station for the use of vessels of the U.S. and to that end the U.S may improve the entrance to said harbor and do all things useful to the purpose aforesaid." This treaty was ratified by the Hawaiian Senate and signed by the King on 29 October 1887.
why what was so special
Why – What was so special?
  • The British had been trading in the islands even longer than the US
  • The Japanese were looking to expand eastward – where better than Hawaii?

British Captain Cook in Hawaii

the bayonet constitution
The “Bayonet Constitution”
  • In the Hawaiian Constitution passed in 1887, the US was given many exclusive rights
  • US corporations were given excellent tax incentives – i.e. no taxes
  • The Hawaiians revolted against this constitution in 1889 – but the revolt was quickly put down by Hawaiian forces
1890 and the mckinley tariff
1890 and the McKinley Tariff
  • Imports were taxed at a rate of 48.4%
  • Greatly increased the price of foreign goods, including Hawaiian sugar and pineapple
  • Created an “Annex Hawaii” movement in the US
more intrigue
More Intrigue
  • In 1891, the King with whom the US had been doing business died
  • His sister, Queen Liliuokalani succeed him
  • She was a Hawaiian nationalist who wanted to do away with the privileges of US business
the queen s actions
The Queen’s Actions
  • Her crackdowns were popular with the Hawaiians, but Americans were not fans
  • US Businesses staged a revolt in 1893 that drove the Queen from the throne
    • The US Ambassador called in the Marines
    • They actually came, illegally invading a foreign country
  • They declared Sanford B. Dole President – an asked the US to annex the islands
president cleveland s response
President Cleveland’s Response
  • In reacting to the US Ambassador’s statement, "The Hawaiian pear is now fully ripe and this is the golden hour for the United States to pluck it," the President had some moral issues with the events in Hawaii – and its request for annexation
eventual annexation
Eventual Annexation
  • In 1898 – when the McKinley Administration had already decided to follow an imperialistic path – the US annexed Hawaii
  • Next would come Cuba, the Philippines, Guam, Puerto Rico
the spanish american war
The Spanish-American War
  • Beginning in 1895, independence minded Cuban began to agitate for independence from Spain
  • These “agitations” included torching cane fields, blowing up trains, and threatening foreign companies doing business in Cuba
  • American investment by 1895 totaled $50M and earned almost $100M annually
spain s reaction
Spain’s Reaction
  • Was to send in an able commander, General “Butcher” (name created by the US press), Weyler
  • He sought to end the rebellion by putting loyal Cubans into “reconcentration” camps – surrounded by barbed wire with no plumbing, refrigeration or sanitation
  • The purpose – to keep them from getting hurt or helping the rebels
the yellow press
The “Yellow Press”
  • Pulitzer and Hearst had a field day
  • In an effort to boost circulation, their sensational “scoops” and stories fanned imperial fervor in the greater New York region and in the country as a whole
the job
The Job
  • Remington’s job was to draw pictures of Spanish atrocities and the battles taking place in the revolution.  Once there, he was very unhappy and found more comfort in the Navy gunboats offshore to working in the fields,  He wrote to his employer “There is no war.  Request to be recalled.”  To this, Hearst, in story that could never be verified, reputedly responded with “Please remain. You furnish the pictures, I’ll furnish the war.” 
with the destruction of the maine
With the Destruction of the Maine
  • On February 15, 1898, the war was on
  • The famous battles – Manila Bay and San Juan Hill
  • Given the Battle Cry – “Remember the Maine, the Hell with Spain,” American soldiers quickly won the war – once the actual fighting began
what did the us gain
What did the US Gain?
  • Cuba, the Philippines, Guam, Puerto Rico
  • International fame and reputation – they had beaten a European power well away from US shores (Philippines)
  • They had also shown restraint in their peace settlement – there was no HUGE indemnity clause demanding money
mckinley s dilemma
McKinley’s Dilemma

“When next I realized that the Philippines had dropped in our laps, I confess I did not know what to do with them . . .

  • To help the President and the US Congress make their decision, McClure’s magazine published a poem by British-Indian poet Rudyard Kipling in defense of taking the islands outright

The White Man's Burden By Rudyard Kipling

  • McClure's Magazine 12 (Feb. 1899).
  • Take up the White Man's 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.
  • Take up the White Man's burden--
    • In patience to abide,
  • To veil the threat of terror
    • And check the show of pride;
  • By open speech and simple,
    • An hundred times made plain,
  • To seek another's profit
    • And work another's gain.
  • Take up the White Man's burden--
    • The savage wars of peace--
  • Fill full the mouth of Famine,
    • And bid the sickness cease;
  • And when your goal is nearest
    • (The end for others sought)
  • Watch sloth and heathen folly
    • Bring all your hope to nought.
  • Take up the White Man's burden--
    • No iron rule of kings,
  • But toil of serf and sweeper--
    • The tale of common things.
  • The ports ye shall not enter,
    • The roads ye shall not tread,
  • Go, make them with your living
    • And mark them with your dead.

Take up the White Man's burden,

    • And reap his old reward--
  • The blame of those ye better
    • The hate of those ye guard--
  • The cry of hosts ye humour
    • (Ah, slowly!) toward the light:--
  • "Why brought ye us from bondage,
    • Our loved Egyptian night?"
  • Take up the White Man's burden--
    • Ye dare not stoop to less--
  • Nor call too loud on Freedom
    • To cloak your weariness.
  • By all ye will or whisper,
    • By all ye leave or do,
  • The silent sullen peoples
    • Shall weigh your God and you.
  • Take up the White Man's burden!
    • Have done with childish days--
  • The lightly-proffered laurel,
    • The easy ungrudged praise:
  • Comes now, to search your manhood
    • Through all the thankless years,
  • Cold, edged with dear-bought wisdom,
    • The judgment of your peers.
and president mckinley couldn t sleep
And President McKinley couldn’t sleep . . .

I went down on my knees and prayed to Almighty God for light and guidance. . . . And one night late it came to me this way. . . . 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 them I went to bed and went to sleep, and slept soundly.”

William McKinley

questions arose
Questions Arose
  • How could the US, itself a former colony, take colonies for itself?
  • Did the Constitution, with its built in rights of self-determination, extend to the new territories?
    • The Insular Cases, argued before the Supreme Court in 1901 said that it did not
  • The Teller and Platt Amendments governed the relationship between the US and Cuba
the independence amendments
The US cannot and will not annex Cuba

Cuba could not accrue a large national debt

Cuba could not make treaties that would “threaten” its indep.

Cuba would sanitize its cities

The US could maintain a navy base

The US could intervene to maintain order

The “Independence” Amendments

The PlattAmendment

The TellerAmendment

the philippines
The Philippines
  • The US annexed them – much to the disgust and dismay of the Filipinos
  • A huge revolt under Emilio Aguinaldo erupted
    • Resulting in a long and deadly guerilla war
    • The US placed Filipinos in Cuba style “reconcentration” camps to “protect them”
  • William Howard Taft was appointed to help the new territory after things began to settle down
problems in the islands
Problems in the Islands
  • To the words of a marching song:

Damn, damn, damn the Filipinos!

Cross-eyed kakiak ladrones!

Underneath the starry flag

Civilize ‘em with a Krag

And return us to our beloved homes!

  • The US army resorted to the “water cure,” torture, and other forms of inducement to get information
a reply to the white man s burden
A reply to the “White Man’s Burden”

We’ve taken up the white man’s burden

of ebony and brown;

Now will you kindly tell us, Rudyard,

How may we put it down?

benevolent assimilation
“Benevolent” Assimilation
  • This forced assimilation program greatly angered the Filipinos
  • They were eventually promised their independence if the Filipinos could prove that they could govern themselves
  • Independence was very slow in coming – it arrived in 1946
the next step
The Next Step

“The Constitution rides behind and the Big Stick rides before, (Which is the rule of precedent), in the reign of Theodore”

Morris, Edmund. Theodore Rex

and next to correct a problem encountered during the span am war a canal
And Next – to correct a problem encountered during the Span – Am War, A Canal
  • The problem was, where to build it
  • There were 2 possible routes – Nicaragua or Panama
  • Panama was shorter, but the French were already building one there, and the US and Britain had an 1850 treaty that forbade the US building anything in Panama
a shorter route to the pacific
A Shorter Route to the Pacific
  • American businessmen (allied to Mark Hanna) owned much of the land across central Nicaragua
    • This land was seen as perfect for a canal.
  • This route was technologically easier
  • Only one problem — a volcano was in the way!
enter president roosevelt
Enter President Roosevelt
  • Due to rivalries with Mark Hanna, and the volcano issue, the President pushed for the Panama option
  • Treaty issues were dealt with in the Hay-Pauncefote Treaty of 1901
  • The US negotiated with the Colombian government to lease the land across central Panama in order to build a canal.
  • The Colombian government did not want a strong US presence on its soil.
turn to panama
Turn to Panama
  • By the time TR began to push, there were other interesting issues in Panama
  • The French were running into financial and technical problems.
  • Still, no movement on the part of the Colombian government.
the panama canal becomes a reality
The Panama Canal Becomes a Reality
  • In the end, President Roosevelt sent a Frenchman, Phillippe Bunau-Varilla to Panama to “negotiate.” (He had been the head of the French Canal company.)
    • In reality, he was in the central Panama region in order to begin a revolution.
  • The New York press reported in the spring of 1903 that there would be an uprising in November.
the canal treaty
The Canal Treaty
  • In November (merely by coincidence, I’m sure - ), with crucial assistance from the US Navy and Marine Corps, the people of Panama gained their independence.
  • The US government recognized Panamanian independence immediately, and offered to protect them from Colombian forces.
  • President Bunau-Varilla of Panama quickly accepted this offer – and by the way, a canal treaty was immediately negotiated.