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The Great West and the Agricultural Revolution, Spanish American War, Filipino Insurrection. Chapter 26-28. Clashes of Cultures on the Plains – The Final Decline of the Indigenous . Main Factors Leading to the Decline of the Native Pop.

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the great west and the agricultural revolution spanish american war filipino insurrection

The Great West and the Agricultural Revolution, Spanish American War, Filipino Insurrection

Chapter 26-28

clashes of cultures on the plains the final decline of the indigenous
Clashes of Cultures on the Plains – The Final Decline of the Indigenous

Main Factors Leading to the Decline of the Native Pop.

  • Homestead Act (1862): allowed settlers to acquire as much as 160 acres of land by:
      • Living on it for five years
      • Improving it
      • And paying a fee of $30
      • Union soldiers could deduct time served from residency requirements.
      • Along with the railroad this did the most to stimulate western settlement
  • Mass Killing of the Buffalo
      • Buffalo Bill
  • Completion of the Transcontinental Railroad
clashes of cultures on the plains the final decline of the indigenous1
Clashes of Cultures on the Plains – The Final Decline of the Indigenous

The Dawes Act (1887)

  • Dissolved many tribes as legal entities
  • Wiped out tribal ownership of land
  • Set up individual Indian family heads with 160 free acres.
    • Full rights and citizenship took 25 years.
  • Reservation land not allotted to the Indians was sold to the railroads.

Indoctrination and assimilation campaigns broke outto “civilize” the indigenous.

    • Carlisle Indian School in Pennsylvania
the final decline of the indigenous
The Final Decline of the Indigenous

Dawes Act comes in response to Ghost Dance cult and violent reactions from the indigenous

As history goes, power centers will try to criminalize the ways of life of marginalized groups – e.g. the Ghost Dance

Violence erupts at Wounded Knee when the dance spreads to the Dakota Sioux.

Writers react

Helen Hunt Jackson writes A Century of Dishonor and Ramona

the farm becomes a factory
The Farm Becomes a Factory
  • In the latter third of the 1800s farming began to change fundamentally.
    • Once jacks-of-all-trades, farmers were forced to concentrate on growing single “cash” crops – wheat or corn.
      • Used the profits to buy foodstuffs
  • Innovations greatly increase the speed of harvesting
    • Steam engines drag the plow, seeder, and harrow.
    • Twine binder and the “combine” – a combined reaper-thresher that reaped and bagged the grain.
  • This agricultural modernization drove many farmers off the land, thus swelling the ranks of the industrial work force.
deflation dooms the debtor
Deflation Dooms the Debtor

Farmers chained to a one crop economy were at the mercy of the market.

  • Crop prices began to fall in the 1880s.
  • Low prices and deflated currency were the chef worries of the farmer.
  • Deflation flowed from the static money supply.
    • 1870: Currency in circulation was only $19.42 per person.
    • 1890: It was still only $22.67
    • During these years business and industry grew.
  • Interest rates ranged from 8 to 40%
    • Farmers felt they were being cheated.
the crop lien system
The Crop-Lien System
  • The farmer gets what he needs from the merchant:
    • Use of the gin at harvest time
    • Supplies
    • Various equipment
  • The farmer usually didn’t have the money to pay
    • The merchant would get a lien, or a mortgage on his crop
    • The interest rate on this maybe around 25%
    • The farmer would owe more and more money each year until his farm was taken away and he became a tenant.
  • Lawrence Goodwyn says, “the crop lien system became for millions of Southerners, white and black, little more than modified slavery.”
reactions of farmers
Reactions of Farmers

Early Reaction

  • The Grange: Led by Oliver H. Kelley, he wanted to enhance the lives of isolated farmers through social, educational, and fraternal activities.
    • Concerts, lectures, and picnics made for a kind of collectivism.
    • Their own paper declared, the Grange “is ostensibly conservative and furnishes a stable, well-organized, rational and orderly opposition to encroachments upon the liberties of the people, in contrast to the lawless, desperate attempts of communism.”
    • Politics: Grangers fought to get railroads regulated under the federal government (what they could charge for transport, storage, etc…)
      • State courts were incline to favor public control of private business for general welfare.
reactions of farmers1
Reactions of Farmers

The Grange (cont.)

  • Due to business reaction (the “interests”) and the fact that the Grange simply wasn’t doing enough, members slowly turned away.

Farmers Alliance

  • Began in 1877 in Texas. By 1882 there were 120 suballiances in 12 counties. By 1886 100,000 farmers were members. 1 million by 1890.
  • They began to offer alternatives to the old system.
    • They formed cooperatives.
    • They bought things together and got lower prices.
    • Began putting cotton together and selling it cooperatively – called “bulking.”
  • The Alliance wasn’t as strong as it could have been because it excluded black farmers.
  • Nevertheless, the Alliance grew to form a new political party – The Populist, or People’s, Party.
the rise of the populists a viable third party
The Rise of the Populists – A Viable Third Party

“The war opened during a period of hard times. ... Business throughout the country was depressed, farm prices were deflated, unemployment was serious, the heavy industries were working far below capacity and bank clearings were off.”

- J.P. Morgan describing the years leading up to WWI

Farmers Reaction to Economic Crisis (1870-1900)

  • Started co-ops (Farmers Alliance)
  • Attempt at gov’t regulation of railroads (Grangers)
  • Lobbied for Free-Silver (Populists)
  • Joined new political parties (Populists)
the rise of the populists a viable third party1
The Rise of the Populists – A Viable Third Party

The Populist movement asked that “such legislation as shall secure to our people freedom from the onerous and shameful abuses that the industrial classes are now suffering at the hands of arrogant capitalists and powerful corporations.”

-The Cleburne Demands, 1886

The Movement from Farmer’s Alliance to Populist Party

  • Charles Macune: antitrust, anticapitalist, and a conservative in politics (against the formation of a new party).
    • Sub-Treasury Plan: gov’t would have its own warehouses where farmers could store produce and get certificates from sub-Treasury – greenbacks.
      • Currency based on produce, not gold or silver.
    • Neither party went for it. Must organize a 3rd party.
the rise of the populists a viable third party2
The Rise of the Populists – A Viable Third Party

The Rise of the 3rd Party – Its Platform

  • Banking Reform
  • Graduated Income Tax (the more you make, the more you pay).
  • Gov’t Ownership of the Railroads (Granger Laws)
  • Institution of a Secret Ballot
  • Populists field a candidate in the election of 1892, James B. Weaver, but are crushed.
  • They are slowly integrated into the Democratic Party. Why do you think they were so easily brought under the Democratic umbrella?
election of 1896
Election of 1896

William McKinley

William Jennings Bryant


Represented businessmen, professionals, skilled factory workers, and rich farmers.


Represented the Populist Party and Silver Republicans

Nominated after his “Cross of Gold” speech.

the rise of the populists a viable third party3
The Rise of the Populists – A Viable Third Party

The Fall of the 3rd Party – The Reasons

  • Co-opted by the Democratic Party
  • Exclusion of Black farmers (Racism of the day)
  • Disunited farmers of South and West
  • Not enough farmers to carry the vote of the Democratic ticket (too radical for some).

So Why Do We Talk About the Populists?

  • Helped to liberalize the Democrats
  • Accomplished viability as a 3rd party
  • Although their policies were pushed to the side, many of them were achieved via the Progressives.
the us conception of democracy
The US conception of Democracy
  • “The United States did not want to control Nicaragua or the other nations in the region, but it also did not want to allow developments to get out of control. It wanted Nicaraguans to act independently, except when doing so would affect U.S. interests adversely.” [His emphasis]
      • Robert Pastor – National Security Staff under Carter and Ambassador to Panama under Clinton
  • “Where democracy appears to fit in well with US security and economic interests, the United States promotes democracy… Where democracy clashes with other significant interests, it is downplayed or even ignored.”
      • Thomas Carothers - Office of the Legal Adviser of the U.S. Department of State from 1985 to 1988.
the path of empire
The Path of Empire

Some Useful Vocab Words

  • Jingoism: extreme chauvinism or nationalism marked especially by a belligerent foreign policy.
    • Expanded under Captain A. T. Mahan, US Navy. Says that the countries with the biggest navies will inherit the earth. “Americans must now begin to look outward.
  • Yellow Journalism: the type of journalism that relies on sensationalism and lurid exaggeration to attract readers.
    • “You furnish the picture, I’ll furnish the war.” – William Randolph Hearst

Arguments for US Expansion

  • Latin America and the Orient (China) were areas the US should claim for open markets
  • After the frontier closes US business needed new opportunities.
  • Mass production called for new markets
  • US needed to enter the global scramble for colonies.
from william appleman williams the tragedy of american diplomacy
From William Appleman Williams The Tragedy of American Diplomacy
  • Why expansion?
  • “This national argument is usually interpreted as a battle between imperialists led by Roosevelt and Lodge and anti-imperialists led by William Jennings Bryan and Carl Schurz. It is far more accurate and illuminating, however, to view it as a three-cornered fight. The third group was a coalition of businessmen, intellectuals, and politicians who opposed traditional colonialism and advocated instead a policy of an open doorthrough which America's preponderant economic strength would enter and dominate all underdeveloped areas of the world.”
the path of empire destination cuba
The Path of Empire – Destination: Cuba
  • To John Quincy Adams and others, Cuba had "become an object of transcendent importance to the commercial and political interests of our Union.”
  • “In the interests of our commerce . . . we should build the Nicaragua canal, and for the protection of that canal and for the sake of our commercial supremacy in the Pacific we should control the Hawaiian islands and maintain our influence in Samoa . . . and when the Nicaraguan canal is built, the island of Cuba . . . will become a necessity. . . . The great nations are rapidly absorbing for their future expansion and their present defense 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, (R) MA.

  • A new consciousness seems to have come upon us -- the consciousness of strength -- and with it a new appetite, the yearning to show our strength. . . . Ambition, interest, land hunger, pride, the mere joy of fighting, whatever it may be, we are animated by a new sensation. We are face to face with a strange destiny. The taste of Empire is in the mouth of the people even as the taste of blood in the jungle…

-Post Editorial

the path of empire1
The Path of Empire
  • When the United States did not annex Hawaii in 1893 after the combined missionary and pineapple interests of the Dole family set up their own government, Roosevelt called this hesitancy:
    • "a crime against white civilization."
  • And he told the Naval War College:
    • "All the great masterful races have been fighting races… No triumph of peace is quite so great as the supreme triumph of war.“

Fear that Cuba might become 2nd non-white controlled Republic

  • “A grave danger represents itself. Two-fifths of the insurgents in the field are negroes. These men… would, in the event of success, demand a predominant share in the government of the country… the result being, after years of fighting, another black republic.”

– Winston Churchill, on Cuban independence

the sinking of the maine
The Sinking of the Maine
  • On February 15, 1898 the USS Maine, stationed off the coast of Cuba in order to protect US business interests there, exploded and sank, killing nearly ¾ of the crew.
  • William Randolph Hearst and Joseph Pulitzer begin to capitalize on nationalist sentiments.
  • In order to maintain a non-imperialist stance Congress passes the Teller Amendment:
    • pledges that the United States will not attempt to annex Cuba.
walter lafeber writes
Walter LaFeberwrites…

“The President did not want war; he had been sincere and tireless in his efforts to maintain the peace. By mid-March, however, he was beginning to discover that, although he did not want war, he did want what only a war could provide; the disappearance of the terrible uncertainty in American political and economic life, and a solid basis from which to resume the building of the new American commercial empire.

spanish american war
Spanish American War
  • The Spanish were defeated within three months. When they surrendered:
    • No Cuban was allowed to confer on the surrender, or sign it.
    • No rebel armies were allowed to enter Santiago.
    • Rebel leaders were told that the old Spanish civil authorities would remain in charge of the municipal offices in Santiago, not Cubans.
  • By the end of the occupation in 1901 it’s been estimated that at least 80% of the export of Cuba’s minerals were in American hands, mostly Bethlehem Steel (Charles Schwab’s)
  • The Platt Amendment: Gave the US "the right to intervene for the preservation of Cuban independence, the maintenance of a government adequate for the protection of life, property, and individual liberty. . . . " It also provided for the United States to get coaling or naval stations at certain specified points.
  • Cubans protested the amendment. General Leonard Wood, head of the occupation forces assured McKinley “The people of Cuba lend themselves readily to all sorts of demonstrations and parades, and little significance should be attached to them.”
cuban constitutional convention replies to the u s platt amendment
Cuban Constitutional Convention replies to the U.S. Platt Amendment

“For the United States to reserve to itself the power to determine when this independence was threatened, and when, therefore, it should intervene to preserve it, is equivalent to handing over the keys to our house so that they can enter it at any time, whenever the desire seizes them, day or night, whether with good or evil design.


“The only Cuban governments that would live would be those which count on the support and benevolence of the United States, and the clearest result of this situation would be that we would only have feeble and miserable governments . . . condemned to live more attentive to obtaining the blessings of the United States than to serving and defending the interests of Cuba. . . . The report termed the request for coaling or naval stations "a mutilation of the fatherland."

It concluded:

“A people occupied militarily is being told that before consulting their own government, before being free in their own territory, they should grant the military occupants who came as friends and allies, rights and powers which would annul the sovereignty of these very people. That is the situation created for us by the method which the United States has just adopted. It could not be more obnoxious and inadmissible…”

the path to empire cuba
The Path to Empire: Cuba
  • After several Cuban refusals, US pressure, the military occupation, and the refusal to allow Cubans to set up their own government until they passed it, the Platt Amendment was adopted.
  • General Leonard Wood, head of the occupation, writes to Roosevelt in 1901:
    • “"There is, of course, little or no independence left Cuba under the Platt Amendment.“

Aftermath, December 1898:

    • The US receives Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Philippines from Spain for $20 million.
      • Puerto Rico by force of arms
      • Hawaiian Islands by missionaries and agribusinesses (Dole Family)
      • Wake Island was occupied.
the path to empire
The Path to Empire

Justifications of American Expansionists

  • The US had a duty to spread its superior institutions to less civilized peoples (Ethnocentrism)
  • Strong nations were destined by natural law to dominate weak ones (Social Darwinism)
  • A strong navy was the key to becoming a great nation, and colonies would serve as bases for such a navy (Mahan’s jingoism)
the filipino insurrection
The Filipino Insurrection

February, 1899: Roughly a year after the US received the Philippines from Spain, they rose in revolt against American rule.

  • Emilio Aguinaldo: Filipino leader, who was used by the US to fight against Spain, became leader of the insurrectos against the United States.
  • It takes three years to crush the rebellion, using 70,000 troop – 4x as many as in Cuba.

Sen. Albert Beveridge (R) IN speaking in January 9, 1900:

“Mr. President, the times call for candor. The Philippines are ours forever. . . . And just beyond the Philippines are China's illimitable markets. We will not retreat from either. . . . We will not renounce our part in the mission of our race, trustee, under God, of the civilization of the world…”

the filipino insurrection1
The Filipino Insurrection

Sen. Albert Beveridge (R) IN, continues…:

“I have a nugget of pure gold picked up in its present form on the banks of a Philippine creek. . . .

“My own belief is that there are not 100 men among them who comprehend what Anglo-Saxon self-government even means, and there are over 5,000,000 people to be governed.

“It has been charged that our conduct of the war has been cruel. Senators, it has been the reverse. . . . Senators must remember that we are not dealing with Americans or Europeans. We are dealing with Orientals.”

the filipino insurrection sentiments
The Filipino Insurrection - Sentiments
  • A Marine major, Littletown Waller, was accused of shooting 11 defenseless Filipinos, without trial on the island of Samar. Other Marines described his testimony:

“The major said that General Smith instructed him to kill and burn, and said that the more he killed and burned the better pleased he would be; that it was no time to take prisoners, and that he was to make Samar a howling wilderness. Major Waller asked General Smith to define the age limit for killing, and he replied ‘Everything over ten.’”

  • A volunteer soldier from Washington writes in his war journal:

“Our fighting blood was up, and we all wanted to kill ‘niggers’… This shooting human beings beats rabbit hunting all to pieces.”

the filipino insurrection sentiments1
The Filipino Insurrection - Sentiments
  • From 1889 to 1903: Two blacks were lynched by mobs – hanged, burned, mutilated.
  • Because of Filipino appearance – brown-skinned, physically identifiable, strange-speaking and strange-looking to Americans – there was thus added the factor of racial hostility.
    • Early on Filipinos are depicted as Filipinos, but as the insurrection continues they are gradually depicted as rough looking savages with bones through their nose and spears and shields.
the anti imperialist league
The Anti-Imperialist League

The League was made-up of an odd collection of peoples, from Andrew Carnegie to Mark Twain to ethnocentric racists.

Their Reason’s for Opposing US Imperialism

  • Imperialism was immoral and runs against America’s pledge of human freedom (Twain)
  • Empires costs money, armies, and alliances (Isolationists)
  • Returning soldiers may bring Filipino wives back to the States, thus polluting American society (Racists/Ethnocentrists).
the anti imperialist league1
The Anti-Imperialist League

“We have pacified some thousands of the islanders and buried them; destroyed their fields; burned their villages, and turned their widows and orphans out-of-doors; furnished heartbreak by exile to some dozens of disagreeable patriots; subjugated the remaining ten millions by Benevolent Assimilation, which is the pious new name of the musket; we have acquired property in the three hundred concubines and other slaves of our business partner, the Sultan of Sulu, and hoisted our protecting flag over that swag.”

“And so, by these Providences of God -- and the phrase is the government's, not mine -- we are a World Power.”

- Mark Twain

teddy s big stick
Teddy’s Big Stick

“Speak softly and carry a big stick, and you will go far.”

  • Roosevelt’s Big Stick Policy (Roosevelt Corollary to the Monroe Doctrine) advocated that military power should be available for retaliation.
  • US would continue to block European influence in Western Hemisphere
  • US has right to intervene in Latin American conflicts
  • US will act as global police
  • Latin America is hub for US commercial interests.

Main Events Illustrating the RC

  • US intervention between Germany and Venezuela
  • US takeover of tariff collections in Dominican Republic
  • Intervention in Panama (Panama emergence as a client, construction of Panama Canal).