Chapter 18 Imperialism. Precedence of Isolationism.
Washington’s Farewell Address (1796) set the precedent for the United States to pursue a policy of isolationism. Isolationism was the policy of avoiding involvement in world affairs. Although in the Monroe Doctrine (1824) the United States had declared itself the protector of the entire western hemisphere, isolationism continued to form the basis of American foreign policy throughout most of the nineteenth century.
George Washington at the end of his presidency. Disturbed by the war between England and France and the attempts of both nations to draw the U.S. into it as an ally, Washington issued a "Farewell Address" in which he warned against permanent alliances with foreign nations.
Secretary of State, William Seward, negotiated the
purchase of Alaska from Russia in 1867.
In the early 1890s the United States Marines helped American sugar planters depose (overthrow) the Hawaiian monarch Queen Liliuokalani.
In 1898 Congress agreed to annex Hawaii or add it to United States territory.
Queen Liliuokalani (1891-93). American planters, who had established sugar plantations in Hawaii beginning around 1820, became increasingly influential in the economy and government of Hawaii; Queen Liliuokalani's desire for a new constitution, restoring her royal powers, caused a revolt by the planters, and she was deposed in 1893. In 1894 a republic was established, headed by lawyer and missionary son Sanford B. Dole, and annexation by the U.S. followed in 1898.
Hawaiian Annexation Ceremony, 1898
Hearst to Frederick Remington:You furnish the pictures, and I’ll furnish the war!
William Randolph Hearst
Funeral for Maine victims in Havana
The wreck of the U.S.S. Maine, February 15, 1898.
The war for Cuban independence coincided with a press war between William Randolph Hearst and Joseph Pulitzer for the largest newspaper circulation in New York City. Both papers emphasized similarities between Cuba's independence war and the American Revolution. Then Hearst sent the famous artist, Frederic Remington (1861-1909), to Cuba. Remington cabled Hearst that there was nothing to paint, to which the publisher supposedly replied, "You supply the pictures and I'll supply the war." On February 15, 1898, the U.S.S. Maine exploded in Havana harbor.
An original investigation concluded that the ship was destroyed by an external explosion, probably a Spanish mine. This was refuted in a carefully documented 1976 study by Adm. Hyman G. Rickover, which demonstrated that an internal explosion caused the loss of the ship.
Leader of the FilipinoUprising.
July 4, 1946:Philippine independence
TR in Panama(Construction
begins in 1904)
Panama Canal Timelapse
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 .
In 1914, war broke out in Europe. Although it originally began as a conflict b/t European powers, it eventually involved the US and many other nations.
The causes of the war were in place long before the first shots were ever fired.
M- Militarism- Glorification of military strength and getting ready for war.
A- Alliances- An agreement between countries to support each other in case of war.
I- Imperialism- Trying to build up an Empire.
N- Nationalism- Strong loyalty and devotion to one's country and culture.
1. The first attempt using a grenade missed the Archduke and exploded behind the
2. On the second attempt, they were killed by a Serbian student, Gavrilo Princip.
a. The Archduke was shot in the neck and his wife was shot in the stomach.
The Archduke’s blood soaked tunic.
Because of his age (19 yrs, 11 months), Princip could not be executed for this crime. The law required an individual to be at least 20 years old. Princip died in prison during the war of tuberculosis.
Today, Princip is considered a Serbian national hero and there are two embedded footprints on the sidewalk where he stood when he fired the two fatal shots, which triggered WWI.
Despite being the heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, Ferdinand was not liked because he married Sophia, a person not of royal blood. She was considered a commoner.
Due to existing alliances, Europe was divided and at war.
Great Britain, France, and Russia formed an alliance known as the Triple Entente/Allied Powers.
Germany and Austria-Hungary formed an alliance known as the Triple Alliance/Central Powers.
At first, the US did not get involved in the war.
In fact, in 1914, President Woodrow Wilson officially declared the US neutral (not backing either side).
Many in the US still believed in isolationism (the belief that the US should stay out of international conflicts) and did not see the war in Europe as being any concern to the US.
Others supported “preparedness”, which supported neutrality while taking steps to prepare for war just in case it became necessary.
US policy towards the war became the key issue in the Election of 1916; Wilson narrowly won a second term with his slogan, “He kept us out of war!”
Despite Wilson’s original desire for neutrality, several factors led to US involvement in the war.
While many German immigrants favored the Central Powers, most of the country’s public supported the Triple Entente.
As time passed, people came to view Germany as a ruthless aggressor out to destroy democracy and freedom.
One of Germany’s finest and fiercest weapons were their U-boats (Unterseeboot=submarine)
The Germans warned all nations that they would attack any ships entering or leaving British ports.
President Wilson rejected the warning, arguing that no warring party could be allowed to disrupt neutral shipping in the Atlantic.
In reality the US was not entirely neutral; it had begun shipping military supplies aboard commercial cruise liners!
One of these liners, the Lusitania, was torpedoed by a German U-boat in 1915.
1200 people died in the attack, including 128 American citizens.
People in the US were furious! Anti-German feeling swept across the country.
Not wanting to pull the US into the war, Germany agreed not to attack anymore US passenger ships.
In 1917, however, they resumed unrestricted submarine warfare.
American neutrality was put to the test in May 1915, when the German submarine U-20 sank the British luxury liner Lusitania, which was carrying 1200 passengers and a cargo of ammunition for British rifles. The German embassy had warned Americans that Allied vessels in the war zone were fair targets, but 128 Americans had ignored the warning and met their deaths. Wilson accused the Germans of brutality, demanded that they stop submarine warfare, and refused to ban American passengers from sailing on Allied vessels.
It was also in 1917 that the US intercepted the Zimmermann Telegram.
Arthur Zimmermann, the German Foreign Minister, sent a telegram to the German embassy in Mexico in which he told embassy officials to ask Mexico to attack the US if it declared war on Germany.
In return, Germany promised to help Mexico win back land the US had acquired as a result of the Mexican-American War.
FROM 2nd from London # 5747. "We intend to begin on the first of February unrestricted submarine warfare. We shall endeavor in spite of this to keep the United States of America neutral. In the event of this not succeeding, we make Mexico a proposal of alliance on the following basis: make war together, make peace together, generous financial support and an understanding on our part that Mexico is to reconquer the lost territory in Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona. The settlement in detail is left to you. You will inform the President of the above most secretly as soon as the outbreak of war with the United States of America is certain and add the suggestion that he should, on his own initiative, invite Japan to immediate adherence and at the same time mediate between Japan and ourselves. Please call the President's attention to the fact that the ruthless employment of our submarines now offers the prospect of compelling England in a few months to make peace." Signed, ZIMMERMANN
Anti-German sentiment increased even more when news of the telegram got out and President Wilson broke off all diplomatic relations with Germany.
In March 1917, Wilson made an idealistic case for war before Congress, claiming that the world “must be made safe for democracy.”
Congress passed a war resolution and in April 1917 the US officially entered the war.
First - The Germans announced early in 1917 that they would resume unrestricted submarine warfare. At first, horrified that his policy of "strict accountability" seemed now to demand war, Wilson did nothing.
Second - Then in February, the British revealed the contents of the "Zimmermann Telegraph," proposing a German-Mexican alliance under which Mexico would recover all the territory it had lost to the U.S. in the 1840s. Wilson began arming merchant ships, and on April 2, 1917, Wilson appeared before the Congress asking for a declaration of war against Germany.
By the time the American troops arrived in substantial numbers in the spring of 1918, British and French units had endured more than three years of increasingly costly trench warfare. These British troops are shown on the front line in the Somme area in August 1916. The Battle of the Somme, in the summer and fall of 1916, achieved almost no changes in the positions of the German and Allied armies, but 420,000 British, 200,000 French, and 450,000 Germans lost their lives, and the area was almost totally destroyed.
“No Man’s Land”
The US was not prepared to send a large army to Europe right away.
In order to boost the number of US soldiers, Congress passed the Selective Service Act authorizing a draft of young men for military service.
US soldiers played a vital role in helping the Triple Entente and its allies defeat the Central Powers.
Due to the effort to incite patriotic fervor, the World War I draft had a high success rate, with fewer than 350,000 men “dodging” the draft.
Although the fighting took place overseas, WWI had a huge impact on life in the US.
The war meant an increased role for gov’t in the US:
Using powers granted to him by Congress, President Wilson helped establish federal agencies to oversee the nation’s wartime economy and to encourage public support for the war.
The nation’s enlarged military needed supplies and demand for products combined with a lack of workers led many African Americans living in the South to move to northern cities.
This is called the Great Migration.
In 1918, Germany finally signed an armistice (cease-fire agreement) ending hostilities.
Leaders of the warring nations met for a peace conference in Paris, France.
President Wilson went to the conference with no desire to punish Germany for the war.
He put forth his peace proposal known as the Fourteen Points, which called for reduction in armaments (weapons) and the right to self-determination (power to govern oneself).
The Versailles Peace Conference was led by the Council of Four nicknamed the “Big Four”:
Wilson also proposed founding the League of Nations, which would provide a place for countries to peacefully discuss solutions for their differences instead of going to war.
A number of nations joined, but the US never did join b/c the US was moving back towards isolationism and Congress refused.
Finally the Treaty of Versailles was agreed upon, but the US never signed.
It made Germany take full responsibility for the war and required them to pay war reparations (money to compensate for losses from the war).
These conditions led to economic depression and great bitterness in Germany.
This resentment would ultimately lead to the rise in power of a leader named Adolf Hitler.
The Treaty of Versailles, which ended World War I, recognized these three principles. However, it also included the mandate system, which violated the idea of national self-determination. Under the terms of the Treaty of Versailles, a mandate was a region administered by another country until it was judged ready for independence. The Versailles Treaty divided the Ottoman Empire (Turkey) into mandates, lands to be supervised or governed by the Allies under the direction of the League of Nations. France received Syria, and Britain received Palestine and Iraq.
The Treaty of Versailles also provided for the punishment of Germany. Against the wishes of President Wilson, Great Britain and France had insisted that the treaty hold Germany responsible for the war. Finally, the Treaty of Versailles redrew national boundaries in Europe, which created many new nations including Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, and Poland. In short, the Treaty of Versailles recognized the principle of national self-determination in Europe, but not in the Middle East, Africa, or Asia.