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1. United States foreign policy between 1815 and 1910 was determined less by economic than strategic, moral, or political interests. Assess the validity of this generalization with reference to at least TWO major episodes ( for example: treaties, wars, proclamations, annexations, etc.) in the foreign policy of the United States between 1815 and 1910. (80)
  • 2. How and why did the Monroe Doctrine become the cornerstone of United States foreign policy by the late nineteenth century? (85)
  • 3. Both the Mexican War and the Spanish American War were premeditated resulting from deliberately calculated schemes of robbery on the part of a superior power against weak and defenseless neighbors. (86)
  • 4. Compare the debates that took place over American expansionism in the 1840’s with those that took place in the 1890’s, analyzing the similarities and differences in the debates of the two eras. (92)
  • Colonialism:
    • People
  • Imperialism:
    • Direct power
  • Hegemony:
    • Indirect power
  • American West
  • Hawai’i + Alaska
  • Rationales: Manifest Destiny, Social Darwinism, Frederick Jackson Turner “frontier thesis,” population pressure, economic pressure
    • Doc B, Doc C
  • Policies: land grants (Homestead and RxR), Indian Wars
  • Outcome: extermination of natives or “assimilation;” rugged frontier individuals dependent on federal gov’t
    • A la Third Reich and Imperial Japan, racism + expansion living space = killing space
  • Cuba
  • Philippines
  • Panama
  • Rationales: Social Darwinism, White Man’s Burden, markets (neo-mercantilism)
  • Policies: Roosevelt Corollary
    • Doc F
  • Outcome: occupation, military build-up, subjugation of natives
    • Philippines: occupation + insurgency concentration camps, free-fire zones, war crimes
    • Doc D, Doc H
  • Latin America / Caribbean
  • China
  • Africa and Middle East (post-WWII)
  • Rationales: economic, “stability,” security
    • Doc C
  • Policies: McKinley: Open Door Policy, Taft: Dollar Diplomacy, Wilson: Moral Diplomacy, FDR: Good Neighbor Policy
  • Outcome: “banana republics,” dictatorships
imperialism to create democracy
Imperialism to create democracy?
  • Niall Ferguson, Colossus: nations that have been thoroughly “imperialized” (India, Singapore, Hawai’i, Philippines) do better (economically, politically) than those that have not (Africa, Middle East)
  • Economic study Pacific islands: European colonization (esp. US) correlated w/higher standard of living
    • With the notable exception of the slavery, rape, pillaging, mass murder, starvation, segregation, destruction of culture, continuing economic exploitation, and environmental degradation
  • Iraq?
Although the economic development of the Tans-Mississippi West is popularly associated with hardy individualism, it was in fact largely dependent on the federal government. Assess the validity of this statement with specific reference to Western economic activities in the nineteenth century. (91)
  • How were the lives of the Plains Indians in the second half of the nineteenth century affected by technological developments and government actions? (99)
i visions of the west
I. Visions of the West

A. Turner’s Frontier

  • "The Significance of the Frontier in American History," 1893:
  • "The existence of an area of free land, its continuous recession, and the advance of American settlement westward explain American development."
  • Frontier "that coarseness and strength combined with acuteness and acquisitiveness; that practical inventive turn of mind, quick to find expedients; that masterful grasp of material things... that restless, nervous energy; that dominant individualism" = Americanism
rugged individualism
Rugged Individualism
  • Farm life on Plains is very difficult: hard work, essentials (water, fuel) are scarce
  • Weather is unpredictable (heat, storms, blizzards, floods, prairie fires), plus insects
  • 98 Meridian
Democracy for women (compare early South Carolina + slaves)
  • Homestead Act (1862) disperses settlement and creates social isolation
  • Also lonely because many were bachelors; many abandon farms for cities (late 1800s)
  • Isolation diminished by mail-order companies and extension of RFD post service
b cowboys and indians
B. Cowboys and Indians
  • William “Buffalo Bill” Cody
  • “Buffalo Bill’s Wild West” (1883)
    • Buffalo hunt w/ real buffalos, Indian attack on the Deadwood stage with real Indians, Pony Express ride, and presentation of Custer’s Last Stand w/Lakota who had actually fought
    • Toured Europe, great acclaim
  • ½ circus, ½ history lesson
  • Annie Oakley, Sitting Bull
  • 1,700 dime novels
  •  violent, gunfighting, gambling, get-rich-quick, lawless hedonism= “Wild West”
ii realities of the west
II. Realities of the West
  • A. Rugged Cooperation
  • Massive gov’t assistance throughout (and today)
  • Pacific Railway Acts (1862, 1864): US 180 million acres to rail companies; States 50 million acres
  • Morrill Land Grant Act (1862): “land grant” colleges
  • Homestead Act (1862): 160 acres, small fee if: 1) 21 / head household, 2) citizen or imm. seeking, 3) build house, 4) farm 5 years 372,000 farms, 80 million acres
    • 50 years post-CW more land than since Jamestown
    • Cheap land immigrants + blacks (50,000 Exodusters)
Expansion tension w/ Indians violence cavalry removal + massacre [Sand Creek (500), Wounded Knee (200)] “Indian Emancipation Act”
    • “Disappearing Indian”
    • Indian “monopoly” on land stymie competition break-up

Dawes Act (General Allotment Act), 1887

1) 160 acres of land to head of each family; single over 18: 80 acres; under 18: 40 acres

2) same legal protection as whites’

3) Federal government, for 25 years, would hold land in trust: Indians could not sell land for 25 years

4) Full citizenship rights

5) Fed sell all remaining land not allotted

Unsuitable for farming; choose land for culture > economics; refuse farm; not enough land debt to whites (sharecropping / debt peonage) lose 2/3 land

(1906: Clapp amendment: “competent” to sell)

 1934 Indian Reorganization Act

Destruction of the Buffalo
  • 1) Weather
  • 2) Indians
  • 3) Competition horses/cattle
  • 4) Bill Cody
Mechanization agriculture + need for irrigation (environment) + boom/bust cycle concentration in large, commercial farms
    • Also true (diff. particulars) for ranching + mining
b mild west
B. Mild West
  • 1) Not as violent: more died violently in RxR accidents than gun
  • 2) Violence often socio-economic conflict: competition for land, resources, power
  • 3) Violence usually not personal conflicts but rather conflict between social groups (e.g. pan miners vs. capitalists’ goons—see Pale Rider)
    • 1889, “Johnson County War”: 50 gunmen Wyoming Stock Growers Association vs. small ranchers + farmers (posse of 200): Feds save gunmen from siege
  • Cleaned up quickly as big biz moves in
the ranching frontier
The Ranching Frontier
  • Population growth + RxR (bulk transportation) cattle ranching mushrooms after 1860s
  • Penny press claims 25-40% profit
  • Drive cattle 1,000+ miles from TX to rail link, but soon move to raising herds near rail link (long drives inefficient)
    • Mexican + black cowboys
  • Profitable open-range ranching w/ massive use gov’t lands; dominated large ranchers w/ backing (London, NYC)
grazing wars
Grazing Wars
  • Massive cattle ranching conflicts commercial farms + sheep herds (“wooly critters”)
  • West lacks materials for traditional fences: who owns what? Mass production barbed wire solves conflict
  • Wire accelerates farming (protect); ranching moves toward big business, away from open-range (large-scale isolate)
  • Winter 1887-88 Small ranchers out, most cowboys wage-earners