Unit 6 Essay B
B. Analyze the extent to which the Spanish-American War was a turning point in American foreign policy.
1. Intro a. After years of following an isolationist foreign policy, the United States’ policy began to change in 1898. b. The spark of American Imperialism came from outrage at another country’s imperialism. c. Americans believed that the Spanish were mistreating the people of their colony of Cuba, and American reservations about Imperialism and interference in foreign affairs vanished after the Spanish-American War. 2. The War of 1898 a. The war had a lot of popular support because Americans were outraged at the treatment of Cubans and wanted to help them gain their independence. b. The United States declared war on Spain after the ship the Maine exploded and sank in Havana harbor, with the loss 260 men. c. The Teller Amendment added to the war resolution a disclaimer of any US designs on Cuban territory. d. The war lasted only 114 days. e. The first victory was in Manila Bay, when Theodore Roosevelt (the assistant secretary of the navy) had ordered Commodore George Dewey to engage Spanish forces in the Philippines in case of war in Cuba. His fleet quickly captured or destroyed all the Spanish warships in Manila Bay. f. America quickly won the campaign in Cuba and was changed forever by the Spanish-American War. g. America emerged as an imperial power and in some cases replaced Spain’s oppression with its own. 3. Annexation of the Philippines a. American business leaders wanted to keep the Philippines so that they could more easily penetrate the vast markets of China. Missionary societies wanted the US to annex the Philippines in order to bring Christianity to the Filipinos. b. President McKinley believed he had a dream where he was divinely told that the US should take an Imperialistic course. c. McKinley’s dream summed up the motivating ideas behind America’s new foreign policy: national glory, commerce, racial superiority, and evangelism. d. The US offered Spain 20 million dollars for the Philippines, Puerto Rico, and Guam. Hawaii had also been annexed by the US during the war of 1898. e. Though people opposed the treaty, it passed by a narrow margin with the help of William Jennings Bryan, who thought it would be the fastest way to granting the Filipinos their independence. f. The President had no intention of grant the Philippines independence and instead took control of the island. In February 1899, war broke out in the Filipinos and the US found itself in a new war to now suppress the Filipino independence movement. g. 4. Big-Stick Diplomacy and “Open Door” Policy a. The American outlook towards Asia changed with he defeat of Spain and the acquisition of the Philippines. b. What came to be known as the Open Door Policy was outlined by Secretary of State John Hays and dispatched in 1899 to his European counterparts. c. The note proposed to keep China open to trade with all countries on an equal basis. d. None of the European powers expect Britain accepted the policy, but none rejected it either, so Hay simply announced that all major powers involved in China had accepted the policy. e. Theodore Roosevelt became famous as one of the Rough Riders in the War of 1898, and instituted American “Big-Stick” Diplomacy as President. f. After the War of 1898, the US became more deeply involved with the Caribbean. Roosevelt wished to build a canal through the narrow Isthmus of Panama. g. After the war of 1898, Hay asked the British ambassador for consent to build a canal, which resulted in the Hay-Pauncefote Treaty of 1901. h. The US bought the Canal Zone which the French had been working on and agreed to pay $10 million dollars cashed and a rental fee of $250,000 a year. i. The Columbian senate held out for $25 million more dollars in cash. j. The Panamanians revolted against Columbian rule and with the help of American warships won their independence. k. The new Panamanian government eagerly signed a treaty that extended the Canal Zone from six to ten miles in width and for $10 million down and $250,000 a year the Americans received control of the Canal Zone. l. The Canal opened on August 15, 1914. m. The behavior of the US when taking control of the Panama Canal created ill-will throughout Latin America—equally galling to the Latin Americans was the US constant meddling in international affairs of various nations. n. Roosevelt outlined what came to be known as the Roosevelt Corollary to the Monroe Doctrine, in which he claimed that the US was justified in intervening first to forestall involvement in the affairs of the Americas by outsiders. o. To end the Russo-Japanese War, Roosevelt sponsored a peace conference in Portsmouth, NH. The Treaty of Portsmouth was signed on September 5, 1905. Japan disavowed any designs on the Philippines. p. Roosevelt celebrated the rise of America to a status of a world power by sending the entire US Navy on a grand tour around the world. The “Great White Fleet” received rousing welcomes. 5. The Great War a. When war broke out in Europe in 1914, America fought to stay neutral. President Wilson insisted upon “neutral trading rights” in which Americans could trade with all belligerent powers. b. Upon the sinking of the Lusitania, a British passenger ship, by German submarines and the discovery of the Zimmerman note which called for Mexico to attack the United States if they became involved in the war, the US joined on the side of the Allied Powers. c. The US were never formal allies of France and Britain, only co-combatants. d. The US had different end goals in the war, which are evident in Wilson’s 14 Points. e. Wilson believed that WWI was the “war to end all wars” and that Americans “are but one of the champions of the rights of mankind” and that people everywhere “are looking to us for direction and leadership.” f. The first five points called for diplomacy to be conducted openly rather than hidden in secret treaties, the recongniton of neutral nations to continue oceangoing commerce in the time of war, removal of international trade barriers, reduction of armaments, and an impartial reconfiguration of the victors’ colonial empire based on the desires of the populations involved. g. Most of the other points had to do with territorial claims, such as the creation of an independent nation of Poles. h. Point fourteen called for the creation of a league of nations to protect global peace.