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Becoming a World Power: – 1917

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1 Becoming a World Power: 1898 – 1917

2 Americas Rise to World Power
I. Why? Models? What made us a World Power II. 19th Century Wars: 1812, 1848 Spanish American War 1898 Philippines 1899 US Expansion

3 I. Why? What Models? What Made America into a World Power?
Americans looked to European countries for an example and we saw colonies. The most powerful nations were those which possessed colonies. Americans also possessed the industrial power and technology. We were without question, on the verge of overtaking the greatest of European powers when it came to trade. 1853 – Japan And the final element in our rise to world power was war, World War I. Americans emerged from their isolationist cocoon as a result of a navy to exert power and protect trade, the desire to spread capitalism, a desire to spread Christianity to all reaches of the globe and a desire to mimic European imperialism. Self-interest led to development of the navy, military, and trade. International events (Russo-Japanese war, French and British empire, wars, colonial holdings by Europeans), American idealism, and desire for trade and US investments all guided America’s rise to power.

4 II. 19th Century Conflicts: War of 1812, 1848
1812 Britain / France 1836 Texas – Alamo 1841 Republic of Texas 1845 Texas - annexed 1848 Mexico

5 III. Spanish – American War, 1898
(aka. The Splendid Little War) Prologue: 1896 – Republican platform – called for acquisition of Hawaii, use of US influence to bring peace and independence to Cuba, construction of a Nicaraguan canal under US ownership and control, and establishment of a naval base in the West Indies. US Administration of McKinley quickly called upon Spain to withdraw from Cuba. Spain assured McKinley reforms would be made. It looked like war was averted. By 1898, reforms had not happened. Cuban rebels demanded complete independence. US sent the USS Maine to Havana where the warship sat in the harbor as a symbol of US presence – protect American citizens. “waving a match in an oil well for fun.” The came the publication of the DeLome letter.

6 DeLome Letter: Private letter written in late 1897 from the Spanish minister in the United States (DeLome), to a friend in Cuba. The message has undeceived the insurgents who expected something else, and has paralyzed the action of Congress, but I consider it bad. Besides the natural and inevitable coarseness with which he repeats all that the press and public opinion of Spain has said of Weyler, it shows once more what McKinley is: weak and catering to the rabble, and, besides, a low politician, who desires to leave a door open to me and to stand well with the jingoes of his party. Nevertheless, as a matter of fact, it will only depend on ourselves whether he proves bad and adverse to us. I agree entirely with you; without a military success nothing will be accomplished there, and without military and political success, there is here always danger that the insurgents will be encouraged, if not by the government, at least by part of the public opinion. Always you attentive friend and servant, who kisses your hands. ENRIQUE DUPUY DE LOME

7 SINKING OF USS MAINE - “THE WARSHIP MAINE WAS SPLIT IN TWO BY AN ENEMY'S SECRET INFERNAL MACHINE!” 266 Sailors were killed. Americans clamored for war: The Whole Country thrills With War Fever (another headline from New York Journal). Newspaper accounts created ground swell of support for Cuba and against Spain. McKinley believed it had been an accident and hoped to calm American war fever. US Court of inquiry found that a mine had blown up the Maine. New evidence suggests and overheated boiler or some of accident on board the Maine caused the explosion. However, at the time – the conclusion was Spain did it. Senator Redfield Proctor of Vermont, visited Cuba and reported back that thousands of Cubans lived in reconcentration camps, and “one-half have died and one-quarter of the living are so diseased that they cannot be saved.” That children wander around emaciated, eyes swollen, abdomen bloated and the “entire native population of Cuba, struggling for freedom and deliverance from the worst misgovernment …”

8 Spain could not agree (due to internal political concerns).
McKinley made one final attempt to stave off war. Spain must grant independence to the Cubans. McKinley’s intent was to get Spain to make concessions to Cubans – not to go to war. Spain could not agree (due to internal political concerns). Spain attempted to gain European support and approached Germany. The German response: You (Spain) are isolated, because everybody wants to be pleasant to the United States, or, at any rate, nobody wants to arouse America’s anger; the United States is a rich country, against which you simply cannot sustain a war. On April 11, 1898, McKinley sent a note to Congress requesting authorization for the use of force to stop the war on the island. Congress granted his request. Teller Amendment – attached to authorization – proclaimed that “the United States …disclaims any disposition or intention to exercise sovereignty, jurisdiction, or control …” over Cuba. (Sugar growers – tariff … and later Hawaii) April 21, 1898 – The United States went to war with Spain. (in large part as a result of the USS Maine sinking)

9 The war was fought in the Spanish colonies of the Philippines and Cuba.
On June 22, 1898, the United States landed 15,000 soldiers southeast of Santiago de Cuba. The troops engaged and defeated Spanish land forces July 1 around the city. The most famous engagement was Lieutenant Colonel Theodore Roosevelt's charge up Kettle Hill during the Battle of San Juan Hill. Meanwhile, U.S. naval forces blockaded the harbor of Santiago de Cuba. Spanish ships tried to run the blockade as soon as the land engagements had begun, but pursuing American naval vessels sank or forced the fleeing ships aground. No serious damage occurred to any U.S. ships.

10 On April 27, 1898, Commodore George Dewey sailed from Hong Kong toward the Philippines. Fighting began in the Philippine islands at the Battle of Manila Bay on May 1 where Commodore George Dewey reportedly exclaimed, "You may fire when ready, Gridley," destroyed the Spanish fleet under Rear Admiral Patricio Montojo. By mid-summer, Spain was suing for peace. December 1898, Treaty of Paris. Consequences of the war: Spain relinquished the Philippines (poverty rate), Guam, Puerto Rico to the United States, in return the US paid Spain $20 million. Cuba would be free and independent and the US renounced and interest in possessing Cuba (Teller Amendment). US Battle Deaths: 385 US Non-Battle Deaths: 5,000+ due to poisoning/disease (malaria / yellow fever)

11 IV. The Philippines Filipino rebels believed they would receive independence as soon as the US defeated Spain. However, the US kept the Philippines for three years during which time conflict with US/rebels. US – desire to Christianize/convert US interest in the Philippines as a strategic geographic location and as a commercial trading partner. With Guam and Hawaii, The Philippines played an important role in US expansion into Asia (China). McKinley worried about the Filipino’s ability to govern themselves - and France or Germany would subjugate them. The Philippines, according to McKinley were a “gift from God” and it was the US’ responsibility to ensure their growth. By 1902 – more than 200,000 Filipinos were dead and 5000 Americans.

12 V. US EXPANSION Begins as an ideal – to become a great power, to fulfill our Manifest Destiny, to Christianize, to encourage trade and grow our economy. Expansion was necessary, only question was how to accomplish the goal: Military presence (at first – Navy) Missionaries Trade / Commerce (capitalism/US investments) Conquest / Imperialism

13 McKinley Saw need to expand in order to expand US economic and military power Venezuela in 1895 – 1896 – settle financial dispute between Venezuela and European powers. Unclear on details Roosevelt Wanted US to take an assertive role US had a special mission in the world Others were unable to help / save themselves US as a policeman of the world Roosevelt Corollary to Monroe Doctrine But to do this, the US would need a Navy

14 Roosevelt also believed that to be a great power one must become involved in the resolution of disputes. China and Japan were at war in 1904. Roosevelt initially backed Japan, then changed sides and backed China (in part for economic reasons – to gain an Open Door into the Chinese markets). Became concerned the conflict would involve Russia and mediated the dispute between Japan and China. The United States played the mediator role and finally recognized claims to Russian and Japanese territory by each party involved: China, Russia, Japan.

15 Canal became important during Spanish American War
Canal became important during Spanish American War. Took 68 days to travel from San Francisco to the Caribbean. Where to build it? The French! Or somewhere else! And save money! Colombia and the US! US and Rebels = Panama. Late comers to the party get crashed by the marines.

16 Taft Wilson Dollar Diplomacy
Used economics to get what the US wanted – asserted US power in the economic sphere In Asia – Taft’s policies engendered hostility from Japan toward US Wilson Mexico President Huerta Attacked by Venustiano Carranza, initially supported by US but resented US guidance in shaping his government and policies. Carranza takes control, reforms not meted out. General Francisco Villa, one of several who opposed Huerta, goes against Carranza and when US recognizes Carranza, bitter toward US. Pancho Villa – January 1916 General John “Blackjack” Pershing – March 1916, 7,000 men (grew to over 12,000) 150,000 National Guard were sent to border to protect border areas Finally called home by February 1917 (when war seemed imminent with Germany). Carranza bitter toward US and leaned toward Germany in the war.

17 At the turn of the century, the United States had expanded its military and economic influence in Asia and the Western hemisphere. The Teller Amendment declared the US would not use war to acquire Cuba, but Roosevelt Corollary simply formalized what the US was already practicing – domination of the Western Hemisphere and policeman for the world. It was after all necessary and natural that the United States become a world power. To accomplish that goal, we needed a navy. With the navy we could move about the globe lifting up inferior races because it was the responsibility of the Anglo-Saxon race to lift up all other inferior races and in so doing, Christianize and open new markets for these inferior people to embrace new products from the US.

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