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Transcript of Chapter 19
Safe for Democracy
The American Empire
In what ways has the United States influenced the world?
In 1900, British territorial holdings oversaw 300 million subjects; France's empire covered 50 million
U.S. had only Puerto Rico, the Philippines, Guam, the Panama Canal Zone and the Virgin Islands (purchased from Denmark in 1917).
American influence, though, was strong and the United States had become a world power in a different way
American ingenuity and American production
America Flexes Its Muscle
-Based on America's open door policy of immigration.
-American ethnic groups became involved and were keenly aware of foreign politics
Irish-Americans supported Ireland's independence from Great Britain
American Jews protested treatment of Jews, most notably in Russia
Black Americans supported independence for various places in Africa
Germans, Japanese, British, French, Eastern Europeans, etc., all had personalized agendas
Walk Softly and Carry a Big Stick
U.S. foreign policy greatly expanded under Theodore Roosevelt
Introduces the idea of the Panama Canal, issues the Roosevelt Corollary
William Howard Taft, Woodrow Wilson will put their stamp of influence on American foreign policy as well
The Monroe Doctrine (issued by James Monroe in 1823)
"The occasion has been judged proper for asserting, as a principle in which the rights and interests of the United States are involved, that the American continents, by the free and independent condition which they have assumed and maintained, are henceforth not to be considered as subject for future colonization by any European powers.
Venezuela owed money to Germany, Great Britain and Italy and could not pay the debt
The three countries blockaded Venezuelan ports in an attempt to confiscate products being shipped out
Roosevelt feared increased European involvement in South America - contrary to the Monroe Doctrine
That the United States has a moral mandate to enforce proper behavior in Latin and South America.
European countries should stay out, but that the U.S. has the right to intervene.
It is not true that the United States feels any land hunger or entertains any projects as regards the other nations of the Western Hemisphere save such as are for their welfare.
All this country desires is to see is the neighboring countries stable, orderly and prosperous. Any country whose people conduct themselves well can count upon our hearty friendship. If a nation shows that it knows how to act with reasonable efficiency and decency in social and political matters, if it keeps order and pays its obligations, it need fear no interference from the United States.
Chronic wrongdoing, or an impotence which results in the loosening of the ties of civilized society, may in America as elsewhere, ultimately may 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.
Panama was part of Colombia and was fighting for independence
Wanted a waterway to connect Atlantic and Pacific Oceans without going around tip of South America
French had begun the canal in 1882 and spent more than $250 million with all kinds of problems
Roosevelt took up the cause in 1902; engineered a revolution in Panama (bribed Colombian soldiers)
Supported Panamanian leader that gave U.S. perpetual rights to the land for the canal
U.S. gave control to Panama in 1999.
Where's the Big Stick?
At start of Roosevelt's Presidency, U.S. had smallest standing army of any industrialized country.
United States: 39,000
Roosevelt restructured military administration for more efficiency
Smallest Navy when he assumed office.
By 1904, 5th largest in the world
By 1907, 3rd largest in the world
William Taft's Dollar Diplomacy
Taft believed U.S. business investment would stabilize other countries
Invested in Honduras, Nicaragua and other South American countries
Expanded and began private U.S. investment in China
Angered both the Russians and the Japanese
Further damaged Taft within the Republican Party
Woodrow Wilson's Moral Imperialism
Believed democracy was the most essential aspect of a stable, prosperous nation
Believed the United States had to be at the forefront of promoting democracy
By contrast, any country that was not democratic was seen as non-supportive of the U.S. and, as a result, was morally wrong in their beliefs
Wilson's ideas stem from the concept of
The U.S. is different and thus has a moral responsibility to spread democracy and liberty
Wilson: The United States is 'the light which will shine unto all generations and guide the feet of mankind to the goal of justice, liberty, and peace.'
Ironically, he intervened militarily in South and Latin America more than any President before or since (Haiti, Panama, Nicaragua, Dominican Republic, Cuba)
The Example of Mexico
Mexico embroiled in Civil War since 1910
Victoriana Huerta gained power in 1913
Huerta was supported by most Americans and foreign governments, but Wilson thought he had illegally seized power
Sent in American troops to overthrow him and had him replaced with Venustiano Carranza
Pancho Villa Invades United States
Mexican outlaw (supporter of Huerta) invades Columbus, New Mexico;kills 17 Americans on American soil
Wilson sends 100,000 American troops in to Mexico to hunt him down
Pancho Villa is never captured
Meanwhile in Europe....
European countries were battling with each other over territorial control of colonies around the world.
While the U.S. believed its influence was built on politics, democracy, production and ingenuity, Europe still saw land as the symbol of power.
This battle for colonial possessions had been ongoing for centuries and will eventually erupt into global war...