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A People's History: Chapter 12 Summary

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Felipe Pedroza

on 13 November 2014

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Transcript of A People's History: Chapter 12 Summary

A People's History: Chapter 12
The Empire and the People

By: Pilar Martinez, Shaniece Alexander, and Felipe Pedroza.
-Chapter 12 of Howard Zinn's "A People's History" pertains to the expansion of the United States and foreign relations between the United States and other countries, mainly Cuba and the Phillipines, during the 1880s and 1890s.

- Zinn started the chapter off by telling about how President Roosevelt welcomed the possibility of war as an opportunity for expansion of the United States.

- Expansionism became widely popular, especially among the wealthy upper class, because people believed that American markets overseas would increase the amount of purchases made and prevent economic crisis due to under consumption.
-The U.S. had a great economic interest in Cuba and got involved in it's revolution against Spain in 1898 for multiple reasons.

- There was a fear that if the rebels were to win the revolution by themselves, they would keep the United States out and trade would not be "open".

-The United States also joined in on the Cuban revolution in order to prevent the creation of another Black republic such as Haiti.

- Many Americans wanted to help Cuba because they were reminded of their own war for independence in 1776 however, commercial interest remained the main motive for American involvement.
The Spanish-American War
Spanish-American War
Open Door Policy
-The idea of "open" trade with other countries became popular in America during this time. These policies were basically a peaceful idea of trade. It was the idea that all countries could trade without the use of military action as a sort of "first come - first serve" type of system.

-Evidently this was easier said than done, because in 1897-1898, the same individuals who had supported open door policies went right back to supporting military force after German and European powers became major imperialistic forces within China, leaving the United States behind.
-The United States did not go to war with Spain until the Teller Amendment was passed in . This amendment prevented the annexation of Cuba, which gave the Cuban rebels hope for independence.

-The war ended after 4 months and American corporations began taking over everything from railroads to sugar properties within Cuba. This led to millions of strikes and protests by Cubans against capitalism and the U.S.

-The hopes for genuine Cuban freedom,brought by the Teller amendment, were crushed with the introduction of the
Platt Amendment
. It was established that American soldiers were not to leave Cuba until this amendment was incorporated into the Cuban constitution

- this amendment gave the United States "the right to intervene for the preservation of Cuban independence, the maintenance of a government adequate for the protection of life, property, and individual liberty...." This basically meant that the United States could intervene whenever they felt that Cuban independence was threatened.

- A committee responded to the proposal of this amendment by saying that it would be "the equivalent of handing over the keys to our house so that they can enter at any time"

The Philippines
After the Spanish-American war, the signing of the
1898 Treaty of Paris
resulted in Spain surrendering control of Cuba and it also resulted in U.S. ownership of Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Philippines

- At first President McKinley was reluctant about whether or not he should take the Philippines. However, after he "received a message from god" , he decided to accept the Philippines as a part of the U.S.

- Senator
Albert Beveridge
, an avid supporter of imperialism , spoke of how dominating the Philippines would be the first step in the spread of an American empire and that it would lead the U.S. to expansion in the east in places such as China.

-The Filipino people ,however, did not receive the same message from god as the president and soon revolted against the U.S. in February 1899.

-After three years, the United States crushed the rebellion.

The Philippines
- William James, a Harvard philosopher, was a part of a movement of people who formed the Anti-Imperialist league of 1898. The objective of this group was to educate the public about the events that took place in the Philippine war.

- Many accounts and letters were made public both by the Anti-imperialist league and those who opposed imperialism.

- The league published letters from soldiers stationed in the Phillipines. One of them read: "Caloocan was supposed to contain 17,000 inhabitants. The Twentieth Kansas ( a group of volunteer soldiers) swept through it, and now Caloocan contains not one living native." another private from the same outfit said he had"with his own hand set fire to over fifty houses of Filipinos after the victory at Caloocan. Women and children were wounded by our fire."

-The intense racism in the U.S. during this time period was also a contributor to the horrible treatment of the filipino people during the war. African Americans in the united states were still being lynched and murdered during this time, and because the Filipino people were dark skinned, and spoke differently and strangely to Americans, they were treated with a similar cruelty.

Other Important Vocabulary
an intense or irrational dislike or fear of people from other countries.
Xenophobia may have been seen among the Filipino people, who feared Americans and American soldiers.

-Webster-Ashburton Treaty:
Solved boundary issues between New Brunswick and Maine and suppressed the slave trade. Negotiated by British Ambassador,
Lord Ashburton,
and Secretary of State,
Daniel Webster
in 1842.

-Frederick Jackson Turner:
A historian who presented his famous "Frontier Thesis" in an adress in Chicago. He viewed epansion as one of the most important factors in American history and, in his thesis, he asserted that “the existence of an area of free land, its continuous recession, and the advance of American settlement westward explain American development.”

Lord Ashburton
Senator Daniel Webster
Frederick Jackson Turner
Full transcript