Chapter 27 The Path of Empire 1890-1899 Imperialist Stirrings As America bustled with a new sense of power generated

by the strong growth in population, wealth, and productive capacity, labor violence and agrarian unrest increased. It was felt that overseas markets might provide a safety valve to relieve these pressures. Reverend Josiah Strong's Our Country: Its Possible Future and Its Present Crisis inspired missionaries to travel to foreign nations. Captain Alfred Thayer Mahan's book of 1890, The Influence of Sea Power upon History, 1660-1783, argued that control of the sea was the key to world dominance; it stimulated the naval race among the great powers. James G. Blaine published his "Big Sister" policy which aimed to rally the Latin American nations behind America's leadership and to open Latin American markets to American traders. The willingness of America to risk war over such distance and minor disputes with Italy, Chile, and Canada demonstrated the aggressive new national mood. Monroe's Doctrine and the Venezuelan Squall The area between British Guiana and Venezuela had been in dispute for over 50 years. When gold was discovered in the contested area, the prospect of a peaceful resolution faded. Secretary of State to President Cleveland, Richard Olney, claimed that if Britain attempted to dominate Venezuela in the quarrel and gain more territory, then it would be violating the Monroe Doctrine. When Britain flatly rejected the relevance of the Monroe doctrine, President Cleveland stated that the United States would fight for it. Although somewhat annoyed by the weaker United States, Britain chose to not to fight a war. Britain's rich merchant marine was vulnerable to American commerce raiders, Russia and France were unfriendly, and Germany was about to challenge the British naval supremacy. With their eyes open to the European peril, Britain was determined to cultivate an American friendship. The Great Rapprochement, or reconciliation, between the United States and Britain became a cornerstone of both nations' foreign policies.

Spurning the Hawaiian Pear The first New England missionaries reached Hawaii in 1820. Beginning in the 1840s, the State Department began to warn other nations to keep their hands off Hawaii. In 1887, a treaty with the native government guaranteed naval-base rights at Pearl Harbor. The profits of sugar cultivation in Hawaii became less profitable with the McKinley Tariff of 1890. American planters decided that the best way to overcome the tariff would be to annex Hawaii. Queen Liliuokalani insisted that native Hawaiian should control the islands. A desperate minority of whites organized a successful revolt in 1893. The Queen was overthrown and white revolutionists gained control of Hawaii. When a treaty to annex Hawaii was presented to the Senate, President Grover Cleveland promptly withdrew it. Cubans Rise in Revolt Sugar production of Cuba became less profitable when the America passed the tariff of 1894. Cubans began to revolt against their Spanish captors in 1895 after the Spanish began to place Cubans in reconcentration camps and treat them very poorly. Cuban revolutionaries began to reason that if they destroyed enough of Cuba and did enough damage, then Spain might abandon Cuba or the United States might move in and help the Cubans with their independence. America had a large investment as well as annual trade stake in Cuba. Congress passed a resolution in 1896 that recognized the belligerence of the revolted Cubans. President Cleveland refused to budge and fight for Cuba's independence. The Mystery of the Maine Explosion William R. Hearst and Joseph Pulitzer led the fabricated atrocities of Cuba apart of the new "yellow journalism." The two men caused the American people to believe that conditions in Cuba were worse then they actually were. Hearst's Journal published a private letter written by the Spanish minister in Washington, Dupuy de Lome in 1898. The letter, which degraded President McKinley, forced Dupuy de Lome to resign. On February 15, 1898, the American ship, Maine blew up in the Havana port. The Spanish investigators deduced that it was an accident (spontaneous combustion in one of the coal bunkers) while the American investigators claimed

that Spain had sunk it. The American people were convinced by the American investigators and war with Spain became imminent. McKinley Unleashes the Dogs of War American diplomats had already gained Madrid's agreement to Washington's 2 basic demands: an end to the reconstruction camps and an armistice with Cuban rebels. Although President McKinley did not want a war with Spain, the American people did. He felt that the people should rule so he sent his war message to Congress on April 11, 1898. Congress declared war and adopted the Teller Amendment. It proclaimed to the world that when the United States had overthrown the Spanish misrule, it would give the Cubans their freedom. Dewey's May Day Victory at Manila The American people plunged into the war with jubilation, which seemed premature to Europeans. The American army numbered 2,100 officers and 28,000 men compared to the 200,000 Spanish troops in Cuba. The readiness of the navy (ranked 5th world-wide) owed much to the navy secretary John D. Long and his assistant secretary Theodore Roosevelt. Roosevelt called upon Commodore George Dewey's 6-ship fleet to descend upon Spain's Philippines in the event of war. On May 1, 1898, Dewey slipped by detection at night and attacked and destroyed the 10-ship Spanish fleet at Manila. Unexpected Imperialistic Plums Foreign ships began to gather in the Manila harbor, protecting their nationals. After several incidents, the potential for battles with other nations blew over. On August 13, 1898, American troops captured Manila. The victory in the Philippines prompted the idea that Hawaii was needed as a supply base for Dewey in the Philippines. Therefore, Congress passed a joint resolution of Congress to annex Hawaii on July 7, 1898. The Confused Invasion of Cuba Shortly after the outbreak of the war, the Spanish government sent a fleet of warships to Cuba, led by Admiral Cervera. He was blockaded in the Santiago harbor in Cuba by American ships. Leading the invasion force from the rear to drive out Cervera was General William R. Shafter.

The "Rough Riders," apart of the invading army, was a regiment of volunteers consisting of cowboys and ex-athletes. Commanded by Colonel Leonard Wood, the group was organized principally by Theodore Roosevelt. William Shafter's landing near Santiago, Cuba was made without serious opposition. On July 1st, fighting broke out at El Caney and San Juan Hill, up which Colonel Roosevelt and his Rough Riders charged.

Curtains for Spain in America Admiral Cervera's fleet was entirely destroyed on July 3, 1898 and shortly thereafter Santiago surrendered. General Nelson A. Miles met little resistance when he took over Puerto Rico. On August 12, 1898, Spain signed an armistice. Before the war's end, much of the American army was stricken with malaria, typhoid, and yellow fever. McKinley Heeds Duty, Destiny, and Dollars In late 1898, Spanish and American negotiators met in Paris to begin heated discussions. The Americans secured Guam and Puerto Rico, but the Philippines presented President McKinley with a problem: he didn't feel he could give the island back to Spanish misrule, and America would be turning its back upon responsibilities if it simply left the Philippines. McKinley finally decided to Christianize and to civilize all of the Filipinos. Disputes broke out with the Spanish negotiators over control of the Philippines because Manila had been captured the day after the war, and the island could not be listed among the spoils of the war. America therefore agreed to pay Spain $20 million for the Philippines. America's Course (Curse?) of Empire The Anti-Imperialistic League sprang up and fought the McKinley administration's expansionist moves. In the Senate, the Spanish treaty ran into such opposition that is seemed doomed to defeat. Democratic presidential candidate for the election of 1900, William J. Bryan used his influence on Democratic senators to get the treaty approved on February 6, 1899. Bryan argued that the sooner the treaty was passed, the sooner the Filipinos could gain their independence.

Perplexities in Puerto Rico and Cuba By the Foraker Act of 1900, Congress gave the Puerto Ricans a limited degree of popular government and, in 1917, granted them U.S. citizenship. The American regime in Puerto Rico worked wonders in education, sanitation, transportation, and other improvements. Beginning in 1901 with the Insular Cases, the Supreme Court declared that the Constitution did not extend to the Philippines and Puerto Rico. The United States, honoring the Teller Amendment of 1898, withdrew from Cuba in 1902. The U.S. forced the Cubans to write their own constitution of 1901 (the Platt Amendment). The constitution decreed that the United States might intervene with troops in Cuba in order to restore order and to provide mutual protection. The Cubans also promised to sell or lease needed coaling or naval stations to the U.S. New Horizons in Two Hemispheres Although the Spanish-American War only lasted 113 days, American prestige as a world power increased. One of the greatest results of the war was the bonding between the North and the South.

Master your semester with Scribd & The New York Times

Special offer for students: Only $4.99/month.

Master your semester with Scribd & The New York Times

Cancel anytime.