Published on January 11, 2008
Imperialism and WWI: Imperialism and WWI Standard VUS. 9 The student will demonstrate knowledge of the emerging role of the United States in world affairs and key domestic events after 1890 by (a) Explaining the changing policies of the United States toward Latin America and Asia and the growing influence of the United States in foreign markets; (b) Evaluating United States involvement in World War I, including Wilson’s Fourteen Points, the Treaty of Versailles, and the national debate over treaty ratification and the League of Nations. United States Foreign Policy: United States Foreign Policy Many twentieth century American foreign policy issues have their origins in America’s emergence as a world power at the end of the nineteenth century. America’s eventual intervention (involvement) in World War I ensured its role as a world power for the remainder of the twentieth century. The growing role of the United States in international trade displayed the American urge to build, innovate, and explore new markets. In short, American businessmen believed they could make huge profits and bring the nation economic prosperity through international trade. Isolationism: Isolationism Washington’s Farewell Address (1796) set precedent for the United States to pursue a policy of isolationism. Isolationism was the policy of avoiding involvement in world affairs. Although in the Monroe Doctrine (1824) the United States had declared itself the protector of the entire western hemisphere, isolationism continued to form the basis of American foreign policy throughout most of the nineteenth century. George Washington at the end of his presidency. Disturbed by the war between England and France and the attempts of both nations to draw the U.S. into it as an ally, Washington issued a "Farewell Address" in which he warned against permanent alliances with foreign nations. Imperialism: Imperialism However, as the United States industrialized during the second half of the 1800s, businessmen and politicians increasingly looked longingly towards foreign markets as a potential source of American corporate profits. The desire to gain this untapped wealth led the United States to expand its influence in the world during the late nineteenth century. Some historians have called this period the age of American imperialism, because during this period the United States gained control over Hawaii, the Philippines, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. Imperialism is the act of one nation gaining political or economic control over other countries. United States Foreign Policy: United States Foreign Policy American businessmen with the help of American politicians tried to gain access (entrance) to foreign markets in several ways. During the presidency of William McKinley, Secretary of State John Hay proposed the Open Door Policy. This policy wanted to give all nations equal trading rights in China. Its goal was to open to American businessmen the Chinese market from which they had previously been excluded. It also urged all foreigners in China to obey Chinese law and observe practices of fair competition. United States Foreign Policy: United States Foreign Policy President William Howard Taft expanded upon the Open Door Policy by advocating (calling for) Dollar Diplomacy. Through Dollar Diplomacy President Taft aimed to encourage American investment in Latin America (South and Central America). Not only did Taft urge American banks and businesses to invest in Latin America, but also promised that the United States military would intervene (step in), if local unrest threatened their investments. Partially as a result of these two policies, growth in international trade occurred from the late 1800s to World War I. This period was the first era of a true “global economy.” Aloha Hawaii: Aloha Hawaii While both the Open Door Policy and Dollar Diplomacy were American attempts to engage in economic imperialism, the United States also embarked upon a limited policy of political imperialism. In the early 1890s the United States marines helped American sugar planters depose (overthrow) the Hawaiian monarch Queen Liliuokalani. In 1898 Congress agreed to annex Hawaii or add it to United States territory. Queen Lilioukalani (1891-93). American planters, who had established sugar plantations in Hawaii beginning around 1820, became increasingly influential in the economy and government of Hawaii; Queen Lilioukalani's desire for a new constitution, restoring her royal powers, caused a revolt by the planters, and she was deposed in 1893. In 1894 a republic was established, headed by lawyer and missionary son Sanford B. Dole, and annexation by the U.S. followed in 1898. Spanish-American War: Spanish-American War Next, the Spanish-American War was the 1898 war between Spain and the United States, which the United States won. As a result of the Spanish-American War, the United States annexed both the Philippines and Puerto Rico and declared its right to intervene (become militarily involved) in Cuban affairs. Theodore Roosevelt and his Rough Riders on San Juan Hill in Cuba, 1898. When war was declared, Assistant Secretary of the Navy Roosevelt resigned his post and recruited a volunteer cavalry regiment that nicknamed itself the "Rough Riders." After the invasion of Cuba in June, Roosevelt's unit marched overland to Santiago and, on July 1, mounted a heroic charge that allowed the Americans to capture the ridges above the city and force the Spanish fleet to evacuate and surrender the city. The Rough Riders suffered heavy casualties, but Roosevelt became a national hero. Yellow Journalist: Yellow Journalist The wreck of the U.S.S. Maine, February 15, 1898. The war for Cuban independence coincided with a press war between William Randolph Hearst and Joseph Pulitzer for the largest newspaper circulation in New York City. Both papers emphasized similarities between Cuba's independence war and the American Revolution. Then Hearst sent the famous artist, Frederic Remington (1861-1909), to Cuba. Remington cabled Hearst that there was nothing to paint, to which the publisher supposedly replied, "You supply the pictures and I'll supply the war." On February 15, 1898, the U.S.S. Maine exploded in Havana harbor. An original investigation concluded that the ship was destroyed by an external explosion, probably a Spanish mine. This was refuted in a carefully documented 1976 study by Adm. Hyman G. Rickover, which demonstrated that an internal explosion caused the loss of the ship. Panama Canal: Panama Canal The United States continued its policy of imperialism under President Theodore Roosevelt. First, the United States encouraged Panama’s independence from Columbia. Then it negotiated a treaty with Panama to build the Panama Canal. Since this canal provided a short cut between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, it benefited American trade and thereby also furthered economic imperialism. A map showing the location of the Canal Zone. To secure the U.S. control of the Caribbean, and to give readier access to trade with China and Japan for eastern manufacturers, Roosevelt was an ardent supporter of the building of a canal across the Isthmus of Panama. After using "gunboat diplomacy" to help Panamanian rebel leaders achieve independence from Colombia, Roosevelt signed a treaty with their new nation in 1903 awarding the U.S. control of a canal zone. Construction was from 1904 to 1914. Roosevelt Corollary: Roosevelt Corollary In 1904, Roosevelt issued a statement that came to be known as the Roosevelt Corollary to the Monroe Doctrine. Corollary means “what naturally follows from”. South and Central American Countries were poor and often borrowed money from European countries then were unable to repay the loans. To prevent European countries from attacking these countries in the Western Hemisphere and thereby violating the Monroe doctrine, Roosevelt announced that “chronic wrongdoing” by any Latin American nation entitled the United States to intervene in its affairs. This changed the Monroe doctrine by allowing one Western Hemisphere nation the intervene in the affairs of another. World War I: World War I The United States truly started an internationalist foreign policy, when it entered “the Great War” (World War I) in 1917. Internationalism is a foreign policy based on heavy involvement in world affairs. While American entry into World War I ensured Allied victory, the failure to conclude a lasting peace left a bitter legacy. World War I began in Europe in 1914, when Germany, Austria-Hungary, and the Ottoman Empire (Central Powers) went to war with Great Britain, France, and Russia (the Allies). For three years the United States remained neutral, and a strong isolationist sentiment existed among Americans not to get involved in this European war. World War I: World War I World War I began when the Austro-Hungarian Archduke Ferdinand and his wife were assassinated in Sarajevo by a member of the Serbian terrorist organization known as the “Black Hand”. Nationalism (the feeling of pride and loyalty people have for their country) and imperialism combined put pressure on European peace. Alliances were made between European Countries supposedly the maintain a “balance of power” but proved dangerous when one member of an alliance was threatened. Slide14: American neutrality was put to the test in May 1915, when the German submarine U-20 sank the British luxury liner Lusitania, which was carrying 1200 passengers and a cargo of ammunition for British rifles. The German embassy had warned Americans that Allied vessels in the war zone were fair targets, but 128 Americans had ignored the warning and met their deaths. Wilson accused the Germans of brutality, demanded that they stop submarine warfare, and refused to ban American passengers from sailing on Allied vessels. The decision to enter the war resulted from continuing German submarine warfare against American merchant shipping and American cultural and historical ties to Great Britain. World War I: World War I In March 1916, after another passenger vessel, the Sussex, was torpedoed, Germany finally agreed to apologize, pay damages and promise on to attack passenger vessels. This promise was known as the “Sussex Pledge”. Wilson won the election of 1916 with the campaign slogan “He kept us out of war”. By 1917, Wilson asked Congress to join the war in Europe. Most Americans did not support U.S. involvement in the war. U. S. troops embarked for France, 1917. In the fall of that year, after the Bolshevik Revolution, Russia made a separate peace with Germany, dissolving the eastern front of the war. Slide16: Wilson delivering his War Message. The final break with Germany came in the wake of two incidents. First - The Germans announced early in 1917 that they would resume unrestricted submarine warfare. At first, horrified that his policy of "strict accountability" seemed now to demand war, Wilson did nothing. Second - Then in February, the British revealed the contents of the "Zimmermann Telegraph," proposing a German-Mexican alliance under which Mexico would recover all the territory it had lost to the U.S. in the 1840s. Wilson began arming merchant ships, and on April 2, 1917, Wilson appeared before the Congress asking for a declaration of war against Germany. Slide17: Weapons of the Great War: Tanks Poison gas Dogfights Machine guns World War I: World War I By the time the American troops arrived in substantial numbers in the spring of 1918, British and French units had endured more than three years of increasingly costly trench warfare. These British troops are shown on the front line in the Somme area in August 1916. The Battle of the Somme, in the summer and fall of 1916, achieved almost no changes in the positions of the German and Allied armies, but 420,000 British, 200,000 French, and 450,000 Germans lost their lives, and the area was almost totally destroyed. World War I: “No Man’s Land” World War I World War I: World War I In 1918 President Wilson issued the Fourteen Points. The Fourteen Points were Wilson’s statement of plans for peace after World War I, including plans to eliminate the causes of war. The key ideas of the Fourteen Points included the principles of: national self-determination - each national group should be in charge of its own destiny. For example, Polish people should live under a Polish government, if that was what they wanted. , freedom of the seas - all nations’ ships would be able to sail in international waters without threat of attack by another country’s ships. a League of Nations - an organization of nations established at the end of World War I to maintain world stability and peace. As president, Woodrow Wilson said the United States wanted to “make the world safe for democracy.” America’s military resources of soldiers and war materials tipped the balance of World War I and led to Germany’s defeat in 1918. World War I: World War I The Versailles Peace Conference was led by the Council of Four nicknamed the “Big Four”: American President, Woodrow Wilson British Prime Minister, David Lloyd George French Premier, George Clemenceau Italian Prime Minister, Vittorio Orlando World War I: World War I The Treaty of Versailles, which ended World War I, recognized these three principles. However, it also included the mandate system, which violated the idea of national self-determination. Under the terms of the Treaty of Versailles, a mandate was a region administered by another country until it was judged ready for independence. The Versailles Treaty divided the Ottoman Empire (Turkey) into mandates, lands to be supervised or governed by the Allies under the direction of the League of Nations. France received Syria, and Britain received Palestine and Iraq. The Treaty of Versailles also provided for the punishment of Germany. Against the wishes of President Wilson, Great Britain and France had insisted that the treaty hold Germany responsible for the war. Finally, the Treaty of Versailles redrew national boundaries in Europe, which created many new nations including Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, and Poland. In short, the Treaty of Versailles recognized the principle of national self-determination in Europe, but not in the Middle East, Africa, or Asia. World War I: World War I After President Wilson negotiated the Treaty of Versailles, he sent it to the United States Senate for ratification (approval). Under the Constitution, the President is the nation’s chief diplomat with the sole power to make treaties. However, the Senate must approve all treaties by a two-thirds vote in order for them to become law. The Republicans, who controlled the United States Senate after the 1918 congressional elections, questioned the wisdom of the Treaty of Versailles. They particularly raised objections to United States foreign policy decisions being made by an international organization, like the League of Nations, rather than by American leaders. After a long debate, the Senate failed to approve the Versailles Treaty. Senate rejection of the Treaty of Versailles after World War I demonstrated the historical influence of isolationism on American foreign policy. Hoping to win support for the treaty by appealing directly to the people, Wilson set off on a cross-country speaking tour in the fall of 1919. At the end of the tour, however, he fell gravely ill from a stroke.: Hoping to win support for the treaty by appealing directly to the people, Wilson set off on a cross-country speaking tour in the fall of 1919. At the end of the tour, however, he fell gravely ill from a stroke. Isolated by his well-meaning family from political advisors, he nevertheless refused to give up the reins of power, and refused to compromise on the issue. When the Treaty, and with it the League, was brought to a vote, it was defeated. The U.S. technically remained at war with Germany until 1921, and did not join the League of Nations. World War I: World War I At home the war led to a growth in intolerance. German Americans were persecuted for their ancestry. The Espionage Act of 1917 and the Sedition Act of 1918 imposed a prison sentence for any anti-war activities, including the speaking of any other language than English. These Acts were directed at Socialist and labor leaders. The Supreme Court ruled that the suppression of the Freedom of Speech in war time is constitutional because of a “clear and present danger”. World War I: World War I Just as women used their participation in the war effort to fight for their rights, African Americans also hoped to use the war to improve their status. Leaders like W. E. B. Du Bois and the NAACP officials protested strongly when initial mobilization plans did not include African Americans. A unit of the Women's Defense League drills in its camp at Washington, D.C. Although some in the women's suffrage movement refused to support the war effort until women were granted the right to vote, other suffragists took a role in mobilizing women into the war effort and used women's support as an argument in favor of their enfranchisement.