Becoming A World Power!
The story of a lot of things happening in and out of the U.S.A and a lot of weird named guys including Poncho, Dewey, and Emilio Aguinaldo The U.S.A Discovers There Is Good Stuff Outside of America and That They are Missing Out: First of all, it’s Alfred T.
Mahan’s fault. He pushed the U.S into building up their navy to compete with other countries and implied that the U.S should colonize in other countries. This encouraged the United States to want to imperialize, or extend their (the stronger nation’s) economic, political, or military control over a weaker territory. These weaker territories included a lot of Africa and Asia.
However, many of these territories had already been taken by many European imperialist powers. Too bad, so sad? Not if the U.S.A has anything to say about it! There is good stuff out there, and the U.S wants in.
Why, you ask? Because of three main things. • Economic Interests; aka money, saving money on raw materials, money, new markets to sell products, money, and, oh, did I mention money!!!!!! • Military Interests; military presence and good locations for bases and ports • Belief in Cultural Superiority; aka we are better than you so give us everything you own or we’ll kill you. Or blow you up. Or kill you. Since the U.
S was now in on the game they had to figure out where to start playing. So in comes William Seward. Everybody Hates Seward: William Seward was secretary of state when the U.S decided to start expanding outside of its boarders. He then decided to make a big move.
Now, Russia owned the territory known as Alaska. But Russia had been through a war recently, and needed money. In other words, they were desperate. Seward took this chance to imperialize and decided to buy the territory from Russia for $7.2 million. That actually was a great deal, about $0.
025 per acre. However people flipped out. They started to call Seward’s purchase “Seward’s Icebox” or “Polar Bear Garden”. They considered it a vast, good for nothing wasteland. However, Seward saw the good in this icebox. He realized that it could provide land for expansion, new jobs in the ice industry, and other raw materials including lumber, coal, furs, and animal skins.
He also considered the annexation of Hawaii, but that idea was diminished until about 30 years later. Hawaii is the Place to Be! (Unless you are an actual Hawaiian. Then get out. This is U.S territory now.
): Now the story of how the U.S acquired Hawaii goes a little something like this: Once upon a time, some missionaries went to a small section of Volcanic Islands called Hawaii. They ditched the whole missionary thing as soon as they got their and decided to live in the beautiful place. So they invited their families. But how where they going to become rich and powerful? Sugar was the answer to that. So they started planting sugar and sending it back to the US.
Rich? Check! Now for power, the planters started to rewrite the constitution of Hawaii to give them more rights. Power? Check! But wait! The southerners where not happy that some foreign planters where steeling the money they normally made off sugar. So they influenced the U.S government to tax any imports, including sugar. Now they were making the money, as no one would buy taxed sugar. Rich? No check.
Also, back in Hawaii, the new queen, Queen Liliuokalani, was starting to cancel all amendments that made the planters have power. Power? No check. So the planters got angry. They staged a revolt along with the help of the US navy. Queen Liliuokalani gave up her throne to save her people. Now the U.
S owned the islands. The planters were making money and they had their own government. The End Spain Is No Match for The Mighty U.S.A!: Now let’s get one thing strait. Spain is not cool, nor is it friendly, or kind, or generous, or a good ruler in any way.
Maybe that is why all of their colonies were revolting. Not revolting as in gross, but revolting as in we hate you, give us freedom. One of these was Cuba, led by rebel leader Jose Marti. One of the causes of the war was that newspapers where completely dramatizing these events in Cuba, pitching the Spanish as terrible brutes who had no respect for their colonies. The U.
S was deeply troubled, but they would not go into war. Yet. The final straw came when the U.S sent a ship over to Cuba, to protect U.S citizens and businesses in Cuba.
The U.S.S Maine exploded within one month, killing 260 sailors. Naturally, it was all Spain’s fault. So on April 25, war was declared on Spain. The hero of this war became Theodore Roosevelt.
A young man in the Navy, he quit in order to organize the Rough Riders, a group of cavalry that was formed to help the United States in war. American troops along with the Rough Riders took San Juan Hill. They later captured Spanish fleets in Santiago Harbor. The city surrendered on July 17. In the Philippines, another battle brewed. Led by rebel leader Emilio Aguinaldo, the Philippians were fighting for freedom against, you guessed it, Spain.
Commodore George Dewey (no, not the duck, or the decimal system) joined ranks with Emilio Aguinaldo and entered the Battle of Manila. The troops killed 380 Spanish soldiers. 0 Americans died. After all this was completed, Spain had lost nearly all of its power. It signed the treaty of Paris (what is this like the fourth one?) and were forced to relinquish (I love that word!) their colonies to the U.
S. The following were results of the war and what happened to these colonies. • Cuba: Cuba was granted independence (yay!) but the U.S made them add the Platt Amendment to the constitution, which allowed the U.S o intervene in Cuba’s affairs at any time they thought necessary and that the U.S would establish a naval base in Guantanamo Bay (not yay ) • Puerto Rico: Puerto Rico became an American territory with a government set up by the U.
S • Philippines: The Philippines eventually became an American colony even though the U.S had promised them freedom (and here’s the lying part). They Revolted against U.S rule and were not controlled until 1902. Overall, this was a splendid little war, a lot of gain, not much loss. For the U.
S. Too bad Spain lost centuries worth of power. Oops! Some People Start To Disagree (and for good reason): The Anti- Imperialist League was formed by many famous people at the time (Andrew Carnegie, Mark Twain, Jane Addams, exc.). They believed that the United States should not deny others the right to govern themselves. For example, they argued that Puerto Rico should become a self-governing territory.
Luis Munoz Rivera agreed with this statement. He fought most of his life for Puerto Rico to become a self-governing territory. But he died right before the U.S did issue Puerto Rico this right. Maybe these guys are right? But never mind them. We just won a war! Congrats! Let’s go conquer more countries! The U.
S is Too Late Yet Somehow Manages to Get Everything They Want (wonder how that happened? **cough**military** cough**): Thanks Commodore Perry! You opened up Japan to the modern world and now they are a world power! And…what? They are controlling a lot of the land we want! Well this is an outrage! Let’s get them to give it up! Or better yet, share! Yes, the U.S deeply desired what Japan and Europe controlled. China. So the U.S , you sly little bugger you, convinced most European and Japanese powers to allow the Open Door Policy and let the U.S share in their sphere of influence.
This was great for the U.S! But not so much the Chinese. Some of them hated the foreigners invading their country and taking their money and leaving them in poverty. It would be like if someone else through a party in your house and didn’t invite you, then ate all your food and left you the stale, moldy bread. You get the point? So the Boxers as they called themselves staged a rebellion in 1900. It is known as the Boxer Rebellion (wow so creative!).
Many foreigners were killed, trapped inside the gates of Beijing and tortured. The uprising was put down by an international force. We Decided We Want Panama (there might be a little more lying here): I’m going to simplify this a little bit: We want to build something to connect the Pacific and Atlantic oceans so that trade is easier for us. But where should we put it? Panama Columbia says “No, Panama is ours!” So the U.S helps the rebellion of the Panamanians a little (aka sent their entire navy there to gain Panama freedom) They were granted a 10 mile wide strip of land for the building of the canal for $10 million and an annual fee of $250,000.
The U.S felt guilty about cheating Columbia of its land. They pay them $25 million (ouch!) Time to Build!!!!: Building the canal was harder than they thought it would be. The land was marshy and full of mosquitoes that carry malaria, a deadly disease. More than 45,000 workers labored hard for the canal for many years.
They cut into the earth carving a path between the two oceans. They finally finished in 1914. The project cost a whopping $352 million in total (wow). It was pretty hard on the human laborers too. More than 5,000 workers died of accident and illness in the making of the canal.
Never Forget Your Big Stick. Carry That Thing Everywhere. I Mean Everywhere.: Theodore Roosevelt’s foreign policy was said to be “speak softly but carry a big stick”. That hypocrite.
He was always making sure that EVERYONE knew that the U.S HAS THE BIGGEST AND BEST MILLITARY AROUND! I mean, he carried the big stick (power) but he would not shut up! He also edited the Monroe Doctrine, reminding Europe not to even come to the places that the U.S has control over. It now, according to the Roosevelt Corollary, not only prevented Europe from invading Latin America, it stated that the U.S would act as policemen there. This statement meant that the U.
S would intervene if there were any problems in Latin America. And according to America, there were a lot of problems. The U.S took control of the Dominican Republic’s finances, sent troops to Cuba, invested in Latin America, and with later presidents, sent troops to rebellions in both Veracruz and Mexico to put down a rebellion from a man named Poncho Villa.