Foreign policy is an integral part of any government. The United States was no different. U.S. Foreign Policy started with George Washington's Presidency. In his farewell address, he advised "no foreign entanglements." This idea led to a policy of isolationism.
President Monroe was the fifth president. His Secretary of State, John Quincy Adams wrote a foreign policy doctrine called the Monroe Doctrine. It states:
Hands off the American republics
No new colonization in the Americas
Existing European colonies are in no danger from United States
No participation by United States in purely European affairs
Cuba was a colony of Spain. Cuba had been having an insurrection from 1868 to 1878. In 1895, the fighting broke out again. The U.S. held true to the Monroe Doctrine and stayed out of the war, but seemed to support the revolutionaries.
Yellow-journalism was becoming big at the time. Yellow journalism sensationalizes news. Hearst and Pulitzer were the major publishers of these papers. Both papers supported the revolutionaries.
Weyler was the governor of Cuba and decided to put all the insurgents in one place. While there many of the revolutionaries died of disease.
In February of 1898, the U.S. had some of its ships around Havana Harbor. One of them was called the Maine, had an explosion and sunk, killing those on board. Right afterward, Congress passed a bill unanimously that would raise $50,000,000 for War preparation.
On March 27, the US. sent demands to Spain for an immediate Armistice
an end to Reconcentration
a move for Cuban Independence.
While suspense grew in Cuba, the United States prepared for War.
On April 19, Congress passed a joint resolution declaring Cuban Independence.
On April 21, Spain severs ties with the United States.
On April 25, war is declared
A call for 125,000 volunteers was made in the United States. One million enlisted, including five black units. Secretary of the Navy, Teddy Roosevelt resigned and headed an army regiment called the Rough Riders.
The Naval War College had been working on plans for such a war since 1895. Their aims were:
Destroy the Spanish fleet
Damage Spain's merchant marine
Go after (bother) colonies off the coast of Spain.
The Army's aims were:
On April 20, 1898, they decided
limited strategy of blockading Cuba
sending arms to insurgents
annoy Spanish with small thrusts of army
Victories would change the strategy.
Commodore George Dewey on May 1 crushed the Spanish fleet in Manila. The war was barely a week old and he had been off the coast of Hong Kong. However, Dewey had no troops to attack Manila. The War Department raised an. expeditionary force and the war with Spain was over a few months before it began.
The Philippine-American War was a little different. By 1899, the United States had defeated the organized Philippine Anny. By 1901 the fighting in the Philippines ended. Taft would take over the commission. United States would build schools, roads, etc. (infrastructure). It would not be until July 4, 1946 that the United States gives the Philippines their independence.
Meanwhile, there was concern over the Spanish fleet in the Atlantic. The fleet had secretly gone into Havana Harbor. The United States bottled up the harbor so that none could leave.
On June 14, the United States invaded the southeastern coast. There was confusion during the landing, but there was no resistance. The first battle finally broke on Santiago Road. Dense foliage in the area concealed the enemy who had smokeless powder, which gave no clue as to the enemy position. The Rough Riders and four black regimens were to reach San Juan Hill. They did this through the very uncivilized manner--and certainly non-European method—of yelling Comanche yells and startling the Spanish.
The Americans surrounded Santiago. By this time, the Americans were weak due to sickness, but Spain didn't know that. Spain decided the city was lost.
On July 3, the Spanish Admiral tried to escape to sea. The United States closed in destroying the fleet. Santiago surrendered. United States sunk Spain's only fleet. Spain was now helpless against attacks on its colonies.
The Spanish-American War lasted 113 days. The United States lost 5,500 men. Most of them died due to accident, yellow fever, malaria and typhoid. Only 379 were killed in battle. The Navy lost one in battle at Santiago Bay and one from heat stroke in Manila Bay.
United States and China
China had many exports including tea, silk, porcelain and jade. The United States and China had an extraterritorality agreement. That meant that an American charged with a crime in China could be tried in an American Court in China.
After a period of time, Japan attacks China and the European countries rush for territory. The United States doesn't want territory. Instead, it establishes its Open Door policy.
1. China would keep open all "treaty ports."
2. They would guarantee to all nations engaged in trade with China equal railroad, harbor and tariff rates.
Hays announced that this policy would be effective as of March 20, 1900.
China decided to drive out powers which had taken over territories organized a secret society called the "Boxers" which killed 300 foreigners. Foreigners went into Tientan and Peking. Other nations came in to stop the fighting, the United States included. Because of the incident, China had to pay $333 million. The United States share was $24 million. The U.S. gave half to Americans who lost property and half to China. China was grateful, and sent students to U.S. schools which helped strengthen the ties between the two countries. .
The Japan-Russian War was fought in China and in the Pacific which thereby threatened the Open Door Policy. The United States said that if anyone joined with Russia, the United States would join Japan. Teddy Roosevelt got the leaders of China and Russia together for peace talks. Since it was the summer and very hot in Washington, D.C., they went to Wentworth-by-the-Sea, in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. The Treaty of Portsmouth ended the Japan-Russian War and Teddy Roosevelt won the Nobel Peace Prize.
The United States now had territories and possessions beyond its borders and was unclear of how to proceed. In a series of Supreme Court cases called "The Insular Cases," it determined how the possessions would be handled.
Territories were destined for statehood and those citizens received full constitutional rights. Cuba, Puerto Rico, Guam and the Philippines were not territories. They received due process and fundamental rights only.
The Platt Amendment would determine
Cuban government must never enter into any foreign agreements that might endanger Cuban independence.
Cuba must never incur debts in cannot repay in a reasonable length of time.
Cuban government must give United States the right to intervene for the preservation of Cuban Independence.
Cuban government must place naval bases at disposal of United States. No US. withdrawal until Platt Amendment becomes part of the Cuban Constitution.
Nicaragua, Colombia, and Panama were all possibilities for a canal. Panama revolted against Colombia with United States approval. Panama was chosen and agreed to the payment of $10,000,000 and $250,000 a year 99 year renewable lease. The canal would be 10 miles wide by 50 miles long. It was built between the years of 1903 and 1914 for $400 million.
The French had attempted to build a canal earlier but had run out of money and had been hampered by diseases. Walter Reed had been a doctor during the Spanish-American War and discovered that yellow fever was spread by mosquitoes. Thus, get rid of the mosquitoes, get rid of yellow fever.
Theodore Roosevelt added the following to the Monroe Doctrine:
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 Untied States. Chronic wrongdoing, or an impotence which results in a general loosening of the ties of civilized society, may in America, as elsewhere, ultimately require intervention by some civilized nation, and in the Western Hemisphere the adherence of the United States to the Monroe Doctrine may force the Untied States however reluctantly, in flagrant cases of such wrongdoing or impotence to the exercise of an international police power . . . It is a mere truism to say that every nation, whether in America or anywhere else, which desires to maintain its freedom, its independence, must ultimately realize that the right of such independence cannot be separated from the responsibility of making good use of it.
The Dominican Republic and Haiti had become protectorates of the United States. The U.S. was also pursuing a theory of "Dollar Diplomacy" which meant that banks would lend money to Caribbean nations. If they were not paid back, the U.S. would oversee elections to see if their candidates won. Roosevelt's theory was to speak softly and carry a big stick.