US Foreign Policy in the late 1800s and early 1900s

US Foreign Policy in the
late 1800s and 1900s
Essential Vocabulary
 Foreign Policy- the set of goals, principles, and practices
that guide a nation in its relations with other nations.
example: Washington’s Farewell Address 1796
“It is our true policy to steer clear of permanent alliances with any
portion of the foreign world”
- Shapes US foreign policy for the next century
 Domestic Policy- is the set of laws and regulations that
a government establishes within a nation’s borders
examples: laws and regulations of business, education, energy, health
care, law enforcement, money and taxes, natural resources, social
What are the tools of foreign policy?
 1. Diplomacy (conducting negotiations)
 2. Financial aid (grants, loans), other economic methods
(embargoes, sanctions)
 3. Threat or use of armed forces
Who leads US foreign policy?
The president, advised by the Secretary of State and the State Dept. –Congress
also has power to approve treaties and vote on foreign policy issues.
Essential Vocabulary and Background Knowledge
Back to Washington- who established 2 key
foreign policy principles
1. Neutrality- refusing to take sides among
warring nations
example: 1793, refused to take sides in war
between Great Britain and France
2. Unilateralism- do not seek either military or
political alliances with other countries, “going it
alliance=agreement or friendship between two
or more parties, made in order to advance
common goals and to secure common interests.
Essential Vocabulary and Background Knowledge
 Overall US foreign policy of isolationism through the
19th century
Isolationism- a government policy of not taking part
in economic and political alliances or relations with
other countries
 This policy shifts to a policy of expansion and
imperialism, or empire building, near the end of
the 19th century and into the 20th century, and
that’s what we will be studying this unit!
Manifest Destiny?
Major territorial expansions
-1803 Louisiana Purchase
-1819 purchase of Florida from Spain
-1845 settled border in Pacific Northwest
-1867 purchase of Alaska from Russia
-1845 annexation of Texas
(annexation: taking control of a territory and adding it to a country)
-1846 Mexican War- settles southern US border, recognition of
annexation of TX, Mexico cedes US region from TX to CA, US pays Mexico
$15 million
US Territorial
So the US is expanding its national
territory, but also expanding its
influence in other countries-
President James Monroe made a bold
foreign policy speech to Congress on
December 2nd, 1823, that signified a
major departure from past US
isolationism. The principles he laid
out in the speech would become
known as….
 “The American continents, by the free and
independent condition which they have assumed and
maintain, are henceforth not to be considered as
subjects for future colonization by any European
What does this mean??????
-Monroe Doctrine
warned European
powers to stay out
of the Western
-Set up 2 policies:
Monroe Doctrine
 The Monroe Doctrine laid the framework for future
global interventions, and was used to increase US
influence in Latin America and the Caribbean.
 This increasing US influence and power on the global
scene was not what all Americans wanted though….
The Great Debate: to be or not to be imperialist?
Americans debated over support of imperialist foreign
But WAIT! What exactly does imperialism mean????
one nation extending its influence over another
nation or territory either directly by military
conquest or indirectly by exerting control over the
other nation’s political or economic affairs.
But how does imperialism work?
Imperialism is a relationship between two nations or
territories in which:
1. one nation has economic and political control over
the other.
2. the ruling nation’s purpose is to extend its power
by acquiring and exploiting territory or natural
3. the ruling nation intends the relationship to be
4. the involvement of the ruled nation is involuntary.
• Should the US have adopted a foreign
policy of imperialism in the late 19th
century and the 20th century?
-We’ll learn about different foreign policy decisions
and events to help us form an argument in
response to this question
The Paris Peace Treaty-1898
 Ends the Spanish-American war
 US gains control over Puerto Rico, Cuba, and Guam
 Spain sells the Philippines to the US for $20 million
 Teller Amendment: was passed when Congress
declared war and prevented the US from taking
control of Cuba- but did not apply to the Philippines.
Results of the Spanish American War
• Paris Peace Treaty gave Cuba Independence, but U.S.
Stays in Cuba to restore order and set up a military
• After 4 years U.S. withdraws troops- 1902,
but only after Cuba added certain provisions to their
constitution to protect American interests
The Platt Amendment
 Allows U.S. to intervene in Cuban
affairs and buy or lease land for
naval bases
-Guantanamo Bay naval base
Guantanamo Bay later on used as a detainment
center established in 2002 by the
Bush Administration to hold
detainees from the war in
Afghanistan and later Iraq
(enemy combatants)
 President Obama planned to close
Guantanamo Bay detainment
center by late 2010- problems
with Congress wanting to block
the transfer of the detainees to
U.S. facilities=still not closed!
US in the Philippines
 After the debate on imperialism and annexation, the U.S.
ratifies Paris Peace Treaty- gain control of the
 Filipino leader Emilio Aguinaldo
calls for independence- he helped the
U.S. during Spanish American war and
claimed the U.S. promised freedom
to the Philippines
 Filipinos write constitution and elect Aguinaldo
president- U.S. refused to recognize new government
War in the Philippines
 Feb. 1899 fighting broke out- U.S. sends troops to
put down revolt (Filipinos use guerrilla tactics, U.S.
responds with brutal force including civilian prison
 After 3 years of fighting war is over- more than
200,000 Filipinos and about 5,000 Americans had
died- US had also spent about $400 million.
 U.S. sets up central government and would control
the islands until granting them independence in
Future US President Taft
William Howard Taft
 Taft becomes governor of the Philippines in 1901- he
will later on become president of the US
 He wants to help the island recover and tried to win
Filipino support
 Although he used methods such as jailing dissidents
and censoring the press, he also extended limited self
rule and started building roads, schools, bridges…
Imperialism in China?
The U.S. and China
 Spheres of influence and the Open Door Policy:
Great Britain, France, US, Japan, Germany, and
Russia split China into areas where they can have
influence and control the trade.
 Who was the Open Door Policy most beneficial for?

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