Chapter 29 - Chapter 29 ~ The Path of Empire ~ 1890 1899 I....

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Chapter 29 ~ The Path of Empire ~ 1890 – 1899 I. Imperialist Stirrings 1. From the end of the Civil War to the 1880s, the United States was very isolationist, but in the 1890s, due to rising exports, manufacturing capability, power, and wealth, it began to expand onto the world stage, using overseas markets to sell its goods. o The “yellow press” or “yellow journalism” of Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst also influenced overseas expansion, as did missionaries inspired by Reverend Josiah Strong’s Our Country: It’s Possible Future and Its Present Crisis. Strong spoke for civilizing and Christianizing savages. o People were interpreting Darwin’s theory of survival-of-the-fittest to mean that the United States was the fittest and needed to take over other nations to improve them. Such events already were happening, as Europeans had carved up Africa and China by this time. 2. Captain Alfred Thayer Mahan’s 1890 book, The Influence of Sea Power Upon History, 1660-1783, argued that every successful nation had a great navy, and started a naval race among the great powers and moving the U.S. to naval supremacy. 3. James G. Blaine pushed his “Big Sister” policy, which sought better relations with Latin America, and in 1889, he presided over the first Pan-American Conference, held in Washington D.C. 4. However, in other diplomatic affairs, America and Germany almost went to war over the Samoan Islands (over whom could build a naval base there), while Italy and America almost fought due to the lynching of 11 Italians in New Orleans, and the U.S. and Chile almost went to war after the deaths of two American sailors at Valparaiso in 1892. o The new aggressive mood was also shown by the U.S.—Canadian argument over seal hunting near the Pribilof Islands off the coast of Alaska. II. Monroe’s Doctrine and the Venezuelan Squall 1. British Guiana and Venezuela had been disputing their border for many years, but when gold was discovered, the situation worsened. o Thus, the U.S., under President Grover Cleveland, sent a note written by Secretary of State Richard Olney to Britain informing them that the British actions were trespassing the Monroe Doctrine and that the U.S. controlled things in the Americas. o The British replied four months later saying that the Monroe Doctrine didn’t exist. 2. Uproar resulted, and the two nations almost went to war, but after second thoughts by both sides, the issue was settled with the British getting most of the land that they had wanted in the beginning. o Britain didn’t want to fight because of the damage to its merchant trade that could result, as well as the vulnerability of Canada; plus, after the Dutch Boers of South Africa captured 600 British, Germany’s Kaiser Wilhem cabled his congratulations, sending British anger to Germany, not to America. o
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This note was uploaded on 08/31/2010 for the course HIST 45213 taught by Professor Platt during the Spring '10 term at Berkeley.

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Chapter 29 - Chapter 29 ~ The Path of Empire ~ 1890 1899 I....

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