History USA- Part one 1865-1890 - US and the world

  • US was still unfinished by 1865, semi-detached from international affairs
  • 1890 = one of worlds leading industrial economies positioned to be a world power
  • expansion was territorial and economic
  • most held to belief of anti-collonialism avoiding 'foreign entanglements' but territorial consolidation of 1865-1890 prepped for imperialism
  • April 1865 Grant's beliefs reflected Manifest Destiny, slogan fostered intense patriotic feelings since 1840s, believed in 'continentalism' - consolidating US to occupy N/American continent - and idea US could be world power
  • were also powerful forces holding back any urge of expansion in 1865
  • some forces had deep ideological roots - American exceptionalism, desire to avoid foreign entanglements
  • other forces were immediate and practical - need to reconcile nation, stabilise relations between Mexico and Canada, bring order/stability to W and complete territorial consolidation
  • specific issues making US look inwards in 1865 was; relationship between Britain complicated by tensions over US-Canada border (interests in Britain supported confed. in CW); Spain = anxious to protect remaining colonial empire against US expansion; Conservative regimes - Austrian empire feared 'dangerous' ideas of US democracy; US were hostile to interference in Mexico
  • concept of isolationism always relative rather than absolute
  • many strand of US thought to isolationism; anti-colonialism; graphical isolation (safe separation from rest of world); vision of US as land of free (Refuge for persecution)
  • Isolationists underpinned by Monroe Doctrine, 1823, nations view of itself
  • from 1823 all US politicians accepted MOnroe Doctrine as article of faith
  • power of Monroe doctrine shown in response to attempt of France and Austria to establish an empire in mexico
  • During civil war Emperor Napoleon III France sent army to occupy Mexico city enabling Archduke Maximillian to accept crown of Mexico (offered by Mexican conservatives) while war chances Max. could establish imperial rule in Mexico seemed promising, after war ended - were furious US protests from Congress 'foreign invasion' and Grant (with other generals) wanted army to be sent to Mexico to 'defend the Monroe doctrine'
  • William Seward, Sec. of state, relied on diplomatic pressure
  • her pursued an ambitious interventionist foreign policy - plans included acquiring naval bases in Caribbean/Pacific Islands, negotiating treaty with Colombia to build canal across panama
  • most schemes failed
  • he did have some important achievements like; acquisition of midway island; purchase of Alaska 
  • Seward was a realist avoiding open conflict with France over mexico
  • neither US military power nor Monroe Doctrine was needed to crush Maximi., Napoleon III lost interest
  • Maximi. was well-meaning but ineffectual with no pop. support
  • Mexican nationalists led by Benito Juarez fought guerilla war and in June 1867 Maximi. was executed
  • Mexican Empire certainly doomed to fail but Seward presented outcome as vindication of Monroe Doctrine reinforcing its mythic importance
  • 'expulsion' of Europeans fitted MonDoc's ideas, essentially defensive and also fed expantionist ideas
  • Seward's successor as Sec. of state in 1867 was Hamilton Fish - continued expantionist approach
  • 1869-73, backed by busin., attempted to establish protectorate over Dominican Republic
  • 1873 Fish arranged trade deal with Hawaii (paved way to its annexation in 1890s)
  • 1878…


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