America in the World War

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14 Feb 2011
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HIS271 America in World War I February 2nd 2011
โ€ขWhat impact did the coming of war have on domestic reform movements?
โ€ขWhy was a country so concerned with expanding its empire in the late 19th and early
20th centuries reluctant to engage in international conflicts in 1914?
โ€ขWas Woodrow Wilson too much of an idealist when it came to justifying war?
๎€Did he succeed in his lofty goals?
๎€Legacy from the Progressive Era: sense of responsibility of the people to act on
behalf of the community?
๎€The coming of WWI caused the Progressive Era, shifting focus from social reform
๎€The coming of war offered some reformers the first great opportunity to put these
reforms into action
๎€Woodrow Wilson saw a civilization in crisis and felt reform was necessary
๎€Today: the reasons why Americans first resisted calls to join WWI and the forces
that finally compelled them to join, as well as the ways in which participation in the
war helped shape American foreign policy and outlook
๎€American intervention took on three new trends, as mentioned in the last lecture:
1.More aggressive nationalism at home and abroad.
2.Americans were finding new ways to rationalize intervention. Social
Darwinism, racism, calls for global hemispheric stability, etc.
3.American foreign and domestic concerns reflected a desire for expansion.
Oversees markets for example.
๎€Very often these three trends were intertwined
๎€Roosevelt and Taft shaped foreign policy
William Taft and Dollar Diplomacy
๎€He believed that instability would breed conflict
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HIS271 America in World War I February 2nd 2011
๎€In some ways, he was building on some of Rooseveltโ€™s strategy
๎€Taft proposed that the US could substitute dollars for bullets
๎€The emphasis was on economic rather than military sanctions
๎€The goal was to use private investments to promote American diplomatic goals
abroad
๎€For example, 1909-1913 saw increased investments in the Caribbean, the idea being
that it would tie weaker nations to the US (like Roosevelt and the Dominican
Republic)
๎€He attempted in varying degrees to apply his dollar diplomacy throughout Latin
America and Asia, was rejected in China and caused Americans to ridicule him
๎€Critics of these kinds of approaches and of imperialism in general were really
hopeful with the election of Woodrow Wilson
Wilsonian Diplomacy
๎€Entered office on a platform of anti-imperialism
๎€He promised in 1913 to:
1.Prove that the US was a friend to Latin America
2.Wanted to show that it was dangerous to determine American foreign
policy only in terms of material gain
3.Suggested that the US should have a goal in protecting constitutional
liberty, human rights, national integrity, and human opportunity
4.Emphasized community, not competition
๎€Actually set this in to motion. A different outlook than Roosevelt and Taft
๎€However, Wilson eventually started to reverse himself on issues of foreign policy
๎€His policies eventually werenโ€™t that different from Taft or Roosevelt
โ€ขIsolation?
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HIS271 America in World War I February 2nd 2011
๎€Declared that US would no longer offer special support to US investors in Latin
America and Asia
๎€Repealed the Panama Canal Tolls Act, which had exempted American ships from
paying tolls in the Canal
๎€He did this in an effort o say that the Panama Canal wasnโ€™t just for Americans, it
could be used on equal terms for all countries
๎€1916, approved the Jones Act, a promise to recognize sovereignty as soon as a stable
government can be established in the Philippines and provided for an elected Senate
in the Philippines
๎€Both the Jones Act and the Jones-Shafroth Act (promising Puerto Rico freedom) gave
the appearance of anti-imperialism but they werenโ€™t
๎€A stipulation of the Jones Act was that the Philippines had to prove that they had a
stable government
๎€The Jones-Shafroth Act, although making the Dominican more democratic, gave the
US the power to veto any action that the Dominican government did
โ€ขIntervention?
๎€Problems in Haiti forced American intervention
๎€1917, Wilson who was worried about potential European intervention in the area
bought a Dutch colony and renamed it the Virgin Islands
๎€Wilson also ordered troops in to Mexico in 1914 and 1916 under the guise of
protecting democracy in Mexico, but in reality it was to sway Mexican economics and
politics in the favour of American interests
๎€At the end, we can say that Roosevelt, Taft, and Wilson all contributed to
โ€˜Progressive Diplomacyโ€™
๎€Progressive Diplomacy refers to the fact that in the US, expansion and the protection
of American interests abroad, though justified on moral grounds, were often backed
increasingly by military strength
๎€Intervention was framed in terms of maintaining global stability and order, but at
the same time had to be enforced
๎€This idea of Progressive Diplomacy determined how Americans responded to the
growing crisis in Europe as well
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Document Summary

February 2nd 2011: what impact did the coming of war have on domestic reform movements, why was a country so concerned with expanding its empire in the late 19th and early. The coming of wwi caused the progressive era, shifting focus from social reform. The coming of war offered some reformers the first great opportunity to put these reforms into action. woodrow wilson saw a civilization in crisis and felt reform was necessary. Today: the reasons why americans first resisted calls to join wwi and the forces that finally compelled the m to join, as well as the ways in which participation in the war helped shape american foreign policy and outlook. american intervention took on three new trends, as mentioned in the last lecture: more aggressive nationalism at home and abroad, americans were finding new ways to rationalize intervention. Darwinism, racism, calls for global hemispheric stability, etc: american foreign and domestic concerns reflected a desire for expansion.

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