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Lecture 2

HIS 377 Lecture 2 Week 2 January 17th 2013 - Wilson.doc

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Professor Candace Sobers

HIS 377 – 20 Century American Foreign Relations Lecture 2 Week 2 January 17 , 2013 To Make the World Safe for Democracy o Empire’s Workshop: the US in Latin America o Wilson, Mexico and the Revolution o From Neutrality to Belligerency o The League Fight o The Legacy of Wilsonianism o Empires Workshop: o Monroe Doctrine (1823) o The Panama Canal Controversy (1903) o “Big Stock” Diplomacy and the Roosevelt Corollary (1904) o When McKinley is assassinated, Roosevelt becomes president during a rapid urban and industrialization period  A lot of immigration, social unrest and dislocation as well o Roosevelt was a progressive o Roosevelt believes government has a role to play – it has a duty to be active o Roosevelt believes the rest of the world would benefit from adopting American like values o A period if internationalization for America and the nationalization of the world o Professor Sobers believes that there was no isolationism at this period, they were purely heading towards interventionism o Latin America: o Roosevelt tests the water in Latin America o Latin America was seen as a laboratory, a test site for American foreign policy and developing nations o Roosevelt sought to build a canal in Panama, but Panama was controlled by Colombia and the French had already been given the opportunity to build a canal o Roosevelt tries to negotiate with the Colombians but they don’t cooperate o Roosevelt attempted to purchase a 10 mile wide area which would be sovereign to the US and its laws  Refused in the Colombian government o Roosevelt becomes fed up and seeks to liberate the Panamanians from the Colombians o Panama breaks free from Colombia and the Panamanians give the US access to build a canal o SIGNIFICANCE: US interfered in Latin America, they made Panama independent and they secured access for a canal o Roosevelt Corollary: o Venezuela has a civil war, and it incurs debts to the British and the Germans o The US fear that the Europeans will show up to take their money back o This interferes with the Monroe Doctrine as it clearly violates the rule of protecting the Western Hemisphere o The Corollary states that it needs countries to be stable, orderly and prosperous o Woodrow Wilson o Quiet, sombre, intellectual and progressive o He wants the US to ensure that stability is ensured in Latin America  “Teach them to elect good men” o No experience in foreign affairs – not interested o He wants to reform American domestic society o He believes in the importance of good government, in the US, and maintaining stability o Very quickly confronted with revolution and instability o Mexican Revolution, 1910: o Dictator, Diaz o Good for business, bad for Mexicans o Madero and Zapata leading figures o US does not like this revolution happening on its doorstep o Wilson sent in the marines – US troops were arrested, and the US demand a formal apology, which they oblige, but they also ask for a 21 gun salute and the American flag to be raised – the Mexicans refuse – Wilson asks congress for permission to intervene o This is Wilsons first use of the Roosevelt Corollary and it is pretty successful o They want to maintain US honour o It also provides the US with the ability to head to any Latin American country with disorder and try to reinstate stability o Pancho Villa heads into New Mexico and raids it for supplies – the US becomes very angry  Dispatch a general to catch Villa – recalled in January 1917 o America in WW1: o Wilson blames the initial outbreak of war on the balance of power – he criticizes the European system of diplomacy  The BoP is instable o The global alliance system threatens the world o Initial American neutrality fell under the traditional mould – the neutral parties could trade with whoever they wanted  In theory it may exist, but it doesn’t work in practice o Wilsonian Neutrality:  Believes in the traditional interpretation of neutrality  Neutrality is generally seen as a weakened state  Wilson wants neutrality to seem like a position of strength – moral high ground, impartiality puts them above the rest • Idea of moral strength and moral recognition • The US was a moral power in the sea of immoral powers  He’s asking for the Americans to remain unattached to the war, whenever some individuals have family members still in Europe fighting  Wilson begins to set up potential peace talks instead of becoming a warmonger  The US is hypocritical, they are confident in meddling with Latin America, but Europe is much different and the US aren’t comfortable intervening in their affairs  Wilson believes that with American leadership, he can get the Europeans to settle o Wilson doesn’t want to Germany destroyed by a peace o The British had formed a massive blockade on Germany o The US protests the British blockade on Germany – it co
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