POL326Y1 Lecture Notes - Tabula Rasa, Jared Diamond, American Civil War

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20 Feb 2014
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Historical Patterns
Metaconcious knowledge - deeply engraved beliefs.
Public opinion which changes on particular topics, and ideology,
Political culture is the most resistant to change
the nature of political culture is resistant, but that doesn’t mean it cannot change
The US is in decline as a power
Relevant Chapter of textbook
The historical context of American Foreign Policy
important that we understand the details of the entity that we are trying to understand.
important to understand the context in which these institutions emerged and how they were
designed to function
we must situate american foreign policy into its historical and global context
Overview
acknowledge the US had its origins as a colony of several European powers
in order to understand the US we have to understand the colonialism that created it
the beginning of colonialism in the Western hemisphere in 1492 when the natives of the
Caribbean discovered columbus’ ships on their shore and transformed by that experience.
search by European power holders in search for places rich enough the exploit and weak
enough to conquer
Portugal, successive, started in Africa. But they didn’t find much gold, spices, or tea that
was of interest. HOWEVER, they did find these in Asia, rich enough to exploit, but not
weak enough to conquer.
In Asia, colonialism had its relation is trade relations.
Portuguese and Spanish hit the jack pot, where they found regions rich enough to
exploit and weak enough to conquer because (Jared Diamond) they were dirty. What he
meant was that European standards of hygiene were lower. There were much more
crowded and large cities which lacked sewage. Europeans had much more resistance to
disease because of this compared to the western hemisphere. There were no
domesticated animals, so that was very limited.
Somewhere between 85-95% of the Western population dropped dead when in contact
to the European settlers.
Portuguese and Spanish used this as a blank slate. Marx would’ve called it an
accumulative. They facilitated a lavish lifestyle
Western Europe industrialized on the demand of their goods from Portugal and Spain.
Portuguese and Spanish colonialism entered a new phase with the completion of the
plunder.
North America was difference, the Portuguese and Spanish were not as interested because of
the lack of gold.
POL326, Lecture 5
Oct 8, 2013
French and the British that played the dominant role in colonizing north america, they faced
similar advantages.
evidence seemed to indicate that rather than converting the blank slate, they encountered
well established agricultural holdings that they did not have to convert to a significant
extent
north america was far less interesting than south america.
Rift that ran through American history emerged in that environment, the British possession
in North America of Jamestown
gave rise to different types of communities, Southern: the production of goods that could
not be done in Western Europe. Importation of slaves.
Northern: attracted to British for its enormous supply of wood, the British islands were
deforested for the British army
main attraction of the northern part of US was to deal with the domestic British problems:
free settlement with the teaching of the Bible.
(1) confronts us with one of the dominant myths of the US as a political system: The US
emerged from colonialism, and the US revolution was a rejection of colonialism.
but it was NOT rejection, it was a result of resentment of much of the population of the
US of the unequal treatment of the colonial system. They resented the way they were
being treated and had no equal rights to their counter parts in Britain.
it was a demand of the spread of European spread throughout the world as equal
participants.
The second component: the extent to which it was an actual revolution. Revolution: we
generally understand upheavels in which a ruling elite is replaced by new elites.
there wasn’t really a revolution, the elites remained in power after the revolution.
the social structure that defined the american republic remained the same, as it was
established a republic as it was a colony.
the south depended entirely on the access to British markets for their exports and that did not
change with the revolution, that trade relationship continued. The difference is in regard to the
Northern states, they did not fit into this relationship of dependency.
they couldn’t afford to import and finance it on their abilities to export goods
i.e. Textiles, the northern states began to develop their own industries
America was never isolationists, i.e. the southern states continued to trade extensively
the perception of american isolationism has a particular source, Washington’s foreign
entaglements, when he left government
the policies adopted by Washington is that the US should not be invlved in entanglements with
Western Europe but should be involved unilaterally. Unilateralism: Morgan Though argued
allowed the US to protect itself by off shore balancing. Make sure that no one country comes
to dominate Western Europe.
Continental Europe, nation building and the other expansion.
expanded to the large extent of European powers
POL326, Lecture 5
Oct 8, 2013
became involved in global politics through the marines and navy from the get go. they
established a pacific fleet.
president monroe, the US would not tolerate any colonial expansion in 1823 into the Western
Hemisphere
the British recognized that they didnt need to control the politics of latin america independently
the main focus of the US was on nation building, it was followed by the regional (economical
expansion) in Latin America and North america (Canada) and pacific rim (Asia)
1860s was more the cut off point from continental and regional.
American Civil war, as being over the issue of slavery, it doesnt explain the conflict though.
classical dependency: import raw materials, export final goods.
northern states would require protection, US imposed tariffs, problematic tool
tariffs were a threat to the south and an economic must for the north
slavery was a good made it easy to create soldiers
sources of those materials to the large extent came from the region in which the US had
considerable control (regional revolution)
open door policy: rejection of the knd of colonialsims that the western european powers
exercised which limited their trade to only their colonial power
Gun boat diplomacy: referred to the willingness of the US to use its armed forces particularly
the marine to intervene in foreign territory
teddy rosevelt changed the regional: Rosevelt correlay document.. the US would hence forth
interpret the document of givin the US the responsibility of colonial expansion into the wstern
hemispeher.
regional era, somewhat inaccurate, was involved in european afffairs
POL326, Lecture 5
Oct 8, 2013