ENGL 583 Lecture Notes - Lecture 2: Mallarino–Bidlack Treaty, Alexander Kerensky, Saint Petersburg
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There is a will to have a balance of power in Europe from the two sides. This changes in the 20th
The US policy towards the rest of the world is evolving → example of the Spanish-American war
Before 1898, the US doesn’t really look after what is outside their coastlines.
Then, they help Panama splitting off from Columbia. American inﬂuence in Panama remains
high to this day →the union (called United States of Colombia 1863–1886 and the Republic of
Colombia since 1886) was made possible by the active participation of USA under the 1846 Bidlack
Mallarino treaty until 1903. The US also got strongly involved into the Panama Canal. Today we take for
granted that the US are the main power in America but it is something that happened in a short time. "
Regarding Europe, US wasn’t politically involved, only trade ties … Relations between Russia and US
at the beginning of the 20th are correct but not that good.
The Russo-Japanese war 1904-1905 : japanese won every battle in the war which made the US happy.
But the American State Department started to worry about Japan winning too much : what will it do to the
balance of power if they became too powerful ? The US got involved in the end of the war.
The Russians actually didn’t really suffer from that peace treaty despite the fact that they lost every battle.
This war is also really unpopular in Russia. The pop° didn’t understand why they have to cross the
continent to fight the Japanese. Across the course of the war the protest grew and turned toward the
autocratic Tsarist system.
The US exported 3.3% of their total export to USSR, Russia exported relatively nothing → the
eco ties were limited and started to go down.
At the same time : Russia's main trading partner was Germany → 47.8% of export to Germany
1914 : outbreak of the Great War which is going to create great eco problems. The American business
is thus hoping to fill this eco gap : still complicated, economic obstacles.
USSR in march 1917 : Russians stop the Tsarist system, looks like russia could become a democratic
state = revolution in Russia.
This delights the US, looks like the Tsarist system is going to be replaced.
A few weeks later, the Americans get in the war. The American entry into the war is a violation to the
non-intervention policy. But very strong idea of idealism : they have a new and better way of doing
President at the time : Woodrow Wilson, has been re-elected with the promise that the US won’t get
involved in the war, but 6 months later they are in the war which he justified by this idealistic idea.
“The world must be made safe for democracy” → the US are the policemen for world’s democracy.
Wilson wants to portray the US involvement in the war as an idealistic crusade.
Provisional government in Russia : in March 1917, when the tsar's government collapsed, the members of
the Duma set up the Provisional Government, led by Alexander Kerensky. The Provisional
Government never really ruled Russia. → political center
US government is the first to officially recognize the provisional government as a new government. Most
of the russian pop° are peasants but the provisional government doesn’t really care about them. Important
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