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Midterm

610 midtermAnswerKey.doc


Department
History
Course Code
HST 610
Professor
Robert Teigrob
Study Guide
Midterm

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History 610 Term Test
Time – 50 minutes
Identification: Identify six (6) of the following in a short paragraph for
each. Pay particular attention to context and significance for international
relations (5 points each = 30 points).
Teller Amendment: added to US declaration of war against Spain (1898
under Pres. McKinley) by Senator Henry Teller. Stated US had no intention of
seizing or controlling Cuba as a result of war. Many Americans, including
those associated with the Anti-Imperial League in the US, were concerned
that the Spanish-American War would serve as a pretext for American
colonial expansion, and this amendment sought to soothe those fears.
Significance: shows the US tradition of anti-imperialism to be alive and well,
at least in the minds of some prominent politicians. Even more significantly,
the amendment was replaced in 1901 with the Platt Amendment, which
allowed US control over Cuba’s foreign policy, the right to intervene, and a
naval base at Guantanamo. So the Teller Amendment is undone, showing a
growing acceptance of the idea that the US was becoming an imperial power
around 1900.
Roosevelt Corollary: an addition to the Monroe Doctrine of 1823. The MD
was a warning to Europeans that the Western Hemisphere was now the US
sphere of influence. The RC, on the other hand, was a warning to Latin
America that the US would intervene, using force if necessary, if
governments were unable to maintain stability and ensure the safety of US
corporations and security of US investments in Latin America. Significance:
basically, a declaration that the US served as the colonial master of Latin
America, a renunciation of traditional opposition to imperialism in the US.
Also important to note that this was no idle threat: the RC served as the
basis for 30 years of intervention and occupation in Latin America, a legacy
that would leave Latin Americans bitter and beholden to the interests of the
US.
George Frisbie Hoar: US Senator from Massachusetts who supported a
range of progressive causes. We know him as the critic of McKinley’s policy
toward the Philippines, which the US acquired as a result of the Spanish-
American War. Good answers to this required some examples of why Hoar
was so enraged over this. For example: the US has treated the Philippines
differently than Cuba; this will breed anti-Americanism in the region for
generations; the costs (financial and human) are staggering; this goes
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against what the US claims to stand for (independence, sovereignty,
democracy, self-government – the US has ruined its international reputation).
Significance: Shows that despite the actions of the US government,
powerful voices of opposition were never eliminated – the US has always
been a site of intensive debates over core values, and when those core
values are violated, influential Americans call for a return to the principles on
which the nation was based.
William Howard Taft: US President (1909-1913). Key figure behind Dollar
Diplomacy, which must be defined in comparison to what it replaced: the ‘big
stick’ approach of T Roosevelt. DD emphasized the importance of
businessmen as ambassadors abroad, and spoke of gaining influence for the
US not through political or military means, but through investment and
trade. Taft’s DD focused on Latin America and China, since these were areas
outside of firm European control in the early 20th century. Some answers
incorrectly placed Taft behind the creation of the ‘Open Door’ policy in China,
but that was negotiated in 1900 by Secretary of State John Hay, who was
very dead by the time Taft got to office. Taft simply built upon the idea of the
Open Door in China and encouraged US businessmen to move in on a
massive scale during his term in office. Significance: while it certainly
sounds better than ‘big stick’ diplomacy if you are on the receiving end of
this policy, many viewed this as neo-imperialism rather than fair, state-to-
state economic interaction. More importantly, when Taft did not achieve his
desired objectives, intervention by US marines often followed. In this sense,
DD wasn’t much different than the ‘big stick.’
John Hay: Secretary of State under McKinley and Roosevelt (1898 until
Hay’s death in 1905), most famous for proposing the ‘Open Door’ policy in
China to European powers who had until this point divided China into
spheres of influence. European powers didn’t officially respond to this 1900
proposal, but when the Boxer Rebellion broke out (an anti-foreigner revolt in
1900) the US stepped in to help Britain, France, Russia, Germany, Austria,
Italy and Japan retain control. As an unspoken reward for US assistance, the
other powers began permitting US investment in their spheres of influence,
so many of Hay’s objectives were achieved. Investment took place on a small
scale until Taft made it a major focus of his policy. Significance: shows the
US trying to expand its financial influence in a world still dominated by
European colonialism, and also shows the US placing its economic goals
above its stated commitment to anti-imperialism (Hay didn’t ask for a free
and independent China, for ex., just a China that the US could also exploit
along with other colonial powers).
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