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31 Dec 2010
1. The Interest in Sea Power, Present and Future by Alfred Thayer Mahan
Rear Admiral Mahan (1840 – 1914) was officer in US Navy and leading theorist on matters relating to American naval power and
American foreign policy
as commandant of Naval War College, Mahan taught future President Theodore Roosevelt and almost certainly influenced Roosevelt’s
Mahan focussed almost exclusively on sea power, which made him eccentric in a nation observed with westward expansion
in his lectures, Mahan emphasized that historically, nations that controlled the sea lanes were able to dominate other nations economically
and militarily
Mahan thought that US should also follow this course, developing its naval power rather than being concerned with control of North
American land
in this selection, Mahan argued that the US must be dominant in the Caribbean and in South America; he further asserted that the US had
a “special interest” in the Western Hemisphere that it must protect through sea power; he also justified American control of the Panama
Canal (“the Isthmus”)
his arguments presaged the standard American defence of the Spanish-American War (1898)
Isthmusits canal and its approaches on either side, links eastern side of American continent to western as no network of land
communications ever can; US has asserted special interest in it; in present, US can maintain its claim; in future, US can perform its duty,
only by the creation of that sea power upon which predominance in the Caribbean must ever depend
2. Roosevelt Corollary to the Monroe Doctrine by Theodore Roosevelt
Theodore Roosevelt (1858 – 1919) became President of the US in 1901 after assassination of President William McKinley
a Republican, Roosevelt was known as a reformer within the party and sought to bring party’s ideals into 20th century
Roosevelt worried through much of his presidency over tendency of European powers, especially Germany, to interfere with Latin
American nations
Roosevelt feared that continuing European interventions in the area would threaten US commercial and military interests
in his State of the Union address in 1904, Roosevelt laid out foreign policy that came to be known as Roosevelt Corollary to Monroe
expanding on Monroe’s 1823 warning for European powers to stay away from the Americas, the Roosevelt Corollary advocated the use
of force to stabilize Latin American countries undergoing internal political and economic turmoil that threatened US commercial interests
Roosevelt intended the Corollary to apply to recent crises in the Dominican Republic, Venezuela, and Cuba, but later he used it to justify
intervention in Panamanian affairs to seize control of land that later became the Panama Canal
the Corollary became a justification for other American interventions in Latin America until President Franklin D. Roosevelt formally
promised less intervention in 1934
3. Slavery and Freedom: The American Paradox by Edmund S. Morgan
one of most important and most complicated problems faced by historians of early America is development of African slavery in British
colonies of North America—colonies whose roots are deeply entwined with ideals of liberty and freedom
Edmund Morgan, professor emeritus of early American history at Yale University, addresses this paradox of American slavery and
American freedom in his Presidential address to Organization of American Historians in 1972
using sources on topics ranging from late 16th century explorations of Walter Raleigh and Francis Drake to Thomas Jefferson’s late 18th
century ruminations on slavery and liberty, Morgan explores how Virginia landowners’ fear of their restless indentured servants (an
unease that intensified with Bacon’s Rebellion in 1675 – 1676) resulted in the shift toward slave labour
this captive workforce provided the planters with the economic and political stability necessary to guard against threats to their individual
liberty and the framework of society, making slavery, in Morgan’s view, neither exceptional nor hypocritical
rise of liberty and equality in US was accompanied by rise of slavery
two such contradictory developments were taking place simultaneously over long period from 17th century to 19th is central paradox of
American history
“free ships make free goods” was cardinal doctrine of American foreign policy in Revolutionary era
but goods for which US demanded freedom were produced in very large measure by slave labour
American reliance on slave labour must be viewed in context of American struggle for separate and equal station among nations of earth
at the time colonists announced their claim to that station they had neither arms nor ships to make the claim good; they desperately
needed assistance of other countries, especially France, and their single most valuable product with which to purchase assistance was
tobacco, produced mainly by slave labour
so largely did that crop figure in American foreign relations that one historian has referred to activities of France in supporting Americans
as “King Tobacco Diplomacy, a reminder that position of US in world depended not only in 1776 but during span of long lifetime
thereafter on slave labour
paradox is sharpened when looking at Virginia, state where most of the tobacco came from
Virginia—at time of first US census in 1790 had 40% of slaves in entire US; produced most eloquent spokesmen for freedom and
equality in entire US: George Washington, James Madison, and above all, Thomas Jefferson
the freedom that Jefferson spoke for was not a gift to be conferred by governments, which he mistrusted at best; it was a freedom that
sprang from independence of individual: man who depended on another for his living could never be truly free
Jefferson had two phobias: passionate aversion to debt and distrust of landless urban workman who laboured in manufactures
Other Information
Thomas Jefferson (April 13, 1743 – July 4, 1826) was third President of US (1801 – 1809), principal author of Declaration of
Independence (1776), and one of most influential Founding Fathers for his promotion of ideals of republicanism in US
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Jefferson envisioned America as force behind great “Empire of Liberty that would promote republicanism and counter imperialism of
British Empire
major events during his presidency include Louisiana Purchase (1803) and Lewis and Clark Expedition (1804 – 1806), as well as
escalating tensions with both Britain and France that led to war with Britain in 1812, after he left office
Jefferson served as wartime Governor of Virginia (1779 – 1781), first US Secretary of State (17891793), and second Vice President
(1797 – 1801)
Jefferson served as a delegate to Second Continental Congress beginning in June 1775, soon after outbreak of American Revolutionary
when Congress began considering a resolution of independence in June 1776, Jefferson was appointed to a five-man committee to
prepare a declaration to accompany the resolution and the committee selected Jefferson to write the first draft probably because of his
reputation as a writer
Jefferson showed his draft to the committee, which made some final revisions, and then presented it to Congress on June 28, 1776
after voting in favour of resolution of independence on July 2, Congress turned its attention to declaration
over several days of debate, Congress made changes in wording and deleted nearly ¼, most notably passage critical of slave trade, that
Jefferson resented
on July 4, 1776, wording of Declaration of Independence was approved
Declaration would eventually become Jefferson’s major claim to fame, and his eloquent preamble became enduring statement of human
in September 1776, Jefferson returned to Virginia and was elected to new Virginia House of Delegates
during his term in the House, Jefferson set out to reform and update Virginia’s system of laws to reflect its new status as a democratic
he drafted 126 bills in 3 years, including laws to abolish primogeniture, establish freedom of religion, and streamline the judicial system
while in state legislature, Jefferson proposed a bill to eliminate capital punishment for all crimes except murder and treason
his effort to reform the death penalty law was defeated by just 1 vote, and such crimes as rape remained punishable by death in Virginia
until the 1960s
he succeeded in passing an act prohibiting the importation of slaves but not slavery itself
Virginia state legislature appointed Jefferson to Congress of the Confederation on 6 June 1783, his term beginning on 1 November
he was member of committee set up to set foreign exchange rates, and he recommended that American currency should be based on
decimal system
Jefferson also recommended setting up the Committee of the States, to function as the executive arm of Congress when Congress was in
because Jefferson served as minister to France from 1785 to 1789, he was not able to attend the Philadelphia Convention
he generally supported the new constitution despite the lack of a bill of rights and was kept informed by his correspondence with James
from 1784 to 1785, Jefferson was one of the architects of trade relations between the US and Prussia
despite his numerous friendships with social and noble elite, when French Revolution began in 1789, Jefferson sided with revolutionaries
after returning from France, Jefferson served as first Secretary of State under George Washington (1790 – 1793)
Jefferson strongly supported France against Britain when war broke out between these nations in 1793
working closely with Aaron Burr of New York, Jefferson rallied his party, attacking the new taxes especially, and ran for the Presidency
in 1800
he tied with Burr for first place in electoral college, leaving House of Representatives (where Federalists still had some power) to decide
the election
the issue was resolved by the House, on February 17, 1801, after 36 ballots, when Jefferson was elected President and Burr Vice-
Burr’s refusal to remove himself from consideration created ill will with Jefferson, who dropped Burr from the ticket in 1804
Jefferson repealed many federal taxes, and sought to rely mainly on customs revenue; he pardoned people who had been imprisoned
under the Alien and Sedition Acts, passed in John Adams’ term, which Jefferson believed to be unconstitutional
he repealed Judiciary Act of 1801 and removed many of Adam’s “midnight judges” from office; he began and won First Barbary War
(1801 – 1805), America’s first significant overseas war, and established US Military Academy at West Point in 1802
in 1803, despite his misgivings about constitutionality of Congress’s power to buy land, Jefferson bough Louisiana from France, doubling
size of US
Jefferson’s reputation was damaged by Embargo Act of 1807, which was ineffective and was repealed at end of his second term
in 1803, Jefferson signed into bill that excluded blacks from carrying mail and on March 3, 1807, Jefferson signed a bill making slave
importation illegal
Jefferson was outspoken abolitionist, but he owned many slaves over his lifetime because Jefferson was deeply in debt and had
encumbered his slaves by notes and mortgages; he could not free them until he was free of debt, which never happened
as a result, Jefferson seems to have suffered pangs and trials of conscience; his ambivalence was also reflected in his treatment of those
slaves who worked most closely with him and his family at Monticello and in other locations—he invested in having them trained and
schooled in high quality skills
downturn in land prices after 1819 pushed Jefferson further into debt
Jefferson finally emancipated his five most trusted slaves and petitioned the legislature to allow them to stay in Virginia
after death, his slaves were sold off to pay off his huge amounts of debt
4. United States Indian Policy and the Debate over Philippine Annexation by Walter L. Williams
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Document Summary

The interest in sea power, present and future by alfred thayer mahan. Rear admiral mahan (1840 1914) was officer in us navy and leading theorist on matters relating to american naval power and. American foreign policy as commandant of naval war college, mahan taught future president theodore roosevelt and almost certainly influenced roosevelt"s thinking. Mahan thought that us should also follow this course, developing its naval power rather than being concerned with control of north. Canal ( the isthmus ) his arguments presaged the standard american defence of the spanish-american war (1898) Theodore roosevelt (1858 1919) became president of the us in 1901 after assassination of president william mckinley a republican, roosevelt was known as a reformer within the party and sought to bring party"s ideals into 20th century. Roosevelt worried through much of his presidency over tendency of european powers, especially germany, to interfere with latin.

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