Diplomacy (1907-1914):


Theodore Roosevelt’s Big-Stick Policy:

“speak softly and carry a big stick.” Marked a break from the tradition of noninvolvement in global politics
  1. The Panama Canal: Colombia controlled the isthmus (narrow strip of land where Roosevelt wanted to build the canal) and refused to agree to US terms for digging the canal.
    • 1903: Roosevelt supports a revolt in Panama where the first act of the new government was to give the US long-term control of a canal zone
    • Hay-Pauncefote Treaty (1901): The British agreedt to cancel and earlier treaty of 1850 in which any canal in Central America was to be under joint British-US control.
      • Building the Canal: Started in 1904 and finished in 1914
      • 1921: Congress voted to pay Colombia an indemnity of $25 million for its loss of Panama
  2. The Roosevelt Corollary to the Monroe Doctrine: The US would send gunboats to a Latin American country that was delinquent in paying its debts to European powers and US sailors and marines would then occupy the country’s major ports to manage the collection of customs taxes until European debts were satisfied
    • Used to justify sending US forced into Haiti, Honduras, the Dominican Republic, and Nicaragua
  3. East Asia:
    1. Russo-Japanese War (1904-1905): Roosevelt arranged for a diplomatic conference between representatives from Russia and Japan at Portsmouth, New Hampshire.
      • Treaty of Portsmouth à Japanese were not happy because they didn’t get everything that they wanted
    2. “Gentlemen’s Agreement” (1908): the Japanese government secretly agreed to restrict the emigration of Japanese workers to the United States in return for Roosevelt persuading California to repeal its discriminatory laws of requiring Japanese American children to attend segregated schools.
    3. Great White Fleet (1907-1909): Roosevelt sent a fleet of battleships on an around-the-world cruise to demonstrate US naval power
    4. Root-Takahira Agreement (1908): An agreement between the US and Japan to 1. Respect each nation’s Pacific possessions and 2. Support the Open door policy in China.
  4. Peace Efforts: Roosevelt consistently promoted peaceful solutions to international disputes:
    • Ex: Second International Peace Conference at the Hauge (1907)

William Howard Taft and Dollar Diplomacy (1909-1913):

mildly expansionist but depended more on investors’ dollars than on the navy’s battleships à DOLLAR DIPLOMACY
  1. Dollar Diplomacy in East Asia and Latin America: believed that private American financial investment in these places would lead to greater stability. Was thwarted by growing anti-imperialism at home and abroad
    1. Railroads in China: Succeeded in getting US bankers to be included in a British, French, and German plan to invest in railroads in China. (1911)
    2. Intervention in Nicaragua: to protect American investments, the US intervened in Nicaragua’s financial affairs in 1911, sent marines when a civil war broke out in 1912 and remained there until 1913.
    3. The Lodge Corollary(1912): Fearing that Japan’s government might be secretly scheming to acquire land in Mexico’s Baja Peninnsula, the resolution stated that non-European powers would be excluded from owning territory in the Western Hemisphere.

Woodrow Wilson and Moral Diplomacy: New Freedom

Moral Diplomacy (1913-1917): limited success applying high moral standards to foreign relations
  • Righting past wrongs:
    1. The Philippines: Jones Act of 1916 which granted full territorial status to the Philippines, a bill of rights and universal male suffrage to Filipino citizens, and promised Philippine independence as soon as a stable government was established
    2. Puerto Rico: (1917) Granted US citizenship to all the inhabitants and also provided for limited self-government.
    3. The Panama Canal (1914): Persuaded Congress to repeal an act that had granted US ships exemptions from paying the standard canal tolls charged to other nations on the Panama canal.
    4. Conciliation Treaties: William Jennings Bryan’s pet project to negotiate treaties with nations that pledged to submit disputes to international commissions and observe a one-year-cooling-off period before taking military actions.
      • 30 conciliation treaties were approved

Military Intervention in Latin America: Wilson’s commitment to democracy and anti-colonialism was not applied to the countries of Central America and the Caribbean.
  1. Conflict in Mexico: Refused to recognize the military dictatorship of General Victoriano Huerta (1913) wanting democracy to triumph
    • Tampico Incident: (1914) several American seamen went ashore at Tampico during the midst of blockade of the port of Vera Cruz. The soldiers were soon released but Huerta refused to apologize for the arrests.
      • War was averted when Argentina, Brazil, and Chile (South America’s ABC powers) offered to mediate the dispute
    • Pancho Villa and the US expeditionary force: (1914) Huerta fell from power and was replaced by a more democratic regime led by Venustiano Carranza. A band of revolutionaries hoping to destabilize the new government led raids across the US-Mexican boarder, led by Pancho Villa, and murdered a number of people in Texas and New Mexico
      • March 1916: President Wilson ordered Gen. John Pershing to pursue Villa into Mexico but without success
      • January 1917: the combined pressure of President Carranza’s and the possibility of US entry into WWI Wilson withdrew Pershing’s troops.