September 11

The International Scramble for the Caribbean

Narciso Lopez.  The most high-profile of the filibusterers, soldiers-of-fortune that launched several bids to "liberate" Cuba from Spanish rule.  Lopez and his cohorts, such as former Mississippi governor John Quitman, enjoyed strong support from the Deep South, where many hoped Cuba would be annexed as a new slave state. Lopez himself was captured and executed in 1851.
The 12 years following the end of the Mexican-American War represent perhaps the most interesting period that we will cover in this entire course.  (You could say, then, that it's all downhill from here, but let's hope not.) We're going to be covering this period in two classes. For today's class, the packet reading is from an interesting book that looks at Spanish-ruled Cuba, Dominican Republic, and Puerto Rico in an era when the United States was beginning to assert its military and especially its economic power in the Caribbean Basin.


                Martinez-Fernandez, Torn Between Empires, sourcebook pages 79-108. Reading notes are available.


Two types of documents for today's class: the first is the Clayton-Bulwer Treaty, which, among other things, was the only official statement of US policy between 1823 and 1898 in which the United States committed itself against expanding in the Caribbean Basin. And then, two extremes in the 1850s debate over imperialism: the Ostend Manifesto of 1854, in which the three most prominent American diplomats pushed US annexation of Spanish-controlled Cuba; and a speech by the most outspoken of the Senate anti-imperialists, New Hampshire's John Hale.

Clayton-Bulwer Treaty (1850)
Ostend Manifesto (1854)
John Hale, on Mexico (1853)

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