History 30.8
Continental Expansionism
September 18, 2006

I. A Divided Hemisphere?

1. Latin America (collapse of Panama Congress; US role; South America and balance of power diplomacy—Uruguayan war, Peru/Bolivia disputes, collapse of Gran Colombia; Britain and financial penetration of SA—end of Atlantic system?; Central America and the failure of union; Mexico and economic difficulties; rise of economic nationalism—Haiti, Paraguay)

2. The British Factor (abolitionism, the Slave Trade, and British diplomacy; Central American expansionism—Miskito Coast, British Honduras; activities of British agents; Canada and boundary tensions with US—Fenians, Aroostook War; Oregon; other European powers—France in Haiti, Mexico; Spain in Dominican Republic)

3. US (Andrew Jackson and American nationalism; Indian removal—Cherokee case as precedent for later action?; development of racial Anglo-Saxonism; domestic politics—2nd American party system: Jacksonian Democrats vs. Whigs, differences over violence, military, presidential power; legacy of Clay)

II. The Diplomatic Effects

1. Texas Diplomacy (the Texas-Mexico War; independent Texas and a North American balance of power?; Mexico and French expansionism in the Caribbean Basin; slavery and collapse of Anglo-Texan alliance; Texas annexation and Tyler constitutional shift)

2. Slavery and Expansion (Haiti and American politics; John Quincy Adams and gag rule; partisanship and expansionism; Walker response; failure of Texas treaty; Van Buren, Polk, and changing nature of Democratic Party; Clay and 1844 campaign; effects of Birney)

III. Polk and Hemispheric Affairs

1. Strategic and Ideological Expansionism (Polk’s continental vision; Oregon compromise and political effects; movement toward war; constitutional crisis; Giddings and growth of anti-slavery radicals; military success and political difficulties; use of appropriations power–Wilmot Proviso, war credits debate, Corwin and Calhoun, collapse of legislative support; Trist and end of war)

2. Beyond Mexico (transisthmian canal: Bidlack’s Treaty and origin of US-Colombian relations; failures in Mexico and Central America–Tehuantepec concept, Hise Treaty, Vanderbilt, and changing nature of US-Nicaraguan relations; Cuba and strategic gateway to Caribbean–renewed American attention and growing opposition)