History 30.8
The International Scramble for the Caribbean
September 20, 2006

I. Continental Expansion

1. A Divided Hemisphere? (Latin America and collapse of Panama Congress; South America and balance of power Central America and the failure of union; Mexico and economic difficulties; economic nationalism—Haiti, Paraguay; the British Factor)

2. US (Jackson and nationalism; Indian removal; racial Anglo-Saxonism; 2nd American party system)

3. Texas (independent Texas and a North American balance of power?; Texas and 1844 campaign)

II. 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)

III. Beyond Polk

1. Last Chance for the Whigs (Taylor, Clayton, and desires for compromise: domestic need for bi-sectional alliance, international pro-British approach; to the Clayton-Bulwer Treaty–alternative approach to hemispheric affairs: how to interpret?; weaknesses: international vagueness, domestic filibustering, New Orleans jury; Taylor death, emergence of Webster, and “guano war”)

2. Franklin Pierce’s Hemisphere (Pierce and Democratic party; divisions between Kansas and Cuba; domestic choices; Hale dissent; Ostend Manifesto; creation of Republican Party)