History 4698

The Cuban War and Its Aftermath

January 24, 2002


I. Challenges to Anti-Expansionism

1. Strategic (the age of empire and scramble for colonies; US interests in East Asia—China Market and European expansion into region; concern about Europe and canal; Mahan and Influence of Sea Power)

2. Economic (Gilded Age and economic transformation of US; perpetual panics, domestic unrest, and quest for foreign markets; emergence of Populism and organized labor; economic rules of era)

3. Cultural (immigration and changing nature of US society; the missionary impulse; Strong and Our Country; Frederick Jackson Turner and closing of American frontier)

II. Diplomatic Crises of 1890s

1. The Pacific (Samoa and US as participant in imperial scramble?; Hawaii and American expansionism; Cleveland and last gasp of anti-expansionism)

2. Latin America (Benjamin Harrison and boosting of defense budget; Chilean embarrassment; the strengths and limitations of Grover Cleveland; Venezuela, Olney Manifesto, and domestic pressures; US, Britain, and Caribbean Basin; Cuban rebellion; Cuba and American politics; 1896 and US options)

3. Why 1898? (Pérez—success of Cuban revolutionaries; LaFeber—changing opinion in US business community; Langley—continuing strategic thrust, European situation; May—cracks in US foreign policy elite; Offner—US politics; Zakaria—growth of US state; course of war—intervention in Cuba, conquest of Puerto Rico and Philippines

III. Debating Imperialism

1. The Philippines and the Treaty of Paris (McKinley and the alternatives?; debate in US; situation in the Philippines; formation of Anti-Imperialist League; outbreak of war and passage of Treaty of Paris; US, Aguinaldo, and guerrilla warfare; imperialism and 1900 campaign; Insular Cases; abandonment of militarism—Taft and division strategy; changing nature US public opinion; altered position East Asia)

2. US and Caribbean Basin (requirements of war—Teller Amendment, recognition issue; Wood mission, Cuban divisions; Platt Amendment and US economic dominance; Puerto Rico and search for canal; Theodore Roosevelt and Panama)

Time Line

1884 Frelinghuysen-Zavala Treaty 1888 Our Country
1891 Chilean war scare 1892 election of Cleveland; Hawaiian "rebellion"
1893 Hawaiian treaty; Turner thesis 1894 first Venezuela crisis
1895 Olney Manifesto; Bluefields incident 1896 election of McKinley
1898 US intervention in Cuba 1899 start of war in Philippines

Walter LaFeber, The New Empire

Lester Langley, Struggle for the American Mediterranean

Ernest May, Imperial Democracy

Louis Pérez, Cuba between Empires

John Offner, An Unwanted War

Fareed Zakaria, From Wealth to Power

  • Next class looks at progressivism’s impact of on foreign policy; discussion board postings begin (last names A-L). Link through the course page: you need to set up your ID, and then join the History 4698 discussion.
  • Also, keep up on current international affairs through the web watch section of my home page, which has links to 3-5 articles each day dealing with US foreign policy.
  • The course assistant is Karine Walther; if you have any administrative questions, you can contact her (kvw4@columbia.edu) or me.