History 4698

The Progressive Consensus

January 29, 2002

I. A Domestic Ideology in Foreign Affairs

1. Progressivism on the Home Front (historians’ disputes: Hofstadter and status revolution; Kolko and corporate liberalism; Keller and regulation; Rodgers and ideological clusters; common ideas: enhanced role federal government; increased executive power; technical solutions; suspicion of business; championing social welfare; institutional and legal reform)

2. The International Context (Zakaria and enhanced presidential role; role of experts; questioning of business; US as protector/teacher of weaker nations?; structural matters—international law, peace movement, PAU)

II. The Roosevelt Presidency

1. TR and US Foreign Affairs (TR historical reputation—Marks vs. Healy vs. revisionist historiographical debate; political situation; inclination to internationalism; influence of Mahan and US naval buildup—Great White fleet, 2d Venezuela crisis; projecting US power—Algeciras, Gentleman’s Agreement)

2. Alternatives to Intervention (new tactics: customs receivership—Dominican Republic and triumph of experts—TR Corollary; Root and institutions, importance of cultural exchange; Portsmouth and mediation powers; beyond TR—Lake Mohonk, international law, peace; role of domestic opposition)

III. Dollar Diplomacy

1. The Theory (WHT background; Knox and Huntington-Wilson; Latin America: expansion of customs receivership concept; Manchuria and banking consortium; England, France, and treaties of arbitration; Canada and reciprocity treaty)

2. The Practice (Nicaragua and limits of $Diplomacy; differences from D.R.—domestic divisions, need to involve bankers; travails of Diaz; Knox-Castrillo Treaty; Manchuria—relationship between government and bankers pre-Federal Reserve, international situation; domestic opposition and demise of Taft diplomacy)

3. The Mexican Revolution (Mexican background—politics and international relations; Diaz, the US, Europe, and the onset of revolution; Madero and the United States; Taft and Henry Lane Wilson; coup and US response; Mexico and 1912 election; emergence of peace progressives and congressional attacks)

Growth of US power








Iron/steel production

9.3 million tons



% world manu. Output




Warship tonnage




NOTES: A meeting prevents my making office hours today. Please call me (917-441-0682) if you were planning on coming by. And for the A-L people, caucus begins today!

David Healy, Drive to Hegemony

Richard Hofstadter, The Age of Reform

Morton Keller, Regulating a New Economy

Gabriel Kolko, The Triumph of Conservatism

William Leuchtenburg, "Was Progressivism Imperialistic?"

Frederick Marks, Velvet on Iron

Frank Ninkovich, Modernity and Power

Frank Ninkovich, The Wilsonian Century