January 24

The War in Cuba and Its Aftermath

Massachusetts senator Henry Cabot Lodge, at this point just beginning a career notable for its outspoken advocacy of a more aggressive US role in the Western Hemisphere and calls for a more realistic US approach to world affairs.
The debate over imperialism erupted with fervor by the mid-1890s. In short order, the United States proclaimed its "fiat" law over the Western Hemisphere and then sent troops to intervene in the Cuban independence revolt. By the war's end, the United States was recognized as the dominant power in the Western Hemisphere.
The reading for today's class consists entirely of documents, except for this timeline and some introductions to the Cuban-Spanish-American War. The documents begin with Secretary of State Richard Olney's "fiat is law" telegram.  We'll then move on to the remarks of a major player in the foreign policy of the era, Massachusetts senator Henry Cabot Lodge, on the Cuban revolt. Next will be a contrasting view of whether the United States should pursue an imperialist course, from Massachusetts senator George Hoar. And finally, the text of the Platt Amendment, adoption of which brought this era to a close.


Richard Olney on the Venezuelan crisis (1895)
Henry Cabot Lodge on the Cuban conflict (1896)
George Hoar on imperialism (1899)
Platt Amendment (1902)

Spanish territories on the eve of the war

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