Hannigan attempts to explain the fundamental course, objectives, and methods of American foreign policy during the nation's "rise to world power" from the late s to its entry into World War I in Basing his work on extensive research in American archives and manuscript collections and on thorough examination of the scholarly literature on critical events and the foreign policies of other nations, Hannigan focuses on the ideas and actions of Presidents William McKinley, Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and Woodrow Wilson and of certain of their most important advisors, for example Colonel Edward M.
The common theme in all four presidencies, according to Hannigan, was a "search for order," defined in terms of Social Darwinian concepts of race, gender, nationality, and culture.
History of United States foreign policy
In practical terms, American leaders sought to shore up an international system that they viewed as favorable to the gradual expansion of American political and economic influence around the globe—one in which "mature," "responsible" white western powers maintained peace among themselves while guiding the "immature" peoples of the nonwestern world toward order and enlightenment. In discussing economic expansionism, Hannigan parallels the interpretation of William Appleman Williams and his followers, but he also sees American statesmen as having pursued broad political and ideological goals rather than being driven by purely economic interests.
Surveying American policy by region, Hannigan recounts familiar events: the war with Spain; the securing of the Panama Canal; the military interventions in the Caribbean and Mexico; Dollar Diplomacy; the pursuit of the "Open Door" in China; the establishment of the Pan American system; America's role in promoting international arbitration, a world court, and ultimately a league of nations; and Wilson's progression from neutrality to a war to "make the world safe for democracy. Hannigan touches only marginally on American military affairs in the period. He takes note of the influence of Alfred Thayer Mahan on naval policy and American interest in the Caribbean, and he describes Wilson's naval building program of as directed as much against Britain and Japan, among other powers, as against Germany.
Other military issues receive little mention even when they had considerable effect on diplomacy, as did for example the United States failure to provide adequate defense for the Philippines. A reader of this book could profitably consult along with it James Abrahamson's America Arms for a New Century and Brian Linn's Guardians of Empire to fill in the military side of the picture. The annexation of Hawaii. American missionaries and commercial interests had long been active in Hawaii; by the s, they controlled the sugar plantations and held positions in government.
The United States was given the right to build a naval base at Pearl Harbor in , and, in the same year, Americans on the islands forced the Hawaiian rulers to create a constitutional monarchy under American control.
In , Queen Liliuokalani assumed the throne and tried to reassert Hawaiian sovereignty, but this brief interlude of independence came to an end two years later when the planters, with the help of American gunboats, staged a successful coup. President Cleveland refused to annex Hawaii and preferred the restoration of a constitutional monarchy, but the leaders of the coup rejected that solution and instead proclaimed The Republic of Hawaii on July 4, The United States quickly recognized the new republic, but this did not end the matter.
McKinley ran on a platform that called for the annexation of Hawaii, and the island became a U.
Justifications for expansion. Several factors contributed to the United States' somewhat belated participation in this Age of Imperialism. Both industrial output and agricultural production were far exceeding the ability of the nation's consumers to absorb them, and foreign markets were thereby deemed essential to continued economic growth. Business leaders believed that huge profits could be made by selling American goods in Central and South America and Asia as well as by directly investing in the development of the natural resources of those countries.
The clamor to annex Hawaii, for example, came first and foremost from the American sugar cane planters on the islands.
The Progressive Movement and U.S. Foreign Policy, s
The proponents of a strong navy also recognized the value of overseas trade. Captain Alfred Thayer Mahan argued in The Influence of Sea Power upon History that a nation's greatness depended on its navy, and that countries with the greatest fleets played a decisive role in shaping history. His vision for the United States included overseas colonies and control of a canal linking the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans across either Panama or Nicaragua. Preface 1.
Ideology and Interest 2. Dominance Throughout the Hemisphere: South America 4.
The United States as a World Power
The Home Continent: Canada and Mexico 6. World Order to 7. World Order Conclusion. See All Customer Reviews.
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