Presidents Foreign Policy

Washington said in his Farewell Address that America should STAY OUT of affairs of Europe

Monroe Doctrine

  • Basis of U.S. Foreign Policy:
    • No part of North or South America is open to further European colonization
    • European attempts to interfere with any existing American governments would be considered unfriendly
    • The U.S. would not interfere with existing European colonies
    • The U.S. would not interfere in the affairs of Europe
  • Basically, “If you leave us alone, we'll leave you alone”

McKinley

  • China, “Open Door” policy
  • European countries sought to break up China— Spheres of influence
  • John Hay, 1st “open door” notes
    • to major world powers: Britain, Germany, Japan, Russia, France
    • asked countries to open sphere of influence to merchants of other nations and grant reasonable fees and railroad rates
    • respect China by enforcing tariff duties
    • no one listened
  • Boxer Rebellion
  • 2nd “open door” notes
    • afraid other countries would use Boxer Rebellion as an excuse to grab land
    • countries more afraid, so they listened better this time

Theodore Roosevelt, Geopolitician

  • Can be described as “reckless cowboy”
  • “Speak softly and carry a big stick”
  • 1st prez to really have a foreign policy
  • believed Americans were racially superior, destined to rule
  • believed America had to strive for greatness
  • no concern for right of less-powerful countries
    • racially inferior
    • incapable of self-government
    • better suited to serve more powerful nations, i.e. America
  • Roosevelt Corollary
    • addition to Monroe Doctrine
    • the U.S. has the right to intervene in the domestic affairs of nations in the Western Hemisphere to quell disorder and forestall European intervention
  • Panama Canal
    • needed a way to transport ships between Atlantic and Pacific oceans
    • French company held land, attempted to build canal, failed
      • Philippe Bunau-Varilla bought the company when it went bankrupt
    • Hay-Paunchefote Treaty, w/ Great Britian
      • released U.S. from agreement that prohibited either from building a Central American canal w/o consent
    • Hay-Herran Treaty w/ Colombia
      • U.S. pays $10 mil, then rents for $250,000/year
      • Colombia said “no, we want more” to stall
    • Roosevelt and Bunau-Villa encouraged a revolt among the Panamanians under Colombian rule
      • Revolt is successful
      • Bunau-Varilla declares himself Panama's diplomatic representative
    • Hay-Bunau-Varilla Treaty, 1903
      • same deal as Colombia
      • “treaty which no Panamanian signed”
    • Building canal test of American ingenuity and willpower
      • locks and dams
      • medicines for fighting malaria, etc
    • U.S. finally returns the canal to Panama in 2000
  • Asia
    • preserve “Open Door” policy
    • ended Russo-Japanese War, got Nobel Peace Prize
    • “Gentlemen's Agreement” w/ Japan
      • End U.S. anti-Japanese discrimination
      • Japan would end emigration of adult Japanese male laborers
    • Great White Fleet
      • Show America's naval power

William Howard Taft, Dollar Diplomat

  • not much diplomatic expertise in cabinet (Knox)
  • “dollars for bullets”
  • attempted to expand American economic activities in China by buying railroads
    • backfired, closed some “open doors” in Japan sphere of influence
  • Worked better in Caribbean
    • if politics threatened American investments, he sent in troops

Woodrow Wilson, Struggling Idealist

  • concerned more with morality and justice than Taft and Roosevelt
  • intervenes in Caribbean more than any president before
  • Haiti, Dominican Republic, Virgin Islands
  • Mexican Revolution
    • Mexicans capable of making democracy work
    • advance democratic ideals and institutions
    • began when Porfirio Diaz was overthrown by Franscisco Madero
      • Madero was overthrown by Victoriano Huerta, who promised to protect international investments
      • Wilson demands Mexico hold democratic elections, supports Pancho Villa and Venustiano Carranza
      • Carranza takes power, different than Wilson expects, upsets international investments
      • Wilson now supports Pancho Villa
      • Carranza defeats Villa, so Wilson sides with Carranza
      • Villa gets angry, kills Americans
      • Wilson puts a bounty on Villa's head
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