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1994 Dbq Manifest Destiny

By chuchootra1n Mar 05, 2008 1379 Words
The United States of America, from even before the time of it's founding, had seen far past its borders. This belief, labeled Manifest Destiny, was an explanation or justification for that expansion and westward movement. But as the sprawling country reached the western coast, growing in power and strength, its ideas on expansion shifted. The policies of the late-1800's and early 1900's were not all that different from the policies and ideas of past growth. Yet they did contain new ideas about where to go, how to carry these policies out successfully, and why expansion was justified, which can be understood in the political, economic, and geographical aspects on the expansion One of the main differences in the early expansion belief of the Manifest Destiny and the later belief of the 1890's and early 1900's was that the land, for the most part and at least officially, belonged to the Americans. It started with the fruits of the Louisiana Purchase, to the lands that would later be ceded to America in the Mexican American war. The progression went right from East to West, all the way to the California seaboard. Still the sentiment of expansion had lived on, even after the Turner Proclamation declaring the West, 'closed.' This sentiment lived in the form of jingoism, or extreme patriotism by national policy. For example, two American sailors were killed in the streets of Chile. This prompted President Harrison to invite Congress to declare war in the case that Chile would not apologize. On the Sandwich Islands, better known as Hawaii, the newest Hawaiian ruler, Queen Lil, made it clear she would shake off white American settler control. Settlers asked for American intervention, which led to a group of Marines running ashore and raising the American flag over the islands. The question of annexation of the islands became a huge platform in the election of 1896, whereby the winner; President McKinley promised annexation of the Hawaiian Islands. Cuba had been an island under Spanish control for years, fighting for independence. Under the control of Commander Weyler, the Cubans were detained with the policy of 'reconcentration.' With help from the press exaggerating much of cruelties, the American public called for intervention. The ultimate result was a war with Spain and the eventual question over Cuba and the Philippines. The expansionist feeling had never really died after the closing of the West; it just refocused on land that did not rightfully belong to America. In the 1890's, America was looking to test its strength against the mighty powers of Europe and Japan. These foreign powers were beginning to move out of their own countries to seek land in other countries. Document A, a political cartoon from Thomas Nast, is a perfect allegory for how the powers of Europe quite literally picked countries right off the map, and added them to their ‘grab-bag.' Americans, expressing a worry in this, looked back onto the Monroe Doctrine, which proclaimed that European powers would no longer colonize or interfere with the affairs of the newly independent nations of the Americas. But outside the Americas, a specific policy with regard to China, was first advanced by the United States in the Open Door Notes of 1899. In 1898, the United States had become an East Asian power through the acquisition of the Philippine Islands, and when the partition of China by the European powers and Japan seemed imminent, the United States felt its commercial interests in China threatened. Secretary of State John Hay sent notes to the major powers of France, Germany, the United Kingdom, Italy, Japan, and Russia, asking them to declare formally that they would uphold Chinese territorial and administrative integrity and would not interfere with the free use of the treaty ports within their influence of China. Document G, a political cartoon illustrating the 'open door' of the policy on China, clearly shows stance on all of the nations regarding it. In reply to the Open Door Notes, each nation evaded Hay's request, taking the position that it could not commit itself until the other nations had complied. During this period there was a strong economic tension. However, by July 1900, Hay announced that each o f the powers had granted consent in principle. The foreign powers might never strayed far from the American mindset, however. According to Theodore Roosevelt in Document F, any nation, in which the Monroe Doctrine applies to, "...knows how to act with reasonable efficiency and decency in social and political matters, if it keeps order...it need fear no interference from the United States." However, "chronic wrongdoing... ultimately require intervention by some civilized nation, and in the Western Hemisphere the adherence of the Unites States to the Monroe Doctrine may force the United States... to the exercise of international police power." This was known as the Roosevelt Corollary, an addition to the Monroe Doctrine allowing America to intervene to stabilize debts of Latin American countries. Another difference in the two periods of expansion was that of public support. During the Western expansion, Americans said very little on the policies of the American government regarding the Native Americans. These policies were, at best, cruel and instilled to benefit only the white settler, simply because Native Americans stood in the way of total domination over the land. In the 1890's, with the Philippines hanging in the balance, many different beliefs regarding the countries' future became apparent. The Anti-Imperialists were a small group made up of socially elite intellectuals, such as Mark Twain, Andrew Carnegie, Grover Cleveland, and William Dean Howells, who highly opposed annexation of the Philippines. Their reasons for opposition ranged everywhere from a belief in the higher ideals of liberty and democracy to the fear that "lesser races" would further pollute their country. Document D, the Anti-Imperialist platform, exhibits a key opinion of the group, "Much as we abhor the war of "criminal aggression" in the Philippines, greatly as we regret that the blood of the Filipinos in on American hands, we more deeply resent the betrayal of American institutions at home..." Unfortunately, the voices against imperialist policies went largely unheard, lost amidst cries of expansion and war. These Americans, who advocated annexation, evinced a variety of motivations. For one, they desired the commercial opportunities in Asia, were concerned that the Filipinos were incapable of self-rule, and fear that if the United States did not take control of the islands, another power might do so. But one thing that both sides did share was a strain of racism, which was used to argue for involvement and staying out of the Philippines. This strain of racism was compelling force in expansion policies and is best explained in the poem, White Man's Burden by Rudyard Kipling. In simplest terms, the poem talks of a responsibility of richer countries to help less-developed countries. These white Anglo-Saxon Americans must reach out and help the poor savages of less developed nations. This metaphoric idea, springing from Herbert Spencer's Social Darwinism theories of survival of the fittest are the American Anglo-Saxon burden of saving those that had not been enlightened. Senator Beveridge's speech to Congress in Document E, exhibits this 'burden', "...We will not renounce our part in the mission of our race... thanksgiving to Alimight God that He has marked us as His chosen people henceforth to lead in the regeneration of the world..." In conclusion, the expansionist sentiments of the early American Manifest Destiny shared some policies with the expansion of the 1890's and early 1900's. The belief that God had destined America, spread throughout the land had never faltered. Yet the differences between the two periods are numerous enough to say that the later policy was probably more of a departure of it's early policy. Americans had no longer looked to the West by the 1890's; instead they looked to the world. This was met with opposition by other competing foreign powers, as well as cries of outrage from some American groups at home. In conclusion, the two time periods expressed different ideas about where to go, how to carry these policies out successfully, and why expansion was justified.

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