Roosevelt, Taft, and Wilson
Roosevelt, Taft, and Wilson were all U.S Presidents who happened to be Presidents of the United States sequentially. The policies in terms of the economy and foreign relations were similar in some areas, and completely differed in others. In terms of the economy of the United States Presidents Roosevelt and Wilson both advocated for safer conditions for mining workers, and supported their strikes, especially concerning the boys and them not being exploited for labor by the mining companies of any companies. Roosevelt and Wilson differed in their, respective, views on monopolies. Roosevelt wanted to regulate monopolies, while Wilson suggested a tariff and called for the destruction of monopolies via government intervention. In terms of Foreign policy all presidents believed America should be seen as a Superpower and to increase our commerce in foreign territories, yet they had different approaches to bring about this outcome. Roosevelt wanted the “Big Stick” plan, which meant that the United States would keep peace between the nations by being a mediator under the guise of a superpower. Taft was completely different his approach was purely economic. Taft’s “Dollar Diplomacy” was too boost foreign markets in poorer countries, so they would buy American products. Wilson’s approach was neither economical or foreign policy related. Wilson’s approach is known as “Moral Diplomacy” in which America focuses on it’s morality in terms of its correlation tp foreign relations, and remain neutral in the face of foreign conflicts.
Imperialist were people who believed in expanding into weaker territories in the name of gaining foreign markets. Anti-Imperialist did not agree with expanding into weaker nations, the cost of expansion, or the idea of liberty for all. These ideas are important to remember in terms of American imperialism. The fact is that both these ideals conceded on one thing the prosperity of our nation was more important than any other.
America’s period of imperialism lasted from 1870-1930, and was chronicled by a form of progress for America and mistreatment for the local populations of the nations we decided to bless with our wisdom. In terms of our 50th state Hawaii, America stooped to low measures for the commodities that Hawaii had to offer such as; sandalwood and sugar cane. Hawaii was and will always belong to the Native population, mostly consisting of a mixture of Polynesian, Samoan, Hawaiian, etc. peoples. American missionaries and traders sought to exploit the kindness of the Hawaiian monarchy and its people. As early as 1830, when the sugar cane industry began to boom, Americans in Hawaii began to make political, cultural, economical, and religious changes. These changes led to the 1840 constitutional monarchy replacing the powers the monarchy used to hold. 47 years later in 1887 the US further marled their rights to Hawaii with the establishment of the Naval Base, Pearl Harbor. Four years later in 1891, Princess Liliuokalani, she was the sister of the late King, and she refused to acknowledge the constitutional monarchy America had implemented. In fact she had it replaced it with her own Constitution. A coup was staged against the Princess by the American settlers, and they turned her own people against and she was forced to flee her residence, and Hawaii continued to operate without a monarchy, until 1897 when it was officially declared as the Republic of Hawaii. China was a completely different story, in that many imperial powers were after all that this country could offer. The United States along with countries like; Britain, France, Italy, Japan, and Russia, amongst others, cultivated a open door policy. This policy basically meant that every country had equal access and opportunity, without any hindrance from other countries, to China. China’s response was the Boxer Rebellion. This rebellion was a group that identified themselves as Chinese Nationalist and sought to rid their country of the oppressive claws of imperialistic countries with hidden agendas. The imperial powers response was persecution of the group as a united force, however this only prompted the need for and steady rise of Chinese Nationalism in China. The situation is East Asia was, uniquely, different than Hawaii or China. This situation amongst Japanese and American governments was known simply as the Gentlemen’s Agreement. This agreement was enacted in either 1907 or 1908, and it advocated, in the US, better treatment of current Japanese citizens and enforcement of better treatment, if Japan refused to grant any more citizens passports. This agreement, however failed to get past by Congress, so it ended in 1924.
The Caribbean Islands were an oddity to say the least, and a truly complex issue to try to take on, let alone imperialize. The problem for the United States in terms of bringing imperialism to the Philippines was that it consists of 7100 islands. For the sake of time, let’s simply say that half of these islands wanted to be annexed and the other half didn’t, at least this is how America saw it. The United States simply wanted the Philippines and the Caribbean Islands just to say that they had primary control and no other country did. However, the islands consisted of 7.5 million people with 43 separate ethnic groups and 87 languages spoken amongst them. The fight for the Philippines began in 1889 around the end of the Spanish-American War, were the US won Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Philippines as territories from Spain. Filipino soldiers who were already resisting Spanish forces began resisting US troops when the US proclaimed the Philippines annexation. This was different than other American imperialist trials, in that, America had to fight a militia and the locals using gorilla warfare tactics and it took 3 hard years for them to do that, this was the Filipino-American War. It was often assumed that the annexation of the Philippines by President McKinley was due to three factors; pressure to npt give Spain back the lands they gave, the fear that competing nations would benefit from the land, and lastly to maintain the growing reputation of the US as a contender in the international superpower games. McKinley was wise in his decisions solely in a political sense, yet if he listened to his morality, a different outcome would have occurred in the Philippines and possibly less people would have died.
Roosevelt had an idea regarding who should keep nations in line, thus the beginning of the US policing other countries. The Roosevelt Corollary was an added impact of the Monroe Doctrine, basically were Monroe was passive about the fighting of neighboring countries and the Corollary was more abrasive against countries invading one another. However, it maintained the essence of the Doctrine by only intervening if explicitly necessary and as it pertained to the Western Hemisphere and how countries collected outstanding debts from one another.
Roosevelt and Taft had nearly the same mindset when it came to domestic policy, yet they differed in foreign policy. Roosevelt continued his Corollary philosophy and went on to aid countries that were facing an abundance of wrong doing. While, Taft felt that using dollar Diplomacy and establishing better economies within poorer countries tries would solidify America. Taft even went as far as deploying troops in Honduras and Nicaragua, but did not get involved in the situations of China and Mexico.
As much as I love my country, I have to day that we created a monsters with imperialism, WW1, and , especially, the Versailles Treaty. Imperialism is too obvious to go over again. We got involved in WW1 late, so many countries who lost millions upon millions were envious of our late entry and our lower death tolls. The Versailles Treaty was a setup for World War II. It weakened the economy and the social dynamic of Germany in such a way that they were desperate to be seen as more than. In comes Hitler with his bools about Germans racial superiority and the rest is history. We contributed to the events of WW2, and it would be foolish to not admit that.