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Uncle Sam's War of 1898 and the Origins of Globalization

Uncle Sam's War of 1898 and the Origins of Globalization

Thomas Schoonover
Foreword by Walter LaFeber
Copyright Date: 2003
Pages: 200
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    Uncle Sam's War of 1898 and the Origins of Globalization
    Book Description:

    The roots of American globalization can be found in the War of 1898. Then, as today, the United States actively engaged in globalizing its economic order, itspolitical institutions, and its values. Thomas Schoonover argues that this drive to expand political and cultural reach -- the quest for wealth, missionary fulfillment, security, power, and prestige -- was inherited by the United States from Europe, especially Spain and Great Britain. Uncle Sam's War of 1898 and the Origins of Globalization is a pathbreaking work of history that examines U.S. growth from its early nationhood to its first major military conflict on the world stage, also known as the Spanish-American War. As the new nation's military, industrial, and economic strength developed, the United States created policies designed to protect itself from challenges beyond its borders. According to Schoonover, a surge in U.S. activity in the Gulf-Caribbean and in Central America in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries was catalyzed by the same avarice and competitiveness that motivated the European adventurers to seek a route to Asia centuries earlier. Addressing the basic chronology and themes of the first century of the nation's expansion, Schoonover locates the origins of the U.S. goal of globalization. U.S. involvement in the War of 1898 reflects many of the fundamental patterns in our national history -- exploration and discovery, labor exploitation, violence, racism, class conflict, and concern for security -- that many believe shaped America's course in the twentieth and twenty-first century.

    eISBN: 978-0-8131-4335-4
    Subjects: History, Political Science

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-vii)
  3. List of Illustrations
    (pp. viii-viii)
  4. Foreword
    (pp. ix-xii)
    Walter LaFeber

    In 1904, Halford Mackinder arose to present a paper before the Royal Geographical Society in London. Extraordinarily learned, lengthy, and dry, the paper turned out to be one of those few documents that helped unlock the dynamics of twentieth- and twenty-first-century international relations. “The Geographical Pivot of History,” as Mackinder immodestly but accurately titled his paper, argued that Central Asia held the key to the control of global events. Whoever held that region, stretching roughly from the oil-rich Caspian Sea through Afghanistan to western China, would be able to control the entire Eurasian landmass, he concluded. It was thus necessary...

  5. Preface
    (pp. xiii-xvi)
  6. Introduction
    (pp. 1-8)

    Over a decade ago, historian Peter Novick inThat Noble Dream: The “Objectivity Question” and the American Historical Professiondescribed one central quandary that confronted me in writing this book. Novick addressed the tension between the general and the specific in doing history. He examined specific historians in his search for a general description and analysis of “objectivity” in the historical profession: “The price I pay for emphasizing breadth of coverage is that I am unable to offer rounded and nuanced treatments…. I have, of course, attempted to avoid misrepresenting … or overinterpreting …, but I am less likely to...

  7. CHAPTER 1 Exploration and New Territories, 1780s–1850s
    (pp. 9-17)

    Throughout the era of exploration, discovery, and colonization of the New World, expeditions searched for water or land routes to Asian wealth. The quest had always had plural objectives: China, Japan, Southeast Asia, Australia, New Zealand, and the Pacific islands. The chief problems in the Pacific region related to the geographical vastness; the inadequate navigational charts; the complexity of dealing with numerous, distinct indigenous populations; and the tense relations among adventurers, settlers, merchants, sailors, and missionaries from various imperial states. In the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, various sea and land explorers—for example, Louis Antoine de Bougainville, Jean...

  8. CHAPTER 2 The Great Powers in the Caribbean Basin, 1800–1890s
    (pp. 18-34)

    Throughout the colonial period and in the early decades of U.S. independence, North Americans and Europeans had clashed repeatedly in the Caribbean area. The British, Spanish, French, Dutch, Swedes, and Danes had all established Caribbean colonies to support trade, to find gold or a passage to Asia, to acquire cane sugar and other tropical products, and to trade slaves. In the 1810s and 1820s, Spain lost its mainland colonies, but dreamt of launching the reconquest of imperial glory from its islands. Meanwhile Mexico, Colombia, several European states, and the United States lusted after Cuba and Puerto Rico. Jealousy and competitive...

  9. CHAPTER 3 The Great Powers in East Asia and the Pacific, 1840s–1890s
    (pp. 35-52)

    Early western visitors to Asia embellished the impressive realities with exotic and fantasy images. Adventure, beauty, and wealth lured them into deeper involvement and a search for a fortune. A major role in Asia seemed essential for great power status. The British, German, French, Russian, and U.S. governments expanded aggressively in the Pacific basin between the 1840s and World War I. German leaders judged participation in the world economy essential for prestige, prosperity, and security—to be one of the “Three World Empires” destined to survive the lottery of power.¹

    From its birth, the United States had participated in the...

  10. CHAPTER 4 U.S. Domestic Developments and Social Imperialism, 1850s–1890s
    (pp. 53-64)

    Two developments marked the U.S. political economy during the late nineteenth century. The steady incorporation of the west and the rapid growth of a technologically and industrially based economy shaped modern America. These urban, industrial centers demanded ever more labor, so immigrants (and domestic migrants) helped form an urban society. Although slavery was eliminated in the south, the nation remained racist toward blacks and Hispanics and added powerful ethnic prejudices toward the new Catholic, Orthodox, and Jewish immigrants from southern and eastern Europe (and Asians). The continuous tension within late-nineteenth-century U.S. society encouraged expansion as a response to the recurring...

  11. CHAPTER 5 Three Crises: The 1893 Depression, China, and Cuba
    (pp. 65-87)

    Three overlapping developments shook U.S. society in the 1890s. U.S. leaders pondered the need for military responses to the world economic crisis of 1873–1898 (especially difficult in the United States from 1893 to 1897), to the preliminary division of China (1894–1898), and to the revolts in Spain’s Cuban and Philippine colonies. They worried about the constant need for military force to restore order in domestic factories, cities, and railroad lines (as examples, the Homestead strike of 1892, the Haymarket massacre of 1884, and the Pullman strike of 1894). The reliance upon state or federal military to maintain domestic...

  12. CHAPTER 6 The War of 1898 in the Pacific Basin
    (pp. 88-101)

    From the sixteenth to the eighteenth centuries, European powers did not produce enough to conduct more than modest trade. But in the late nineteenth century, the highly productive, resource-consuming industrialized powers needed industrial and consumable raw materials, labor, markets for overproduction, investment opportunities, and a stake in the future of selected external areas of resources. The conflux of the three crises of the 1890s posed strategic, economic, and cultural problems for all great powers. For Germany, lagging Great Britain in industrialization and empire building, the crises of the 1890s presented an opportunity to gain colonies, status, and access to resources...

  13. CHAPTER 7 The Legacy of the Crises of the 1890s
    (pp. 102-122)

    As the new route from the North Atlantic to Asia was set, many areas vital for the transit were immersed in turmoil. U.S. self-interest fed, then repressed, revolutions in Santo Domingo, Haiti, Cuba, Nicaragua, Panama, Hawaii, and the Philippines. Washington officials have steadfastly maintained that these areas “benefited” from U.S. military occupation or protectorate status. The validity of this assertion needs testing. Mexico, Honduras, and China experienced internal disorder and brief U.S. intervention (in China, with a host of other Asian and European powers). The War of 1898 was not just a glitch in the histories of Spain, Cuba, the...

  14. Notes
    (pp. 123-152)
  15. Selected Bibliography
    (pp. 153-164)
  16. Index
    (pp. 165-181)