Annexation Essay, Research Paper
In the early 1900 s the U.S. made some very important choices. The U.S. acquired many territories in this time period. America annexed Hawaii, the Philippines, and Puerto Rico. The United States also intervened in the Cuban War of Independence and gained the control to open and maintain the Panama Canal. I do not believe the U.S. was fair in making any of these choices. It was no their right to decide.
The annexation of Hawaii was unfair for many reasons. Wealthy investors bought sugar farms in Hawaii. The white sugar plantation owners outnumbered the natives. They caused the end of the duty tax for a short period of time to end competition with natives and bring in more profit. They forced the King into giving only wealthy landowners the right to vote. The McKinley Tariff was passed and it put a duty tax on sugar. This eliminated competition and the natives lost money or went out of business. The King died and his sister became Queen of Hawaii. She wanted to give voting rights back to the people of the islands. The U.S. got involved and kidnapped her. They established a new government under the leadership of Stanford B. Dole. Cleveland became President and annexed Hawaii. Hawaii became part of a world power, but was stripped of their independence. There was nothing they could do to stop the takeover since they were only a series of small islands much less powerful than the U.S. This would not have happened if the land were shared. The U.S. also got to put a military base at Pearl Harbor, which still exists today.
There should not have been an intervention in the Cuban War of Independence. Jose Marti, a rebel leader, destroyed many American owned sugar mills and plantations. He tried to get the U.S. involved but that did not change our opinion of stay neutral yet. Spain retaliated to this rebellion and sent General Weyler to Cuba, who set up concentration camps in rebellious areas. News escaped in forms of yellow journalism to thew U.S. This rallied many Americans to want intervention. McKinley uses diplomatic means to reduce restrictions on Cuba and it works. General Weyler is then removed. A letter is stolen from the Spanish minister and is sent to President McKinley, whom is called weak and a bidder for the admiration of the crowd. American resentment turned into outrage. The USS Maine is sent to protect Americans, but Spain destroys it. Congress agrees to deploy for war. None of this would have happened if the U.S. kept to themselves. The U.S. was able to put a military base in Cuba as a result of helping them defeat Spain.
The United States did not fairly annex the Philippines and Puerto Rico. The U.S. deploys its Pacific Fleet to the Spanish colony known as the Philippines. They destroyed the Spanish fleet and banded with the rebels. Their next action was the invasion of Cuba. The roughriders demolished the Spanish army and fleet. Then Santiago was surrendered and Puerto Rico is invaded. The Treaty of Paris was ended and signed in 1898. The treaty contained three parts; Cuba would become independent, Puerto Rico and Guam would be given to the U.S., and the U.S. could annex the Philippines for twenty million dollars. McKinley stated the annexation was on the basis of imperialism and to Christianize the natives, but McKinley was wrong since the natives had been Christian for many years. Other Americans said that it violated the Declaration of Independence, which allows territories to self govern. Puerto Ricans demanded citizenship. Others felt after governing themselves, they can choose statehood or independence. Spain had no right to hand over a country where people live and own land to some other foreign power. It doesn t give the people a chance to decide how they want to live and under whom be rule. The countries being traded didn t have representation or any way to decide their future.
America was not honest in making the Panama Canal. Chief Engineer Varilla in the new Panama Canal Company created the Panama Canal. He helped organize a rebellion against Colombia. The U.S. backed up Panama and negotiated a treaty for Panama s Independence, but a price came along with it. Panama gave up land for the construction of the canal to the U.S. and the U.S. was able to intervene in Panama at any time. The construction took ten years and cut through fifty miles. The circumstances in under which the Panama Canal was created damaged U.S.-Latin American relations. Congress paid twenty-five million dollars, but it was still unfair that the U.S. connived its way into obtaining new land. Panama had no real choice since the U.S. was backing them up against Colombia, but there wouldn t have been a revolution if Panama was convinced into becoming independent. The U.S. new it would be a very important waterway and very profitable.
The U.S. was unfair in acquiring many of its territories. America always pushed itself onto another country. There was too much competition in expansion so everyone else had to get with it. The U.S. expanded, but it did not give some countries the right to decide to become independent. The U.S. took matters into their own hands and decided the fate of its new territories. The motives were greed and power. The U.S. will be known in history as ambitious but not to a dangerous level and greedy. Power and money is the cause to expansion because our country is based on the foundation of capitalism.