Progressive Foreign Policy

Progressivism, Imperialism, and WWI


McKinley Presidency

1897 - 1901

McKinley led the nation to victory in the Spanish–American War, raised protective tariffs to promote American industry, and maintained the nation on the gold standard in a rejection of inflationary proposals. Though McKinley's administration was cut short with his assassination, his presidency marked the beginning of a period of dominance by the Republican Party that lasted for more than a third of a century.

Teddy Roosevelt

1901 - 1909

At the end of his second term, Roosevelt promoted his friend William Howard Taft for the 1908 Republican nomination. He toured Africa and Europe. On his return in 1910 he broke bitterly with President Taft on issues of progressivism and personalities. In the 1912 election Roosevelt tried and failed to block Taft's renomination. He launched the Bull Moose Party that called for far-reaching progressive reforms. He lost to Democrat Woodrow Wilson, as the Taft conservatives gained control of the Republican party for decades to come. Roosevelt led a major expedition to the Amazon jungles but contracted diseases which ruined his health. He died relatively young at the age of sixty. Roosevelt has consistently been ranked by scholars as one of the greatest U.S. Presidents, having revived a declining presidency

Taft Presidency

1909 - 1913

In his only term, Taft's domestic agenda emphasized trust-busting, civil service reform, strengthening the Interstate Commerce Commission, improving the performance of the postal service, and passage of the Sixteenth Amendment. Abroad, Taft sought to further the economic development of nations in Latin America and Asia through "Dollar Diplomacy", and showed decisiveness and restraint in response to revolution in Mexico. The task-oriented Taft was oblivious to the political ramifications of his decisions, often alienated his own key constituencies, and was overwhelmingly defeated in his bid for a second term in the presidential election of 1912. In surveys of presidential scholars, Taft is usually ranked near the middle of lists of all American Presidents.

Election of 1912


Wilson, Roosevelt, Taft, and Debs ran
they all advocated Progressivism in their own ways
Taft ran again as a conservative while Roosevelt ran as a progessive--the Republican party was deeply split

Wilson Presidency

1913 - 1921

Narrowly re-elected in 1916, he had full control of American entry into World War I, and his second term centered on World War I and the subsequent peace treaty negotiations in Paris. He based his re-election campaign around the slogan, "He kept us out of war", but U.S. neutrality was challenged in early 1917 when the German Empire began unrestricted submarine warfare despite repeated strong warnings and tried to enlist Mexico as an ally. In April 1917, Wilson asked Congress to declare war. During the war, Wilson focused on diplomacy and financial considerations, leaving the waging of the war itself primarily in the hands of the Army. On the home front in 1917, he began the United States' first draft since the American Civil War, borrowed billions of dollars in war funding through the newly established Federal Reserve Bank and Liberty Bonds, set up the War Industries Board, promoted labor union cooperation, supervised agriculture and food production through the Lever Act, took over control of the railroads, and suppressed anti-war movements. During his term in office, Wilson gave a well-known Flag Day speech that fueled the wave of anti-German sentiment sweeping the country in 1917–18.[5]
In the late stages of the war, Wilson took personal control of negotiations with Germany, including the armistice. In 1918, he issued his Fourteen Points, his view of a post-war world that could avoid another terrible conflict. In 1919, he went to Paris to create the League of Nations and shape the Treaty of Versailles, with special attention on creating new nations out of defunct empires. In 1919, Wilson engaged in an intense fight with Henry Cabot Lodge and the Republican-controlled Senate over giving the League of Nations power to force the U.S. into a war. Wilson collapsed with a debilitating stroke that left his wife in control until he left office in March 1921. The Senate rejected the Treaty of Versailles, the U.S. never joined the League, and the Republicans won a landslide in 1920 by denouncing Wilson's policies.

Election 1916


Hughes vs Wilson
Wilson said "no war!" and won except then he wanted war..

Wilson's Stroke

October 1919

Wilson had a stroke while pushing for the Versailles Treaty to pass, leading to its failure

Laws and Tarriffs

Burlingame Treaty


free immigration between China and US

Wilson-Gorman Tariff Act


ruined Cuban economy because the tariffs were so high that no one in America would buy Cuban products

Teller Amendment


After the USS Maine was sunk in Havana Harbor, McKinley Put US Military in Cuba--we couldnt annex them but left their government "in control of its people"

Platt Amendment


said the US had to approve of Cuban treaties and intervened with domestic disturbances--they're allowed to run themselves as long as they don't do anything we don't like

Roosevelt Corollary


if any nation in the Western Hemisphere appeared politically and financially so unstable as to be vulnerable to European control, the United States had the right and obligation to intervene.

Taft expanded this by helping to establish Panama Canal. He also got private bankers to help build a RR in China (serves American diplomatic goals)

Open Door Policy


created by John Hay, he asked all of the Imperial Powers who had control over bits and pieces of China if the US could have free trade with China: In reply, each nation tried to evade Hay's request, taking the position that it could not commit itself until the other nations had complied. However, by July 1900, Hay announced that each of the powers had granted consent in principle. Although treaties made after 1900 refer to the Open Door Policy, competition among the various powers for special concessions within China for railroad rights, mining rights, loans, foreign trade ports, and so forth, continued unabated.

Pure Food and Drug Act


made sure the pharmaceutical industry didn't falsely advertise the effects of their drugs

Hepburn Act


gave the Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC) the power to set maximum railroad rates and extend its jurisdiction. This led to the discontinuation of free passes to loyal shippers. The most important provision gave the ICC the power to replace existing rates with "just-and-reasonable" maximum rates, with the ICC to define what was just and reasonable.

Mann Act


rohibited white slavery and the interstate transport of females for "immoral purposes"

Underwood Tarriff


lowered tariff rates allowing small businesses a better chance, also encouraging imports--levied a gradual increased tax on more wealthy US residents

Federal Reserve Act


established a central banking

Adamson Act


mandated 8 hour workdays and overtime pay for RR laborers

Jones Act 1916


promised independence to a stable Phillippines--except we took all their rights in the meantime

Sedition Act


extended the Espionage Act (cant interfere with military operations) to cover other offenses too- like speaking out against the war causing a ''danger'' to the country

18th Amendment


prohibition of alcoholic beverages--wanted to protect the family and workplace through reformed legislation--progressive

Senate rejects Versailles Treaty

November 1919

this treaty was to end to War and create the League of Nations--the senate (Henry Cabot Lodge) believed this would not promote US interests--we didnt want to be committed to dealing with other countries' problems
especially didn't like Article 10 which said we'd ''oversee external aggression''

19th Amendment


women voting! Susan B Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton

Court Cases

Holden vs. Hardy


upheld restrictions which gave miners and smelters less hours due to bad working conditions--go labor rights!

Lochner vs. New York


working conditions of bakers ignored and didnt need regulation--bad for labor rights
3 yrs later comes along Muller vs. Oregon where this sort of thing is overturned-- progressive

Muller V. Oregon


a man was fined for making a woman work more than the allotted 10 hrs-- supreme court upheld the fine-- landmark for labor and women's rights

Schenk vs. US


a Socialist was convicted for issuing pamphelets advocating draft resistance; Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes argued that the 1st amendment rights can be revoked when it "endangered" the country


US buys Alaska


Seward (SoS) bought it from Russia--lots of gold!

Strong writes "Our Country"


Strong was a clergyman who said that more Protestantism and looking to God would help solve all the social problems--he helped lead the "Social Gospel" movement

Mahan coins phrase "New Navy"


says navy should serve to protect us and act defensively instead of offensively

Atlanta Exposition Speech


an address on the topic of race relations given by Booker T. Washington on September 18, 1895. The speech laid the foundation for the Atlanta compromise. Washington said that blacks should peacefully try to gain the respect of whites by proving their worth (merit-based)

Dubois' "Souls of Black Folk"


a collection of essays, each chapter begins with two epigraphs – one from a white poet, and one from a black spiritual – to demonstrate intellectual and cultural parity between black and white cultures

Sinclair's "The Jungle"


exposed the outrages of the meatpacking industry and showed the general public exactly how horrible working conditions in factories are--very progressive, made the federal government reform factory regulation

NAACP Founded


National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) is an African-American civil rights organization--made after the Race Riot of 1908-- made by DuBois

Society of American Indians Founded


progressive--established to address the problems facing Native Americans, such as ways to improve health, education, civil rights, and local government.

Panama Canal


we help Panama become independent from Colombia and they give us the canal, which is good for trading with China--good example of informal imperialism where we still influence them but dont actually control their government

Committee of Public Information formed


created by Wilson, George Creel uses propoganda to mobilize public opinion on the war--promoted many anti-German things and used the cinema as well; he also fired pacifists

Debs Jailed


Jailed due to the Sedition Act when speaking out against Wilson and the war--ending progressivism?

Wilson's 14 Points


before the war Wilson had very idealist views of how the evolving world would look but no one would listen to him if he wasn't involved in worldly matters.. hence the getting involved in the war

Red Scare/Summer

1919 - 1921

worried about rising Bolshevism/Socialism in the US--Debs finally arrested, worker revolution and labor riots, steel strike,

American Birth Control League


gave women's rights to have birth control--founded by Margaret Sanger


Overthrow of Hawaii


kidnapped Queen Liliʻuokalani and planned a coo to take it over--asked for Stevens to annex it--but the overthrow was illegal since it was a sovereign nation and we apologized and made it into a republic

Venezuela Intervention


they asked for our help over a border since there was gold found and Brits wanted it--and they asked for our help because of the Monroe Doctrine and then we end up helping the British instead

Treaty of Paris


we get navy in Cuba, Guam, and Phillippines for 20 mil from the Spanish--we give them money even though we won because we want to end on relatively good conditions with them

Spanish-American War


We fight (and easily beat) Spain for the Philippines and Cuba: there was a Cuban Revolution and we hopped in on their side and pushed out the Spanish--also the USS Maine exploded and we thought it was the Spanish who blew it up so we went after them and we instilled the Platt Amendment, and in the Phillippines Dewey just dominated

Aguinaldo Uprising

1899 - 1902

Aguinaldo wants independence, since we basically took all their rights. we brutally shut it down

Mexican invasion

1914 - 1917

Mexicans ousted their leader Diaz and it turned into a bloody civil war with anti-American themes: we went in against them because they were trying to nationalize American owned companies (rail roads mines etc) and turn them against us

World War I

1914 - 1918

Germany sinks Lusitania

May 1915

British bought weapons from us and smuggled them on passenger ships (Germans warned us against that and it's clearly violating international sea laws) and attack the ship--and we're mad at them and not the British
Wilson still tells American citizens its fine to go into the war zone and Bryan says no--then he gets so furious he resigns

Germany sinks Arabic

August 1915

Americans killed on a British boat--Wilson urges Germans to stop sub warfare bc then they wouldn't violate American neutrality so much

Germany sinks Sussex

March 1916

Americans are killed on another country's boat--they explicitly were warned not to travel on other boats but noo and now the US is mad at Germany (not their fault they're playing by the rules!)

Germany announces unrestricted sub warfare


the Brits were jealous of Germany's technology so they said to fight the Germans had to warn the ships before they torpedoed them (completely defeats the purpose of having a sub) and "neutral" Wilson agrees--even though the Brits have been putting explosive mines in international waters--so the Germans say screw this if any ships come into our waters then theyre getting sunk --and Wilson goes aha! now we can officially dislike you! (even though we have the entire time)

Palmer Raids


Palmer tells Hoover to raid people's homes without warrants--worried about Bolshevism