US Foreign Policy

Theme: From Sand Creek and Little Bighorn to 9-11 and Iraq

US Immigration Policy

Major legislation in US Immigration Policy

Chinese Exclusion Act


Significance: It was the first immigration restriction aimed at a specific ethnic working group. Chinese skilled and unskilled mining laborers were banned from immigrating to the US. Non-mining laborers had to obtain certification from the Chinese government and faced other daunting requirements making the move difficult even for those not employed in mining.

Gentlemen's Agreement


An informal agreement never ratified by Congress. The US would not impose restrictions on Japanese immigration, however Japan would not allow citizens to emigrate to the US.

National Origins Act of 1924


In 1921, US government implemented quotas on immigration. Initially, the quota was 3% from each foreign country of the 1910 census.
National Origins Act lowered to 2% of the 1890 census. It wanted to change the complexion of the United States. It expanded the idea of illegal immigrants to beyond Asians and now included European immigrants.

Immigration Act of 1965


Under LBJ and the Great Society, quotas eliminated


Various wars, major points/significance

Spanish American War


More of a "conflict".
Origins: Spanish American War in Cuba. Cubans were in revolt against Spain; there was a reciprocity treaty between Cuba and Spain that favored Cuban sugar, led to the revolt
Cuban liberation struggle had a lot of sympathy in the United States; Theodore Roosevelt believed it was the opportunity to assume the responsibilities of a great power. McKinley negotiated a treaty with Spain, promising autonomy in Spain, but Cuba wanted independence
Explosion of an American ship, America blames Spain, McKinley declares war; the explosion was later determined to be an accident
Many people who sympathized with Cubans - Catholics, sugar people--decided to compromise
Platt Amendment - Committed US to support independence, protect liberty and property, and get two naval bases in Cuba (Guantanamo Bay)
Southern whites and Northern whites came together to fight Spain. Treaty between US and Spain ended the war. Treaty included Spain ceding Philippines to the US.

Philippine War

1899 - 1902

(for context, see Spanish-American War)
Philippines was ceded to the US as a result of the Treaty of Paris between Spain and the US.
There were Filipino exiles in China who returned to Philippines and declared independent republic.
They expected US support, US rejected the idea of a independent republic which led by Aguinaldo.
War breaks out between the two countries, lasts much longer than the Spanish American War; quickly became a racial war
Philippines wanted to persuade Americans that they were modern, civilized people, but the pro-Imperialist forces looked the other way.
Aguinaldo switched to a guerrilla strategy, US decided that the Philippine resistance were criminals, used tactics aimed at citizens. War turned much bloodier; used torture tactics
Roosevelt figures out how to end the war by pulling out the troops and sending civilian administrators to continue to patrol the people

Created Anti-Imperialist League including Mark Twain, Jane Addams, Andrew Carnegie

World War I

1914 - 1919

Started in Europe in 1919. Extremely bloody war, trench warfare, and high number of casualties in Europe (France, Germany, and Britain each had between 1-2 million dead).
Wilson issued a proclamation of neutrality, not a fair description.
Before the war, US had vastly more trade to the Allies in the war, American bankers aided the Allies, i.e. grain, ammunition
"Preparedness" - 1915 - preparing to persuade Americans that the US should enter the war
Prospect of war faced a lot of resistance, especially in the midwest - many immigrants from Germany or other Central Powers
Wilson in 1916 promised not to send the US into war, but changed his mind in 1917
Germany started to execute unrestricted submarine warfare, so Wilson asked for war, Congress declared war four days later
Huge mobilization started immediately. Entrance did help to end the war because the US was able to send a very large numbers of troops. US lost 117,000 men.
Treaty of Versailles demanded punitive reparations from Germany, also led to Wilson's 14 Points and the creation of the League of Nations.

World War II

1939 - 1945

The war was the stimulus that ended the Great Depression. Called for an "arsenal of democracy"
Massive growth in population, especially on the Pacific Coast. Bay Area became a ship building center. Led to overwhelmed housing facilities, transportation, hospitals, sewers, etc. Richmond was the most dramatic, population grew from 24,000 to 150,000 - quintessential war-boom town
War led to birth of the image of Rosie the Riveter. A little misleading - bigger numbers of female employment were in clerical service, not factory jobs
US suffered nothing remotely like the massive destruction in Europe and Asia, which accounts for economic boom of the war

Cold War

1945 - 1990

The Unofficial Story (Soviet and American behavior)
"Defense in Depth" - United States national security strategy starting in 1943. Challenges to the Cold War system was considered to be an attack on the US
Turkey and Greece - USSR wanted access to protect access to warm water, Black Sea. Truman states any Soviet presence in Turkey is unacceptable. There the Cold War begins.
Truman Doctrine, 1947 - Started the policy of containment of communism
West German Revival - Truman administration wanted to build up West Germany. Soviets worst nightmare, the Soviets were still healing from the wounds of WWII
Where the Cold War was Hot - Decolonization in Asia, Africa, Latin America, and the Caribbean ("The Third World"). Unprecedented leap in self-government, Both sides intervened in decolonization. Decolonization was always driven by local nationalism - i.e. US in Vietnam, took on France's war
Mao Zedong, "People's Republic of China", Oct. 1, 1949 - Nationalist Communist Opposition against Chiang-Kai Shek. Shocked many Americans.

Korean War

1950 - 1953

Civil War in Korea 1945-1953, North and South separated by the 38th Parallel. End with US drawing 38th parallel between North and South Korea after Japanese occupation. Official position is that the North started it
After losing China, the idea of losing Korea too was unacceptable. American zone - Park Chung Hee
Soviet Zone - Kim Il-Sung

US Imperialism

US involvement in foreign countries