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Wilson and the New Diplomacy

Problems of the first administration: dollar diplomacy in Dominican Republic and China and Nicaragua, German threat to Haiti and its Mole St. Nicholas, Senate opposition to Bryan-Chamorro and Panama Canal tolls, Congressman John Tillman's opposition to Canadian-American Migratory Bird Treaty (last passenger pigeon died 1914), Mexico's Huerta and Texas rangerism, California Alien Land crisis, Japan's 21 Demands on China despite Wilson's policy of nonrecognition. "American insensitivity to the nationalism of other peoples became another imperial legacy. Filipino resistance to American domination, Cuban anger against the Platt Amerndment, Colombian outrage over Panama, and Mexican rejection of Wilsonian intervention bore witness to the depth of nationalistic sentiments. " It was an "informal empire administered by troops, financial advisers, and reformers who showed contempt for native people's culture, politics, and economies through a paternialistic discourse." Churchill's 2 worlds: "the actual, visual world with its peaceful activities" and another world "of monstrous shadows moving in convulsive combination through vistas of fathomless catastrophe."

I. Wilson the Idealist

A. Strong Leadership

B. Key Ideas

  1. Religion
    • "The Bible reveals men unto themselves, not as creatures in bondage, not as men under human authority, but responsible through his own conscience to his Lord and Maker."
    • "I will not cry 'peace' so long as there is sin and wrong in the world ... America was born to exemplify that devotion to the elements of righteousness which are derived from the revelations of Holy scripture."
  2. Morality
    • Foreign policy must be "more concerned about human rights than about property rights."
    • "The force of America is the force of moral principle."
  3. Democracy
    • "When properly directed, there is no people not fitted for self-government."
    • "Discipline - discipline generations deep."
  4. Progress
    • U.S. to be the "preceptor to the world."
  5. Mission
    • "America's mission was to realize an ideal of liberty, provide a model of democracy, vindicate moral principle, give examples of action and ideals of government, uphold the rights of man, work for humanity and the happiness of men everywhere, lead the thinking of the world, promote peace - in sum, to serve mankind and progress."

II. Wilson the Realist.

A. China

B. Caribbean

C. Mexico


revised 2/4/06 by Steven Schoenherr WWI Links | Topics | Bibliography | Maps | Songs | Picture Sources