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"To be prepared for war is the most effectual means to promote peace" - Theodore Roosevelt
Theodore Roosevelt said this to share his views and to advocate going into the Spanish-American War. He was a very opinionated man who strongly believed in the military and its strength and he was also an imperialist and he was in the navy at the time, so he wanted to go to war with the Spanish. He delivered a speech on the matter June 2nd 1897 at the Naval War College, in Newport, Rhode Island. Because this was at a military meaning, while the statement in itself was very general, it was applied directly to the situation at hand: preparing their military and themselves for war and also to begin the Spanish-American War. The audience to his speech was the first to hear him say this. Theodore Roosevelt addressed that America should always be prepared for war and be militarily strong. It would help to understand the circumstances of the Spanish-American War and Theodore Roosevelt’s role at the time to understand this quote. Theodore Roosevelt was the assistant secretary of the Navy and American and Spain had not yet started the war so this was a call to action from an authoritative figure. This was actually a quote of Washington’s that Theodore Roosevelt used at this time and by using Washington’s words, a recognizable American military hero, what he said seemed more likely to be true. He said this to inspire the military men to work and train hard to prepare for war and also to broadcast his own views without referencing the opposing opinion which affected the reliability of his statement. As his audience was military men, he directed his words to them specifically and since it was directed to them, they were bound to listen and to have been affected by his words. Those for the war and for improving the military would have reacted favorably to this statement but pacifists would not have because they would not have wanted a war or an improved military force. He said this to promote his own agenda which affects the reliability of the statement. He said it at that time to incite people to strengthen the military and to go to war with Spain because they had not yet gone to war and their military was needed to be strengthened at the time. His statement demonstrated his imperialistic views and shows that he believed America’s military should be reinforced and that America should go to war. It also conveyed that America should have a strong military and that military strength was important in maintaining world power and peace. Theodore Roosevelt believed that the navy and the rest of the military should be given more strength and that this was crucial to maintaining peace and that America should begin war with Spain. This quote is significant because it was part of the first consequential speech Theodore Roosevelt delivered and because it displayed his views as it implied that America needed to be militarily powerful and strong. This speech and this quote in part inspired the military to become stronger and the Spanish American War because Theodore Roosevelt advocated both of these things.
J.R.C. -"The guns that thundered off Manila and Santiago left us echoes of glory, but they also left us a legacy of duty.” –Theodore Roosevelt
The idea of an American Empire was first spread after the Spanish-American War in 1898. This concept was a mutilated perception of American foreign policy during the aftermath of the war. During Theodore Roosevelt’s presidency, he issued a corollary to the Monroe Doctrine, which allowed the United States to intervene internationally, ultimately keeping smaller countries on their feet at all times. Though this corollary was established after America was given ownership of the Philippines and Puerto Rico, the imperialist mentality in foreign policy was very prominent in deciding exactly what to do with the recently given land. As America gained control of the islands, various rebellion groups started an uprising due to the recent foreign invasion, and the Philippines and Puerto Rico were hardly considered peaceful. By 1901, turmoil began to settle as the rebels were suppressed and the given islands became much more docile and placid in regards to accepting the American intrusion. This submission was considered a major victory, but in addition to the high amount of glory achieved from it, America gained a much bigger head in regards to natives of foreign countries. It seemed as if American officials took it upon themselves to “civilize” those deemed uncivilized in countries such as recently obtained Puerto Rico and the Philippines. Though Theodore Roosevelt can hardly be considered ignorant, his statement towards the idea that it is America’s duty to civilize the people of the newly obtained islands seemed awfully pompous and conceited. Racial discrimination was the driving force behind these thoughts. His “legacy of duty” was none other than an endeavor to satisfy racial and socially degrading thoughts of the natives of the islands of the Philippines and Puerto Rico.
MRL - "Is there any man, is there any woman, let me say any child here that does not know that the seed of war in the modern world is industrial and commercial rivalry?" - Woodrow Wilson, 1919
From the late 1890s to the 1920s the overwhelming economic growth of the United States made America a stern competitor with the powerful nations of Europe. Despite the ability to compete with the most powerful nations in the world, the widespread belief in Continentalism caused Americans to focus on a domestic economy rather than international trade. The rise of power of the American domestic economy eventually lead to the saturation of American markets, therefore resulting in the Panic of 1894. The economic depression that resulted from the Panic caused Americans to realize that markets were needed outside of the continental United States. Thus, the rise of imperialism began. Before America engaged in obtaining new territories, such as the Philippines and Cuba, trade was first initiated with foreign nations. After the United States had firmly established itself in the foreign markets, due to the competitive nature of international commerce, the United States sought to secure exclusivity of particular markets by gaining control of specific countries, much like imperialistic countries such as Great Britain had done. Thus, the commercial competition between the United States and other large nations eventually resulted in the use of force by America to secure foreign markets, which is effectively described by Wilson's belief at the time; war is caused by economic rivalry. America sought the establishment of control over markets through the use of force in various regions such as the Philippines and
Latin America. Although the forays led by President Roosevelt and President Wilson were hidden under the guise of America's duty to spread freedom, the real reasons for intervention in foreign affairs were the economic pursuits of the United States.
“It is that the world be made fit and safe to live in; and particularly that it be made safe for every peace-loving nation which, like our own, wishes to live its own life, determine its own institutions, be assured of justice and fair dealing by the other peoples of the world, as against force and selfish aggression.” – Woodrow Wilson
“It is that the world be made fit and safe to live in; and particularly that it be made safe for every peace-loving nation which, like our own, wishes to live its own life, determine its own institutions, be assured of justice and fair dealing by the other peoples of the world, as against force and selfish aggression” was said in January 1918 by Woodrow Wilson. This was about 10 months before the end of World War I and was said to Congress in his speech of The Fourteen Points. It was said at this time in order to provide an idea for a peace treaty. Before this quote, World War I was going on and many people were dying and there was not much progress in the war. The United States came into the war much later and was the main cause of the end of the war. Woodrow Wilson addressed his ideas for terms for the peace treaty and did not want to harshly blame Germany and instead wanted to ensure peace in the future. England and France had harsh ideas about punishing Germany but Wilson felt that Germany like any other nation wanted peace and the right to lead their own nation. Wilson wanted England and France to be fair and wanted them not to give Germany harsh punishments for selfish reasons. If they did so they would disrupt the peace in the future. Wilson wanted to encourage that whatever their own country wanted another, in order to be fair, deserved the same right. This quote is significant because it caused a less severe punishment for Germany and suggested that all countries should be treated equally.
SFH – (wiki for the week of 11/29-12/5) -
"I am interested in the Panama Canal because I started it. If I had followed traditional, conservative methods I would have submitted a dignified State paper of probably 200 pages to Congress and the debates on it would have been going on yet; but I took the Canal Zone and let Congress debate; and while the debate goes on, the canal does also."
Theodore Roosevelt, 1911.
At the Charter Day exercise of the University of California on March 25, 1911 Roosevelt openly even boastfully admitted that the despoiling of Colombia of the province Panama was his own personal act. Without asking congress, Roosevelt intervened to protect the Panama Canal Zone from Colombian forces. Roosevelt speaks almost as though it were an act of condescension on his part to submit the matter to Congress at all, but he did ‘let Congress debate’. This is the doctrine of the one man power, the man on horseback. Compared to other presidents of his time when Polk began the Spanish American War of which he was unsparingly denounced for, Polk made haste to let congress assume responsibility. Never did Polk speak of the war quite in the terms used by Roosevelt in regards to the Canal Zone. Regardless Roosevelt’s act hastened the beginning of the work on the canal. Yet Roosevelt speech says nothing about the cost of haste in building the canal, for it was great. As illustrated Roosevelt defined his foreign policy though concepts of national interest and power, completely neglecting ethics in his foreign policy. Leading authorities in international law have now deplored this taking of the Canal Zone as an act of perfidy. Roosevelt’s boastfulness of his seizure of the Canal shows his unmoving ideology that his acts in the Canal Zone and of this hasty recognition of a sovereignty that could never have been created that could never have sustained itself without the intervention and powerful support. Regardless we must applaud Theodore Roosevelt’s success in bringing American to the forefront of global relations, for he fulfilled Americas duties (or what he thought of as Americas duties) to the world by bringing the United States out of isolation and into the struggle to ‘shape the destiny of mankind’.
“Speak softly and carry a big stick; you will go far.”
Theodore Roosevelt wrote this in a letter to Henry L. Sprague in 1900, while he was Vice President of the United States under William McKinley. It became a defining quote for Roosevelt, who during the rest of his political career and life was known for advancing imperialist policies. During the 1900 presidential campaign, Roosevelt made his support of expansion to Puerto Rico, Cuba, and the Philippines clear, and he was the first American president to push overseas involvement when he took office in 1901 after McKinley’s assassination. The meaning of the quote represents Roosevelt’s foreign policy; America should have the ability to decimate any opponent, but does not need to use its power unless necessary. Roosevelt’s history as a soldier in the Spanish-American War makes it clear why he was the first president to openly support interaction with other countries. He believed America was a great nation that should spread its influence over other dominions. Roosevelt led the United States throughout his presidency with the principle of caution against other nations, but making it obvious that America had the capacity to retaliate aggressively. Theodore Roosevelt always had an image of strength and tenacity, with a military history and passion for wilderness. He was also the first strong United States president following a period at the end of the 19th century where most American leaders served short terms and did little to change its policies. Roosevelt was a progressive who reformed America, adding to his powerful image, and quotations such as this one did much to contribute to this famed fearlessness. Roosevelt ultimately changed America’s foreign policy during his presidency, with his ideals carried into World War I and beyond. The “big stick” of America gave a strong feeling of nationalism to citizens not only during the first decade of the 1900s, but the entire century.
"If there is not the war, you don't get the great general; if there is not a great occasion, you don't get a great statesman; if Lincoln had lived in a time of peace, no one would have known his name."
This quote was spoken by Theodore Roosevelt, President of the United States during the Progressive Era. He was known for his love of adventure and eagerness for battle. He saw war as an adventure and victory in battle as a great honor, and preferred to settle issues by force rather than negotiation. This quote was spoken during the early twentieth century, which was at the height of America’s power. This was when the United States first entered world politics on a major level with the Spanish-American War. Roosevelt’s statement would have served to help create the image of war as exciting and honorable rather than horrific. By tying war to great men, specifically Abraham Lincoln, this quote would have encouraged young men to enlist to fight for either the Spanish-American War, or eventually World War I.
In order to understand this quote, it would help to be knowledgeable of world politics at the time. During this time, the major powers of the world were embracing Imperialism, and there was much debate in the United States over whether or not to adopt Imperialist policies. Theodore Roosevelt himself was an Imperialist, and his statement would have supported the Imperialist side of the argument. The intended audience of this message would have been the American citizens, especially the voting population and other politicians, and it would have been used to bolster the pro-Imperialism argument. Because Roosevelt wanted the United States to become more involved in world politics, especially through battle, this statement would have shed a positive light on his ideas and encouraged his own popular support, which would have extended to support for his policies.
This statement is representative of Roosevelt’s belligerent beliefs concerning foreign policy. He strongly believed in using military might to combat enemies, but because the United States had primarily stuck to its legacy of keeping out of foreign affairs, he would have needed to make it seem like a favorable option for the country as a whole. It is important in that it represents change in that time period--a growing involvement of the United States in foreign affairs, such as the war with Spain over Cuba and the Philippines. Roosevelt’s attitude towards war and foreign affairs, including this statement, led to the image of war as a great honor and adventure, and helped The United States become increasingly involved with foreign affairs.
“What a splendid little war.”
This quote is by John Hay, the United States Secretary of State during the end of the Spanish-American War. Prior to the Spanish-American War, battles and fighting had not been considered fun and an adventure. The realities of war were clear: hardship, death, disease. After Hay’s comment on the Spanish-American War, intended to highlight America’s success at winning so quickly, US citizens began to view war as an epic adventure that all men should experience. Stories of Roosevelt’s Rough Riders spurred excitement in young men, and bred a war hungry generation that was eager for their turn. John Hay’s comment resulted in the mass influx of boys, who had hardly turned of age, into the military during World War I. This then resulted in a catastrophic loss of fine men in that generation, all acting under the illusion that this war would be as “splendid” as the last. No war is splendid. Hay’s comment is considered to be a large point of criticism and is viewed as foolish. Hearst and Pulitzer had fun exaggerating the image that Hay created, causing the US victory to be the center of yellow journalism’s attention. Pride and patriotism skyrocketed thanks to this quote, since it emphasized how strong and righteous America was. Responses to this quote were both positive and negative, but overall Hay’s comment was a mistake and only set up a false allusion of what we all wish war would be, but know isn’t.
"You furnish the pictures and I'll furnish the war." - Hearst
A little group of willful men, representing no opinion but their own, have rendered the great Government of the United States helpless and contemptible.
-President Woodrow Wilson
This quote appeared in a statement delivered to the public on March 4, 1917 following a successful filibuster by United States Senators opposing a bill to arm merchant ships. Repeated attacks on U.S. merchant ships angered the public as well as Woodrow Wilson. Prior to this session, Wilson had sent two letters to the German Government with diplomatic advice urging Germany to cease their aggression. At home Wilson’s intentions were known to both the public and the Senate. Wilson advocated that merchant ships be armed for protection. Within the Senate two adversarial groups were formed: those supporting and those opposed to the U.S. entry into the war and all related actions. Wilson believed that the anti-war Senators were a hindrance to the safety of U.S. civilians. In response to the filibuster, Wilson included in his public statement not only a condemnation, but also a solution.
Since the statement was delivered after the Senate session ended, it can be assumed that President Wilson was frustrated by the actions of the filibustering Senators. It can be interpreted that “A little group of willful men,” refers to the Republicans who were most vocal in their anti-war sentiments. This quote expresses Wilson’s personal distaste for the selfish actions of these members and their ignorance of the public need for protection. The impact of the Wilson’s text, as it appeared in the New York Times, was intended to manipulate public moral and force change in attitude and policy. Wilson believes that the Senators have inhibited the government’s ability to function and defend the ideals of the United States of America.
“Besides the natural and inevitable coarseness with which he repeats all that the press and public opinion of Spain has said of Weyler, it shows once more what
is: weak and catering to the rabble, and, besides, a low politician, who desires to leave a door open to me and to stand well with the jingoes of his party.”
Enrique Dupouy de Lome
This quote was said by
Enrique Dupouy de Lome. He was the Spanish Ambassador to the United States and wrote this in the De Lome letter that was leaked to the United States. Cuban revolutionaries intercepted the letter and sent it to William Hearst to print in his newspapers. The letter was printed in Hearst’s newspaper on April 11, 1898. During this time there were revolutionaries in Cuba against Spain that wanted independence. When the U.S heard about the way Cubans were being treated and about reconcentration, many thought that the U.S. should intervene. Yellow journalism, which included writing from Hearst and Joseph Pulitzer, increased the concern of U.S. citizens over the problem and pressured the government to intervene. This material was produced for the American people because it was printed in the newspapers. By being in the newspapers it convinced Americans of the trouble in Cuba and the need to help the Cubans and embarrassed William McKinley publicly which caused him to take action. This quote was said in order to voice an opinion about President William McKinley. It showed that McKinley was weak and he was going to declare war due to pressure from the press and public opinion and not because that was what should be done. Also that he did not want to cause any arguments and wanted the jingoes to continue supporting him, so he did what they encouraged him to do. McKinley was only a puppet president that was controlled by Mark Hanna, which extends the idea that McKinley is weak. This quote was important because it pushed the United States to declare war on Spain by causing McKinley to be mad at the Spanish ambassador.
AVG – “If the war is too strong for you to prevent, how is it going to be weak enough for you to control and mould to your liberal purposes?” (Randolph Bourne)
This quote comes from Bourne’s essay “Twilight of Idols,” published in the magazine
The Seven Arts
. Randolph Bourne was a prominent critic of U.S. involvement in World War I and of John Dewey’s arguments supporting the war.
At the time of publication, October 1917, the United States had recently entered World War I on the side of the Allied powers. At the time, many U.S. citizens believed that the war was necessary to promote a democratic and peaceful world order in the treaty concluding the war, but pacifists and isolationists opposed U.S. intervention. Prior to U.S. entry in the war, pacifists had tried to persuade the European belligerents to accept neutral mediation, but such efforts had failed. Bourne cites the failure of such efforts to halt the war as evidence that not even the U.S. would be able to force European nations to overlook centuries-old antagonisms and unite to promote peace and democracy.
This quote and the article containing it were primarily aimed at intellectual supporters of the war, especially the educational reformer John Dewey. However, many war advocates were convinced of the United States’ power in the world, so few would be persuaded that some challenges were too large for even the U.S. In contrast, opponents of the war, many of whom faced government persecution, would have agreed with Bourne that the war was unnecessary and served no higher purposes.
Bourne’s quote is a warning to the United States not to overestimate its own influence in the world. The U.S. government would not be able to control the nations of Europe during the peace process if it failed to control them as Europe plunged into war. In the context of the essay, Bourne also scolds the U.S. government for its infringement of democratic values domestically (such as the Espionage Act in June 1917, which restricted the right of free speech) in its attempt for a victory that would provide questionable benefits. Finally, this quote is a criticism of the overly optimistic attitudes at the beginning of the twentieth century.
Ultimately, the Treaty of Versailles proved Bourne’s prediction correct. The Allied nations hated Germany even more at the end of the war than they did at the beginning, so Wilson’s goal of a liberal peace treaty was largely destroyed by British and French desires for a punitive settlement. Although many intellectuals disagreed with Bourne during the war, some (including John Dewey) reversed their positions after the Treaty of Versailles failed to meet their expectations. Thus, Bourne’s quote stands as an admonition to nations attempting to meddle in situations too large to control.
ADB - “How long shall old Cuban men and women and children be murdered by the score, the innocent victims of Spanish rage against the patriot armies they cannot conquer?” – Joseph Pulitzer
This quote comes from the February 1897 issue of Joseph Pulitzer’s
New York World
, in which Pulitzer is commenting on the Cuban revolution against the Spanish that had begun when José Martí returned in 1895 to challenge Spain’s dominance. Spanish Prime Minister Cánovas del Castillo had sent General Valeriano Weyler (North Americanized as “The Butcher”) to Cuba to quell the rebellion after his previous choice, General Arsenio de Campos, had resigned in protest. Weyler set up what were basically concentration camps to keep the Cubans under strict control, often using firing squads to quash morale of the captured. These actions had inflamed the U.S. public, and the newspapers of the day, such as Pulitzer’s
New York World
or William Randolph Hearst’s
New York Journal
, decided to cash in on the crisis and increase their newspaper sales by, at times, extremely exaggerating Spanish actions against the Cubans, in what became known as “yellow journalism”.
Pulitzer’s main point with this quotation is to underline (with some embellishment) the horrors of the war between the Cuban revolutionaries and the Spaniards. Specifically, he is referencing Weyler’s concentration camps and trying to make the actions public so that a passionate response will occur (that is, he wants people, whether the public or the government, to
something to end these atrocities). This quote reflects a duality in his agenda, however: not only does he want to make plain Spanish indecencies against Cubans, but also to advance his newspaper sales. He portrays the Spanish as the aggressors, when, in reality, the Cubans had risen up
Spain; the Cubans were not as “innocent” as Pulitzer described. However, he knew that the popular indignation over Spain could boost his sales if he sided with the public, and that was exactly what he did: Pulitzer wrote to please the incensed populace, and while Pulitzer was known to print more truthful news than, say, his competitor William Randolph Hearst, this excerpt shows that he utilized sensationalist diction to sell his news as well.
"One cool judgement is worth a thousand hasty counsels. The thing to do is to supply light and not heat." –Woodrow Wilson
The 28th US president, Woodrow Wilson, made this quote. Wilson was an extremely intelligent man, who often dealt with most presidential situations with intellectual grace and finesse, demonstrated by this quote. The idea presented by this quote is simply, that haste involving debate is counter-productive, and often much less efficient than simple judgments and calm presentation of conflicting ideas. The figurative utilization of light could be viewed as enlightenment and the supplication of said enlightenment reflects Wilson’s calm presentation of ideas. During World War I, Wilson visited Europe to participate in negotiations with Germany, upon the newly founded statehood’s surrender. Wilson devised a plan for the closing terms of the war, named his “Fourteen Points” and while in Europe, he presented these points with a calm and level head. Because most European powers wanted a much more oppressed and hostile turnout towards Germany, they distorted the terms of the fourteen points, despite Wilson’s cool, calm, and collected advocation of his ideas. Despite Wilson’s stubborn reaction following his escapades in Europe, he stuck to the mentality presented in this quote, demonstrating the idea of his efforts towards supplying figurative light and enlightenment to the European powers. In regards to the figurative use of heat, the same example of Wilson’s quest of advocation in Europe can be used. Through his presentation of ideas, not once was a sense of forced avocation aloft. He felt that if the powers of Europe conceived the notion that the United States were forcing their thoughts arrogantly, they would reject it. This of course, is true, bolstering the idea that one should present facts calmly and with the intent of enlightenment, rather than with hostility and forceful intent.
"Once the United States is in Cuba who will drive it out?"
– Cuban revolutionary José Martí, 1895
MJM. Although this quote was not said by an American it is still extremely relevant to American history because it was based on past events and foretold future occurrences. Jose Marti, the leader of Cuban rebels, was inspiring the overthrow of the Spanish government that had held Cuba as a territory. The United States became involved simply as a defender of Democracy and self governance. Cubans had the same theory as Hawaiians, that Cuba should be governed by Cubans and Cubans alone. The United States became involved in the conflict to some surprise to the rest of the world. For centuries before this, the government operated on an isolationist policy in terms of international conflict, not in terms of global markets. There were a few exceptions such as interference with the Barbary pirates or in Hawaii but this direct affront to Spain was a major crossing of the proverbial line drawn by the Monroe Doctrine. It must have been a difficult decision for Marti and the rest of the Cuban forces because there is a risk in allowing American involvement on their behalf. The world could already feel a wave of imperialism take hold of the public and it was clearly seen in the overtaking of Queen Liliuokalani in Hawaii when Sanford Dole became the self proclaimed leader. The US government did not even enforce any laws after the fact and Liliuokalani became a puppet for Dole and the US Minister, never regaining true independence before their annexation. Marti feared that the same thing would happen to his island off the other coast of the United States. This is where the dilemma, and in essence the quote, comes in. There is no way the Cuban forces could defeat Spain and General “The Butcher” Weyler without American intervention but that being said, the rebels would not have had enough power to force US troops out if they had chosen to stay. There was US occupation of Cuba for a while after the Spanish-American War but their independence was granted which cannot be said for Hawaii, Puerto Rico or Guam. This “Big Brother” idea is even seen today. Nine years later, the Unites States military is still in Iraq on the basis of establishing a functional and democratic government. Iraqi citizens could not have freedom from Saddam Hussein without American help but now cannot get the Americans to leave. There is a lot to be said for a quote that is still relevant over a century later.
"The people of the United States are drawn from many nations, and chiefly from the nations now at war. It is natural and inevitable that there should be the utmost variety of sympathy. Some will wish one nation, others another, to succeed in the momentous struggle." -Woodrow Wilson
America has long been known as a 'melting pot', with immigrants coming from all corners of the world, as well as a neutral country- prior to its WWI alliances. Woodrow Wilson was working to maintain both of these legacies, being determined to maintain a united nation, regardless of origin. The leader of our nation clearly would not want a split population, therefore, he urged for the the population to stay together and back American decisions rather than fight them for honor of their previous country of origin. Living in America, they are Americans regardless of race, age, or gender. This statement was taken from Wilson's declaration of neutrality, when his intentions of 1914 were to uphold the founding principles of staying a neutral nation and being separate from foreign affairs. As the US was searching for imperialism via economic foreign markets and physical acquisitions to uphold Manifest Destiny, the US was inevitably going to become involved in political foreign affairs. This statement is intended as a notification of neutrality, as a nation, along with unity and cooperation as a population, targeting the many diverse immigrant groups nation-wide. Wilson plays it safely, regarding the neutral stance, however, if any American were pro-war, they would disagree with the fundamental principles of the founding fathers. This statement of neutrality successfully conveyed Wilson’s purpose as the American leader and his goal to remain neutral, however, this was overlooked eventually when America entered the war. This could be considered a prelude as German immigrants may be against fighting their homeland or such. When viewing the war and allied position as solely an American point of view, it is justifiable so that is the stance the immigrants should take on, according to Wilson.
No man can sit down and withhold his hands from the warfare against wrong and get peace from his acquiescence." - Woodrow Wilson
Woodrow Wilson, the 28th president of the United States, declared this quote upon the eve of entering the First World War. President Woodrow Wilson was a major advocate of peaceful and calm presentation of ideas, but on the contrary, was by no means a quiet, unprepared man. In addition to his stubborn and highly intellectual demeanor, President Wilson was also very calm when dealing with presidential decisions. Upon considering the consequences of joining the First World War, Wilson made this statement in accordance to his decision of entering the war. This statement reflected the moral reason as to why he decided to enter the war, presenting the idea that he would never assume peace from inaction. His use of the word acquiescence bolsters this idea, essentially portraying the idea that he would not sit back in compliance to the acts of the enemies of Europe. Because of Wilson’s calm demeanor, America avoided the war, but by utilizing the figurative use of a man refraining from participating in warfare, Wilson essentially portrays a character faced with a situation much like his own. This quote ultimately depicted the simple idea that Wilson would not “sit down and withhold his hands from the war against wrong…”.
“America was established not to create wealth but to realize a vision, to realize an ideal - to discover and maintain liberty among men
. Woodrow Wilson”
At the beginning of his presidency, Woodrow Wilson made this remark when asked to justify the costliness of actions in WW1. His comment embodies the vision through which many Americans justified their aggressive response to international maladies and their pursuit of imperialism. Claiming that the
was created to example and diffuse the splendor of democracy throughout the world,
’s view holds the
accountable for the maintenance of freedom. This idea parallels that held earlier during expansion executed by Theodore Roosevelt and other post-industrial surge imperialists.
ethical responsibility to liberty above that of domestic economic development. His position contrasts strikingly to late 19th century president (such as Rutherford Hayes) who were decided stolid when it came to international responsibility; although Wilson and Roosevelt – the president who first placed this policy into practice – were not of perfect political and personal aligned, their view that the US should be the world agent of liberty continued to influence US foreign policy even until today. After the US had experienced economic success after the Industrial Revolution, they became alarmed when the international economic dynamics (primarily the costly war) did not help the US. Wilson's stance here exhibits a reversion to the fall back expansionist argument that held the US was morally responsible for expansion.
When considered in the context of the impacts of American imperialism earlier in the century (such as its fatal toll on the
’s position on the ethical role of the
in international relations seems quixotic and self-inflating. The US was not an internationally sanctioned police for freedom. The ideological pursuit of liberty, of course, was accompanied by positive impacts on American affluence and status - such as the security and economic benefits reaped from the Panama Canal. It is slightly hypocritical that Americans heralded themselves as so distanced from any infatuation with wealth or economic
. US expansionist policies did decidedly benefit the US economically; however, US imperialism did have some net benefit to international liberty (such as for Cuba in the first quarter of the 20th century).
“Don't be afraid to make a mistake, your readers might like it.”
-William Randolph Hearst
William Randolph Hearst was noted for the role he played in the Spanish-American War, often distorting or completely lying about facts that had to do with the war. Hearst was in a war with competing newspaper,
The New York Journal
and in order to promote the success of his own paper,
The New York World,
became journalist who’s primary intention was to beat out his competition and remain as the number one newspaper in the city of New York.
Hurst was largely influential in the United States decision to enter the war due to the public sentiments he stirred up with his outright lies. “Yellow Journalism” can be best summed up with this quote that basically tells us why the two competing magazines of the yellow journalism era were so successful. Hearst, who basically admits he is a liar in this quote and obviously knew the power of catering to the public demand for an exciting story that would get the reader enthused or angered about a certain issue. His outright lying in his papers would increase the popularity and the amount of people who read the newspaper. This quote has monumental significance because it is representative of the lowness people will stoop to in order to gain readers. It is safe to say that abiding by the philosophy that this quote reveals, Hurst caused more harm than good and blew the issue of the Spanish-American War way out of proportion. 12
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