US History - Foreign Relations/Policy

By jmpmkl
  • Jay's Treaty

    Jay's Treaty
    Washington sent John Jay to negotiate a treaty with Britain that addressed certain issues such as British maintaining forts in the Ohio River Valley and the British practice of Impressment of US sailors. While Britain promised to stop these practices in the treaty, they did not, and the treaty was viewed as a failure. This led to increased tensions and the eventual armed conflict years later in the War of 1812.
  • Pinckney's Treaty

    Pinckney's Treaty
    This treaty was also established under Washington, but was with Spain. Thomas Pinckney, the US Minister to Spain, came to an agreement with the Spanish that gave the US access to trade in the lower Mississippi River and the port of New Orleans. It also established the border between Florida and Georgia to be at the 31st parallel.
  • Washington's Farewell Address

    Washington's Farewell Address
    In September of 1796, George Washington announced that he would not run for a third term, and his farewell address was released in pamphlet form. In his address, Washington warned of the danger of political parties, but most importantly of the danger of foreign entanglements. This warning influenced the foreign policies of many Presidents to come, and resulted in the US policy of isolationism for, more or less, the next 100 years.
  • XYZ Affair

    XYZ Affair
    IN 1798, President Adams sent delegates to France to speak with French diplomats about the current status of the French-US alliance. However, when the Americans arrived, three assissants to the French Diplomat demanded a bribe of $250,00 just to speak with the Diplomat. Adams, refused, and thus the US never got involved in the Napoleonic Wars, and the US-French Alliance ended in 1800.
  • Lousiana Purchase

    Lousiana Purchase
    In 1803, Thomas Jefferson sent diplomats to France offering to buy New Orleans from the French. Instead, Napoleon offered the entire Louisiana territory to the US for just $15 million, or a mere 3 cents per acre. This was the first time a significant amount of land had been added to the US, and despite believing in strict interpretation of the Constitution, Jefferson pounced on this oppurtunity, justifying it by saying he was doing what's best for the country.
  • Embargo Act of 1807/Non-Intercourse Act

    Embargo Act of 1807/Non-Intercourse Act
    The Embargo Act of 1807 and the Non-Intercourse Acts were passed under Jefferson, and prevented the US from trading with France and Britain. While the goal was to punish the two nations for their practice of Impressing US sailors, it ended up being disastrous and hurt only the US economy. The only benefit of the act, was that it resulted in many new factories being built in the Northern US.
  • Treaty of Ghent

    Treaty of Ghent
    This treaty ended the War of 1812, but didn't really address any of the problems or conflicts that started the war. It is signed mainly because Britain is busy fighting France in Europe, and doesn't want to have to fight the United States at the same time. Meanwhile, the US is happy to get out of the war, as they barely survived the war and suffered many military losses to the British.
  • Rush-Bagot Treaty/Treaty of 1818

    Rush-Bagot Treaty/Treaty of 1818
    The Rush-Bagot Treaty was signed by the US and Britain and was succesful in demilitarizing the Great Lakes and Lake Champlain, as well as creating the longest demilitarized boundary in the world (between US and Canada). The treaty also gave the two nations joint control of the Oregon Territory. The Treaty of 1818 settled more boundary disputes between the two nations in Minnesota and with fishing off the coast of Newfoundland. These two treaties led to an era of improved US-British relations.
  • Monroe Doctrine

    Monroe Doctrine
    In his Seventh State of the Union Address, James Monroe declared that any future act of colonization in the Western Hemisphere by European Colonies would be interpreted by the US as an act of agression, and it also reassured the European nations by vowing that the US would not interfere in Europe. The Doctrine became the cornerstone of US foreign policy in the future. In 1905, Theodore Roosevelt added his own Corollary to the Monroe Doctrine.
  • Treaty of Guadelupe-Hidalgo

    Treaty of Guadelupe-Hidalgo
    The terms of this treaty, which ended the Mexican-American War are:
    1. Mexico recognizes the Rio Grande as the southern border of Texas, which they also cede to the United States
    2. The US pays $15 Million in exchange for the Mexican provinces of New Mexico and California
  • Gadsden Purchase

    Gadsden Purchase
    Under Franklin Pierce, the Gadsden Purchase acquired more land from Mexico that became the southern part of the Arizona and New Mexico Territories. The purchase was greatly supported by southerners, who hoped to promote slavery in the area and build a southern transcontinental railroad that reached these territories.
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    New Immigration

    Until now, most immigrants came from Britain and western Europe, and were mainly protestant, except for Irish Catholics. However, this time period saw immigration more from southern and eastern Europe (Italy, Croatia, Slovakia, Greece, Poland, etc). Many of these immigrants were either Jewish or Catholic, unlike their predecessors, and they often formed ethnic communities in America's large cities. Ex: Little Italy, Little Poland, etc.
  • Chinese Exclusion Act

    Chinese Exclusion Act
    Congress passes bill in 1879, and it is vetoed by Rutherford B. Hayes. However, once Hayes is out of office, it is passed. The act severely restricted Chinese Immigration, and was not repealed until 1943.
  • Pan-American Conference

    Pan-American Conference
    Secretary of State James G. Blaine pushed his "BIg Sister" Policy during the late 1880's. The policy called for Latin American nations to rally behind the United States' leadership, and for the various nations to trade freely with one another. Blaine presided over the first Pan-Am Conference in 1889, where the American nations paved a path for trade to take place in years ahead.
  • Increase in US Exports

    Increase in US Exports
    In the last decade or so of the 19th Century, US exports of manufactured and agricultural goods increased greatly from those of the post civil war/reconstruction era. This was due largely to the massive increase in population, wealth, and industrial production/revolution.
  • Wilson-Gorman Tariff Act of 1894

    Wilson-Gorman Tariff Act of 1894
    The tariff, which was barely lower than its republican-crafted predecessor was passed by Congress under the Cleveland administration. It cause trouble for sugar farmers in Cuba, and the Cuban Revolt was one of the consequences of this tariff.
  • Cuban Revolt

    Cuban Revolt
    Cubans, enraged by their economic crippling in part due to the tariff of 1894 causing sugar production to drop, begin to burn down sugar fields. By doing so, they hoped that Spain would decide to leave Cuba, or the United States would swoop in to fight for Cuban Independence, which they later do, but not under President Cleveland.
  • Venezuela/British Guinea Border Conflict

    Venezuela/British Guinea Border Conflict
    Dispute over the border between Venezuela and British Guinea angered President Cleveland and his Secretary of State Richard Olney. They sent a letter to London, declaring Britain to be in violation of the Monroe Doctrine. After waiting 4 months for a nonchalant reply from Britain, the United States was prepared to go to war. Fortunately, Britain was soon distracted by Germans in South Africa. The resolution of this conflict also transitioned Britain and America into a period of reconciliation.
  • Annexation of Hawaii

    Annexation of Hawaii
    After first proposing annexation under President Cleveland, Hawaii is finally annexed under President McKinley in 1898.
  • Teller Amendment

    Teller Amendment
    U.S. passes the Teller Amendment, promising to withdraw from Cuba as soon as Spanish misrule had been overthrown. The Teller Amendment was the United States' way of assuring the world that they were invading Cuba solely to uphold the ideals of Democracy, and not for imperialistic reasons.
  • Spanish-American War Armistice Negotiation

    Spanish-American War Armistice Negotiation
    US and Spain meet in Paris to negotiate the terms of the end-of-war agreement. In the agreement, the US got Puerto Rico, Guam, and Cuba, although the United States promptly granted Cuba independence in accordance with the Teller Amendment.
  • John Hay and the Open Door Note

    John Hay and the Open Door Note
    In the summer of 1899, Secretary of State John Hay sent a note to the major powers of the world, urging them to uphold fair trade in their respective spheres of influence in China. Britain, Germany, France, and Japan all accepted Hay's proposal, but only under the condition that every nation accept as well. Then Russia declined, but Hay decided to call Russia's declination as an acceptance, and he thereby declared that the "Open Door was in effect," when in fact, it was not.
  • Foraker Act

    Foraker Act
    Grants Puerto Rico a limited degree of popular government and also granted them U.S. citizenship.
  • Hay-Paunceforth Treaty

    Hay-Paunceforth Treaty
    This treaty between the US and Britain replaced and superceded the Clayton-Bulwer Treaty of 1850, which compacted the two nations in an effort to create a canal in South America. The new treaty gave the US the right not only to build the canal themselves, but also to fortify it.
  • Platt Amendment

    Platt Amendment
    The United States wasn't planning to just completely let the reigns of Cuba go with the Teller Amendment, and leave the still unstable nation open to German rule. So they forced Cuba to write their own constitution, which was known as the Platt Amendment.
  • Hay-Banau-Varilla Treaty

    Hay-Banau-Varilla Treaty
    After Panama declared independence from a Columbian government that refused to sell the US the land for the soon-to-be Panama Canal, newly appointed Prime Minister of Panama, Philippe Bunau-Varilla signed the treaty in Washington, giving the land to the US for construction of the Canal.
  • The Roosevelt Corollary

    The Roosevelt Corollary
    In response to European creditors trying to intervene in the Dominican Republic to "collect" debts, TR wrote the Roosevelt Corollary to the Monroe Doctrine. In it, he declared that "in the event of future financial malfeasance by the Latin American nations, the United States itself would intervene, take over the customhouses, pay off the debts, and keep the troublesome [European] powers on the other side of the atlantic." (quoted from textbook pg 675)
  • California Schools and the Japanese

    California Schools and the Japanese
    In response to the influx of 70,000 Japanese citizens in California, the state declared that Japanese children would attend segregated schools. This greatly angered Japan, and concerned President Roosevelt. To soothe the matter, he came up with the "Gentleman's Agreement." This agreement, was never formally written down or signed, it was more of a "political understanding" between the two nations, in which California stopped the segregation, and Japan stopped the massive waves of emigration.
  • The Great White Fleet

    The Great White Fleet
    TR sends 16 brand new US Navy Ships around the world to show them off to the rest of the world.
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    Dollar Diplomacy

    "Dollar Diplomacy," as critics deemed it, was President Taft and the United States government's policy of encouraging Wall Street business tycoons such as J.P. Morgan to invest their money in U.S. interest abroad. These interests included the Phillipines, China's Manchuria, the Caibbean islands, and areas in South America critical to the construction and security of the Panama Canal.
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    Wilson's Foreign Policy

    When Wilson stepped into the oval office in 1913, everything about the United States' foreign policy changed. An Anti-Imperialist, he hated both TR's "big-stickism" and Taft's "dollar diplomacy." His actions proved this. In 1914, he persuaded Congress to repeal the Panama Canal Tolls Act passed by Taft, which had exempted American shippers from tolls on the canal, and angered Britain. Then, in 1916, he passed the Jones Act in 1916 which granted the Philippines territorial status.
  • Conflict with Mexico

    Conflict with Mexico
    In 1913, revolutionary General Victoriano Huerta seized the presidency. Many Mexicans disagreed with Huerta's radical views, and as result millions of Mexicans crossed the border into the southwestern United States. Huerta's revolutionary tactics in Mexico also resulted in the death and injury of many American citizens in Mexico. Unwilling to declare war on Mexico, President Wilson and the US government simply allowed arms to flow to Huerta's rival, Carranza who soon took office as president.
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    American Neutrality During WWI

    For the first three years of WWI, the United States under Woodrow Wilson stayed "neutral" in the war. Neutral, is in quotations, because despite their technical status of neutral, the United States' trade policy by 1917 was almost exclusively with the allies, and for a number of other factors, the United States formally joined Britain and the rest of the Allies on April 6, 1917.
  • Haitian Revolution

    Haitian Revolution
    It wasn't until 1915 that Wilson really had to go against his anti-imperialist code. It was then that the Haitian revolution came to a climax, and an outraged group of rebels brutally murdered the Haitian President. In response to this, and in order to protect American lives, Wilson sent in the marines.
  • Emergency Quota Act of 1921

    Emergency Quota Act of 1921
    Enacted in response to the 800,000 European immigrants that flooded the U.S. in 1920-1921. Immigrants from European countries are restricted to a quota of 3% of the people of their nationality that currently reside in the U.S. Adds to isolationist sentiment.
  • Washington Disarmament Conference

    Washington Disarmament Conference
    Lots of disarmament agreements passed with various nations. Ratio of 5:5:3 is established for the number of ships that could be held/made by the U.S.:Britain:Japan (Japan has 3). Four power treaty passed, in which Britain, France, the U.S., and Japan agree to "preserve the status quo" in the Pacific. Nine power treaty keeps the open door in China.
  • Kellogg-Briand Pact

    Kellogg-Briand Pact
    Frank Kellogg, Coolidge's Secretary of State wins the nobel peace prize for creating this pact that basically outlaws war. It is obviously, completely utopian and unneffective, because there is nobody to enforce it.
  • Immigration Act of 1924

    Immigration Act of 1924
    Cuts the quota from the Emergency Quota act down to 2%. Also bans Japanese immigration. Adds to isolationist sentiment.
  • Dawes Plan

    Dawes Plan
    Creates a "plan" to "solve' the debt crisis, where the U.S. loans money to Germany to help them pay off their debts to Britain and France, who use that money to pay off their debts to the U.S. So basically the money goes in one big circle, and the U.S. never really gets their money back.
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    Latin American Relations During the 20's

    U.S. troops withdrawn from withdrawn from Dominican Republic in 1924. Troops removed from Nicaragua in 1925, but are then sent back the next year. Situation in Mexico solved by U.S. intervention where Mexicans were claiming sovreignty over U.S. oil rigs. In general, Latin American nations begin to/continue to resent their American overseers.
  • Good Neighbor Policy in Latin America

    Good Neighbor Policy in Latin America
    FDR wants to become a better neighbor with nations in Latin America. At the 7th Pan American Conference in Uruguay, FDR renounces armed intervention in Latin America, and the next year, he removed US Marines from Haiti. This and other diplomatic actions greatly improved US-Latin American relations.
  • London Conference of 1933

    London Conference of 1933
    In the summer of 1933, 66 nations met in London to try and find a worldwide solution to the Great Depression. FDR was at first going to send his Secretary of State, but later retracts this idea and scolds the other nations for attempting to stabilize currencies.
  • Tydings-McDuffie Act

    Tydings-McDuffie Act
    States that the Philippines will be free after 12 years of economic and political tutelage, in 1946.
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    Neutrality Acts of the late 1930's

    The Neutrality Acts of 1936 and 37 banned US citizens from traveling on belligerent ships and from selling arms to belligerents when the President declared the presence of a foreign war. However, in 1939, after the start of World War II, a new act was passed that allowed US citizens to sell arms to belligerents, but only on a "cash and carry" basis. This meant that the belligerents must pay for the arms in cash, and haul them away on their own ships.
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    Events Leading Up to US Involvement in World War II

    Destroyer Deal with Britain -- US exchanges 50 destroyers for a series of military bases all across North America.
    Lend Lease Agreement -- US agrees to lend arms, munitions, and ships to Britain and Russia with the understanding that these nations will return them after the War
    Atlantic Charter -- Written at the Atlantic Conference in August 1941. Created by FDR and Churchill and set general terms for the end of the war, even though the US wasn't officially in the war yet. Similar 14 Points.
  • Japanese Surrender

    Japanese Surrender
    World War II officially ends as Japan surrenders to the U.S. unconditionally after the atomic bombs are dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
  • Iron Curtain Speech/Containment

    Iron Curtain Speech/Containment
    In March 1946, Winston Churchill delivered his famous Iron Curtain Speech, in which he said that the world has been divided as an Iron Curtain has fallen around Eastern Europe. This related greatly to the US policy of containment of Communism. In this policy, the United States goal was not to combat Communism directly, but rather to contain to the areas where it was already present.
  • Truman Doctrine

    Truman Doctrine
    In 1947, the Truman Doctrine was established, and gave $400 million to Turkey and Greece, who are both susceptible to Communist Revolution. The Doctrine shows that we are willing to support anti-communists around the world, no matter who they are.
  • Marshall Plan Announced

    Marshall Plan Announced
    Secretary of State George C. Marshall announced his plan in 1947 to provide financial relief to Western European nations struggling to rebuild from the war. The underlying incentive for this plan was to deter these nations from implementing Communism as a way to solve their postwar economic dilemmas. The plan angered Stalin, who was always looking to expand his Soviet regime, and increased tensions between the U.S. and the U.S.S.R.
  • NATO Treaty Approved by Senate

    NATO Treaty Approved by Senate
    The United States joined the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in 1949 along with eleven other Western European Nations. NATO marked a departure from traditional American isolationism as well as a significant step in the militarization of the Cold War. NATO became the cornerstone of all Cold War American policy toward Europe.
  • New Look/Massive Retaliation--Eisenhower's Foreign Policy

    New Look/Massive Retaliation--Eisenhower's Foreign Policy
    When Eisenhower was elected in 1952, he adopted a very strong anti-communist foreign policy known as the New Look. Closely tied with the New Look, was the concept of Massive Retaliation. Promoted by SOS John Dulles, Massive Retaliation said that if the USSR expands or tries to take control of anymore areas, the US will respond quickly and effectively. Uses the threat of nuclear warfare as a way to prevent further Soviet expansion (nuclear deterance).
  • CIA Coups

    CIA Coups
    In 1954, the CIA overthrew two communist regimes in Iran and Guatemala. These overthrows led to further problems in the future, especially in the Middle East, where Iranians would later lead a revolt against the leader that the US put into power.
  • Warsaw Pact

    Warsaw Pact
    In response to NATO, the Soviet Union and various other Soviet-influenced Eastern European Nations formed the Warsaw Pact or Alliance. This led to increased Cold War tensions, as the world was slowly being divided between NATO and Warsaw.
  • U2 Spy Plane Incident

    U2 Spy Plane Incident
    In May 1960, a US U2 Spy Plane crashed in the USSR while performing a secret espionage mission. The Soviets announced that they had recovered the plane. After hearing this, President Eisenhower released a cover up, claiming that a NASA weather plane had accidentally drifted into Soviet airspace and crash landed. However, the Soviets later revealed that they had the pilot, and that he had admitted to spying for the US. This led to the USSR refusing to attend the upcoming Paris Peace Summit.
  • Cuban Missile Crisis

    Cuban Missile Crisis
    US learns that the USSR has established a nuclear missile base in Cuba, a mere 90 miles off the coast of Florida. In reaction to this, despite being told by his advisors to bomb Cuba and declare war, JFK decides to "quarantine" Cuba by blockading it, and searching all ships that ask to pass. After 13 days of the nuclear standoff, Soviet Premier NIkita Khrushchev agrees to remove the missiles in exchange for the US removing missiles from Turkey and promising not to invade Cuba.
  • Apollo 11 Lands on the Moon

    Apollo 11 Lands on the Moon
    US beats the Soviet Union to the moon when Neil Armstrong steps on the moon in July of 1969. Big moment in US foreign relations sentiment, because the Soviets beat the US to space with Sputnik, but the US got to the moon first, and the Space Race is over.