The Far Eastern Policy of the United States

The Far Eastern Policy of the United States

The Far Eastern Policy of the United States

The Far Eastern Policy of the United States

Excerpt

The Philippines had been called the key to the markets of Asia. Now the key had to be fitted to the lock, and turned. Would the United States emulate Great Britain and turn Manila into a bona fide Hongkong, from which by displays of naval power to challenge its competitors in China? Or would the precarious situation of the new colony dictate a more cautious decision? First answers to these questions came in the two great declarations of policy embodied in the open door notes of September 6, 1899, and the Hay circular Of July 3, 1900.

Like the annexation of the Philippines, the famous notes were to a large extent influenced by forces extraneous to both the United States and the Far East. Chief among these were Great Britain's attempts to restore the balance of world power recently upset by her three great rivals. In Europe, Germany was building alliances and a fleet with which to assert her own continental supremacy and break down the British colonial monopoly. In Africa, German colonies were being founded, and diplomatic fences erected against British conquest of the Boers. The Anglo- French struggle for the Nile Valley nearly resulted in the outbreak of war at Fashoda in 1898. All Asia was feeling the impact of Russian imperialism which threatened to overrun British spheres of influence in China and perhaps even the Indian frontier itself. In America the Venezuela boundary crisis of 1895- 1896 had shown that the determination of the United States to resist any European intrusions into the affairs of the Western Hemisphere was stronger than ever. For a moment England stood alone, friendless, amid the ruins of her once "splendid" isolation. Then, in a characteristically pragmatic fashion, her diplo-

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