tv Lectures in History CSPAN May 9, 2015 8:00pm-9:13pm EDT
-- eliminated a million german troops. inside germany itself, the alliance and the faintness -- in the famous stadium of nurnberg. with the capture of this famous german southern city, the american flag clouds out the swastika. ♪ in a symbolic gesture, american troops destroyed the not to party emblem. >> each week, american history tv sits in on a lecture with one of the nation's college professors. you can watch this every saturday evening at 8:00 p.m..
next, university of texas at austin professor jeremy surry talks about the world fair in chicago and the for policy. he describes the 1893 world's fair in chicago and the expansion of the u.s. navy as ways that america began to build an international presence. this class is about an hour and 10 minutes. prof. suri: we are going to talk about america's emergence as a global power. the transformations that occurred in the united states in the late 19th century transformations that change the united states from being one country distant from the center of international conflicts and activities into becoming a central actor, not the most dominant actor, not the most powerful, but now an essential actor by the late 19th century and the ways in which international affairs were conducted in a country to be reckoned with in international space. one way to think about this is that the united states goes from being a continental power after the civil war where we started
this course to the a power now -- being a power now with international range that it did not have before with a whole new set of problems that were related, but also different to from the issues of the post-civil war decades that we dealt with before. the first proposition that has been with us in this course that is central to the way that we think about american history is that the united states has always been an international society. international and obvious ways, people see the classroom with having people of different backgrounds and areas of the world, but also international in the sense that the united states has always depended upon the movement of people the movement of goods, and the movement of finances from far away. there was never never a time when the united states or americans living and what would become the united states for non-americans living and what would become united states --
never a time when they were isolated from the rest of the world. never a time when they were an island without deep connections elsewhere. our ideas of governments, people have populated our society, our trade, our economy have all been deeply dependent on international actors, upon people who live far from our territories. at the end of the 19th century we are going to deal with whatnot marks the end of isolation. it does not mark the end of isolation. in marseille deeper engagement with the world for a society that was already and gauge with a worldview and deeper engagement with the world for a society that was already deeply engaged with the world and a level of engagement that is different from what it was before. different in scope and nature and in particular more militarized, more militarized than it had been before. it is the depth and breadth of american interactions that had changed. this is an artistic rendering of
particular events from the late time -- 19 century. does anyone want to take a guess at what we're looking at here ? don't always your hands at once. don't be shy with the cameras. who wants to take a guess here? jim? >> they look like military guys sitting over town. it looks like native americans. like railroads that we talked about the last lecture about wounded knee and expanding railroads and they are not happy . the native americans were at war with what is going on. prof. suri: there seems to be a comparison here between undeveloped force by the technological capable force in a less capable one. that is the asymmetry that is pointed out here. what else do we see in this
artificer -- artistic rendering of the period? does anyone else want to comment on this? remind me. >> there are people that are obviously hurt and injured. it is possible that the people of that town were forcibly removed or killed to put in the railroad. prof. suri: exactly. looks like they have to move people to bring in the arrival of the technology. this is obviously an artistic rendering. it is a rendering of the rough riders arriving in cuba. we will talk about this towards the end of the lecture. the reason i start with this image is that it captures in some ways the perception that americans have of themselves in this. where they are bringing the railroads. they are bringing maturity. they are bringing modern economies to a monitor places.
they are doing it with the military. if i does the civil war for you. -- it goes the civil war for you. this is a linktone he and -- lincolnian vision. it brings the power and the economy and ideas to a place where it is not yet civilized. it is important because it is happening in america's backyard. it is both a continuation of the northern republican civil war program of lincoln and it is also now an expansion and taking of that program to a new set of places. there is continuity with the development of american power in american ideas from the end of the civil war. there is also now a transaction -- injection beyond the limits of before, and part of the capabilities that we discussed in prior lectures.
the ability of united states that have an integrated economy to mobilize its resources, and to develop the kind of technological military power it did not have the or. -- before. that is a large part of the story today. we are going to deal with three basic topics today as always. we are going to talk about the changes in american power in 1890's and the vulnerabilities that came with it. one of the things of our course and are -- themes of our course and are lecture today is that power brings with it capability but it also brings obligations vulnerabilities, and challenges as well. one of the biggest issues that the united states has faced from 1898 to the present is that we have grown evermore powerful but with our ever greater power, we have taken on evermore obligations and found ourselves with ever greater vulnerability and challenges. isn't that what you see when you look at the world today? there's some of power we have relative to others, but there
are so many problems to confront that power. power brings with it vulnerabilities. proble -- how are brings with it vulnerabilities. one of the things that they faced in the 1890's is contending with the fact that there are a larger set of international actors. there were more vulnerabilities that came with that power. we are going to talk about the ways in which americans really come to think about these issues, particularly those in charge of foreign policy and those in charge of the political discussion of foreign policy in the united states. how do americans think about the role of war and the role of power? what is the strategic thinking that comes to the force in american government and the american citizen's taking of that government? and we will talk about the wars of 1898-1902. we are going to not start with the wars. we are going to talk about the context that leads to the wars and how the wars reflect at the time. was not matter simply because of
things that die in that treasure is lost in exchange. wars matter because they reflect change in society. you have all lived through that. the wars in iraq and afghanistan have not just been about iraq and afghanistan. they have been about us. same thing with these wars from 1898-1902. the history of society and history of war, not because war is the only thing that matters but because war reflects the societies that are at war themselves. let us begin by talking about this first point about war and power in american vulnerabilities in 1890's. i want us to spend a few minutes talking about this important historical event. it is symbolic as much as it is substantive for understanding the late 19th century. this is the: be an expedition in chicago and 1893. -- colombian expedition in chicago in 1893. one of the most important world's fairs of the time.
how many have heard of you this? what did you hear about it? >> you've heard the name. prof. suri: another hand. what else do people know about it? what is your name? kelvin. >> america showing off what they're good at they had protections that were represented in groups. some of them were not included in the exposition themselves. this is not exactly what the world should site -- aspire to be like. prof. suri: excellent. it was the chance to show off that we were at a player and we have things to show off to people. does anyone know where the colombian expedition was -- exposition was? anyone from chicago here? that gives it away. it was in chicago. everything in the late 19th century happens in chicago. the relatives come to chicago.
the pigs come to be slaughtered and chicago. that's what we talked about last time. some people said about chicago smell worse than any other city in the world because of all the things that came through chicago. chicago is the late 19th century city. it is the metropolis where the business owners and financiers lit. now, chicago is the place where the western activities and western resources have brought together in the middle of the country and were made and produced into items that could then be sold for lots of money. chicago is where a lot of the innovation was occurring at the time. the railroad lines go right through o'hare airport. they go right to chicago to bring all this together. the colombian exposition of 1893 was a moment when americans came on the world stage to show off that they were part of the development world. these world fares were like nothing we have today of the kind.
these were moments not just for business activity. they were moments for cultural representation of where society was in relationship to others. the world fares incurred in paris, london, and in chicago. and chicago in 1893, they were the equivalent of the fixed today. why did the chinese and russians want to have the alone fix in beijing -- the olympics in beijing or so she -- sochi? it was to show up. they want to show off that they were big in the u.s.. do you ever find us rooting for the country to get more medals? it is really important that we have more medals in the chinese. ? why? why does it matter? it is funny how competitive we get that way. how many have felt that when we do not want the russians to get more medals on us? it must be something wrong at
the russians get more medals. they must be dealt up. the: be was like the olympic games in a sense -- an effort to show off that the united states was developed in a new kind of way. it was to mark the 400 anniversary of columbus is coming -- columbus's coming to north america. what year did columbus come to north america? 1492. why was it in 1893 not 1892? any guesses on that? >> time zones. prof. suri: that's a smart answer, but not quite right. time zones may be. >> lucasfilm -- leap years. prof. suri: that's interesting. that is a smart comment, but i'm not sure. in the back. >> that is why it is 1893 and
not 1892. prof. suri: one could make the argument that by including leap years that it may be 400 years. what is your first name again? all those are good isolations that were given. the main reason that people have these things happen is that they were late. they were a year late on it. they got it together. the columbian exposition of 1893 was an american announcement to the world that 400 years after columbus, we were no longer the place that others were coming to from being development -- bringing development from somewhere else. we were now the development. we now have to offer the world. the vectors of change were moving in a new direction and we where the recipient for 400 years of so of other societies
bringing us the most advanced stuff. now we have the most advanced stuff and we will send it elsewhere. the vectors of change were moving in a new direction. whether that is true or whether this is a turning point or not is not the point. it is that americans perceived it that way as did many europeans coming to the united states. this was self-titled not just the world's fair. it was the great white city. there are still some of the bones of it in chicago by the way. the field museum and others are on the space that this area occupied. this was to be the great white city. what do you notice about the architecture of the great white city? greek? >> [indiscernible] marble and very clean. prof. suri: yes. exactly. an ancient kind of look. museum like.
if you have been to many great metropolitan museum in new york and chicago, they look like this. we talked about this last time about the metropolitan museum in your. -- in new york. these are things built in the late 19th century, invoking some connection to the classical world. some connection to rome and some connection to other societies and empires. what else about the texture -- architecture do you notice? remind me of first name -- isaiah? >> usually when architects try to capitalize on fillers and rotunda is, they tried to project some idea of power in relation to other places. typically when you see things like this, you are in all of this size of this amazing experience. that is one thing they are trying to project to the world. prof. suri: it is designed to be big. it is designed to make you feel small.
it is hard to see that in the image, but if you look at the many people, you see the mini people here. you see the size relationship. in the late 19th century many people are not accustomed to tall buildings. they are coming from places that are not accustomed to buildings of great size. they are what i would call the cathedral affected you go into it the -- cathedral of fact. you feel small. there is almost a religious invocation in this. it might look almost religious as well as classical to you. what about it being the great white city? what about that? is that just coincidental? why is it the great white city? because everything is white, britney, is that why? >> it is showing that white power has done this and not the other ethnicities that were in the united states at the time. prof. suri: britney is right.
it is cleanliness. it is not just a racial statement, although it probably is. it is a statement of being civilized, advanced, clean. overcoming the grime of the past. some have written that it pretty straight lines and cleanliness in contrast to a dirty, jagged older world. this is supposed to be modern and forward-looking. it was also called the great white city because it was one of the first major uses electricity to enlighten and urban landscape -- an urban landscape. we take that for granted today. there are literally thousands of people who came and were amazed that they could see at dark. people coming from areas that barely used kerosene lamps at night to see a totally lit, and electrically lit area. was a great white city because it was raining enlightenment to the prairie -- it was a great
white city because it was bringing enlightenment to the prairie. in 50 years, americans have created modern rome with light. modern rome with light. they are announcing that to the world. the columbian exposition was not a government project. it was, of course, federal and state government support. it was largely run an organized and put together by corporations that we talked about on tuesday. these large entities that were amassing capital and resources through the use of railroad oil, and other industries to create complex structures and were then able to use their resources to invest heavily in new projects like this. this was a corporate activity. it was a corporate creation to show off the possibilities of technology, human ingenuity, and american business. technology, human ingenuity, and i can business.
-- american business. commas edison was a key part of the club he and exposition. there were some of the first elevator shoes. thousands of people wrote in elevators for the first time. think how weird that must've been for them to ride in elevator for the first time. there were electric sewing machines that were not new, but still not common displayed here. all this new technology was side-by-side and highlighting the american frontier. of those qualities that were supposed to make americans modern, but also rugged and individualist as well. just outside of the great white city was buffalo bills wild west show. you could see people shoot and capture steer and do all the things that people do at rodeos -- that i still don't understand
when you go to the rodeo. i think you have to be bored in texas to understand the rodeo. all these activities to relive the wild west. you would come to the chicago great white city club in exposition to see the past and the future. american individualism from the front tier american ingenuity from the front tier brought together with the most modern technology and the most modern businesses to create the future. right future, not just for americans but for the world. it had to be for the world. this was the world's fair. people were supposed to comment and be in all. -- commone and be in awe. there was a recognition from the companies that this was going to the about international markets as well as domestic production. this is a world's fair to sell to the world. elevators must be bought by others. sewing machines must be bought
by others. this is marketing, technology marketing america. some foreigners would say that no one does marketing like the united states. no one does marketing like united states. i find it funny already to see the presidential candidates that are all going overseas to talk about trade. not necessarily security issues, but overseas to talk about trade. is their job to get people to buy and be interested in american power. what we see here is a huge transformation encapsulated by this moment. the convio exposition do not change anything, but it was with -- it is what we as historians say captured what happened. it represented the changing nature of the american economy. it was becoming an international economy, but a major production economy. a major contributor to consumption at home and consumption of raw.
the united states was a main producer of things sold far from american shores. remember what we talked about on tuesday -- the changing nature of the american trade. the united states is a net importer. by the 1890's, the u.s. was a net exporter. the united states was selling much more overseas -- almost 50% more than it imports by the late 19th century. that produces cash in american pockets as people are paying more overseas for our products. cash that the men -- then can be used in technology at home and overseas. what we get to a loved one, that is where the investments in your come from at that point. it is also a source of government revenue. like i said, the federal government since money best gets its money -- the federal government gets its money from where? a gets its money from the taxes on trade. you import a bottle of french wine and you pay a premium tax on it, it goes to the government
to help fund government activities. no income tax, but taxation from trade. the united states is becoming an international trader and the world itself. this peiord of the 1890's is the highest volume period of trade and we will not see that volume until the 1970's. there is more trade in the 1890's than it is in the 1920's, 1930's, 1940's, and 1960's. there is more trade and interaction. the world is more bloated in the 1890's that was in the 1950's. counterintuitive is in it -- isn't it? you can see american trade is in the technology and agriculture. it is dominated by agriculture then and in many respects to their hands in hand economic and
technological changes are military changes. this world is connected to this world. they are one and the same. they are many of the same people. this world is connected to the military role. it is the power to produce this that is also the power to have a world-class military. it is a building of the railroad that allows the movement of products to chicago. no railroad, no chicago. no railroad, no modern union army. the railroad is essential to lincoln's army. it is essential to the columbian exposition. it is essential to the way americans built power in the 19 century. the point that we made on tuesday is that railroad smart he and of indian resistance to american power and allowed the united states create a truly continental integrated economy. along with the railroad, we have
steam engines. they provide more efficiency and more speed and more reliable power. related to the railroad and steam is the navy. we are going to talk about the navy later in today's lecture. the navy provides the united states the ability to project power by sea to trade by see and a way that could not before. before the 1890's, the united states is largely dependent on british shipping to trade its goods. by the 1890's, the united states told its own carrier ability to traded some good and connect best protect their own interests. the united states will be an independent and capable seized power of its own. it is indicating of the story that we live today. sorry to all the army guys in attendance. american power is key around the sea. we control the sees of the world. we control the sees of the world beyond the british in the late
19th century. we go from the power of the 1890's took made. united states alone later on make sure that our people and our commerce and whatever else we want to go wherever want around the world. that is largely by sea and not by air. that is how our products get places. cars don't go on planes when we ship things. they go by sea. they go on c-130s for the military, but that is not how you usually get it to places. the control an emphasis on the sea and the ability to project across the seed is a major transformation. a fourth 1890's, seapower really separates. by the 1890's, seapower really connects. all this makes the united states economically culturally, socially, politically, and militarily the power in the world as it was not before. up here for other big powers. a country to be thought of
seriously. they rise from being second-rate powers internationally to being first great powers at exactly this time. they are the united states, germany, and japan. remember those when we get to world wars one and two. it is the british, the french and the spanish that are really the older powers. they are the older powers along with the dutch and others. it is now the german reunited focus on the economy and the japanese modernizing themselves after the meiji restoration and united states after the civil war. it all begins to mobilize at home and abroad. the 1870's produce the 1890's. civil wars and foreign interventions, wars of unification, germany, you can -- japan, and united states
producing competition. we are the new kid on the block along with german and japanese friends at the time. this world gives the united states a lot of power and creates a lot of older abilities as well. it creates new obligations. it creates new challenges. the most significant one is the integration with actors consumers, economic producers who are far from the united states. a powerful the united states becomes, and this is true today, the more powerful the united states becomes, the more dependent we are on the actions of people far away. the clearest way to make that point in our world today is to think about energy resources even though we are taking a lot of oil out of the ground now in texas and elsewhere. we are part of an oil market. how much oil do sound is produced even though they might be producing less than us affect how much we pay for gas. there are times where we talk about this in the course where
middle eastern countries start producing oil in large quantities when our prices went up. what the saudi king decides affects what you pay when you drive. that was not the case in the early 19th century. 19th century. that starts to become the case in the late 19th century. the united states become connected to foreign markets. we profit from those markets. we also are dependent upon decisions. in crude terms people far away people we don't understand people we may not even respect unfortunately, they get a vote in our politics, in our society. they get a vote in a sense that they affect how we live they affect our jobs. this is clear in 1893 when there is one of a series of economic downturns in the united states.
united states go through boom and busts. you have been blessed to live in pretty stable economic times. this was not a stable economic time. the more the united states was connected internationally the more the economy goes up and down depending on factors far from the united states. in 1893 there is a contraction of global demand due to international factors that lead american producers to have probable that trouble selling abroad. at least to a major economic downturn. americans in the late 1890's are deeply concerned. that they have places abroad that sell their goods, that they open new markets. some historians have taken this too far and made it sound like americans are only concerned
with foreign markets. it's not true. they are still a small part of a larger economy. they matter. this is the beginning of what one historian calls the american search for influence in china, a search that continues to this day. every producer has the dream of selling to every chinese citizen and becoming rich. think about if you could sell one t-shirt every chinese citizen, one billion t-shirts. you would be doing well. it's a huge body of people. many americans are involved in looking out to asia as china sees the new markets. americans look at home and in their backyards in latin america for new resources to use to produce things abroad. babel look south to cuba for resources like rubber and food
resources like sugar. one historian writes that it is sugar that makes the economy go. it is true. people used to drink tea without sugar. now they start drinking it like snapple. they start drinking more sugar. why? why did they developed more sweet tooth? any guess? what is your name? liam. >> and more resources, sugar is a luxury item. they can buy more of it. you don't think about it but it is a luxury item. >> i was going to say now that we have the ability to integrate with other societies we can get these items easier now.
while they may be luxuries for other people, now that we have the ability to afford them they become mainstream like they are today. professor suri: i love the way people pay large amounts of money to where things that make them look like they are not spending lots of money on things. sugar is the same thing. it becomes normalized. why else? think about factories in sugar. what is going on? it is being mass-produced. what about that? good. the supply creates a demand. what is your name? emeliano. it's mass-produced so there is
more available. >> doesn't have anything to do with energy and getting people energized while they are working like coffee and caffeine, having people to work longer hours. professor sruri: absolutely. it has become a normalized good. it's a normalized good with a purpose beyond simply sweetness. the energy factor in it. i like your example, your analogy to copy and caffeine. i have trained myself to like the taste of coffee because the caffeine is helpful. how many spill their coffee? coffee fuels you coming in at
8:00 a.m.. it feels you coming in at 8:00 a.m.. coffee consumption goes up in the united states as people work longer hours. there no doubt about that. they are drinking more coffee. >> i'm seeing the picture painted as america projecting this idea of greatness and example to the world but it seems like this is only one echelon of society they are projecting. not only slaves in unrest but to landowners, are other countries who look to america at this point turning a blind eye to this other echelon of society the source of domestic unrest? professor suri: you have widening inequality. the gilded age is inequality we
don't reach again until now. the inequality reflects the fact that some people because of their education access, are able to benefit from these changes and others are left behind. others are exploited by these changes. there is a huge amount of cheap labor required to build this. some of that african-american labor. some of the immigrant labor. the railroads are largely built by chinese immigrants. these two things go hand-in-hand . you don't have to be a marxist to believe that it is the center of the economy that it is an interval part. that is absolutely true and it is an issue for foreign societies because they see both parts of the united states. one of the reasons this is being done is to try to show one element, one side of the united states.
we will talk next week about progressivism. it talks about this in the efforts of groups left behind to find a way to gain access to resources. that will be the basis for our discussion like jane addams, figures who will become spokespeople, and those were left behind organizing themselves. labor unions grow out of the recognition. the matter what you say, labor unions have been crucial over the last century to provide better access to resources. there is no doubt about it. that is a fact of the history for the reason isaiah pointed out. sugar and caffeine relates to this. sugar is imported by more americans and consumed by more americans than by brits and
others because people are asked to work longer hours with more energy. sugar consumption is like caffeine consumption. it is a fuel, a fuel that is consumed. it is part of the story. the united states becomes more dependent upon the import of resources that go into the economy, go into the bodies of the people in the economy. your diet today is radically different from the diet of any american who went to the columbia exposition. that is not because of mcdonald's and saturated fats. it is because of the food products that are not only produced in the u.s. but brought into the u.s. that we start to consume related not simply to what we like to eat but to our work and lifestyles. most of us don't grow our food anymore. it changes the vitamin content of what we consume. that is not because we chose.
it is the way our lives are structured and the economic demands upon our lives. the united states is more connected and therefore less independent and economic choices. this is really important. power brings more dependence. less power would have meant more independence. more power means more dependence. that is the story of today for our society as well. there is more criticism of this that emerges. the more this becomes the image of a modern united states, the more criticism arises from those who feel left behind, that their interests are not served, those that feel exploited and they have a platform to discuss their exploitation. there are rival world fairs and intensive criticisms of these world fairs. there is a generation of journalism that develops called
muckraking to assess and point to the downside, the dark side of american society. there are goods that begin to organize including american indians, african-americans, and others, as part of the story. in a sense you have the argument of a new world, and an old world butting up against it. america is conscience of this. many areas have been part of empires and subsumed by imperial powers. they have become more assertive claiming they have a right to express themselves and countries like india as well. many areas are part of this process as well. what gives the united states power to other people in other societies make their claims.
the 19th century is what many historians would call a flowering of nationalism where more groups emerged to argue for their own independence, two are yet the core they have a right to be recognize and respect to the people. they have a right to be recognized as people. americans quickly find as powerful as they are, there are so many groups and so many issues to deal with, their power is never enough. this is the other paradox that we live with every day. the more powerful you are your more interests grow. more powerful you are, you never have enough power. that is the world we live in today. we have the largest military in the world by far. we don't have enough. we never will have enough. it's the same story we tell about money. we have all the millions we could imagine and it is never
enough. there's always something more unique, more money that you want. there's never a point of satisfaction and human beings. therefore americans find they have more power, but they need more. they don't have a now. they feel overstretched because they have to care about markets. overstretched because they have to care about places far away consumers in asia and consumers at home. americans feel confident those who are part of this elite feel they are world leaders, they feel deep anxiety as well. deep anxiety because of the vulnerabilities because of where they are in relationship to the world. they are more powerful and less independent. that brings us to our second point. to talk about american way of war. this is a phrase used by a story
and were -- by a historian. how do americans rethink how they are going to conduct themselves in the world and the role of their leaders in the world. how do they rethink those issues ? the most important thinker for this at the time is a man named alfred. most no one has heard of him. that will all change today. remember i said the navy is important. alfred is from the navy. he was a naval officer during the civil war. a union naval officer during the civil war. wars produce a lot of problems. those of you have studied these issues will know this. wars produce a lot of people with lots of stars on their uniforms.
it doesn't mean they have done anything, they just have lots of stars. then the question is what should they be done with them? then what happens? this is a big problem with the union navy. the union contracts and sigh then you have these admirals high-ranking naval officials who have no one to command. they are generals without soldiers. he is concerned about this. he is sent on a ship in the 1870's and he is struck that the united states navy is behind the chilean navy. they are very offended they have a better navy. how could they have a better navy? he comes to believe out of self
interest and the way he views the country, and you view what you live, if you're in the navy you think the navy is important. if you're a teacher you think teachers are important. we are all self-interested viewers of the world. he comes to believe that the future of american power will be dependent upon a stronger navy and that are weak navy is holding us back, and other societies, particularly the newcomers of the germans and japanese, they are developing a navy and we better have one. mahan makes the argument called the influence of c -- c power on history, a study of rome and britain and the knighted states. mahan argues the democracy of
the world, the great republics that brought power together with freedom were the naval powers. not the landed army powers. armies for mahan are bad. they will always say that. armies are expensive. armies take lots of people and armies stage coups. when you have lots of people holding guns it is natural they have the ability to power. this happens time and again in history. it happens recurrently to this day. he argues seapower is different. it does not involve occupation of land. it doesn't involve terrorizing people. seapower, sailors don't take over and growing democracies. that is factually wrong those of
you who know the bolshevik revolution know that it is a revolt led by sailors. they are no less likely to be joran nickel. it's a nice image. his argument is that it is safer for democracy. it doesn't involve armed people interfering with civilians. seapower is more efficient. he says seapower matches up with the needs of trade and movement. with seapower, it is not controlling land and people. it is controlling access. you go where you want to kill you want to sell and how you want to go. then you leave. ladies and gentlemen, that is american military doctrine to the present day. not to occupy, not to govern others though sometimes we end
up doing that, but to move our force where we want, when they want, and then leave. that is the argument resin obama is making to congress for fighting against the islamic state. we will move then with a light footprint and move out. mahan's argument maneuverability not density is what makes for military power and the navy provides that. he argues the navy is technologically advanced. the navy protects trade. the navy makes it so you don't have to fight the land battles. his book is how the romans and the brits use their navy to defeat stronger land powers. by isolating those land powers. to put in crude terms, there are two kinds of power in the world. there is prussian power, large
militaries that march and take control of society, then there is seapower, the ability to move on the water, allow people to be free, and controller people go and win. his argument is the united states to be a seapower. the gets a large hearing from members of the navy who want an argument for their mission, and from many american political and military leaders. business leaders like this idea because they need a navy to protect trade. they don't want to be dependent on british trade and british protection. political leaders like it because it it is a way to protect power without the cost of power. this is a recurring theme, how can we exert power without the negative attributes that have gone to prior empires? how can we have the ability to work far away without being a power like the british.
the effort is to avoid it. he offers the possibility for in an engaged united states that is also still distant, that engages from a distance with the rest of the world. intervention in pursuit of isolation. the ability to intervene and change the terms on the ground but withdraw, to remain separate. americans want to remain a shining city on a hill, but they wanted to have arms to reach out and affect other areas and then come back. and protect our trade and then come back. it is the effort to intervened without the cost of occupation and imperial management, without occupation and imperial management. he reflects this in his thinking. his father was a minister. his uncle was a minister. he comes from religious thinking and engineering.
he has the engineering background in one part of his family. his views are affected by both of these things. the belief in an american exceptional approach to the world. he becomes hugely influential as the navy develops a war college that trains people who will make key foreign-policy decisions for the united states. the beginnings are around the navy and the naval war college in thinking about these issues. if the army says the agenda for the civil war, the navy says the agenda for the next few decades. the first intelligence agency the precursor to the cia, the office of naval intelligence. it still exists.
it is the basis for intelligence activities through world war ii, an area that hires young smart people like you to analyze other parts of the world to prepare the navy if they have to move then to think about different c layings in different places. naval doctrine develops over different ideas that will be important for us. that the united states must have access. not large landed occupation areas, but access points. forward basis. for a global navy to work the navy needs places to go to refuel, to get food, to be in force at times and not in fort in the united states. we need forward bases, not large landed occupations, but bases where forces can go.
staging areas. the united states will have 10-12 of these. today we have more than 300. in every part of the world. from djibouti to guam. we will go from being a country without the word bases to a country that is not about controlling territory but controlling bases. those drones, they are launched from the region in which they are being used. many are launched from pakistan. pakistan doesn't like to talk about it. the first key element of this strategy forward bases, staging areas. the second part of this, focus on key waterways. key places that one must be able to get through. the 20th century we would call these chokepoints, areas not
just in the wide ocean but are narrow through ways that are connectors, crucial if you want to get from one part of the world to the other. that will be the argument for the panama canal, for the suez canal, for the straits of gibraltar, for so many of these key areas around the world that to this day the united states put so much attention to making sure they are open. those of the areas that trade goes through. the possible bottlenecks on the highway of the world. mahan's ideas are picked up by so many people. theodore roosevelt becomes an avid promoter of mahan.
his nephew, franklin roosevelt will be very taken with mahan. this gets built into the american way of thinking about the world, not because everyone reads mahan but it accords what americans want to believe. we can use power in a different way, we can use in a clean way in a white way, and a way that gives us the advantages of projecting power without the cost of having to occupy others. these ideas get put to the test in 1898. here is the important part to think about in american history. when ideas and technologies developed, they are usually put to use. when they get enough they are put to use because they will serve someone's interest. that happens in the case of cuba.
we will refer to many times in this course. the irony, this small island south of florida. my least favorite state. the small islands, north of jamaica, north of haiti, so close, so small has had inordinate influence on the united states because of what has happened on that island has not followed the wishes of america and american society. this island is an important part of our story. from the 1860's, this island is going through convulsions. it is an incredibly diverse and complex place. it is part of the spanish empire part of the spanish empire but it has a mixed population.
you have many african descendents, afro cubans, dark skinned afro cubans who were former slaves or were slaves brought to the island. it is an area where slaves were brought, not just in north america but to brazil. they still have slavery until 1888. it was a transit point. there are a lot of descendents of slaves, many who are themselves slaves until recently. you have those of spanish dissent and were brought over as part of the spanish empire. you have other caribbean and central american people. you have a mixed population. many different races, many different backgrounds. as the spanish empire confronts the limitations on its power, as the united states invests more
power, more conflict arises. what is the other big crop that comes out of cuba? rum? that's jamaica. rum is not the big crop. you are on the right track. cigars. do you like cuban cigars? >> i love cuban cigars. professor suri: you would never import one. >> of course not. professor suri: cigars. tobacco. cuba is tobacco. and sugar company country. they are labor-intensive crops.
they are heavy labor-intensive crops, but different kinds of labor. you have economic divisions within cuba between the sugar growers which have more afro-cuban labor, and the tobacco growers who have less labor, both of which have heavy american investment and are under spanish political authority. you have more american money coming in as americans are buying these plantations building casinos and play areas until the end of the batista. cuba is a playground. my grandparents went to cuba to hang out. it is amazing people would do this. with american money coming in, and spanish authority in place, it is an area of organize
activism having the right to be independent from spain, and integrate or work from the united states as independent actors, and dark skinned cubans who want to see themselves finally freed from the next journal system holding them back as cheap labor. everything that is happening is raising the importance of cuba. sugar in particular at this time. time and again human activists. it will ask americans to help save them from spanish. they are not asking for the united states to take over cuba.
they are nationalists. you have a continual. of conflict and vin violence during this. you have more and more british coming into the area. they are interested in cuba, and in mexico. mexico will have oil. cuba has sugar and tobacco the germans want. the british are moving in because they are already in places like jamaica, the bahamas . they want to maintain the area. yet other foreign actors coming in to challenge the spanish. throughout the 1880's, americans continually reject
overwhelmingly the idea of intervening. they want to buy -- grover cleveland continuously says no. things change in 1896, 1897 with the election of william mckinley. he is convinced the night of state should stay out. he's convinced by those around him that mckinley, the united states needs to keep other bad guys out of the area, the unrest, the failed state is creating an opportunity for others to intervene. in early 1890, they send the uss maine into havana harbor.
you can see the northwest corner of cuba. show our force. show our muscle. convince others to stay away. once you do that you makers of a sitting duck. on the 15th of february, the battleship maine explodes. immediately the thought is terrorists did this. people are convinced of that. it is not the yellow journalism that drives this. the united states has been challenged by the terrorist acts of a decaying empire.
the united states declares war on spain. it goes to congress. we declared war then. we used to declare war when we went to war. the interesting question is why did we go to war? it is not because americans had some long abiding interest in taking control of cuba. americans were concerned others were taking control of cuba and that disorder was going to threaten american economic interest. influenced by mahan and others, american leaders believed we have to use force to protect order. we could use the navy to get the bad guys out, and power people, leave, and protect economic interests. it is motivated not by this desire to own cuba.
we never make cuba a state of the united states. in 1902 the u.s. grants cuba formal independence. it becomes difficult to find a stable leadership that will serve american interests as well. the first rule forces crated by the united states for counterinsurgency will be created in cuba and the next place on when to talk about. he arrived expect into use naval force to keep bad guys out, find themselves involved in a long military fighting against various different groups that will want to fight the standish and the united states. -- the spanish and the united states. people will call in the united states to intervene. many will then fight the americans who arrive. seeing the americans as invaders. this is the story of american intervention. self-motivated for interests of self-interested purposes but
confronting this complexity of a demand for intervention and opposition at the same time. we will see this story in the philippines as well. they are attempting targets for the united states when the united states goes to war with spain. the proximity to china, to this big market in china. the ability to get into that market is what motivates many americans to think about the philippines. here are the islands. the united states intervenes in the philippines because of its potential use for the united states as a staging ground for asia and it is the center of the spanish fleet in asia. once they go to war with spain the u.s. naval fleet under
admiral george dewey expect attacks the spanish. he have left the philippines and let the united states in charge. the american plan was to take manila. everyone seem and noah? use manila as a base, and let the filipinos rule themselves. it doesn't work that way. the very nationalist forces the united states brought back will immediately claim the united states should not have control of manila. the night is states will find itself with an unprepared war for more than three years against various filipino groups who we thought were our friends.
they didn't want us there. 41 months of warfare, 100 26,000 americans will serve in the philippines. 4200 americans will be killed. 20,000 filipinos will be killed. another 20,000 will die from famine. this is a quagmire of a war. it will go on for four years. a war the united states did not prepare for. a war motivated by american interest in keeping other powers out of this important place. motivated by the desire to in the spanish empire, a war the united states did not plan for. the power has given them new challenges, challenges we may still be a prepared for.
we have a rise of a new america that has extended four years of war, a thousand miles away in the philippines. in america that finds itself in the philippines. most americans didn't know why we were there but knew we were there. america that had economic, cold tro, military interest far, far away from the imagination of abraham lincoln 30 years earlier. an america that had opportunities to be an asian power, but now new vulnerabilities and new blood on its hands. they were seeking to use force to protect their new interests in hopes they would need to use more force. these were all preventive wars. they were all preventive wars. wars fought to prevent what was thought to be an even worse
possibility if we did not use force. the challenge is one we confront today. it is a norm is american capability. uncertainty of how to use that capability. it is an enormous benefits and triumphs. it's a. where -- americans in the late 1890's have the semi-design ideas you all have. you are better educated than your peers, you have more technology, you are winners because you are here. you are blessed to be able to be here. you did some things, but is also the luck of birth that you are here. you are all winners. you are all anxious about what that is going to mean, where that is going to take you. that is how americans feel in
the 1890's. they are becoming winners. they are uncertain about what it means. the challenge of the next century will be not about building power, but of using that power. that will be topics we discuss next week. see you next week. >> join us each saturday evening for classroom lectures from across the country on different topics and eras of american history. lectures and history are available as podcasts. visit our website or download them from itunes. >> american history real