June 26

Ep. 0007: The Spanish-American War

Join Prof CJ as he discusses:

  • How tensions between the US and Spain over Cuba escalated in 1898, giving the Large Policy clique (covered in our last episode) the opportunity they’d been waiting for
  • Spanish abuses (real, exaggerated, and fabricated) in Cuba, including those by Spanish General Weyler (a professed admirer of the American General W. T. Sherman), culminating in a policy of reconcentracion
  • The explosion of the USS Maine in Havana, and some evidence as to what probably happened
  • How the jingoistic Large Policy clique, uninterested in evidence, immediately pinned it on the Spanish and upped their drive for war (assisted by the press)
  • How Theodore Roosevelt used his job as Assistant Secretary of the Navy to put the Philippine Islands in Uncle Sam’s crosshairs, though it was on the other side of the world from Cuba
  • Quotes from the warhawks, many of which are dripping with references to manliness and virility (see the George Carlin routine linked in last episode)
  • How many Southerners were happy to assist the US federal government (which had brutally subjugated them just 30 years previously) to conquer Spaniards, and after them, Filipinos
  • A smattering of antiwar quotes
  • How Spain bent over backwards trying to avoid war and conceded to almost every American demand, to no avail – the American war party got its war
  • The real story of the Teller Amendment
  • A brief overview of the brief war against Spain
  • The highlights & lowlights of the American war effort
  • A cynical (realistic?) look at TR’s wartime experience
  • Side effects of the war, including a major effect on the state of Florida; a new cocktail (the Cuba libre); and the North-South reconciliation brought about by the two regions teaming up against foreign enemies; and its role in Anglo-American rapprochement
  • This war led directly to a nastier, longer, and costlier war, against the Filipinos, which we’ll cover next episode

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June 23

Ep. 0006 The “Large Policy”

How did the United States go from being a country that, in the words of then-Secretary of State (and future President) John Quincy Adams in 1821, “goes not abroad in search of monsters to destroy,” to being, dare I say it, Team America:  World Police?  This podcast will tell you how a small, elite (and elitist) clique of American leaders and intellectuals made the country change its foreign policy course one-hundred-and-eighty degrees from that charted by our Founders and their sons and grandsons, and a country founded on anti-imperialism began acting blatantly imperialistic.

Join Prof CJ as he discusses:

  • The foreign policy prescriptions of America’s founding generations, which were (for the most part) reiterated and followed by America’s leaders for most of the nineteenth century
  • The emergence of the “Large Policy” clique that steered America (mostly against the wishes of most average Americans) down the road toward emulating the European Empires of the day (especially the British)
  • Members of that clique, including:  Adm. Alfred T. Mahan, Henry Cabot Lodge, Theodore Roosevelt, Brooks Adams, John Hay
  • The ideology and motives of these men
  • Also, press tycoon William Randolph Hearst, who though not a member of the clique, shared their eagerness for war for his own reasons
  • Some interesting & revealing quotes from the Large Policy clique
  • Some of the late-nineteenth-century American leaders (generally of an older generation than the Large Policy guys) who opposed American overseas expansionism and war, including Thomas Brackett Reed & Grover Cleveland
  • How tensions with Spain over Cuba would give the Large Policy clique the opportunity to start getting their way. (This war will be covered next episode.)

Prof CJ’s Picks (buy from Amazon via these links to help support the show at no additional cost to you)

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