The Spanish Borderlands and the Making of Empire (1810-1898)
Reading and Study Questions
Who was richer in resources, territory, and population around 1810, the United States or the Spanish Colonies?
Several decades later, was this still true?
What is the common line of explanation for the differences by the mid 1800s?
What very important dynamics of the age does this explanation ignore, however?
I don't believe that Gonzalez intends to dispute the common line of explanation, but rather to point out there is much more to the story than just that. So this chapter, and indeed the book, focuses on the rest of the story. Due to this, it may seem unbalanced, and indeed it is. To give a balanced treatment, he would have to had written a book at least 50 percent longer than the present. So as long as you, the student, keep in mind that this is largely "the rest of the story," the account is useful.
What were the three phases of annexation of the Spanish speaking borderlands?
In the process of the above, what happened (among other things) to each of:
b) the Caribbean basin
c) Latin America
In the relentless incursion of Anglo settlers into Latin American territory, there were various groups were part of the story.
rank the following list more or less in the order that they came in:
traders & merchants
adventurers and mercenaries
What did US presidents such as Jefferson, Jackson, and Teddy Roosevelt share as a point of view about the taking of Latin America's land?
What groups were the main proponents and beneficiaries of US incursion? (list 4 groups)
How did these four groups foster popular support for the incursions?
How did US leaders justify the incursions and "empire building"?
When there were conquered lands, there were unwanted people already on the land. In the case of North and Central America, who were each of the groups? Through what process were each of these particular groups also dispossessed?
Would it be possible to teach this material in middle and high schools in most small towns in Oregon, and keep your job? Explain. So if you are to ever get a more complete historical accounting, and you are from such a community, then where else will you get it besides in a university setting? (supposedly universities teach universal knowledge, so a word such as incursion would then be ok to use, correct?)
In the initial decades after it happened, how was the US war of Independence viewed by intellectuals throughout the Spanish colonies, and supported by some of the colonies?
After the US Revolution triumphed, _______ __________ __________ emulated the founding fathers.
Why did the criollo and "Morning Star" of Latin American independence, Francisco de Miranda, not have splendid success amongst his own countrymen? Give the population statistics that worked against him.
(potential) "Latin America criollo rebels lived in constant fear of the 80% of the population that was _____, ______, and ________. Why did they fear them?
What explains the early 1800s strategies of criollo politicos not demanding independence from Spain?
Strangely it was something that originated in France that sparked the Latin American revolutions. Explain.
Most of the Latin American revolutions were very bloody. List the death toll for the Mexican and Venezuelan ones:
How many died in the US war of independence? Would this be a factor in explaining some of the advantages of early post revolution experience in the US compared with, say, Mexico or Venezuela?
At this point, did Latin American revolutionaries still admire and emulate the US and its experience?
What were early views of the potential US support for Latin American revolutions, as suggested at least by the comments of John Adams and Thomas Jefferson?
So then, US views/support of Latin American revolutions tended to be more influenced by 1) our own power interests, present and future, or 2) the ability of each country to chart its own self-determined course?
Was the US supportive of Latin American revolutions? (such as Miranda and Bolivar)
Some notable exceptions existed to this, however. Report on the experience of Henry Marie Brackenridge.
In relation to all of this, what was a condition to the Adams-Onis Treaty of 1819 that ceded Florida to the United States? Were the Latin American nations aware of these provisions?
From Wikipedia, which I know in this case to be historically accurate: TheHaitian Revolution(1791–1804) was aslave revoltin the FrenchcolonyofSaint-Domingue, which culminated in the elimination ofslavery there and the founding of theHaitian republic. The Haitian Revolution was the only slave revolt which led to the founding of astate. Furthermore, it is generally considered the most successful slave rebellion ever to have occurred in the Americas and as a defining moment in the history of Africans in the New World. The rebellion began with a revolt of black African slaves in August 1791. It ended in November 1803 with the French defeat at the battle of Vertieres. Haiti became an independent country on January 1,1804.
With this in mind, and after having read what Gonzalez wrote in the two middle paragraphs of page 34, what is the explanation for why US politicians in the slave states did not support Latin American revolutions?
So who was the only world power that was a supporter of Latin American revolutions? Why were they supportive? If you are not sure, do the next three questions and then I think you will see what was going on.
After the Bolivarian Pan American Congress where his dream for hemispheric confederation of Latin American nations was held, the US, who refused to attend, stated that it opposed an expedition to liberate Cuba and Puerto, two nearby islands. Why do you think the US was opposed to this?
Why was the Florida colony an irritant to the Anglos? (3 reasons)
Spain was worried about so many Anglo settlers in Florida. Ultimately, the Anglo settlers resort to what became known as _____________, and this strategy ultimately turned into a hallmark of Anglo adventurers and buccaneers throughout the Spanish borderlands. Explain what it was.
Most of the revolts spelled out on page 37 had the backing of political leaders from the US South. Give two reasons why.
Be aware of the example of how Andrew Jackson profited from land speculation, eventually benefitting from his role as a US Army commander. Should this be considered an abuse of power?
President James Monroe did what in 1822, and even more significantly what in 1823, at the prodding of the British?
Why did the British want the Monroe Doctrine? (This may help you with the earlier question about the motivations of the British in Latin America.)
To get a sense of the intentions of Monroe with regards to Mexican territory in its north and northwest, read the last three sentences on page 37.
With the outline of the Monroe doctrine, that the Europeans were to be hands of in Latin America (not to be colonizing the region ever again), why were governments in Latin America eventually to become again dissatisfied with the role of the US in the region?
What is the unresolved contradiction of US history, then? (page 39)
What was the earliest example of that contradiction?
Gonzalez compares the US and Mexico in 1824.
-Mexico: _____ million square miles, _________ people
-USA: _____ million square miles, _________ people
From the above it can be said that more or less Mexico and the United States had the same land area and ____% more people.
"That equivalence was radically transformed over the next three decades as _______ _______ poured onto Mexican _______."
Much of the next two pages details early Anglo movement into Mexican territory. What was the strategy of James Power, one that was to be replicated many times over?
While the author Gonzalez points this out, he doesn’t say much about it. The American patriot in me says "tough rocks". Another voice says that this is a dirty trick. What do you think?
FYI - a mayorazgo is an arrangement giving the right of succession to a specific parcel ofpropertyassociated to a single heir, based on maleprimogeniture. A mayorazgo would beinheritedby the oldest son, or if there was no son, the nearest relative. What drew in illegal squatters to many areas of East Texas by the 1820s? The Mexican government became alarmed by these intrusions, and did what two things to prevent more problems? Did these actions work? What did the Mexican secretary of state Lucas Alaman say about all of this?What did Santa Anna do after he seized power in Mexico City in 1833 that gave the Anglo settlers in Texas the excuse they felt they needed from Mexico City's tyranny?
What were three facts about some of the American heroes at the Battle of the Alamo, including William Barret Travis, Jim Bowie, and Davy Crockett, that are not probably known by most citizens of the United States today or even back then?
Hmmm…..low blow. I'm not making too many friends here. But consider what comes next…how long had most of the Anglo settlers been in the province? "Most had been in the province less than two years." Gonzalez paints an unsavory portrait of this settlement. I cannot confirm whether this picture is fair, though usually the early incursions of settlers anywhere has a large component of ne'er do wells, so who knows? The use of words such as "many", are close to worthless…what does "many" really mean, for example when used as it is here…Many were adventurers, vagabonds, and land speculators? Proponents of Manifest Destiny saw Latin Americans as _________________________ _______________________________________. Could Americans find evidence of their views that supported Manifest Destiny? What was Dr. Josiah C. Nott known for? What was the theme of a Nott speech in 1844? Gonzalez states that…"the national outcry to annex more Mexican land became overwhelming" What was the motive of the South, and the motive of the North, in this? Regarding the war with Mexico, what did the last governor of
a) the Texas Republic say about it, and
b) what did General Grant say? As the US army advanced toward Mexico City, what were some of the debates about, within the United States?
Eventually, the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo forced Mexico to relinquish what share of its territory? The 1848 treaty also included what 150 mile wide area? How did Spain view the area? Summarize the content of the inset on page 45, also considering what is written in the previous paragraph. Even the cowboy language is dominated by worlds from Spanish. Give 5 examples. What is inaccurate about the way Hollywood has portrayed the cowboy of the Old West? How are Mexicans typically, or as Gonzalez writes, invariably portrayed? Which state is considered the richest prize of the war with Mexico? What was the original attraction there? Who had the early advantage of better techniques in California, and what did the state do to give the Anglos a better edge there? What has ended up being a more enduring source of wealth in California, evident even as the gold fizzled out in less than a decade? What had happened within two decades of Sutter's Mill having been discovered? What sources of wealth did a) Arizona and b) New Mexico, provide? Where did most of the Arizona mining industry labor come from? (surprised?) How were goods moved in the Southwest before the building of the railroads?
Who were the key workers in this force? What is the point of the paragraph in the middle of page 47? ANGLO SETTLERS HEAD SOUTH OF THE BORDER Who was one of the more significant expansionists in the early years of Manifest Destiny? What did he do in Sonora, Mexico? (this is the state just south of Arizona)
Isn't this stuff just amazing?
Did any of the US press actually support the actions of Walker? As he stood trial for violating US neutrality laws, was he convicted or acquitted? Isn't this stuff just amazing? What did Walker do after his acquittal in the US? (skip ahead to page 50 for a moment, then go back). Again…isn't this stuff just amazing? William Aspinwall put together a deal to build a railway across Panama. How many lives (deaths) did the project claim? Who were most of the workers? Whether it be the construction of the Panama canal or the Panama railroad or the Nicaragua steamship and railway line, ventures in Central America helped to do what as they related to the Western United States? Why did US interest in Nicaragua increase, even after the investments of Vanderbilt in the steamship and railway venture? Following this increased interest in Nicaragua by the United States and fortune hunters, what happened that led to the US navy bombing and destroying the town of San Juan/Greytown? Isn't this stuff just amazing? What were the basics of the Henry L. Kinney story? What was the point, do you think, of Gonzalez including the paragraph about the New York Times article? What did the US and Great Britain agree to with the Clayton-Bulwer Treaty? What were the contributions to the Treaty that were made by the affected Central American countries? Isn't this stuff just amazing? Well, now we are back to the amazing William Walker. What three things did he do after seizing the government of Nicaragua? Who helped finance Walker's army? Who supplied Walker with guns?
What did Vanderbilt do so that he could defeat his economic rivals in Central America? No, friends, Gonzalez didn’t make this up.
Summarize the evidence that Gonzalez gives to demonstrate that Walker's activities do not belong in just a minor footnote of American history. What did James Buchanan do when Walker was finally expulsed by the Nicaraguan government? (in case you didn’t use this as part of your answer to the previous question) By then, how many US citizens had been killed in Walker's war? This toll was greater than that of what two other significant wars the US was in? How many Nicaraguan citizens were killed in Walker's war? What led to there not being a Central American Canal being constructed for decades, even though there was still interest in it in the US? Who made an attempt to build a canal through Panama, and from what country? Where were the laborers brought in from? What led to these laborers settling in Colon and Panama City? What crop was planted on the land owned by the Panama Railroad, and later in Honduras and Guatemala? From 1876-1911, Porfirio Diaz was the dictator of Mexico. His government allowed a two billion $ of US investment in the country. Eventually, North Americans controlled all of the country's _______, 76 percent of the country's corporations, and _____ percent of its agriculture. (the latter statistic has to do with export agriculture, I believe) Summarize in about 100 words what appears in the section THE LURE OF THE GREATER ANTILLES, up through the middle of page 55. Though this section is geographically outside of our subject area, it demonstrates and illustrates the thinking and actions of the US towards its southern neighbors overall in this time period.
The middle paragraph on page 55 summarizes how Latin American leaders in their first 75 years after colonialism tended to view the role of the US in their region.
In articulating how Americans tended to view this time period, Fredrick Jackson Turner was perhaps typical. He focused on what was happening in the West with Native Americans and their land, all the while ignoring what? What does Gonzalez mean when he says that "The frontier thus became and outlet for violence and corruption, for those within American society who wanted the fewest rules and least control." Who did Gonzalez give as examples? The Spanish American War in 1898 eventually involved a US invasion of Cuba, and the Cuban rebels welcomed the US troops. How did the US troops treat the black Cuban soldiers? Include four actions.
After the war, what US-based company became the twentieth century symbol of US imperialism? What else is said about this company?