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Old December 22nd, 2017, 05:28 PM   #31
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I would completely agree with the sentiment that not only Americans but citizens, in general, are supportive of wars that end quickly.



I would agree with your thinking of intervention over non-intervention from Pearl Harbor to Vietnam but I would extend that period to be oh let's say 1880 to present day.



I think Americans treat it implicitly like a sort of benign imperialism, never explicitly calling it imperialism. It is in someway discussed as a police-like action that is creating a better environment or maintain an ambiguous "order." And just to do some justice, this type of intervention is not necessarily conservative. You do have conservatives like Robert Nisbet who do state that American imperialism abroad is not in line with conservative beliefs. He is obviously attacking the creation of Neoconservatives who justify American foreign policy of imperialism. Though Nisbet is certainly in the minority of conservatives today, though by fairness his divergence must be noted.
I will say I think the majority of both political parties in the US are isolationist today, I do disagree that America has been pro intervention from 1880 to the present. We shouldn't talk about the present cause of 1991 rule but in terms of 1880 to 1940, aside from 1900(1890s in general), I don't see strong electoral support nor government policy that would suggest Americans were interventionist. Both parties feigned isolationism even if they in private felt differently and even the most interventionist American in history(should Woodrow Wilson have that title?) had to run a campaign on isolationism(or non interventionism). I would actually argue that aggressive foreign policy and expansion was historically popular in the early 19th century but that and I think the 1890s expansion would come under this umbrella as well is fundamentally different from overseas conflict in Europe, the Middle East and mainland Asia. There's a difference between expanding and taking colonies and going to invade countries in the name of abstract principles in long drawn out conflicts.WWII being the large exception, I see this as the only multi year war in this category that was electorally popular. However WWI, Korea, Vietnam ending all of these conflicts was a huge winner at the ballot box. Heck two of the three incumbents behind these conflicts didn't even run for a second term and the third had already served two terms(and was in no condition to run for a third) and his party was routed at the ballot box. The same logic bodes true with modern examples of this.
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Old December 22nd, 2017, 05:39 PM   #32
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I will say I think the majority of both political parties in the US are isolationist today, I do disagree that America has been pro intervention from 1880 to the present. We shouldn't talk about the present cause of 1991 rule but in terms of 1880 to 1940, aside from 1900(1890s in general), I don't see strong electoral support nor government policy that would suggest Americans were interventionist. Both parties feigned isolationism even if they in private felt differently and even the most interventionist American in history(should Woodrow Wilson have that title?) had to run a campaign on isolationism(or non interventionism). I would actually argue that aggressive foreign policy and expansion was historically popular in the early 19th century but that and I think the 1890s expansion would come under this umbrella as well is fundamentally different from overseas conflict in Europe, the Middle East and mainland Asia. There's a difference between expanding and taking colonies and going to invade countries in the name of abstract principles in long drawn out conflicts.WWII being the large exception, I see this as the only multi year war in this category that was electorally popular. However WWI, Korea, Vietnam ending all of these conflicts was a huge winner at the ballot box. Heck two of the three incumbents behind these conflicts didn't even run for a second term and the third had already served two terms(and was in no condition to run for a third) and his party was routed at the ballot box. The same logic bodes true with modern examples of this.
I'm sorry but what...

What is the difference between colonialism and invasion for abstract principles? I see the one begetting the other because when the United States was actively involved in Cuba, Guam, the Philippines and Puerto Rico they were involved because, as they rationalized it, these countries were incapable of having self-government and that they were there to bring civilization to the heathen masses. They were children who had only know tyranny and barbarism and look how wonderful we are for bringing them democracy. Sorry if I didn't address the rest of your post but this one thing jumped out at me and I think it needs to be addressed.
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Old December 22nd, 2017, 08:54 PM   #33
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I'm sorry but what...

What is the difference between colonialism and invasion for abstract principles? I see the one begetting the other because when the United States was actively involved in Cuba, Guam, the Philippines and Puerto Rico they were involved because, as they rationalized it, these countries were incapable of having self-government and that they were there to bring civilization to the heathen masses. They were children who had only know tyranny and barbarism and look how wonderful we are for bringing them democracy. Sorry if I didn't address the rest of your post but this one thing jumped out at me and I think it needs to be addressed.
Well expansion in particular has been very popular in the US. Now while at the end with the Philippines and Puerto Rico the lines do get blurred a bit, the earlier expansion in the 19th century usually meant more land for Americans to settle from what started out as a cramped group of colonies at least on paper limited to the Appalachians. Now I'm not sure how many Americans were planning to move to Hawaii(which was before SPAM) the Phillippines or Puerto Rico but there is a difference between expanding one's borders and going into a conflict overseas for other reasons. Expansion had always been very popular policy in the US and should be seen as different from wars like WWI,Korea and Vietnam where the US was mostly fighting for a geopolitical outcome. An example that demonstrates this difference would be the Mexican American War that was unpopular as a war of US aggression with mirky prextexts and quite popular after it's conclusion when the Mexican cession was revealed. What separates the incident on the Rio Grande from the Gulf of Tonkin is victory would be victory and the California territory.

Cuba of course is more similar to the "invasion for abstract principles" as the Spanish mistreatment of Cuba (along with the Maine explosion) were the two main pretext's for the war and the US didn't annex Cuba(despite this having been an expansionist priority since the 1850s when Franklin Pierce tried to do it). Of course the need to step in and stop the Spainards(largely exaggerated treatment of the Cubans) was one of several pretexts with the Maine explosion and the fact that the US could just mop up the rest of Spain's colonial empire also being reasons to go to war.

So I think I laid out the difference between these two types of conflicts and how they have been historically seen by the US public.
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Old December 24th, 2017, 05:18 PM   #34
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Well expansion in particular has been very popular in the US. Now while at the end with the Philippines and Puerto Rico the lines do get blurred a bit, the earlier expansion in the 19th century usually meant more land for Americans to settle from what started out as a cramped group of colonies at least on paper limited to the Appalachians. Now I'm not sure how many Americans were planning to move to Hawaii(which was before SPAM) the Phillippines or Puerto Rico but there is a difference between expanding one's borders and going into a conflict overseas for other reasons. Expansion had always been very popular policy in the US and should be seen as different from wars like WWI,Korea and Vietnam where the US was mostly fighting for a geopolitical outcome. An example that demonstrates this difference would be the Mexican American War that was unpopular as a war of US aggression with mirky prextexts and quite popular after it's conclusion when the Mexican cession was revealed. What separates the incident on the Rio Grande from the Gulf of Tonkin is victory would be victory and the California territory.

Cuba of course is more similar to the "invasion for abstract principles" as the Spanish mistreatment of Cuba (along with the Maine explosion) were the two main pretext's for the war and the US didn't annex Cuba(despite this having been an expansionist priority since the 1850s when Franklin Pierce tried to do it). Of course the need to step in and stop the Spainards(largely exaggerated treatment of the Cubans) was one of several pretexts with the Maine explosion and the fact that the US could just mop up the rest of Spain's colonial empire also being reasons to go to war.

So I think I laid out the difference between these two types of conflicts and how they have been historically seen by the US public.

I think you are treating colonialism (19th century) and spheres of influence (20th century) differently and while they are different, they are different tactics of the same goal which is imperialism and empire.

And as you probably know the reason we did not annex Cuba was because of the Teller amendment and the US reluctance to compete with Cuban sugar though there was serious consideration that the US just go back and ignore the Teller amendment. The Platt amendment made that irrelevant though because the US could have all the control it wanted without having to worry about them becoming citizens or competeting against them economically.
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Old December 24th, 2017, 09:43 PM   #35

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If the US wasn't isolationist why didn't they join the League of Nations?

I always thought it was a bit weird that Wilson came up with the LoN and then Uncle Sam declined to join.
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Old December 28th, 2017, 01:04 PM   #36
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If the US wasn't isolationist why didn't they join the League of Nations?

I always thought it was a bit weird that Wilson came up with the LoN and then Uncle Sam declined to join.
Thatís because republicans controlled the congress. Simple partisan politics that was passed off as sovereignty issues. And anyways just because we didnít join the League of Nations doesnít mean we were isolationists and Wilson did not come up with the idea himself.
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Old December 29th, 2017, 08:01 AM   #37

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Thatís because republicans controlled the congress. Simple partisan politics that was passed off as sovereignty issues. And anyways just because we didnít join the League of Nations doesnít mean we were isolationists and Wilson did not come up with the idea himself.
There was PBS documentary not long ago on "The Forgotten War" which said that Wilson could have gotten the League of Nations through the Senate, but hated Henry Cabot Lodge so much that he refused to compromise on what the PBS documentary called a fairly minor point.

This quote from Wikipedia supports that view:

"Despite Wilson's efforts to establish and promote the League, for which he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in October 1919,[54] the United States never joined. Senate Republicans led by Henry Cabot Lodge wanted a League with the reservation that only Congress could take the U.S. into war. Lodge gained a majority of Senators. Wilson refused to allow a compromise and the needed 2/3 majority was lacking.[55]"

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/League...#Establishment

As the US Constitution gives Congress sole power to declare war, I would think the Republicans were on pretty solid ground.
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Old January 4th, 2018, 10:38 AM   #38
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There was PBS documentary not long ago on "The Forgotten War" which said that Wilson could have gotten the League of Nations through the Senate, but hated Henry Cabot Lodge so much that he refused to compromise on what the PBS documentary called a fairly minor point.

This quote from Wikipedia supports that view:

"Despite Wilson's efforts to establish and promote the League, for which he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in October 1919,[54] the United States never joined. Senate Republicans led by Henry Cabot Lodge wanted a League with the reservation that only Congress could take the U.S. into war. Lodge gained a majority of Senators. Wilson refused to allow a compromise and the needed 2/3 majority was lacking.[55]"

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/League...#Establishment

As the US Constitution gives Congress sole power to declare war, I would think the Republicans were on pretty solid ground.
Like I said, a point of sovereignty but Henry Cabot Lodge was definitely not someone who would shy away from exerting American influence abroad. The Republicans were out of power, trying to get back that power and wanted to stick it to Wilson. They were the good little soldiers during the war but after that was done it was time to get the Republicans back in the White House and the halls of Congress.

Wilson himself purposely torpedoed his chances of getting the League passed in the US.

Last edited by Divinespark; January 4th, 2018 at 10:42 AM.
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Old January 5th, 2018, 03:37 PM   #39
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I don't think the US was really involved in WWI. That's not intended to be a statement about the Americans that did go and fight and die in WWI and so on..

I just think that a really small number of soldiers comparatively towards the end of the conflict was not really being substantially involved in the conflict.

I think Wilson in general was trying to avoid conflict by whatever means necessary, but didn't necessarily view isolation as the way to achieve that goal.
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