Why not the Netherlands instead of Spain?

Nov 2017
31
Geneva, Switzerland
At the end of the 19th century Europe had three great colonial powers, the British, French and German Empire in accession.
And it had 3 small colonial powers: Portugal, Spain and the Netherlands.

The Portuguese were protected by their Alliance with the British.
But what prevented the Americans from annexing the Dutch Empire?
And Germany could easily prompt the Dutch to sell Indonesia and (I know Germany's annexation of the Dutch Caribbean would not happen because of the monroe doctrine)

So I ask why the US and Germany were so focused on Spain and not the Netherlands?
 
Apr 2017
1,630
U.S.A.
Part of the justification for taking Spain's colonies was that they were run inefficiently and underdeveloped. This wasn't true in the case of the Netherlands, who had more prosperous colonies than Germany.
America didn't really want the Dutch empire (although they were probably interested in the Caribbean territories). America mainly took the Philippines since they went to war with spain and as a stepping stone to China. The rest of Europe didn't really care about Spain but an attack on the Dutch could be seen as an attack on developed Europe's (i.e. Britain, France, Germany) colonies.
The only way Germany could get the Netherlands to sell them the east indies would be by threat of invasion, which wouldn't have gone over well with Britain and France. Germany also eventually planned to bring the dutch into an economic and political alliance, which wouldn't work if they started threatening them.
 
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Chlodio

Forum Staff
Aug 2016
4,471
Dispargum
American attention had been drawn to Cuba the past several years due to a revolution there. Cuba is much closer to the US than anything the Dutch had. There had been earlier thoughts of annexing Cuba in the 1850s that hadn't gone anywhere, but the old ideas seem not to have been completely forgotten.

There's nothing in the Constitution providing for the US to have colonies. Some people thinking about foreign conquest were probably thinking about adding some new states. That works for Cuba and might one day work for Puerto Rico. Dutch colonies like the Lesser Antilles, Aruba, and Suriname may have been a little too far away to be easily thought of as new states. As it turned out, none of the conquests from Spain gained statehood, at least not yet, but my point is that in 1898 closer conquests were probably more attractive than more distant conquests, the Philippines and Guam excepted.

There was some demonization of Spain in the American press before the war. The Spanish were probably easier targets than the Dutch due to the factors that VP mentioned about Spanish colonies being poorly run.
 
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Tulius

Ad Honorem
May 2016
5,886
Portugal
American attention had been drawn to Cuba the past several years due to a revolution there. Cuba is much closer to the US than anything the Dutch had. There had been earlier thoughts of annexing Cuba in the 1850s that hadn't gone anywhere, but the old ideas seem not to have been completely forgotten.

There's nothing in the Constitution providing for the US to have colonies. Some people thinking about foreign conquest were probably thinking about adding some new states. That works for Cuba and might one day work for Puerto Rico. Dutch colonies like the Lesser Antilles, Aruba, and Suriname may have been a little too far away to be easily thought of as new states. As it turned out, none of the conquests from Spain gained statehood, at least not yet, but my point is that in 1898 closer conquests were probably more attractive than more distant conquests, the Philippines and Guam excepted.

There was some demonization of Spain in the American press before the war. The Spanish were probably easier targets than the Dutch due to the factors that VP mentioned about Spanish colonies being poorly run.
Don’t know if Dutch Guyana or Dutch East Indies were better run than Cuba or the Philippines, or if that idea is itself a part of the demonization (made a thread about the Dutch East Indies some time ago but the results while interesting were scarce – and most in languages that I am not comfortable or that I don’t read: Dutch). But the later had a group of intellectuals that thought and fomented independency that, at least to my knowledge, Dutch Guyana or Dutch East Indies hadn’t in the 19th century (the "Budi Utomo", the first political movement in today's Indonesia, is from the 20the century).

For instance José Martí comes to my mind for Cuba and the “ilustrados” for the Philipines, like José Rizal or even Andrés Bonifacio:

José Martí - Wikipedia
Ilustrado - Wikipedia
 

Tulius

Ad Honorem
May 2016
5,886
Portugal
At the end of the 19th century Europe had three great colonial powers, the British, French and German Empire in accession.
And it had 3 small colonial powers: Portugal, Spain and the Netherlands.
Just a note, in colonial terms, the "small" colonial powers Portugal and Netherlands had a colonial empire quite similar in size to the colonies of the German Empire.
 
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Jan 2014
1,094
Rus
I think there was complex system of dyplomatic unions. Due to it you could get war against Britain and France, for example, if you annex Dutch India. Something like that, i think.

Vice versa, i surprice, why Britain and France didnt do anything when USA took Cuba and Philippines away from Spain. That was beginning of the end of European model of the world.
 
Jan 2014
1,094
Rus
I think there was complex system of dyplomatic unions. Due to it you could get war against Britain and France, for example, if you annex Dutch India. Something like that, i think.

Vice versa, i surprice, why Britain and France didnt do anything when USA took Cuba and Philippines away from Spain. That was beginning of the end of European model of the world.
 
Jan 2014
1,094
Rus
I think there was complex system of dyplomatic unions. Due to it you could get war against Britain and France, for example, if you annex Dutch India. Something like that, i think.

Vice versa, i surprice, why Britain and France didnt do anything when USA took Cuba and Philippines away from Spain. That was beginning of the end of European model of the world.
 

Frank81

Ad Honorem
Feb 2010
5,088
Canary Islands-Spain
The Dutch had nothing close to the US

Cuba is 230 kms away from the US

Also US companies had invested huge amounts in Cuba (sugar industry), and they expected to get even more from it (as so they did). A tariff war between Spain and the US developed in the previous years to the war, considering that Cuba was captive market of Spain, the chance to increase profits was too great for the Americans
 

notgivenaway

Ad Honorem
Jun 2015
5,743
UK
The US had no history of any animosity towards the Dutch.
It would have turned the world against them, and for a country that post-Civil War was booming wasn't good in the long-run.
If the USA annexed Suriname, that was right next door to British Guyana and French Guiana.
The British and French in that period owned most of the Caribbean between them. And if the Americans further annexed Sint Maarten, Aruba, etc. then it would make things more troublesome.
I'm sure the British would have thought that Canada was next, which at that point was a British colony.
 
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martin76

Ad Honorem
Dec 2014
6,643
Spain
American attention had been drawn to Cuba the past several years due to a revolution there. Cuba is much closer to the US than anything the Dutch had. There had been earlier thoughts of annexing Cuba in the 1850s that hadn't gone anywhere, but the old ideas seem not to have been completely forgotten.

There's nothing in the Constitution providing for the US to have colonies. Some people thinking about foreign conquest were probably thinking about adding some new states. That works for Cuba and might one day work for Puerto Rico. Dutch colonies like the Lesser Antilles, Aruba, and Suriname may have been a little too far away to be easily thought of as new states. As it turned out, none of the conquests from Spain gained statehood, at least not yet, but my point is that in 1898 closer conquests were probably more attractive than more distant conquests, the Philippines and Guam excepted.

There was some demonization of Spain in the American press before the war. The Spanish were probably easier targets than the Dutch due to the factors that VP mentioned about Spanish colonies being poorly run.
Spanish Dominins were not poorly run... When you like.. we compare Batavia and Manila.... where is the "indonesian" Rizal... Rizal... producted by the Spanish School in their dominions.. and yes.. we can compare Puerto Rico and Surinam.... Cuba and Saint Martin... Spanish Virgin Islands and Curacao...i don´t want to be cruel with you... when you like we compare the Spanish colonization in North America (New Spain) and Dutch (New Holland)...

Cuba was the richest place in Caribean in the year 1890...

By the way, dear Notgiveway.. It is not truth, the Largest Empire in Caribeean were the British or the French.... not in 1898.... We can compare the Spanish Dominions in Caribean: Cuba, Pino Island, Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico: Extension:
French Dominions... or British Dominios.... Only Cuba was largest that the British and French Empires togethers!

Cuba: 109.884 kms.... Jamaica: 10.992..... and French little islands.. not even 5% Spanish Dominions in America... till January 1899... the largest Empires on Caribbean were:

1st: Spanish
2nd: British
3rd: French
4th: Dutch
5t:h: Danish

Who said Dutch Colonies were better... FALSE.... Who said Curacao was richer than Cuba?



From 1830, Spanish West Indies are the leader in Sugar production.

USA imperialism over Spain in 1898 is not matched with economic management ... Spain had very rich territories but a very weak navy and still weaker politicans (save Cánovas.. but he was mysteriously and timely killled... Holland had no army but neither rich territories.
 
May 2017
1,155
France
The US-Spanish war of 1898 is the result of the war of Secession.Since 1865,black men were free and had the right to receive a correct salary.The directors of the US societies whose benefits falled continually, could not accept the international control of the market of sugar by the spanish state,and decided to ask the government to provok a new war after the victory of Spain in the war of the ten years (1868-1878).With the comedy of the Maine-the spanish artillery men were sleeping-USA invented a pretext to declare the war…..and to create their imperialism,and to dominate the international market of sugar.