February 5, 2014
Identification of Terms- Unit 5
1. (4) Pago Pago
What: A Samoan harbor that was desired by Great Britain, Germany, and the United States under the Hayes administration.
Significance/Impact: It was an important harbor because it helped American commerce with Asia and it was urged upon by the American navy. The three nations that wanted it for themselves agreed to share power over Samoa, but the arrangement failed to halt their rivalries. In 1899, the U.S. and Germany divided the islands between them, giving Britain territories elsewhere in the Pacific and the U.S. was able to retain the harbor at Pago Pago.
2. (8) Teller Amendment
What: The Teller amendment placed a condition on the United States’ military presence in Cuba. It was an amendment to a joint resolution of Congress in reply to President McKinley’s war message. The amendment stated that the U.S. could not annex Cuba, but instead it would leave the control of the island to their people.
When: April 20, 1898
Significance/Impact: The significance was that the U.S. promised, in paper, that Cuba would receive their independence and that they would withdraw all their troops from that country.
3. (9) Treaty of Paris 1898
What: The Treaty of Paris brought a formal end to the war with Spain. The terms gave the U.S. Cuba, Puerto Rico, and Guam, and it demanded that Spain cede the Philippines for $20 million, which Spain accepted.
When: December 1898
Significance/Impact: The treaty created fierce resistance among the Senate members because of the anti-imperialists that refused to accept the acquisition of the Philippines. The long-term effect of the Treaty was that it caused the problems that began in the Philippines and it eventually led to the first Asian war, the Philippine war.
4. (11) Platt Amendment
What: The Platt amendment barred Cuba from making treaties with other nations; it gave the U.S. the right to intervene in Cuba to preserve independence, life and prosperity; and it required Cuba to allow American naval stations on its territory.
Significance/Impact: The Platt amendment gave the U.S. control of Cuban foreign policy and left Cuba with only nominal political independence.
5. (15) Muckrakers
What: The muckrakers were among the first people to articulate the new spirit of reform as crusading journalists and they directed the public attention toward social, economic, and political injustices. They were known as muckrakers because Theodore Roosevelt accused them of raking up muck about his writings.
Significance/Impact: Among the various muckrakers, the most important included Charles Francis Adams Jr. who disclosed corruption among the railroad barons, Ida Tarbell who the Standard Oil Company’s corruption, Upton Sinclair who exposed the food and meat industries, and Lincoln Steffens who exposed the political machines and the bosses. The muckrakers helped present social problems to the public with indignation and moral fervor, and they inspired other Americans to take action, creating a stronger sense of progressivism. Some acts that were passed thanks to the muckrakers included the Pure Food and Drug Act, the Hepburn Act, and various child labor acts.
6. (16) Triangle Shirtwaist Fire
What: The Triangle Shirtwaist fire was a fire that swept through the factory of the Triangle Shirtwaist Company in New York. In this fire, 146 workers died, which included mostly women, because management had locked the emergency exits to prevent malingering and so they were trapped.
Significance/Impact: Because of the fire, women’s groups and New York City labor unions began responding to public pressure about the condition of the industrial workplace. In 1914, the commission issued various progressive reports that called for major reforms in the conditions of labor. When it reached the New York legislature, Senator Robert F. Wagner and Assemblyman Alfred E. Smith, both Tammany Democrats,