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War and Diplomacy, Research Paper Example

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War And Diplomacy – The Spanish-American War And The Relationship Between Puerto Rico And The Us

The Spanish America War

The Spanish America War is one of the most misinterpreted Wars in America’s history. Even though the War only lasted for three month, and was cheap in term of human loss it had a very great impact US history. This War made legend in America history and brought about large diplomatic, political, and economic repercussion around the world. It marked America entry in the world War scene. It made the empire in Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and Philippines the US territory. Finally, the War served as a notice that Europe must recon with America force in their dealing. This War made United States feel like a super power. In sum, it dated US entry in to the arena of global affairs.

Reason for the War

The press- especially yellow press newspaper- played a significant role in influencing America to intervene. They constantly highlighted cases of massive killing in Cuba and cases of Americans in Cuba and other island suffering[1]. All this triggered US in to the War. It is believed that America went in to for because of the following reason: 1) to end the devastating humanitarian crisis in Cuba. 2) To protect the rights of American citizens in the island. 3) To end the danger that War brought to both America and Cuba commerce, and 4) finally America went into War to guarantee its strategic right in the hemisphere.

The result of the War

President McKinney showed his sympathy with expansion by using the War emergency to sign the annexation resolution of July 1898, the navy captured Philippines. On October 1898, Spanish surrendered and the War ended. One of the major results of the War that is discussed to date was the ‘Paris treaty’

The treaty of Paris in December 10, 1989

The United States took possession of Philippines – as Guam in the pacific and Puerto Rico in the Caribbean[2]. US in return compensated Spain 20 million for her losses. This is considered as the highest point for expansion and imperialism of US: Hawaii was annexed, this provided an excellent future base for the pacific fleet; acquisition of Philippine opened trade opportunities with far east; acquisition of Puerto Rico guarded the Caribbean approach to America[3]. In 1917, the resident of Puerto Rico were granted us citizenship and in 1952, it became a commonwealth with its constitution and could now elect its officials.

The War symbolized the nation movement towards becoming world super power and participation in international events. The ideals that the War brought to most Americans was: America was committed to carry the dream of freedom to all over the world; it brought pride in Americans, not to its military but also to all its institutions and finally it created the hope for commercial expansion.

Debate over the treaty

This treaty triggered a great debate all over the world and for very long period. The debate centered on whether or not US had a right to annex Philippines, imperialism was also an issue. The extension of America’s power and commerce into Latin America was the culmination of long policy of internationalism. Other Americans were against annexations; they presented moral, political, and economic argument against these. Some felt that the treaty violated a declaration of independency by denying the newly acquired States a chance to for their own government. In February 1899, the annexation question was settled with the senate’s approval of the pair’s treaty.

Puerto Rico relation with US

Origin of America sovereignty over Puerto Rico

After the invasion of America troop in 1898, during the American Spanish War, the congressional sovereignty over the island was, establish by the Paris treat between US and Spain in April 11, 1899[4]. Spain ceded to United States the island of Puerto Rico presently under its sovereignty[5]. Article XI of the treaty provided; that the civil right and political status of the native in habitat to United States of America. Since the signing of the treaty all law, providing for civil government was approved without consulting the native inhabitants of Puerto Rico.

The Foraker Act of 1900

During the Spanish American War, US, military established a government in Puerto Rico. This government lasted between 1898 and 1900. In 1900, the congress approved the first organic law (the foraker Act) to end military government and establish a civil government. The purpose of the Act was to signify the sovereignty over the island that congress had attained after signing the Paris treaty. It also sought to establish a civil government for local affairs. The Act however, failed to provide a clear definition on the States of the island. Such definition waited judicial interpretation of which was constantly sort during 19th century. Most of this court interpretations elaborated that the island was a possession of us and not its part.

The Jones Act of 1917

This was the second organic law approved by the congress. The law made the Puerto Ricans citizen of US. However, the right of these native of Puerto Rico were restricted to those in the Act. Puerto Rican participation to local affairs was increased by the Act but still, the congress and US president controlled two of the branches of the island government. Again, congress established a new form of government but refused to change the fundamental status of the island.

Establishment of the common wealth of the Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico is anomalous within the Latin America and the Caribbean because it remains unincorporated territory of United States. In 1952, the island became US commonwealth with some political and cultural uniqueness. The commonwealth status of the nation created a borderland States whose influence extended to continental US through the mainland passage to the massive Puerto Rican exodus after World War II. In 1949 – 1964 the then president, Munoz Marin led a populist movement that promoted economic development through industrialization and political autonomy[6]. This was seen as an attempt to free the PR from US association. The common wealth government allowed the Puerto Rican to resist US culture assimilation while preserving their attachment to federated States. This created what was known as desalinization without creating a nation States.

Between 1950 – 1952, the process created the common wealth of Puerto Rico that included three Bill approved by the congress, local constitution convention and several referenda held in P.R. the Bill were:

Public law 600 and the federal relation Act

Congress approved a process to allow the Puerto Ricans to convene a constitutional convention that would allow them to establish a local government. The law ordered that: once the constitution was approved, the entire article regarding local government will be repealed[7]. The remaining article in the Jones Act pertaining the sovereignty of US over PR in relation to domestic affairs remained under the name of the Federal Act. The people of Puerto Rico consented law 600 by means of a referendum. A constitution was written, and then approved by Puerto Ricans by means of a referendum.

Public law 447-

In 1952, the congress approved newly formed the constitution through public law 447. However, before constitution came in to effect, public law 447mandated changes to limits its Bill of right contained in the constitution[8].

A point to note despite all this changes, the congress retained for itself the power it received from the Paris treaty – to define the political status and the civil right of the people of the Puerto Ricans.

It is worthwhile noting that the term ‘commonwealth’ as applied here refer the local government structure of Puerto Rico and not the status of the island in relation to the US. The common wealth is just a part of the relationship and not the whole[9].

Puerto Rico and United Nations (UN)

Since 1945, United States was mandated to submit the annual report to the UN on its exercise of sovereignty over PR under UN provision for desalinization of territories by colonial powers around the world[10]. In 1953, after the establishment of local government and promise by US to refine its relation with PR further, United States was no longer obligated to submit these annual reports.

Refinement of US- PR relation

There were numerous attempts to refine US-PR relation after the establishment of a commonwealth. The attempt was in the form of the Bill that sort to improve the relationship. Farno’s Murray Bill of 1959:  the Bill is named after pr resident commissioner Antonio Fernos, who fist requested for refinement of us pr relations. The Bill however died in committee stage.

Joint status commission: in an attempt to develop a process that would allow Puerto Rican to be consulted about the island affairs, joint congressional- Puerto Rico status commission was established. This was during the mid 1960s. However, congress avoided passing legislation that to consult formally. Puerto Ricans.

The 1967 Plebiscite-

This was after the congress failed to pass legislation to consult Puerto Rico citizens on the status of the island. Local legislation was approved to conduct a plebiscite where Puerto Ricans were required to vote on three formula- commonwealth, Statehood, and independency[11]. The vote was won by the commonwealth, which received 60% of the vote.

19870s and 1980s US- PR relations

In 1970s Unexpected turn of event occurred- new progressive party (NPP) won the election of 1968. NPP was a big supporter of independency of Puerto Rico. The Congress, which was more involved in Vietnam War debate, neglected to promote any refinement of the commonwealth as requested by the ruling party.

Due to congressional inaction during 1970s and 1980s, UN kept the case of Puerto Rico under consideration and affirmed Puerto Ricans the right to self-determination. The cold War tensions that prevailed at a time made us to fed off any demand for Puerto self-determination. The demand for self-determination was bladed as instigated by the enemy of us. Hence, internationalization of the debate impeded any refinement of US-PR relation.

In 1989 as the cold War came to  close things begun to change.  The presidents of three political parties in PR sent a letter to the president of US claiming that congress had never formally consulted the people of Puerto Rico and that such consultation should began[12]. As the result of the request, HR- 4765 legislation was presented to the congress. This law would allow for a plebiscite in Puerto Rico where people would choose between commonwealth status independence and States hood. The Bill however did not commit the congress to the definitions of the opinion to be voted nor did it specify the process for transition to the voted States.

S- 712/244 Bills

This Bill was formulated by the energy commission of the United States’ senate. The Bill allowed for negotiation with the part of Puerto Rico to define the definition that would be acceptable to all parties. It also specified the process that would bind congress to the outcome of the plebiscite. However, the committee did not approve the Bill, but it was passed without plebiscite after two years.

Plebiscite of 1993

In 1993, a plebiscite was held by the local legislation, the congress was not obligated to honor the outcome the result of the plebiscite was that the commonwealth won the vote[13]. And since the ruling part new progressive party (NPP) did not like the outcome , they did not request the congress to honor the outcome.

The Young Bill

In 1994, after republican won the election the legislator in PR approved the resolution that requested congress to take up the US-pr relation. The senate neglected the issue however in the house the resources committee begun considering the Bill brought by congressional representative don young[14]. The Bill was requesting the congress to consult the people of Puerto Rico formally regarding the political destiny in the plebiscite in which they would choose among the alternatives considered viable by the congress. The Bill took a long time to reach the floor of the house due to some key issues that needed to be defined. The issues include: who can vote in the plebiscite, should commonwealth be redefined, to what extent must pr adopt English use for it to become a States of us, are applicable principle of international law being followed among many others.

Puerto Ricans argument regarding commonwealth, Statehood, and independency

One of the main reasons why Puerto Rican struggles to be independent is the need to defend their identity and culture[15]. One argument that has been presented by those opting for Puerto Rico to become a States of United States is the economic benefit that they stand to gain. The economic question asked by the Puerto Ricans has two facets:

Which status would provide a better platform for economic growth and secondly the flow of the federal fund.

  • An econometric study has shown that the commonwealth and independence produces similar tenancies to economic growth while Statehood would result to 10% decline in economic growth[16]. The decline is due to the expected cost of doing business. The question of the advantages of Statehood based on the flow of federal fund raise a bunch of question e.g. 1) By how much would the federal transfer increase if it became a States?
  • How much money will be collected as federal income taxes/ what will be the net benefit to the people of Puerto Rico?
  •  How can the congress limit the benefit of the Puerto Ricans during transitional?
  • To what extent is the congress willing to accept the burden to the federal budget? Study has indicated that the present annual federal government outlay to pr is 1.4 Billion. Under Statehood, after the transition, PR should receive $14000. Assuming the present income distribution in federal taxes (around 1$) the net benefit to PR would be around $2.5 Billion until economic growth cause increase tax revenue[17].

Puerto Rico involvement in the Cold War

During the cold War, us policy of containment of communism in the Caribbean provided incentive and deterrence to the nation in the region. The incentive policy like Caribbean basin initiative- a program aimed at promoting development through private sector involvement. The deterrent include invasions in Dominican Republic, military and financial support to label in Nicaragua and numerous supports of other anticommunist groups.  In this case, Cuba became the focus of deterrence effort while Puerto Rico enjoyed many incentives[18]. While Cuba was invaded isolated and economically and politically undermined in a systematic way, Puerto Rico enjoyed generous technical and financial assistance, preferential tax treatment, and welfare benefits as an incentive for industrialization. This resulted to economic and political polarization of the region economy. The relation between Cuba and Puerto became no relation- Cuba could no longer trade with PR. given the climate of United States hostility towards Cuba’s and its friends made Cuba to have defensive policy towards the Caribbean’s during the cold War. The second objective of Cuba policy towards the Caribbean during the cold War was: 1) freedom from United States2) the struggle to achieve a new international economic order that will assure the development of Caribbean. In addition 3) Political and economic integration of Caribbean with Latin America Cuba in retaliatory conducted diplomatic battle on the international forum such as:

1) United nation

2) Non aligned bloc and

3) Assembly of the special committee.

It viewed independency of Puerto Rico as a strategic component of the set foreign policy objectives.

Another way that Puerto Rico was linked with the cold War was the fact that the Cuba exile community easily entered and settled in Puerto Rico[19]. The communities were able to establish them self since they face less religious, language, and cultural differences. The allegation by United States that linked Puerto Rico with the cold War could be seen as mere empty, its objective was to avoid the pressure from United Nations to consider independency of Puerto Rico. In the real sense, there was no concrete evidence that linked the Puerto Rico with the cold War.

Bibliography

Black, Jeremy. The War of 1812. History Today. Oct2012, Vol. 62 Issue 10, p10-12.

Campbell, Khans and Kean Aderson.  Americans cultural studies. Oxon: Routledge, 2008

Collin, John “Puerto Rico and Caribbean- an alliance that work” May 9 1998.

Collin, John “Puerto Rico role in Cuba cited” Cribiam news Thursday November 28, 1996.

Dimitrakis, Panagiotis. The Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan: International Reactions, Military Intelligence, and British Diplomacy. Middle Eastern Studies, Jul2012, Vol. 48 Issue 4, p511-536, 26p

Duggan, Sean E. Redefining the Relationship: Reclaiming American Public Diplomacy from the US Military in Iraq. Middle East Journal. Winter2012, Vol. 66 Issue 1, p53-78. 26p.

Fitch, Thomas. The origin of the  19th century War, Hauppauge, New York, 2003.

Grincheva, Natalia.  U.S. Arts and Cultural Diplomacy: Post-Cold War Decline and the Twenty-First Century Debate. Journal of Arts Management, Law & Society. Jul-Sep2010, Vol. 40 Issue 3, p169-183.

Hooper, Candice Shy. The War That Made Hollywood: How the Spanish-American War Saved the U.S. Film Industry. Journal of Military History. Jan2012, Vol. 76 Issue 1, p69-97. 29p.

Iguina, Astrid Cubano. Freedom in the making: the slaves of hacienda La Esperanza, Manatí, Puerto Rico, on the eve of abolition, 1868–76*Social History. Aug2011, Vol. 36 Issue 3, p280-293. 14p

Lafeber, Walter. The news empire: an interpretation of American expansion, 1860-1898. New York. Cornell University, 1963.

Latifi, Veton. The preventive diplomacy and the process of the peace-building since the end of the Cold War AARMS: Academic & Applied Research in Military Science. 2011, Vol. 10 Issue 2, p223-235. 13p.

Morgan, Wayne.  America road to empire: the War with Spain and oversea expansion. New York: Knopf 1995.

Musicant, Ivan. Empire by default: the Spanish American War and the dawn of the Americas century. New York: hennery Holt, 1998.

Offner, James. An unwanted War: the diplomacy of the United States and Spain over Cuba, 1895-1898. Chapel hill: university of North Carolina press 1992.

Perl- Rosenthal, Nathan. Private Letters and Public Diplomacy: The Adams Network and the Quasi-War, 1797–1798. Journal of the Early Republic. Summer 2011, Vol. 31, Issue 2, p283-311, 29p

Pettina, Vanni. The shadows of Cold War over Latin America: the US reAction to Fidel Castro’s nationalism, 1956-59.. Cold War History. Aug2011, Vol. 11 Issue 3, p317-339. 23p.

Ramsay, Kristopher W. Cheap Talk Diplomacy, Voluntary Negotiations, and Variable Bargaining Power. International Studies Quarterly. Dec2011, Vol. 55 Issue 4, p1003-1023. 21p.

Roberts, Frank N. Climax of Isolationism, Countdown to World War. Naval History. Dec2012, Vol. 26 Issue 6, p32-38. 7p

Rockville, Morgan. Headed to the finish line. Government Printing Office Catalog. United States, 2010.

Roderick, Jones and Mason, Hunt.  Cuba collapse and emergent of new opportunities. QMJ 95 (6): (2002). 363-370

Seibel, Agnes and Marx, McCain. The famous 19th century War America War. Cologne. History studies, Verlag Publisher 1987.

Taylor, Kean & Timothy, Grant. The structure of agriculture sector in Puerto Rico. International working paper series, New York: Cengage Learning.

Trager, Robert F. Multidimensional Diplomacy. International Organization. Jun2011, Vol. 65 Issue 3, p469-506. 38p.

Virden, Dick. Diplomacy and Public Diplomacy in One Country: Poland during and after the Cold War. American Diplomacy. 12/21/2011, p1-10. 10p.

Wellons P.D. and Germids B.C. the Caribbean crisis: rescuing Cuba developmental center studies, Paris, 1986.

White Benzo. Cuba and Puerto Rico: a case study in comparative economic development. 1959.

World War I Governments Chose War over Diplomacy World History: The Modern Era, 11/7/2012.

[1] Black, Jeremy. The War of 1812. History Today. Oct2012, Vol. 62 Issue 10, p10-12.

[2] Grincheva, Natalia.  U.S. Arts and Cultural Diplomacy: Post-Cold War Decline and the Twenty-First Century Debate. Journal of Arts Management, Law & Society. Jul-Sep2010, Vol. 40 Issue 3, p169-183.

[3] Dimitrakis, Panagiotis. The Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan: International ReActions, Military Intelligence, and British Diplomacy. Middle Eastern Studies, Jul2012, Vol. 48 Issue 4, p511-536, 26p

[4] Iguina, Astrid Cubano. Freedom in the making: the slaves of hacienda La Esperanza, Manatí, Puerto Rico, on the eve of abolition, 1868–76*Social History. Aug2011, Vol. 36 Issue 3, p280-293. 14p

[5] Duggan, Sean E. Redefining the Relationship: Reclaiming American Public Diplomacy from the US Military in Iraq. Middle East Journal. Winter2012, Vol. 66 Issue 1, p53-78. 26p.

[6] World War I Governments Chose War over Diplomacy World History: The Modern Era, 11/7/2012.

[7] Trager, Robert F. Multidimensional Diplomacy. International Organization. Jun2011, Vol. 65 Issue 3, p469-506. 38p.

[8] Roderick, Jones and Mason, Hunt.  Cuba collapse and emergent of new opportunities. QMJ 95 (6): (2002). 363-370

[9] Wellons P.D. and Germids B.C. the Caribbean crisis: rescuing Cuba developmental center studies, Paris, 1986

[10] Seibel, Agnes and Marx, McCain. The famous 19th century War America War. Cologne. History studies, Verlag Publisher 1987.

[11] Collin, John “Puerto Rico and Caribbean- an alliance that work” May 9 1998.

[12] Fitch, Thomas. The origin of the  19th century War, Hauppauge, New York, 2003.

[13] Ramsay, Kristopher W. Cheap Talk Diplomacy, Voluntary Negotiations, and Variable Bargaining Power. International Studies Quarterly. Dec2011, Vol. 55 Issue 4, p1003-1023. 21p.

[14] White Benzo. Cuba and Puerto Rico: a case study in comparative economic development. 1959.

[15] Seibel, Agnes and Marx, McCain. The famous 19th century War America War. Cologne. History studies, Verlag Publisher 1987.

[16] Latifi, Veton. The preventive diplomacy and the process of the peace-building since the end of the Cold War AARMS: Academic & Applied Research in Military Science. 2011, Vol. 10 Issue 2, p223-235. 13p.

[17] Campbell, Khans and Kean Aderson.  Americans cultural studies. Oxon: Routledge, 2008

[18] Hooper, Candice Shy. The War That Made Hollywood: How the Spanish-American War Saved the U.S. Film Industry. Journal of Military History. Jan2012, Vol. 76 Issue 1, p69-97. 29p.

[19] Offner, James. An unwanted War: the diplomacy of the United States and Spain over Cuba, 1895-1898. Chapel hill: university of North Carolina press 1992.

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