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Time and again, foreigners forced China to make humiliating concessions. Foreign regiments, armed with modern weapons, consistently defeated entire imperial armies. They were dividing China into "spheres of influence.
By acquiring the Philippines, the United States became an Asian power too. The foreign spheres of influence, however, threatened their ambitions. So while the empress was hoping to close China to foreigners, Americans were looking for a way in.
John Hay, now Secretary of State, had an idea. Since public opinion, strained by the Philippines war, would never support the use of force, he decided to negotiate.
He sent letters to all the foreign powers and suggested an "Open Door" policy in China. This policy would guarantee equal trading rights for all and prevent one nation from discriminating against another within its sphere.
The nations replied that they liked the concept of the Open Door, but that they could not support or enforce it. Nevertheless Hay announced that since all of the powers had accepted the Open Door in principle, the United States considered their agreement "final and definitive.
Empress Dowager Tsu Hsi The present situation is becoming daily more difficult. The various Powers cast upon us looks of tiger-like voracity, hustling each other to be first to seize our innermost territories. Should the strong enemies become aggressive and press us to consent to things we can never accept, we have no alternative but to rely upon the justice of our cause.
Let us not think about making peace. In northern Shandong province, a devastating drought was pushing people to the edge of starvation. Few people there were thinking about making peace. A secret society, known as the Fists of Righteous Harmony, attracted thousands of followers.
Foreigners called members of this society "Boxers" because they practiced martial arts. The Boxers also believed that they had a magical power, and that foreign bullets could not harm them. Millions of "spirit soldiers," they said, would soon rise from the dead and join their cause. The crafty empress, however, saw a way to use the Boxers.
Through her ministers, she began to encourage the Boxers. In the early months ofthousands of Boxers roamed the countryside. They attacked Christian missions, slaughtering foreign missionaries and Chinese converts.
Then they moved toward the cities, attracting more and more followers as they came. Nervous foreign ministers insisted that the Chinese government stop the Boxers. From inside the Forbidden City, the empress told the diplomats that her troops would soon crush the "rebellion.
Working together, they threw up hasty defenses, and with a small force of military personnel, they faced the Boxer onslaught. One American described the scene as 20, Boxers advanced in a solid mass and carried standards of red and white cloth.
Their yells were deafening, while the roar of gongs, drums and horns sounded like thunder.
They waved their swords and stamped on the ground with their feet. They wore red turbans, sashes, and garters over blue cloth.American Imperialism New York Journal TORY." The to to.
Platt Amendment. Excellent coverage of a significant event in American history. While many of the names were familiar, I was not aware that many of them played a role in this event. A Free and Online, Collaboratively Built American History Textbook.
Your purchase of books or other items through links on this site helps keep this free educational site on the web. The practice of territorial expansion had been prominent in American thought and action from earliest colonial times.
This taking of lands from other nations or from native peoples, was accomplished by . Full text and audio mp3 excerpt of William Jennings Bryan Address on Imperialism.