Nhsc-v1-302

From GrassrootWiki
Jump to: navigation, search
Previous Page Next Page

nhsc-v1-302

Text Only

On the heels of the Japanese scare came problems with Spain as the United States became involved in the affairs of Cuba and the Philippines. Pro-annexationists also used this as an argument: "The expansionists were quick to point out that suffering Cuba tied in with Hawaii; it was America's destiny to redeem them both. As war with Spain loomed, Hawaii took on new strategic importance for the war in the Pacific." 212/

A listing of specific reasons for Hawaii's strategic importance were incorporated into both Senate Report No. 681, which accompanied an earlier proposed Senate joint resolution, and House Report No. 1355, accompanying the final proposed House joint resolution for Hawaiian annexation. These specifics included the prevention of an alien establishment in the North Pacific, thereby protecting the U.S. Pacific coast, and securing the commerce of the islands* A more important consideration was that the "...United States must act NOW to preserve the results of its past policy, and to prevent the dominancy in Hawaii of a foreign people...It is no longer a question of whether Hawaii shall be controlled by the native Hawaiian or by some foreign people; but the question is, What foreign people shall control Hawaii?" 213/

When war with Spain did come, claims for the strategic importance of Hawaii expanded to include arguments for a coaling station. It was argued that anything less than annexation would keep Hawaii neutral and allow other belligerents comfort. Most important of all was ensuring that Dewey's ability to defeat the Spaniards at Manila in the Philippines would not be weakened by lack of supplies. Representative Hitt was also concerned about a counterattack:

For a war of defense the Hawaiian Islands are to us inestimably important, most essential, and in this light they have been most often discussed. The discussion in past years has attracted little public attention, because our people, until they were lately awakened by the war and the movement to re-enforce Dewey, have not thought much about the exposed situation of our western coast in case of war with a really great power or the necessity of possessing these islands confronting our Pacific coast.
We learn fast in war time... 214/

President McKinley, "under such circumstances, feared interminable delays, and replaced the treaty...with a simple resolution which could be adopted by a simple majority." 215/ The fact that the administration felt there was a real possibility that the Senate would fail to ratify a treaty with the required two-thirds majority was noted by several members of Congress. Among them was Representative Crumpacker of Indiana, an opponent of annexation, who stated in the debate of June 14, 1898: "...the treaty required the assent of two-thirds of the Senators, and it became apparent that it could not command that assent, so it has been abandoned and this expedient invented..." 216/

In a remarkable display of candor and confidence, Representative Dolliver of Iowa, in favor of annexation, confirmed the comment of the Indiana Representative on both simple majority and expediency, by stating on the day the resolution passed the House that: "Now for the second time a treaty has been negotiated annexing these islands, and the opposition of less than a majority in the Senate has held up the treaty and we are driven to the

-p302-

Previous Page Next Page