The Teller Amendment was an amendment to a joint resolution of the United States Congress, enacted on April 20, 1898, in reply to President William McKinley's War Message. It placed a condition on the United States military's presence in Cuba. According to the clause, the U.S. could not annex Cuba but only leave "control of the island to its people." In short, the U.S. would help Cuba gain independence and then withdraw all its troops from the country.
|Long title||Joint Resolution For the recognition of the independence of the people of Cuba, demanding that the Government of Spain relinquish its authority and government in the Island of Cuba, and to withdraw its land and naval forces from Cuba and Cuban waters, and directing the President of the United States to use the land and naval forces of the United States to carry these resolutions into effect.|
|Enacted by||the 55th United States Congress|
|Statutes at Large||Resolution 24, 30 Stat. 738|
In the political atmosphere in the U.S. growing out of the Cuban struggle for independence, and following on the February 15, 1898, sinking of the USS Maine in Havana harbor President William McKinley, on 11 April 1898, asked the Congress,
... to authorize and empower the President to take measures to secure a full and final termination of hostilities between the government of Spain and the people of Cuba, and to ensure in the island the establishment of a stable government, capable of maintaining order and observing its international obligations, ensuring peace and tranquillity and the security of its citizens as well as our own, and to use the military and naval forces of the United States as may be necessary for these purposes.
Congress debated a joint resolution in response to the president's request for a week. In near-final form, its three parts constituted:
[a] joint resolution for the recognition of the independence of the people of Cuba, demanding that the government of Spain relinquish its authority and government in the Island of Cuba and withdraw its land and naval forces from Cuba and Cuban waters, and directing the President of the United States to use the land and naval forces of the United States to carry these resolutions into effect.— Congressional Record p. 4062
Senator Henry M. Teller, a Republican from Colorado (who had switched parties after leading a revolt against the dominant gold-favoring party wing at the 1896 Republican National Convention) proposed the amendment to ensure that the United States would not establish permanent control over Cuba following the cessation of hostilities with Spain. The Republican McKinley administration would not recognize belligerency or independence as it was unsure of the form an insurgency government might take. Without recognizing some government in Cuba, Congressmen feared McKinley was simply priming the island for annexation. The Teller clause quelled any anxiety of annexation by stating that the United States
... hereby disclaims any disposition of intention to exercise sovereignty, jurisdiction, or control over said island except for pacification thereof, and asserts its determination, when that is accomplished, to leave the government and control of the island to its people.
The proposed amendment gained support from several forces:
... those who opposed annexing territory containing large numbers of blacks and Catholics, those who sincerely supported Cuban independence, and representatives of the domestic sugar business, including sponsor Senator Henry Teller of Colorado, who feared Cuban competition. 
(A significant import tariff on foreign sugar would be removed should Cuba be annexed.)
The Senate passed the amendment, 42 to 35, on April 19, 1898, and the House concurred the same day, 311 to 6. President McKinley signed the joint resolution on April 20, 1898, and the ultimatum was forwarded to Spain.
The Spanish–American War lasted from April 25 to August 12, 1898, and it ended with the Treaty of Paris on December 10, 1898. As a result, Spain lost control over the remains of its overseas empire consisting of Cuba, Puerto Rico, the Philippine islands, Guam and other islands.
After Spanish troops left the island in December 1898, the United States occupied Cuba until 1902, and as promised in the Teller Amendment did not attempt to annex the island. However, under the Platt Amendment, crafted in 1901 by U.S. Secretary of War Elihu Root to replace the Teller Amendment, important decisions of the government of Cuba remained subject to override by the United States. This suzerainty bred resentment toward the U.S.
According to Gregory Weeks, author of U.S. and Latin American Relations (Peason, 2008, p. 56), "The Teller Amendment, authored by a Colorado Senator who wanted to make sure that Cuba's sugar would not compete with his state's crop of beet sugar, prohibited the president annexing Cuba."
Big stick ideology, big stick diplomacy, or big stick policy refers to U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt’s foreign policy: "speak softly and carry a big stick, you will go far." Roosevelt described his style of foreign policy as "the exercise of intelligent forethought and of decisive action sufficiently far in advance of any likely crisis.The idea is negotiating peacefully but also having strength in case things go wrong. Simultaneously threatening with the "big stick", or the military, ties in heavily with the idea of Realpolitik, which implies a pursuit of political power that resembles Machiavellian ideals. It is comparable to gunboat diplomacy, as used in international politics by imperial powers.Cuban War of Independence
The Cuban War of Independence (Spanish: Guerra de Independencia cubana, 1895–98) was the last of three liberation wars that Cuba fought against Spain, the other two being the Ten Years' War (1868–1878) and the Little War (1879–1880). The final three months of the conflict escalated to become the Spanish–American War, with United States forces being deployed in Cuba, Puerto Rico, and the Philippine Islands against Spain. Historians disagree as to the extent that United States officials were motivated to intervene for humanitarian reasons but agree that yellow journalism exaggerated atrocities attributed to Spanish forces against Cuban civilians.Cuba–United States relations
Cuba–United States relations are bilateral relations between the Republic of Cuba and the United States of America. Cuba and the United States restored diplomatic relations on 20 July 2015, which had been severed in 1961 during the Cold War. U.S. diplomatic representation in Cuba is handled by the United States Embassy in Havana, and there is a similar Cuban Embassy in Washington, D.C. The United States, however, continues to maintain its commercial, economic, and financial embargo, which makes it illegal for U.S. corporations to do business with Cuba. Leaders in both houses of Congress as well as President Donald Trump support the embargo, although the Cuban government has called for it to be repealed.
The hold of the Spanish Empire on possessions in the Americas was reduced in the 1820s as a result of the Spanish American wars of independence; only Cuba and Puerto Rico remained under Spanish rule until the Spanish–American War (1898) that resulted from the Cuban War of Independence. Under the Treaty of Paris, Cuba became a U.S. protectorate; the U.S. gained a position of economic and political dominance over the island, which persisted after it became formally independent in 1902.
Following the Cuban Revolution of 1959, bilateral relations deteriorated substantially. In 1961, the U.S. severed diplomatic ties with Cuba and began pursuing covert operations to topple the Communist regime. Moreover, the U.S. imposed and subsequently tightened a comprehensive set of restrictions and bans against the Cuban regime as retaliation for the nationalization of U.S. corporations' property by Cuba. Meanwhile, several organizations, including a nearly unanimous United Nations General Assembly, have called for "an end to the United States' decades-long economic, commercial and financial embargo against Cuba."On 17 December 2014, U.S. President Barack Obama and Cuban President Raúl Castro announced the beginning of a process of normalizing relations between Cuba and the U.S., which media sources have named "the Cuban Thaw". Negotiated in secret in Canada and Vatican City over preceding months, and with the assistance of Pope Francis, the agreement led to the lifting of some U.S. travel restrictions, fewer restrictions on remittances, U.S. banks access to the Cuban financial system, and the establishment of a U.S. embassy in Havana, which closed after Cuba became closely allied with the USSR in 1961. The countries' respective "interests sections" in one another's capitals were upgraded to embassies on 20 July 2015. On 20 March 2016, President Barack Obama visited Cuba, becoming the first U.S. President in 88 years to visit the island.On 16 June 2017 President Donald Trump announced that he was suspending the policy for unconditional sanctions relief for Cuba, while also leaving the door open for a "better deal" between the US and Cuba.A 2016 survey shows that 77% of Cubans have a favorable view of the United States, with only 4% expressing an unfavorable view.Hay-Quesada Treaty
The Hay-Quesada Treaty is the agreement reached between the governments of Cuba and the United States, which was negotiated in 1903, but not ratified by both parties until 1925. By the terms of this treaty the U.S. recognized Cuban sovereignty over the territory of the Isle of Pines off the southern coast of the island of Cuba, which since 1978 has been known as Isla de la Juventud (Isle of Youth).Henry M. Teller
Henry Moore Teller (May 23, 1830 – February 23, 1914) was an American politician from Colorado, serving as a US senator between 1876–1882 and 1885–1909, also serving as Secretary of the Interior between 1882 and 1885. He strongly opposed the Dawes Act, intended to break up communal Native American lands and force assimilation of the people, accurately stating that it was directed at forcing the Indians to give up their land so that it could be sold to white settlers. Among his most prominent achievements was authoring the Teller Amendment which definitively stated that, following the Spanish–American War, the U.S. would not annex Cuba rather that the purpose of their involvement would be to help it gain independence from Spain.History of Cuba
The island of Cuba was inhabited by various Mesoamerican cultures prior to the arrival of the Spanish in 1492. After the arrival, Spain conquered Cuba and appointed Spanish governors to rule in Havana. In 1762, Havana was briefly occupied by Great Britain, before being returned to Spain in exchange for Florida. A series of rebellions during the 19th century failed to end the Spanish rule. However, the Spanish–American War resulted in a Spanish withdrawal from the island in 1898, and following three-and-a-half years of subsequent US military rule, Cuba gained formal independence in 1902.In the years following its independence, the Cuban republic saw significant economic development, but also political corruption and a succession of despotic leaders, culminating in the overthrow of the dictator Fulgencio Batista by the 26th of July Movement, led by Fidel and Raúl Castro Ruz, during the 1953–59 Cuban Revolution. Cuba has since been governed as a socialist state by the Communist Party under the leadership of the Castro brothers. The country has been politically and economically isolated by the United States since the Revolution, but has gradually gained access to foreign commerce and travel as efforts to normalise diplomatic relations have progressed. Domestic economic reforms are also beginning to modernize Cuba's socialist economy.Manifest destiny
In the 19th century, manifest destiny was a widely held belief in the United States that its settlers were destined to expand across North America. There are three basic themes to manifest destiny:
The special virtues of the American people and their institutions
The mission of the United States to redeem and remake the west in the image of agrarian America
An irresistible destiny to accomplish this essential dutyHistorian Frederick Merk says this concept was born out of "a sense of mission to redeem the Old World by high example ... generated by the potentialities of a new earth for building a new heaven".Historians have emphasized that "manifest destiny" was a contested concept—pre-civil war Democrats endorsed the idea but many prominent Americans (such as Abraham Lincoln, Ulysses S. Grant, and most Whigs) rejected it. Historian Daniel Walker Howe writes, "American imperialism did not represent an American consensus; it provoked bitter dissent within the national polity ... Whigs saw America's moral mission as one of democratic example rather than one of conquest."Newspaper editor John O'Sullivan is generally credited with coining the term manifest destiny in 1845 to describe the essence of this mindset, which was a rhetorical tone; however, the unsigned editorial titled "Annexation" in which it first appeared was arguably written by journalist and annexation advocate Jane Cazneau. The term was used by Democrats in the 1840s to justify the war with Mexico and it was also used to divide half of Oregon with the United Kingdom. But manifest destiny always limped along because of its internal limitations and the issue of slavery, says Merk. It never became a national priority. By 1843, former U.S. President John Quincy Adams, originally a major supporter of the concept underlying manifest destiny, had changed his mind and repudiated expansionism because it meant the expansion of slavery in Texas.Merk concluded:
From the outset Manifest Destiny—vast in program, in its sense of continentalism—was slight in support. It lacked national, sectional, or party following commensurate with its magnitude. The reason was it did not reflect the national spirit. The thesis that it embodied nationalism, found in much historical writing, is backed by little real supporting evidence.Pearcy v. Stranahan
Percy v. Stranahan, 205 U.S. 257 (1907), was a 1907 ruling of the Supreme Court of the United States in a tax case in which it determined that the Isle of Pines off the southern coast of Cuba was a "foreign country" for the purposes of tariffs under the Dingley Tariff Act of 1897, even though Cuba and the United States had agreed that the legal status of that island would remain undetermined until they settled the question by treaty.Philip Bonsal
Philip Wilson Bonsal (May 22, 1903 – June 28, 1995) was a career diplomat with the U.S. Department of State. A specialist in Latin American affairs, he served as United States Ambassador to Cuba from February 1959 until October 1960, the first months of the Castro regime.Platt Amendment
On March 2, 1901, the Platt Amendment was passed as part of the 1901 Army Appropriations Bill. It stipulated seven conditions for the withdrawal of United States troops remaining in Cuba at the end of the Spanish–American War, and an eighth condition that Cuba sign a treaty accepting these seven conditions. It defined the terms of Cuban–U.S. relations to essentially be an unequal one of U.S. dominance over Cuba.
On December 25, 1901, Cuba amended its constitution to contain, word for word, the seven applicable demands of the Platt Amendment.On May 22, 1903, Cuba entered into a treaty with the United States to make the same required seven pledges: the Cuban–American Treaty of Relations of 1903. Two of the seven pledges were to allow the United States to intervene unilaterally in Cuban affairs, and a pledge to lease land to the United States for naval bases on the island. (The Cuban-American Treaty of Relations of 1934 replaced the 1903 Treaty of Relations, and dropped three of the seven pledges.)
The 1903 Treaty of Relations was used as justification for the Second Occupation of Cuba from 1906 to 1909. On September 29, 1906, Secretary of War (and future U.S. president) William Howard Taft initiated the Second Occupation of Cuba when he established the Provisional Government of Cuba under the terms of the treaty (Article three), declaring himself Provisional Governor of Cuba. On October 23, 1906, President Roosevelt issued Executive Order 518, ratifying the order.On May 29, 1934, the United States and Cuba signed the 1934 Treaty of Relations that in its first article abrogates the 1903 Treaty of Relations.Spanish–American War
The Spanish–American War (Spanish: Guerra hispano-americana or Guerra hispano-estadounidense; Filipino: Digmaang Espanyol-Amerikano) was fought between the United States and Spain in 1898. Hostilities began in the aftermath of the internal explosion of USS Maine in Havana Harbor in Cuba, leading to U.S. intervention in the Cuban War of Independence. U.S. acquisition of Spain's Pacific possessions led to its involvement in the Philippine Revolution and ultimately in the Philippine–American War.The main issue was Cuban independence. Revolts had been occurring for some years in Cuba against Spanish rule. The U.S. later backed these revolts upon entering the Spanish–American War. There had been war scares before, as in the Virginius Affair in 1873, but in the late 1890s, American public opinion was agitated by reports of gruesome Spanish atrocities. The business community had just recovered from a deep depression and feared that a war would reverse the gains. It lobbied vigorously against going to war. President William McKinley ignored the exaggerated yellow press and sought a peaceful settlement.. The United States Navy armored cruiser USS Maine mysteriously exploded and sank in Havana Harbor; political pressures from the Democratic Party pushed McKinley into a war that he had wished to avoid.
McKinley signed a joint Congressional resolution demanding Spanish withdrawal and authorizing the President to use military force to help Cuba gain independence on April 20, 1898. In response, Spain severed diplomatic relations with the United States on April 21. On the same day, the U.S. Navy began a blockade of Cuba. Both sides declared war; neither had allies.
The ten-week war was fought in both the Caribbean and the Pacific. As U.S. agitators for war well knew, U.S. naval power proved decisive, allowing expeditionary forces to disembark in Cuba against a Spanish garrison already facing nationwide Cuban insurgent attacks and further wasted by yellow fever. The invaders obtained the surrender of Santiago de Cuba and Manila despite the good performance of some Spanish infantry units and fierce fighting for positions such as San Juan Hill. Madrid sued for peace after two Spanish squadrons were sunk in Santiago de Cuba and Manila Bay and a third, more modern, fleet was recalled home to protect the Spanish coasts.The result was the 1898 Treaty of Paris, negotiated on terms favorable to the U.S. which allowed it temporary control of Cuba and ceded ownership of Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Philippine islands. The cession of the Philippines involved payment of $20 million ($602,320,000 today) to Spain by the U.S. to cover infrastructure owned by Spain.The defeat and loss of the last remnants of the Spanish Empire was a profound shock to Spain's national psyche and provoked a thorough philosophical and artistic reevaluation of Spanish society known as the Generation of '98. The United States gained several island possessions spanning the globe and a rancorous new debate over the wisdom of expansionism.Stewart L. Woodford
Stewart Lyndon Woodford (September 3, 1835 – February 14, 1913) was an American attorney and politician who served as a member of the United States House of Representatives and Lieutenant Governor of New York.
Born in New York City, Woodford graduated from Columbia University in 1854, studies law, and attained admission to the bar. Becoming active in politics as a Republican, he served as Assistant United States Attorney for New York's Southern District from 1861 until volunteering for the Union Army in 1862. Woodford took part in the American Civil War as chief of staff to Quincy A. Gillmore, commander of the Department of the South and commander of the 103rd Colored Infantry Regiment. he attained the rank of colonel, and the brevet rank of brigadier general.
Woodford ran successfully for lieutenant governor in 1866, and served from 1867 to 1868. After losing the 1870 race for governor, in 1872, Woodford was elected to the U.S. House, and he served a partial term. From 1877 to 1883, he served as United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and he served as Minister to Spain from 1897 until the start of hostilities during the Spanish–American War. Woodford died in New York City in 1913, and was buried in Stamford, Connecticut.Teller
Teller may refer to:
Teller (magician), one half of the duo Penn & Teller
Automated teller machine
Teller County, Colorado
Teller mineTimeline of United States history (1860–1899)
This section of the Timeline of United States history concerns events from 1860 to 1899.Treaty of Paris (1898)
The Treaty of Paris of 1898 (Filipino: Kasunduan sa Paris ng 1898; Spanish: Tratado de París (1898)) was a treaty signed by Spain and the United States on December 10, 1898, that ended the Spanish–American War. In the treaty, Spain relinquished all claim of sovereignty over and title to Cuba, and ceded Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Philippines to the United States. The cession of the Philippines involved a compensation of $20 million from the United States to Spain. The Treaty of Paris came into effect on April 11, 1899, when the documents of ratification were exchanged.The Treaty of Paris marked the end of the Spanish Empire (apart from some small holdings in Northern Africa as well as several islands and territories around the Gulf of Guinea, also in Africa). It marked the beginning of the age of the United States as a world power. Many supporters of the war opposed the treaty, and it became one of the major issues in the election of 1900 when it was opposed by Democrat William Jennings Bryan because he opposed imperialism. Republican President William McKinley upheld the treaty and was easily reelected.United States Military Government in Cuba
The United States Military Government in Cuba (Spanish: Gobierno militar estadounidense en Cuba or Gobierno militar americano en Cuba), was a provisional military government in Cuba that was established in the aftermath of the Spanish–American War in 1898 when Spain ceded Cuba to the United States.
This period was also referred to as the First Occupation of Cuba, to distinguish it from a second occupation from 1906 to 1909. United States Army forces involved in the garrisoning of the island during this time were honored with the Army of Cuban Occupation Medal after its establishment in 1915.United States declaration of war upon Spain
On 25 April 1898, the United States Congress declared war upon Spain. The ensuing Spanish–American War resulted in a decisive victory for the United States, and arguably served as a transitional period for both nations. Spain saw its days of empire fade, as the United States saw the prospect of overseas empire emerge. The war was ended by the Treaty of Paris signed on December 10 that same year.United States territorial acquisitions
This is a United States territorial acquisitions and conquests list, beginning with American independence. Note that this list primarily concerns land the United States of America acquired from other nation-states. Early American expansion was tied to a national concept of manifest destiny.William McKinley
William McKinley (January 29, 1843 – September 14, 1901) was the 25th president of the United States, serving from March 4, 1897, until his assassination six months into his second term. McKinley led the nation to victory in the Spanish–American War, raised protective tariffs to promote American industry and kept the nation on the gold standard in a rejection of free silver (effectively, expansionary monetary policy).
McKinley was the last president to have served in the American Civil War and the only one to have started the war as an enlisted soldier, beginning as a private in the Union Army and ending as a brevet major. After the war, he settled in Canton, Ohio, where he practiced law and married Ida Saxton. In 1876, he was elected to Congress, where he became the Republican Party's expert on the protective tariff, which he promised would bring prosperity. His 1890 McKinley Tariff was highly controversial, which together with a Democratic redistricting aimed at gerrymandering him out of office led to his defeat in the Democratic landslide of 1890. He was elected governor of Ohio in 1891 and 1893, steering a moderate course between capital and labor interests. With the aid of his close adviser Mark Hanna, he secured the Republican nomination for president in 1896 amid a deep economic depression. He defeated his Democratic rival William Jennings Bryan after a front porch campaign in which he advocated "sound money" (the gold standard unless altered by international agreement) and promised that high tariffs would restore prosperity.
Rapid economic growth marked McKinley's presidency. He promoted the 1897 Dingley Tariff to protect manufacturers and factory workers from foreign competition and in 1900 secured the passage of the Gold Standard Act. McKinley hoped to persuade Spain to grant independence to rebellious Cuba without conflict, but when negotiation failed he led the nation into the Spanish–American War of 1898—the United States victory was quick and decisive. As part of the peace settlement, Spain turned over to the United States its main overseas colonies of Puerto Rico, Guam and the Philippines while Cuba was promised independence, but at that time remained under the control of the United States Army. The United States annexed the independent Republic of Hawaii in 1898 and it became a United States territory.
Historians regard McKinley's 1896 victory as a realigning election in which the political stalemate of the post-Civil War era gave way to the Republican-dominated Fourth Party System, which began with the Progressive Era. McKinley defeated Bryan again in the 1900 presidential election in a campaign focused on imperialism, protectionism and free silver. His legacy was suddenly cut short when he was shot on September 6, 1901 by Leon Czolgosz, a second-generation Polish-American with anarchist leanings. McKinley died eight days later and was succeeded by his Vice President Theodore Roosevelt. As an innovator of American interventionism and pro-business sentiment, McKinley's presidency is generally considered above average, though his highly positive public perception was soon overshadowed by Roosevelt.