Timeline of United States diplomatic history
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Timeline & Topics
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The United States have rich and complicated diplomatic histories. Although some of their key figures at the time of their founding, such as George Washington and Thomas Paine, envisioned a nation separated diplomatically from the wars of Europe, the United States soon became parts of a conflict between France and Britain during the Napoleonic wars.
Timeline of United States diplomatic history
- 1776- Declaration of Independence - written by Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, Robert Livingston, and Roger Sherman.
- 1778- Treaty of Alliance (1778)- As a result of Battle of Saratoga, France and US agreed to come to each others aid in event of British attack from the present time and forever, abrogated in late 1799 after XYZ Affair.
- 1789- Jay-Gardoqui Treaty- Spain's exclusive right to navigate Mississippi River guaranteed for 30 years, Spain's European and West Indian ports open to American shipping, not ratified under Articles of Confederation.
- 1795- Jay Treaty- Promised British subjects would leave Great Lakes region within a year, did not deal with impressment nor Loyalists debts. Accepted by Senate.
- 1795- Treaty of Madrid (1795)- Establishes boundaries with the Spanish colonies of Florida and Louisiana and guarantees navigation rights on the Mississippi River.
- early 1800s- Barbary Wars- Algiers, Morocco, Tripoli, and Tunis require US to pay protection money, when Tripoli increased sum, Thomas Jefferson sent Stephen Decatur and United States Navy to Mediterranean Sea, where they forced abandonment of tribute. Other states demanded tribute until 1815 when Decatur again prevailed.
- 1803- Louisiana Purchase Treaty- Robert Livingston the minister to France offered to purchase New Orleans, Napoleon counteroffered with the whole territory, and for $15,000,000 US agrees to buy Louisiana Territory and incorporate into US.
- 1814- Treaty of Ghent- ended War of 1812 providing status quo ante bellum, but as Napoleonic Wars ended, impressment also ended.
- 1819- Adams-Onis Treaty- Spain ceded Florida to US for $5,000,000 (after Florida was invaded by Andrew Jackson with unclear approval of President Monroe on the pretense of suppressing Seminole Indian raids), US agreed to assume claims against Spain, US gave up claims to Texas.
- 1823- Monroe Doctrine- British Foreign Minister Canning proposed US join England in stating that European powers not be permitted further American colonization. Monroe states on December 2 as independent American Policy.
- 1837- Caroline Affair- a band of Canadian rebels took refuge on Navy island on Canadian side Niagara River, US sympathizers supplied them with aid via steamboat Caroline. On December 29, Canadian forces crossed to US and set Caroline ablaze. May 29, 1838 US forces burned British steamer Sir Robert Peel while in US.
- 1838- Aroostook War- disagreement over Northern Boundary of Maine resulted in troops being called on both sides, Martin Van Buren arranged truce while a commission was established.
- 1839- Amistad case - Spanish ship Amistad left Havana, Cuba bound for Puerto Principe, Cuba with 54 recently captured Africans, who broke free and killed the captain. Two passengers whose lives were spared deceived the Africans and sailed the ship to Long Island, where it was recaptured by the United States Navy, delivered to Connecticut, and libeled by the commander of the navy vessel. Various admiralty claims were made, including claims by the Spanish crown, alleging that the Africans were slaves, but the Africans were adjudicated free men by the district court. The district court's decision was affirmed by the circuit court of appeals, and further affirmed by the United States Supreme Court.
- 1842 - Webster-Ashburton Treaty-settled Maine New Brunswick border and rest of US Canadian border, settling Aroostook War and Caroline Affair.
- 1848- Treaty of Guadelupe Hidalgo- settled Mexican-American War, Rio Grande as border of Texas, Territory of New Mexico rest of west ceded to US, California ceded, US paid Mexico $15,000,000 and assumed $3,250,000 liability against Mexico.
- 1850- Clayton-Bulwer Treaty- US and Britain agreed both nations were not to colonize or control any Central American republic, neither nation would seek exclusive control of Isthmian canal, if canal built protected by both nations for neutrality and security. Any canal built open to all nations on equal terms.
- 1853- Gadsden Purchase- Purchase of 30,000 square miles (78,700 km²) south of Gila River for $10,000,000 for purpose of Railroad line pass through Rockies.
- 1854- Kanagawa Treaty- Millard Fillmore sent Matthew Perry to Tokyo, he arrived in 1853 and delivered letter, returned next year with seven warships and treaty signed opening two Japanese ports and guaranteeing safety of shipwrecked US seamen.
- 1864- Maximilian Affair- in violation of Monroe Doctrine, French Emperor Napoleon III placed Austrian Archduke Maximilian on Mexican throne, US in Civil War and could not respond. Benito Juárez deposed Maximilian in 1867.
- 1867- Alaska Purchase- Secretary of State William Seward purchases Alaska from Russia for $7,200,000, ridiculed at the time as Sewards Folly or Icebox.
- 1868 - Treaty on Naturalization with North German Confederation marked first recognition by a European power of the right of its subjects to become naturalized US citizens.
- 1868- Burlingame Treaty- established formal friendly relations with China and placed them on Most Favored Nation status, Chinese immigration encouraged. Reversed in 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act.
- 1872- Alabama Claims- during United States Civil War, Confederate States of America raider CSS Alabama built in Britain, US claimed direct and collateral damage against Britain, awarded $15,500,000 by international tribunal.
- 1891- Baltimore Crisis- Secretary of State James Blaine attempted to aid government of Chile in its unsuccessful attempt to quell a rebellion. USS Charleston seized rebel ship, in Valparaiso, two sailors from USS Baltimore were killed. New govt. rejects protests, after Benjamin Harrison sends message to Congress, Chile apologized and paid $75,000.
- 1898- DeLome Letter- in private letter to friend, Spanish minister wrote disparagingly of President William McKinley, letter stolen from Post Office in Havana and released by Cuban revolutionists.
- 1901- Hay-Pauncefote Treaty- US reached agreement with British Foreign Minister nullifying Clayton-Bulwer Treaty of 1850 in return for guarantee of open passage for any nation through canal.
- 1902- Drago Doctrine- Foreign Minister of Argentina announced policy that no European power could use force against American nation to collect debt, supplanted in 1904 by Roosevelt Corollary to Monroe Doctrine.
- 1903- Big Stick Diplomacy- Theodore Roosevelt says speak softly and carry a big stick, applied to assistance of Province of Panama's independence movement from Colombia.
- 1903- Hay-Herran Treaty- with Colombian minister, US acquired renewable 99 year lease on 6 mile wide strip across Panama for 10,000,000 and annual payment. Ratified by US but not by Colombian Senate.
- 1903- Hay-Bunau Varilla Treaty - after Hay-Herran Treaty failed, same treaty passed with Panamanian representative, leased strip of land increased to 10 miles (16 km) wide.
- 1906- Algeciras Conference- Met in Spain at Algeciras with Theodore Roosevelt mediating Moroccan dispute between France and Germany, essentially in French favor.
- 1914- ABC Powers- Argentina, Brazil, Chile met in 1914 to avoid a US Mexican War over Veracruz incident.
- 1915- RMS_Lusitania sunk- off Irish coast by submarine under control of Captain Schweiger sunk British passenger liner containing troops and munitions as well with 128 of Americans on board killed.
- 1917- Lansing-Ishii Agreement- US recognized Japan had special interests in China, particularly in contiguous territory, US had objected to Japan assuming German Asian territories.
- 1918- Fourteen Points- statement of US War aims by Woodrow Wilson, served as basis for Treaty of Versailles.
- 1919- League of Nations- Agreed to at Versailles, but US Senate did not permit American entry.
- 1928- Kellogg-Briand Pact- multilateral treaty outlawing War by moral force of 60 signatory nations.
- 1933- Montevideo Conference- Franklin Roosevelt declared US opposition to armed intervention in inter American affairs.
- 1941- Atlantic Charter- Conferences aboard warships in Placentia Bay off Argentia, Newfoundland between FDR and Churchill resulted in (1) no territorial gains sought by US or UK, (2) territorial adjustments must conform to people involved, (3) people have right to choose own govt. (4) trade barriers lowered, (5) there must be disarmament, (6) there must be freedom from want and fear (4 Freedoms of FDR), (7) there must be freedom of the seas, (8) there must be an association of nations.
- 1943- Cairo Conference- Franklin Roosevelt, Winston Churchill and Chiang Kai-Shek met to make decisions about postwar Asia: Japan returns all territory, Korea independent.
- 1943- Casablanca Conference- Franklin Roosevelt, Winston Churchill met to plan European strategy. Unconditional Surrender of axis demanded, USSR aided, invasion of Sicily and Italy's "soft underbelly" planned.
- 1944- Bretton Woods Conference- in July in New Hampshire International Monetary Fund and International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (World Bank) created to aid nations devastated by World War II.
- 1944- Dumbarton Oaks Conference- in August in Washington, DC mansion, United Nations was formulated, followed up by San Francisco Conference, Security Council veto powers established.
- 1947- Cold War- Referred to hostility between formerly allied nations after World War II, term coined by Herbert Bayard Swope in speech for Bernard Baruch at Columbia, South Carolina on April 16.
- 1947- General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade- Signed in Geneva by 23 nations including US, membership has since increased, for purpose of eliminating trade barriers of all kinds on industrial and agricultural goods.
- 1948- Berlin Blockade- imposed June 24 by Soviet Union blocking traffic into western sectors of Berlin, Operation Vittles airlifted aid into city, Blockade lifted May 12, 1949.
- 1952- ANZUS Treaty- Treaty united Australia, US and New Zealand in defensive regional pact, resulted from Korean War.
- 1954- Baghdad Pact- Central Treaty Organization (or CENTO) initiated by John Foster Dulles, members were Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, and Turkey, aid from US.
- 1957- Eisenhower Doctrine- stated US would use armed force upon request of imminent or actual aggression, applied in Lebanon that year successfully.
- 1961- Alliance for Progress- Agreement extended economic assistance to Latin American nations in exchange for land and tax reform, more democratic govt., and greater stability.
- 1961- Bay of Pigs- April 17 trained Cuban refugees invaded Cuba and were defeated because of lack of U.S. air support
- 1961- Berlin Crisis- Soviets give East Germany control over East Berlin, in August the Berlin Wall is built to stem wave of refugees, John F. Kennedy says "Ich bin ein Berliner" to thousands of cheering West Berliners.
- 1962- Cuban Missile Crisis- John F. Kennedy on October 22 announced that there existed Soviet missiles in Cuba and demanded their removal while imposing an air sea blockade. Nikita Khrushchev sent two letters, one belligerent one conciliatory to Kennedy, Kennedy ignores belligerent letter and missiles withdrawn on condition that US won't invade Cuba, Kennedy demanded onsite inspection, this was not allowed.
- 1963- Partial Test Ban Treaty- US and USSR agreed not to conduct nuclear tests in space, in the atmosphere or underwater. Underground tests permitted, signed by 100 nations, not France or People's Republic of China.
- 1978- Camp David Accords (1978)- in August Anwar Sadat, Menachem Begin, and Jimmy Carter met to, determine land for peace exchange in Israel.