Should the U.S. have tried getting more Caribbean territories in the early 20th century?

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South
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Re: Should the U.S. have tried getting more Caribbean territories in the early 20th century?

Post by South » 07 Jan 2019 09:26

Sidebar; Good morning Uncle Bob,

Just contacted Miss Moneypenny at Naval Intelligence. Latest reports say health food box contained Doritos and Dr Brown's chocolate cream sodas. The opposite side of the health food box, not in picture, did have some HAZMAT labels indicating flammable liquids (Brasso ?).

Good morning Futurist,

The Caribbean was already an American lake. Actual US Government acquisition of European islands in the Caribbean could not pass through Congress.
Consider for a moment that you're a rice grower... A California rice grower. You and your ag organizations would not want cheaper rice arriving into the contiguous United States in competition. An example: Circa the 1960s, San Francisco's mayor was the honorable Joseph Alioto. Mayor Alioto was also the executive director of the Rice Growers' Association of California. I am too far away from both California and the Caribbean to explain the connection. Will ask Tongsun Park to provide a background seminar. San Francisco has few hotel rooms. We can meet down in your neck o' the woods. Is Seal Beach still there ? Any flop house hotels / motels ?

If you and your ag organizations were into the cane sugar business.......

I am now in the mood for some Rice ah Roni and a couple of Michelobs.

~ Bob
eastern Virginia, USA

cc: Speaker of the House of Representatives Carl Albert

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Re: Should the U.S. have tried getting more Caribbean territories in the early 20th century?

Post by OpanaPointer » 07 Jan 2019 12:21

Never heard of the French offer. Can you share a source, please.
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Sid Guttridge
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Re: Should the U.S. have tried getting more Caribbean territories in the early 20th century?

Post by Sid Guttridge » 07 Jan 2019 15:24

Hi Opanapointer,

You post, "None of those proposals had any legs." We know that with hindsight, yet at the time they all reached either the Oval Office, State Department, or the Senate as serious proposals.

The settling of the 49th parallel border with Canada and the Gadsden Purchase off Mexico were just within living memory of the very oldest US citizens. US fishing rights off Newfoundland had only been settled by international arbitration in 1910 and the acquisition of the Danish Virgin Islands was only in 1917. And this is without mentioning Puerto Rico, or the Panama Canal Zone. To the USA's neighbours further encroachment did not look that remote in 1939.

Cheers,

Sid
Last edited by Sid Guttridge on 07 Jan 2019 15:44, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: Should the U.S. have tried getting more Caribbean territories in the early 20th century?

Post by Sid Guttridge » 07 Jan 2019 15:37

Hi Futurist,

Ditto Opanapointer's last post. Have you more, especially a source, on ".....the 1939 French offer of Caribbean islands in exchange for destroyers."

It doesn't strike me that France was that desperate in 1939, with the British fleet on its side. June 1940, possibly.

Cheers,

Sid.

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Robert Rojas
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RE: HOT DANISH! - (Well Sort Of But Not Really).

Post by Robert Rojas » 07 Jan 2019 18:41

Greetings to both brother South and the community as a whole. Howdy Bob! Well sir, in respect to your posting of Monday - January, 07, 2019 - 12:26am old yours truly is still OUT TO SEA on the historical evolution AND jurisdictional status of the those Virgin Islands that were "ONCE" the possessions of the Kingdom of Denmark in year 1916 and subsequently became the "LEGAL" possessions of the United States of America in year 1917. Did our ever illustrious United States Congress ever FORMALLY recognize the acquisition of the then Danish Virgin Islands, and if so, WHEN? Along a similar train of thought, did the United States of America ever technically acquire a portion of the British controlled Virgin Islands during the early phases of the Second World War OR was the United States of America simply granted limited basing rights for the duration of the conflict? Now, if the United States of America did, in fact, acquire a portion of the British controlled Virgin Islands, did the United States Congress ever FORMALLY recognize that territorial acquisition? Incidentally, rhetorically speaking anyway, one must wonder what madness drove Copenhagen to divest themselves of such an exquisite locality - they certainly would have made wonderful tropical backdrops for one of the late Birte Tove's celluloid epics from the decade of the 1970's! Well Bob, you are my GO TO GUY for matters that are clearly beyond my humble pay grade! With that said, that is my latest two Yankee cents worth on this exercise in obscenely expensive tropical real estate down in the Caribbean Basin - for now anyway. As always, I would like to bid you an especially copacetic day over in your corner of the Old Dominion that is the Commonwealth of Virginia.


Best Regards From The Peoples Republic of CORRUPT-O-FORNIA!
Uncle Bob :idea: :? :|
"It is well that war is so terrible, or we should grow too fond of it" - Robert E. Lee

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Re: Should the U.S. have tried getting more Caribbean territories in the early 20th century?

Post by Futurist » 07 Jan 2019 19:41

OpanaPointer wrote:
07 Jan 2019 12:21
Never heard of the French offer. Can you share a source, please.
This offer (or alleged offer) is mentioned here:

https://books.google.com/books?id=yJoUD ... es&f=false

--and here:

https://books.google.com/books?id=yJoUD ... er&f=false

The second link here gives a source for this information--specifically page 239 in this book:

https://books.google.com/books?id=2yYF1 ... rt&f=false

As page 239 of this book shows, French Prime Minister Edouard Daladier really does appear to have been willing to give up some French islands in the Caribbean and/or Pacific to the U.S. Of course, it's a shame that page 238 of this book (the previous page) is not available on Google Books. That way, we could read the entire story in regards to this.

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Re: Should the U.S. have tried getting more Caribbean territories in the early 20th century?

Post by Futurist » 07 Jan 2019 19:41

Sid Guttridge wrote:
07 Jan 2019 15:37
Hi Futurist,

Ditto Opanapointer's last post. Have you more, especially a source, on ".....the 1939 French offer of Caribbean islands in exchange for destroyers."

It doesn't strike me that France was that desperate in 1939, with the British fleet on its side. June 1940, possibly.

Cheers,

Sid.
Please see my links in the post right above this post.

South
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Re: Should the U.S. have tried getting more Caribbean territories in the early 20th century?

Post by South » 07 Jan 2019 20:14

Good afternoon Uncle Bob,

The real ivy leaguers of Foggy Bottom, Washington, D.C., with their key chain holding the frat key and a cigar cutter all attached to vest had to do some work. Long lunches and hall walking still OK but they were assigned to get the needed islands for protection of the new/pending Nic...Panama Canal. The new nation of Panama was established in the Waldorf Astoria Hotel, New York City.

Time for a Maxwell House "good to the last drop" coffee at the Waldorf.....

After slavery was abolished (more accurately: made illegal) in the 19th century, Denmark's Virgin Islands became an economic burden. Note that after the US Civil War, the South American canal project became important and a priority to the US.....with domestic competing interests, of course.

Recall the WWI era and Germany might have invaded Denmark and occupied the place and its possessions. The Virgin Islands qualified as a possession - and the place is nicer for a German soldier than Windhoek, SW Africa. Denmark wanted to sell and the US wanted to buy. The actual transfer was at the Biltmore Hotel, New York City. The signing was surely not performed with German Mont Blac fountain pens ! Pres Wilson signed the docs. I don't have any info on the Congressional seal of approval.

I don't think the US had any "established" base rights on the British Virgin Islands. They're so close to the new USVI there was surely no need. Note that with the US holding Porto Rico- ie Puerto Rico and Cuba...via the Platt Amendment and the Panama Canal Zone...US Army all over the place, NAVSTA Rodman there, Forgot name of airfield (Howard?), much else: US Public Health Service, .... Key West was nearby with USN units.

The US did have some base rights on Bermuda and the 2 bases were so important they only closed well into the 1990s. Apparently when Virginia Beach got boring, a trip to Bermuda - for training, of course - does wonders for national security.

Feet Notes:

One of the small offshore USVI has a relatively new nickname: Orgie Island. It involved a scandal.

One US insular possession not mentioned much these days is Navasa Island. It's near offshore Haiti. It's historical capital town......the entire island is small .....was named Lulu Town. To visit the place - restricted to formal research - requires a permit from the US Fish and Wildlife Service.

I believe on 3 November 1903, the USS Nashville was offshore Nicaragua when the political disturbances resulted in the creation of the new Panama. Will research later what style of hat they wore at the political disturbances. Have no idea what USS Nashville was doing there.

Meanwhile, back at the non-Walfdorf class motel.............

~ Bob
eastern Virginia, USA

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Re: Should the U.S. have tried getting more Caribbean territories in the early 20th century?

Post by OpanaPointer » 07 Jan 2019 20:29

Sid Guttridge wrote:
07 Jan 2019 15:24
Hi Opanapointer,

You post, "None of those proposals had any legs." We know that with hindsight, yet at the time they all reached either the Oval Office, State Department, or the Senate as serious proposals.
And they all died. No legs.
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Re: Should the U.S. have tried getting more Caribbean territories in the early 20th century?

Post by T. A. Gardner » 08 Jan 2019 00:41

The question really is, if the US was to do this what does it get them?
There's no real question that the US couldn't have done a land grab to take Mexico (after all the US invaded with near impunity several times) and all of Central America if they wanted to. The same with islands in the Caribbean. Who was going to stop them?
But, if they had, it didn't get them much. Outside Mexico there weren't any major natural resources to be gained. The islands of the Caribbean were hardly going to be self-sustaining, except maybe for Cuba and Hispaniola. They'd mostly just be a drain on US resources.

It doesn't help the US that much in terms of trade either. S. America wasn't the US's major trading partners, so having something like a north to south rail line through Central America to S. America buys the US little.

If the US needed bases in these areas, history shows they could establish them as necessary regardless of local political control.

Then, lastly, taking these would have given the US a very large population of peoples that were very different in their language and social expectations. That might have required generations to reverse and integrate them into the US in general.

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RE: Should The U.S. Have Tried Getting More Caribbean Territories In The Early 20th Century?

Post by Robert Rojas » 08 Jan 2019 02:03

Greetings to both brother T.A. Gardner and the community as a whole. Howdy T.A.G.! Well sir, in respect to your posting of Monday - January 07, 2019 - 3:41pm, old yours truly rather suspects that you will NOT be the recipient of a great deal of debate on this topic from either myself or brother South. Like yourself, at least in terms of the early Twentieth Century anyway, I do not fathom what the United States of America has to gain by becoming the de facto GREAT WHITE FATHER of the greater Caribbean Basin. Now, as you more than rightly point out, the majority of these Caribbean islands OR island groupings would be little more than a drain on American resources. And as brother South plainly states and you highly infer, for all intents and purposes, the Caribbean Basin is an American lake where we essentially go and do what we want - WITHIN REASON OF COURSE. Unlike, the Republic of Panama, I will forego interjecting any commentary gravitating upon old Mexico since it is, at best, peripheral to brother Futurist's geopolitical topic. Well, that's my latest two Yankee cents worth on this ongoing saga within the once fabled Spanish Main - for now anyway. As always, I would like to bid you an especially copacetic day over in your corner of the Grand Canyon State of Arizona.


Best Regards,
Uncle Bob :idea: :|
"It is well that war is so terrible, or we should grow too fond of it" - Robert E. Lee

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Re: Should the U.S. have tried getting more Caribbean territories in the early 20th century?

Post by Sid Guttridge » 09 Jan 2019 11:20

Hi Futurist,

A very satisfying reply. Thanks.

I had previously looked into the area in some detail and missed that point.

As an aside, the USA found a use for Clipperton Island (in the Pacific) in 1944, but by then de Gaulle was not willing to relinquish it.

Cheers,

Sid.

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Re: Should the U.S. have tried getting more Caribbean territories in the early 20th century?

Post by Sid Guttridge » 09 Jan 2019 11:30

Hi T. A. Gardener,

Yup, most of the Caribbean islands were loss making for their colonial masters and would presumably have been the same for the USA.

It is on the strategic level that they may have been of interest. However, the USA only needed a few of them for this purpose and the Canal Zone, Guantanamo, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands already gave considerable coverage. Most other Caribbean Islands would only have duplicated their strategic coverage. The exception is probably Trinidad, whose it oil would have rendered it profitable in a part of the Caribbean as yet without a US holding. However, as it was the only British-owned oil producing territory around the Atlantic for the Royal Navy and RAF, it was the least likely to be surrendered.

There is, of course, lurking in the background, the Monroe Doctrine that wanted to exclude all non American powers from the Americas, and the wartime Inter-American resolutions that opposed the transfer of colonies in the Americas from one colonial power to another, either of which offered hemispheric diplomatic cover for US (or Argentine, or Venezuelan, or Guatemalan) take overs of European colonies.

Cheers,

Sid.

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