American Wars Series: War of 1812, Mexican War, Spanish-American War, Korean War
Date: June 2006
Duration: 1 hours 10 minutes
Failure to communicate. The conflict between France & England spills over to interference with American ships for a number of years. What is the apparent irony that leads America to declare war on England in 1812?. (6.20.00) = Expansionism. What are the reasons America goes to war with England beyond token issue of "the freedom of the seas?" (7.39.00) = Invitation to disaster. What are the military aspects to this war which is an unmitigated disaster for America which has no standing army? (10.13.00) War of 1812. Failure to remember. What is the irony that the battle of New Orleans is fought after a peace treaty is signed, resulting in a major American military victory? Why does this allow America to forget the major lessons of the war to its later detriment?
Independent nation of Texas. How does territory which is northern Mexico become the independent nation of Texas controlled by Southern slaveholders after a war with Mexico in 1836? (2.59.00) = Annexation controversy. What is the controversy behind the Annexation Issue of Texas in 1845? (4.35.00) = Mexican War Provoked. How does President Polk provoke the Mexican War over the boundary between Texas and Mexico?. (6.35.00) = What the War Was All About. The Mexican War is an ugly, dirty war whose outcome was never in doubt and America is victorious in 1848. America gains the entire Southwest including California, revealing what the war ultimately was all about. Mexico loses 1/3 of its territory. (9.52.00) = The Echo in the Civil War. The surprising extent of some American notions of expansionism in the mid-1800s, and also the implications for the Civil War not far in the future.
Behind the ultimatum. Paradox of America's ultimatum to Spain during the Cuban revolt in the late 1880s actually supports America's business interests. (6.27.00) = Why the war starts. . Factors behind American public mindset, including Hearst's "yellow journalism" and the blowing up of American battleship, Maine, leads to Spanish-American War of 1898. (12.23.00) = American Empire begins. End of brief "Splendid Little War," with Teddy Roosevelt a self-made hero, is the beginning of the American Empire, providing naval fueling stations across the Pacific. Evidence of the connection between economics and politics (16.40.00) = Philippines guerilla war. America takes the Philippine Islands from Spain, the gateway to Asia and China, and responds brutally to a 2-year guerilla war by the native population, including the creation of concentration camps. (20.20.003) = Who rules Cuba? The Teller Amendment declares Cuba independent, but then the Platt Amendment gives the U.S. the right to control its economy if it deems necessary, a foreign policy extended to Latin America throughout the 20th century. The racial issue concerning blacks in Cuba.
Korea Splits. As Korea is liberated from Japan in 1945 at the end of WW II, Russian troop enter from the north, American troops from the south, dividing the country at the 38th parallel. (3.17.00) =North Korea Captures Most of South Korea. Border is hotspot for 5 years. In June 1950 North Korea crosses the border once again. It keeps going when surprisingly the South Korean army falls back, and wins control of most of South Korea (4.49.00) = Gen MacArthur invades and pushes the North Koreans back to the 38th parallel. Korea not seen as militarily critical in the Cold War, but heightened tensions between U.S. and Russia and the "Red Scare" lead to American military intervention. (7.57.00) = Invasion controversy. Evidence that Russia was not behind it as a broader communist conspiracy. More likely a civil war. (12.55.00) = Pres. Truman, not Gen. MacArthur decides to push north. Although war could have ended now as a draw, it is continued for reasons more political than military. (15.25.00) = Chinese military intervention. China warns of her intention to intervene as U.S. troops get closer to the Yalu River at China border, but this is discounted by the Truman administration and by Gen. MacArthur, leading to a disastrous U.S. defeat and retreat back to the 38th parallel in 1951. (19.29.00 = The Truce. Pres.Truman fires Gen. MacArthur for insubordination and he "fades away." The war could have ended then as a stalemate, but continues for another 2 years as a brutal struggle with high casualties on both sides, until Dwight Eisenhower is elected president in 1952 and ends the war. (23.19.00) = The Forgotten War. The Korean War is often marginalized compared to other major wars, yet America lost 50,000 men killed and should not be forgotten.