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From the Old Diplomacy to the New: 1865 - 1900, 2nd Edition



From the Old Diplomacy to the New: 1865 - 1900, 2nd Edition

Robert L. Beisner

ISBN: 978-0-882-95833-0 January 1986 Wiley-Blackwell 195 Pages


Historians have long argued about the nature of the changes that occurred in American foreign policy at the turn of the century, and whether those changes represented an abrupt break from the past or the culmination of long-term trends. Beisner addresses these issues by recasting the questions involved, and synthesizes the most useful contributions of both traditional and revisionist historians. From the Old Diplomacy to the New reinterprets the entire period as one in which American foreign policy underwent a fundamental paradigm shift that affected the goals and methods of diplomacy. A commitment to systematic policy and a determination to promote American interests in a dangerous world characterized the "new diplomacy."

Introduction 1

One: Underlying Themes and Issues 3
Circumstantial Givens 3
American Beliefs and Traditions 9
Conflicting Interpretations 12

Two: Old Paradigm Policy, 1865-1889 32
Paradigms and Diplomacy 32
The Alabama claims and Mexico 38
Seward, Grant, and Blaine 44
A Navy Fit Enough 57
Day-to-Day Diplomatic Preoccupations 60

Three: From the Old to the New Foreign Policy paradigm 72
Sudden Blows to the Old Paradigm 72
The Impact of Cumulative Change 77
The New Paradigm 84

Four: Early years of the New Era, 1889-1897 96
Benjamin Harrison 96
Grover Cleveland 106

Five: War, Policy, and Imperialism at the End of the Century, 1897-1900 120
War and Empire 122
The Open Door Policy 144

Harbingers 154

Bibliographical Essay 159

Subject Index 183

Author Index 193

"Robert Beisner has provided a good updating of an already solid work, and From the Old Diplomacy to the New can be recommended for a nineteenth-century diplomatic history course." (Teaching History, 1986)
Praise for the first edition:

" important new interpretation of foreign relations in the Gilded Age and an impressive challenge for future analysis." (Pacific Historical Review, February 1976)