Timeline of United States diplomatic history
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
* 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
* 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.
* 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 $10,000,000 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,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
* 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
* 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 south of Gila
River for $10,000,000 for purpose of Railroad line pass through
* 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 Juarez 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- 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
* 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
* 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
* 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 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
* 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
* 1957- Eisenhower Doctrine- stated US would use armed force upon request
of imminent or actual aggression, applied in Lebanon that year
* 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 tidal wave of
refugees, In heat of crisis John Kennedy says "Ich bin ein Berliner"
(apparently translated as "I am a jelly doughnut") to thousands of
screaming 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
* 1978- Camp David Accords (1978)- in August Anwar Sadat, Menachem Begin,
and Jimmy Carter met to, determine land for peace exchange in Israel.