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The issue of the Cuban problem during the Cleveland and McKinley administrations has received a wide variety of analysis and argument Some argue Cleveland and McKinley took too much of a passive role in the affair while others argue they pursued the right course in diplomacy and had no choice but to intervene It is easy to play the blame game but Americas public sentiment along with Spains inability to handle its own affairs probably had the most dramatic effect on the situation Morgans brief work Americas Road to Empire focuses on the actions of Cleveland and McKinley and their reluctant yet prudent diplomacy methods however leaving no choice but for intervention Even though he concentrates extensively on Cleveland and McKinley the reader can catch glimpses of other important areas of the affair The book is divided into six easily readable chapters with a couple of maps for reference There is little to no background information and Morgan throws the reader into the fray of the Cuban problem He begins with the Cuban revolt in Spain noting some of Americas commercial and financial interests but Cleveland does not see these interests important enough for intervention so he pursues a rational diplomatic approach American sentiment and the press pressure Cleveland seeing him as somewhat aloof on the issue but Morgan sees his actions as a logical solution to the problem all while noting Spains inability to cope with the issue In walks McKinley The reader sees President McKinley as a man who has a problem thrown into his lap sort of like a stepchild inheriting a debt He tried to buy time by dealing with the protective tariff debate and the possibility of annexing Hawaii Morgan points out McKinleys frustration with the Cuban dilemma and notes his decision of throwing out money to Cuba for its American citizens Even though Morgan defends McKinley to a degree the reader is left wondering why he was so reluctant
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