United States policy toward the Armenian question and the Armenian genocide / by Simon Payaslian.
The advent of the United States as a global power coincided with the internationalization of the Armenian Question in the late nineteenth century. Since its early days, the United States had developed commercial relations with the Ottoman Empire. Beginning in the early nineteenth century, the United States pursued expanding economic and missionary interests in the Ottoman Empire. The U.S. government functioned as the “promotional state,” as its representatives in Constantinople and across the Ottoman Empire sought to maintain friendly relations with Turkish authorities. The Ottoman government, in turn, hoped its relations with the United States would lead to widening commercial and financial ties to improve the empire's economic and military capabilities. By the time the Wilson administration entered the White House in 1913, the American missionaries, commercial enterprises, and the Navy, with the support of the Department of State, were already shaping U.S. foreign policy toward the Ottoman Empire. President Woodrow Wilson cultivated close government-business relations by emphasizing the responsibilities of the “promotional state” abroad. This study examines the impact of the interests of the Navy and the missionary and commercial communities on the U.S. responses to the Armenian Question in general and the Armenian Genocide in particular. It presents a more comprehensive analysis than available to this date of the U.S. responses to the Armenian Question and the Armenian Genocide within the context of the political economy of U.S. foreign policy. Three levels of U.S. responses are examined: U.S. consuls and missionaries in various parts of the Ottoman Empire, the U.S. ambassadors at Constantinople, and policymakers in Washington. This study concludes that Wilson's rhetoric of moralism and humanitarianism notwithstanding, his administration refused to employ military intervention to stop the genocide being committed by the Turkish government against the Armenian people, as the Wilson administration sought to maintain friendly relations with the Turkish government during and after World War I.
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