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Big Stick Policy

American military power is used to intervene in the internal affairs of smaller Latin American nations. This policy improved US national security by guaranteeing that there would not be any large, hostile, European power close to the USA. It also allowed US merchants to trade directly with Latin American nations.

Monroe Doctrine (1823)

Warned Europeans to stay out of Latin American and the Western Hemisphere

Roosevelt Corollary (1903)

Theodore's personal reading or interpretation of the Monroe Doctrine. Justified America's use of force in Latin America. Declared that the US would act as an "international ____________________ power." Often used to collect debts.


Once part of Colombia. President Theodore Roosevelt supported Philippe Bunau-Varilla's revolution to help this nation break away from Colombian to allow US control of the Canal Zone. The canal made it much easier to travel between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans

Guam, Puerto Rico, Philippines

Territories that became American colonies in the Spanish-American War. The US became and imperial world power!

Boxer Rebellion

Chinese nationalists who rose up to drive all foreigners out of China. The US, Japan, and European powers cooperated to end the Rebellion.

Open Door Policy

Protected China from being carved into colonies. Allowed US merchants access to trade in the huge Chinese market.

Spheres of Influence

China was already carved into these areas and almost cut into colonies. Powers controlled all trade in the areas and the US was afraid of being shut out of the market.

Queen Liliuokalani

Overthrown by US fruit planters with the support of the US Marines. Her nation provided a convenient coal station and "rest stop" for US ships headed for China.

Seward's Folly

People made fun of President Grant's Secretary of State for arranging the purchase of Alaska. Alaska was bought in 1867. It seemed like a waste of money to many taxpayers. The mineral resources (gold, oil) discovered later, however, proved very valuable.

Good Neighbor Policy (1933)

Officially ended the Big Stick Policy. President FD Roosevelt announced in his inaugural address that the US would no longer use the military to interfere in the internal affairs of Latin American nations. FDR was continuing a policy begun by Hoover. This policy was designed to win friends close at home while aggressive dictators were strengthening in Europe and Asia.

Great White Fleet

Alfred T. Mahan recommend developing a large modern, steel, steam powered fleet of ships like these. President Roosevelt sent this around the world to impress other nations with US military power.

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