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The United States and Latin America
Terms in this set (32)
How did Roosevelt originally try to gain land for the canal?
By buying it from Colombia
What did Roosevelt do when Colombia turned him down?
Support the Panamanian independence movement
Why was an American warship off the coast of Panama during the Panamanian revolution?
To keep Colombian troops from landing in Panama
What were the conditions of the treaty between Panama and the United States?
The United States have Panama money and received the land for the canal
America and Latin America
American entrepreneurs and government leaders viewed Latin America as the nation's backyard and as a sphere of influence from which other great powers should be excluded. American influence in Latin America brought obvious benefits to the United States, but it also contributed to anti-American hostility and instability in the region.
U.S. Policy in Puerto Rico and Cuba
America's victory over Spain liberated the Puerto Rican and Cuban people from Spanish rule. But victory left the fates of these islands unresolved.
Civil Government in Puerto Rico
As the smoke from the Spanish-American War cleared, Puerto Rico remained under direct U.S. military rule.
In 1900, Congress passed the Foraker Act, which established a civil government in Puerto Rico. The act authorized the President of the U.S. to appoint a governor and part of the Puerto Rican legislature. Puerto Ricans could fill the rest of the legislature in a general election.
Whether Puerto Rican's could enjoy citizenship rights in the United States, however, remained unclear. This unusual situation led to a series of court cases, known as Insular Cases, in which the Supreme Court determines the rights of Puerto Ricans. One case examined whether the U.S. government could assess taxes on Puerto Rican goods sold in the U.S. The Supreme Court ruled the taxes legal and determined that Puerto Ricans did not enjoy the same rights as U.S. citizens.
In 1917, President Woodrow Wilson signed the Jones-Shafroth Act. It granted Puerto Ricans more citizenship rights and have the islanders greater control over their own legislature. Still, many Puerto Ricans expresses their discontent because they did not enjoy all of the same rights as Americans.
U.S. Establishes Cuban Protectorate
Although the Treaty of Paris granted Cuban independence, the U.S. Army did not withdraw from the island until 1902.
Before the U.S. military left, Congress obliged Cuba to add to its constitution the Platt Amendment. The Amendment restricted the rights of newly independent Cubans and effectively brought the island within the U.S. sphere. It prevented Cuba from signing a treaty with another nation without American approval. It also required Cuba to lease naval stations to the U.S. Additionally, the Amendment granted the U.S. the "right to intervene" to preserve order in Cuba.
Cubans and Platt Amendment
Many Cubans strongly disliked the Platt Amendment but soon realized that America would not otherwise end its military government of the island. The U.S. for its part, was unwilling to risk Cuba's becoming a base for a potentially hostile great power. The treaty made Cuba a protectorate of the U.S. and governed their relationship for decades.
"Big stick" Diplomacy
Theodore Roosevelt promoted a new kind of diplomacy based on America's success in the Spanish-American War. Beyond determined what would happen to Puerto Rico and Cuba, Roosevelt developed a broader policy for U.S. action in Latin American. Historians have called this Roosevelt's "big stick" diplomacy since it depended on a strong military to achieve America's goals.
America Builds the Panama Canal
Although the plan to dig a canal across Central America did not originate with Roosevelt, he nevertheless played a crucial role in its history. In the late 1800s, a French company had tried to link the Atlantic to the Pacific across the Isthmus of Panama but failed. Afterward, some suggested building a canal through Nicaragua. However, those plans came to nothing. Eventually, an agent from the French company that had abandoned its canal attempt convinced the U.s> to buy the company's claim. In 1903, the U.S. government bought the Panama route for $40 million.
Before it could build a canal through Panama, however, the U.S. needed the consent of the Colombian government. At that time, Panama was part of independent Colombia. American efforts to negotiate a purchase of land across the isthmus stalled when Colombia demanded more than the U.S. was willing to provide.
Roosevelt and Panama
So, Roosevelt stepped in. The President dispatched U.s> warships to the water off Panama to support a Panamanian rebellion against Colombia. The appearance of the U.S. Navy convinced the Colombians not to suppress the uprising. Panama soon declared its independence from Colombia. The new nation immediately granted America control over the "Canal Zone." To secure this land for its vital trade link, America agreed to pay Panama $10 million and an annual rent of $250,000.
More than 35,000 workers helped dig the Panama Canal, often in very difficult conditions. Completion of the canal depneded on scientific breakthroughs by doctors as they learned how to combat tropical diseases. Still, more than 5,000 canal workers died from disease or accidents while building the canal. When the finished waterway opened in 1914, it cut some 8,000 nautical miles off the trip from the west coast to the east coast of the United States.
Roosevelt Updates the Monroe Doctrine
In the early 1900s, the inability of Latin American nations to pay their debts to foreign investors raised the possibility of European intervention. In 1903, for example, Germany and Britain blockaded Venezuelan ports to ensure that debts to European bankers were repaid. In a 1904 message to Congress, Roosevelt announced a new Latin American policy.
The President' Roosevelt Corollary updated the Monroe Doctrine for an age of economic imperialism. In the case of "chronic wrongdoing" by a Latin American nation--the kind that Europeans might use to justify military intervention--the U.S. would assume the role of police power, restoring order and depriving other creditors of the excuse to intervene. This change, Roosevelt argued, merely reasserted America's long-standing policy of keeping the Western Hemisphere free from European intervention.
Latin Americans React to the Roosevelt Corollary
Many Latin Americans resented America's role as the hemisphere's police force. They disagreed with Roosevelt's belief that Latin Americans could not police themselves.
Francisco Garcia Calderon
A Peruvian diplomat, contended that the Monroe Doctorine had taken on an "aggressive form with Mr. Roosevelt." Like Calderon, Nicaraguan spokesman Augusto Sandino felt that the U.S. threatened the "sovereignty and liberty" of his people. Sandino eventually led an army of guerrillas against U.S. Marines in Nicaragua in the 1920s.
Taft Switches to Dollar Diplomacy
Roosevelt handpicked William Howard Taft to succeed him as the Republican candidate for President in 1908. Taft shared Roosevelt's basic foreign policy objectives. After defeating William Jennings Bryan in the general election, Taft wanted to maintain the Open Door Policy in Asia and ensure ongoing stability in Latin America. The new President pursued both goals with the aim of expanding American trade.
Taft hoped to achieve these ends by relying less on the "big stick" and more on "dollar diplomacy." As Taft commented in 1912, he looked to substitute "dollars for bullets." The policy aimed to increase American investments in businesses and banks throughout Central America and the Caribbean. Americans busily invested in plantations, mines, oil wells, railways, and other ventures in those regions. Of course, "dollar diplomacy" sometimes required a return to the "big stick" and military intervention. Such was the case when President Taft dispatched troops to Nicaragua in 1909--and again in 1912--to protect the formation of a pro-American government there.
Wilson Pursues Moral Diplomacy
During the 1912 presidential election campaign, Democratic candidate Woodrow Wilson criticized the foreign policies of his Republican predecessrs Theodore Roosevelt and William Howard Taft. After his election victory, Wilson appointed the anti-imperialist William Jennings Bryan as Secretary of State, which sent a strong message to the American peope.
The U.S. Supports Honest Government in Latin America
The new President intended to take U.S. foreign policy in a different direction. He promised that the United States would "never again seek noe additional foot of territory by conquest," but would instead work to promote "human rights, national integrity, and opportunity." Wilson spelled out his new "moral diplomacy" in a message to the American people. In spite of his stated preference for "moral diplomacy" over "big stick" or "dollar diplomacy," Wilson used the military on a number of occasions to guide Latin Americans in the directions that he thought proper. In 1915, Wilson sent marines to Haiti to protect American investments and to guard against the potential of German or French aggression in the nation. Wilson prodded the government of Haiti to sign an agreement that essentially gave the U.S. the right to control its financial and foreign affairs. The marines did not leave until 1934. Under Wilson, U.S. soldiers and sailors also intervened in the Dominican Republic and in Mexico.
Francisco "Pancho" Villa
On March 9, 1916, the Mexican rebel Francisco "Pancho" Villa and his gang of outlaws attacked Columbus, New Mexico, killing 18 Americans. An enraged President Wilson dispatched General John J. Pershing to hunt Villa down. Equipped for the first time with airplanes such as the Curtiss JN-3 to support its movements in the field, the U.S. Army pushed 400 miles into Mexico. The Americans chased Villa for 11 months in spite of protests from the Mexican government and occasional clashes with the Mexican army. Preoccupied more by the ongoing war in Europe than by the apprehension of Villa, Wilson ultimately withdrew Pershing's army in early 1917.
Revolution Grips Mexico
For decades, Mexican dictator Porfirio Diaz had benefited his country's small upper class of wealthy landowners, clerics, and military men. With Diaz's encouragement, foreign investments in Mexico grew. As a result, American business people owned large portions of Mexico's industries. While foreign investors and Mexico's aristocracy grew rich, Mexico's large population of farmers struggled in poverty.
In 1911, Francisco Madero led the Mexican Revolution that toppled Diaz. Madero was committed to reforms but was a weak administrator. In 1913, General Victoriano Huerta seized power and executed Madero. Under "dollar diplomacy," Taft probably would have recognizzed Huerta as the leader of Mexico because Huerta pledged to protect American investments. But under "moral diplomacy," Wilson refused to do so, declaring that he would not accept a "government of butchers." Instead, Wilson favored Venustiano Carranza, another reformer, who had organized anti-Heurta forces.
Wilson Sends U.S. Troops Into Mexico
In 1914, the President used the Mexican arrest of American sailors as an opportunity to help Carranza attain power. Wilson sent marines to occupy the Mexican port of Veracruz. The action caused Huerta's government to collapse, and Carrazna assumed the presidency.
Heurta's fall and Francisco "Pancho" Villa
Huerta's fall from power cheered many Mexicans and appeared to validate Wilson's "moral diplomacy." However, Wilson soon discovered that he faced more trouble in Mexico. The new Carranza government was slow in bringing about reforms, and rebels again rose up, this time under the leadership of Francisco "Pancho" Villa. For a while, Wilson courted Villa. After American support disappeared in 1916, Villa's forces crossed into New Mexico and raided the town of Columbus, leaving 18 Americans dead. President Wilson responded by sending General John J. Pershing and more than 10,000 troops on a "punitive expedition" to Mexico.
Villa Part 3
Pershing's forces chased Villa for several months but failed to capture the rebel leader. Wilson eventually withdrew American troops from Mexico in 1917, mostly because of his concerns about World War I raging in Europe. Not long afterward, the U.S. declared war on Germany. Free from hunting Villa, Pershing took command of the American Expeditionary Force in France.
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