US Involvement in Latin America During Teddy Roosevelt’s Times primary concern in Latin America was to maintain political stability in order to protect ourselves as well as our business and trade interests. To accomplish this, the Monroe doctrine was expanded to include the Roosevelt Corollary. The Roosevelt Corollary said that the United States would intervene in the internal affairs of Latin America through Military and Diplomatic actions in order to protect political stability and American interests. This policy was established without input from Latin American countries and put the US into the role of international police to maintain peace and order in the Western Hemisphere. Teddy Roosevelt’s philosophy was to “speak softly but carry a big stick” We also used “dollar diplomacy” which was the practice of replacing European loans with American ones in Latin America but then used military force to keep our investments safe. Some examples of “the big stick in action” are: 1) Although Cuba wanted its independence and we had promised they could be, we required the Platt Amendment in their constitution, which said that we could intervene in Cuba anytime to protect life, liberty or property.
2) After the Spanish American War, we took control of Puerto Rico and ruled it like a territory. 3) After Haiti had a violent coup in 1915, Wilson sent the Marines occupy it and build roads, hospitals and schools etc. 4) During the Mexican Revolution, we sent troops into Northern Mexico in order to catch Villa. 5) When Teddy Roosevelt wanted to build the Panama Canal, Panama was part of Colombia. Colombia refused to sign a treaty with the US allowing us to build the canal because they wanted more money. Roosevelt encouraged Panamanian leaders to revolt and sent a battleship to help them.
... (Fall 2000) Keen, Benjamin. Latin American Civilization. Westview Press.2000. Latin American Independence Leaders Smitha, Frank E. 2002 History in Latin America Thomas-Bulmer Victor. The ... Economic History of Latin America since Independence. Cambridge ...
Once Panama was separate, they signed a treaty with the US agreeing to let us build the canal. Roosevelt actually created a country. 6) After American bankers loaned Nicaragua $1. 5 million, Taft sent in Marines to crush a revolt and protect our investments. 7) During the Cuban missile crisis, we blockaded Cuba and risked WW III until USSR agreed to remove its missiles from Cuba. In summary, we were effective in protecting our own interests although it often made us unpopular with Latin America because we relied on force and did not respect the rights of our neighboring countries..