United States Foreign Policy 1889-1939

Presidents and their policies

Policies and their worth/affectivness


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  • Created by: Rhiannon
  • Created on: 21-01-12 00:50

Basic policy pre-1889

Since 1823 American foreign policy was the Monroe Doctorine (Pan-American freedom from European powers)

Spanish-American war showed a more imperialist side to their policy (Cuba was economically interesting)

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Theodore Rosevelt (1901-1909)

Big Stick Diplomacy

'White mans burden' to civilise other nations, with diplomacy and christianity

Corollary to the Monroe doctorine: if Europe did any 'wrong doings' in Latin America the US would intervene.

Used during Spanish-American War and Venezuela Affair

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Historiography on Big Stick

Louis Perez (1998)

Big Stick + Tellar Amendment seemed to be masking American attempt at gaining control of, econmoically attactive, Cuba.

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Williams Taft (1909-1913)

Dollar Diplomacy

Simialr to Big Stick (enforcing the American ideology) however also creating financial dependancy

Used in Nicaragua-overthrew the government and gave loans to gain more influencial control over the new government-US military presence for a further 15 years.

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Woodrow Wilson (1913-1921)

Moral Diplomacy - strong but soft America - less threatening, focusing more on the human rights element rather than American gain.

No fixed guidelines.

Maintained isolationist views-however this was stopped by WW1

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Post WW1

Isolationist - including Latin America

1925 - Troops pulled from Cuba, Domenican Republic and Nicaragua.

Failed to be isolationist:

  • didnt join the League of Nations (but were present at many meetings)
  • maintained troops in Haiti and Panama
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FDR (1933-1945)

Good Neighbour Policy - first mentioned in the inaugral address

non-intervention and non-interference in Latin America

This panned out quite well - America withdrew troops however could keep an eye on Latin America without being overbearing

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Historiography for Good Neighbour

Greg Grandin - 'Latin America was the region most supportive of American foreign policy after WW2'

Good Neighbour Policy worked for Latin America

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Over View

Big Stick, Dollar + Moral are fairly similar as they follow the same pattern of American military and economic involvement in Latin America.

Big changes occured after WW1 - isolationist

Europe brought about the beginning of American involvement in Latin America (Spanish-American War) and the end (WW1)

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