Merely an expansion of the Monroe Doctrine (1823)?
A completely new principle of Foreign Relations?
Why does it matter and what are the implications?
You be the judge!
Let’s start with some terminology… Doctrine:a principle of law established through past decisions; a statement of fundamental government policy especially in international relations Corollary: an immediate consequence or easily drawn conclusion; a natural consequence or result.
Review: Leading up to the Monroe Doctrine… Latin America Napoleon Bonaparte’s intervention in Spain triggered the start of numerous independence movements in Spain’s American colonies As Latin American colonies began to achieve independence, European re-colonization was seen as a threat to national security and other U.S. interests in the Americas U.S. wanted to maintain political and physical separation from Europe
Map of Dates of Independence of American Nations
The Monroe Doctrine (1823) Contained in President James Monroe’s annual message to Congress (originally drafted by John Quincy Adams) Sought to solidify split between the U.S. and imperial European powers Designed to prevent further European intervention in the Western hemisphere: “European Containment” Sent a strong message to European powers : Separate “spheres of influence” for the U.S. and Europe Non-Colonization Non-Intervention
Domestic Life: The Gilded Age 1865 through the 1890s Shift from agrarian to industrial society Term coined by Mark Twain to reflect a period that seemed golden (gilded) on the outside yet was corrupt within New concerns faced by workers led to the formation of the first U.S. labor organizations To Explore: What affect did industrialization have on U.S. isolationist policy?
Domestic to International: TR and The Progressive Movement From the beginning of the 20th Century, Theodore Roosevelt was a key figure in the Progressive Movement Quoted from WhiteHouse.gov: “As President, Roosevelt held the ideal that the Government should be the great arbiter of the conflicting economic forces in the Nation, especially between capital and labor, guaranteeing justice to each and dispensing favors to none…. Roosevelt steered the United States more actively into world politics. He liked to quote a favorite proverb, "Speak softly and carry a big stick.” Aware of the strategic need for a shortcut between the Atlantic and Pacific, Roosevelt ensured the construction of the Panama Canal. His corollary to the Monroe Doctrine prevented the establishment of foreign bases in the Caribbean and arrogated the sole right of intervention in Latin America to the United States.”
Leading up toRoosevelt’s Corollary… 1895: In response to an ongoing boundary dispute over the border of British Guiana and Venezuela (between Great Britain/Germany and Venezuela) Venezuela asks the U.S. to arbitrate Secretary of State Richard Olney invokes a broader interpretation of the Monroe Doctrine declaring U.S. supremacy in the hemisphere. “Today the United Stats is practically sovereign on this continent, and its fiat is law upon the subjects to which it confines its interposition.” (Olney, 1895)
1898: Spanish-American War “The Spanish-American War and the subsequent occupation of Cuba can be traced to the rapid growth of the American public’s interest in economic, territorial, and cultural expansion during the 1890s. This interest was due in part to domestic economic distress. The Depression and the dominance of monopolies such as Standard Oil and Carnegie Steel forced struggling farmers and aspiring entrepreneurs to look abroad for better economic opportunities.” (Source: http://www.hsl.virginia.edu/historical/medical_history/yellow_fever/politics.cfm) After the Spanish-American War, the U.S. continued to expand its Navy fleet and increased presence in the Caribbean dramatically. 1903: The Platt Amendment An amendment drafted by U.S. politicians was reluctantly added to the Cuban constitution This amendment gave the U.S. right to intervene in Cuban affairs for “the preservation of Cuban independence, the maintenance of a government adequate for the protection of life, property, and individual liberty, and for discharging the obligations with respect to Cuba imposed by the Treaty of Paris on the United States, now to be assumed and undertaken by the Government of Cuba.” Was used to justify U.S. occupation of “independent” Cuba
Theodore Roosevelt intervenes to assist Panamanian independence from Colombia. The resulting Hay-Bunau-Varilla Treaty makes the US sovereign "in perpetuity" in the ten-mile wide Panama Canal Zone.
1904: Dominican Republic on verge of bankruptcy European creditors are once again seen as a threat to U.S. supremacy (hegemony?) in the hemisphere What is Roosevelt to do? He intervenes to collect customs duties and pay off creditors. Roosevelt’s Corollary is born.
Theodore Roosevelt’s Corollary to the Monroe Doctrine (1904) Stated that the U.S. government would intervene if Central and Latin American countries were unable to repay their debts to foreign creditors (who were mostly U.S. citizens and Europeans) Effectively declared the right of the U.S. to “exercise…an international police power" and affirmed pattern of U.S. imperialism in the Caribbean. Emblematic of Roosevelt’s “Big Stick” diplomacy Roosevelt and future presidents use as justification for later interventions on Cuba, Nicaragua, Mexico and Haiti.
Beyond Security: The “Five D’s” There are many reasons that this shift in U.S. policy occurred at this time Historian Emily Rosenberg argues that U.S. intervention in the Dominican Republic “represented an attempt by policymakers to find an alternative to colonialism that would still institute the supervision they deemed necessary for fiscal and social reform.” Consider the influence of the “Five D’s” in the Caribbean: Destiny (the Manifest sort) Dollars Diplomacy Democracy Darwinism
Crops and Dollars Agricultural production of many commodities which were already prosperous in the Caribbean began growing rapidly backed by North American capital Alongside military and diplomatic supremacy, the U.S. began securing commercial treaties with Latin America, a policy that would continue well into the 20th century and beyond. Example: Frederick William Holls, a New York Lawyer who helped secure U.S. government support for his company’s entry into Caribbean finance noted on a visit to the Dominican Republic in 1892: “San Domingo seems to be enjoying great prosperity…The sugar and coffee plantations have largely increased and their owners seem to be making money.” (Veeser, 10) To Explore: What impact did U.S. commercial treaties have on the economies of Latin America?
Taft’s Dollar Diplomacy 1908: President T. Roosevelt opted not to run for another term & Secretary of War William Howard Taft became the President Elect Under Taft, the U.S. implemented a policy of “Dollar Diplomacy” “The diplomacy of the present administration has sought to respond to modern ideas of commercial intercourse. This policy has been characterized as substituting dollars for bullets. It is one that appeals alike to idealistic humanitarian sentiments, to the dictates of sound policy and strategy, and to legitimate commercial aims. It is an effort frankly directed to the increase of American trade upon the axiomatic principle that the government of the United States shall extend all proper support to every legitimate and beneficial American enterprise abroad.” (Taft, 1912) This policy was used to justfy intervention in Honduras and Nicaragua. Resistance in Nicaragua led to U.S. Marine occupation from 1912-1933 How does Taft’s “Dollar Diplomacy” differ from Roosevelt’s “Big Stick” Diplomacy?
Social Darwinism Term coined in the late 19th century adopting Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution to humans; emphasized concept of “survival of the fittest” and the “natural” superiority of some Proponents of this theory argued that competition would produce prosperity and personal liberty at unparalleled levels and opposed government intervention Opponents of this theory believed that it justified racism and inequality and that social problems (racism, poverty, greed, violence) were best addressed by improved living and working conditions While they may not have been “Social Darwinists”, many Americans including J.Q. Adams (author of the Monroe Doctrine) and T.Roosevelt believed that Latin Americans were naturally inferior and in need of supervision. How might this have affected or justified their Foreign Policy choices?
Historian Walter LaFeber on the Roosevelt Corollary: Play clip: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/presidents/26_t_roosevelt/filmmore/ra_lafecoro.html Transcript: WALTER LAFEBER: When Roosevelt goes into Santo Domingo in 1904-1905, he has to provide some kind of public justification. I don't think it's just a justification. I think Roosevelt really sincerely believed that what he was doing was right and that it was in line with American historic precedent. But what he says in a message to Congress is that the United States has the right to exercise international police power, and that particular message becomes known as the "Roosevelt corollary to the Monroe Doctrine." The Monroe Doctrine of 1823 said, as President Monroe issued it in that year, that Europeans should stay out of Latin America, that the Americas were essentially an American preserve. People should stay out of Latin American affairs. What Roosevelt says in 1904 and 1905 is to say, the United States should get into Latin American affairs. He essentially turns the Monroe Doctrine on its head and says the Europeans should stay out, but the United States has the right, under the doctrine, to go in in order exercise police power to keep the Europeans out. It's a very neat twist on the Monroe Doctrine, and, of course, it becomes very, very important because over the next 15 to 20 years, the United States will move into Latin America about a dozen times with military force, to the point where the United States Marines become known in the area as "State Department troops" because they are always moving in to protect State Department interests and State Department policy in the Caribbean. So what Roosevelt does here, by redefining the Monroe Doctrine, turns out to be very historic, and it leads the United States into a period of confrontation with peoples in the Caribbean and Central America, that was a really important part of American imperialism.
Compare and Contrast:Primary Sources Please read the excerpts from the Monroe Doctrine (1823) and Roosevelt’s Corollary (1904) and answer the following questions in small groups: What is the tone of the document? What does the author proclaim to be the role of the United States in Latin America? The role of Europe? How does Roosevelt’s Corollary extend the Monroe Doctrine and/or differ from it? What do you think is the stated goal of the policy?