Main Idea: Empire Building—The UnitedStates put increasing economic andpolitical pressure on Latin America duringthe 19th century.28.3 United States EconomicImperialism
Latin America AfterIndependence Colonial Legacy Most Latin Americans worked for large land owners. Wages low, prices high Workers debt accumulated Rich got richer, poor poorer Governments took over Native or Church land andsold it to the rich. Economic development lagged because of theseconditions.
Latin America AfterIndependence Political Instability A widespread problem in 19th century Latin America Leaders gain fame and power during the strugglefor independence. After independence many became caudillos—military dictators or “strong men.” By mid-1800s nearly all Latin American nationswere ruled by caudillos. Juan Vicente Gomez was a ruthless caudillo whoruled Venezuela for nearly 20 years “All Venezuela is my cattle ranch.”
Latin America AfterIndependence Juan VicenteGomez was aruthless caudillowho ruledVenezuela fornearly 20 years “All Venezuela ismy cattle ranch.” Notice that somecaudillos like towhere militaryuniforms withextensivedecorations.
Latin America AfterIndependence Reform-mindedpresident ofArgentina, DomingoSarmiento was theexception. Improved education Number of studentsdoubled Unfortunately,reformers did not stayin office long, andcaudillos often seizedcontrol of
Caudillos vs. Democracy The caudillos faced little opposition. The wealthy landowners usuallysupported them. Latin Americans lacked a democratictradition. Voting rights were restricted to the upperand middle classes
Economies Grow Under Foreign Influence Britain and the United States became Latin America’smain trading partners after their independence fromSpain and Portugal. Old Products and New Markets The development of the steamship and the building ofrailroads greatly increased Latin American trade. Invention of refrigeration increased Latin Americas exports. The sale of perishable goods soared. But foreign nations benefited far more from the increasedtrade than Latin America did. Latin Americans imported European and North Americanmanufactured goods. They had little reason to develop their own manufacturingindustries. Without industry Latin America could not play a leading role on theworld economic stage.
Outside Investment and Interference Latin American countries did not re-invest ininfrastructure or industry to become self-sufficient. They often borrowed money at high interest rates todevelop facilities for their export industries. Owed Britain, France, the United States, andGermany. Often unable to pay back their loans Foreign lenders threatened to collect the debt by force. threatened to take over the facilities they had funded. gained control of many Latin American industries. This began a new era of economic imperialism.
A Latin American Empire The MonroeDoctrine 1823, PresidentJames Monroeissues the MonroeDoctrine whichstates“the Americancontinents . . . arehenceforth not to beconsidered assubjects for futurecolonization by any
Cuba Declares Independence 1868—Cuba declaresindependence andfights a ten year waragainst Spain. 1878—Cuba gives upthis war. 1895—Jose Martireturns to Cuba tolaunch another waragainst Spain. By mid-1890’s, U.S. hadsubstantial businessholdings in Cuba.Jose Marti
Spanish-American War 1898—U.S. joins the Cuban war forindependence by fighting the Spanish-American War. U.S. attacks the Philippine Islands first to take itfrom Spain. An attack is launched on Cuba. The Spanish defense collapses. 1901—Cuba is declared an independentnation, but the United States installs a militarygovernment. Cubans come to resent U.S.interference.
Roosevelt’s “Rough Riders”Theodore Roosevelt in his“Rough Rider” uniform(above), and with his regimenton top of San Juan Hill (left).
The Philippine-American War The Philippine–American War, also known asthe Philippine War of Independence or thePhilippine Insurrection (1899–1902), was anarmed conflict between a group of Filipinorevolutionaries and the United States which arosefrom the struggle of the First Philippine Republicto gain independence following annexation by theUnited States. In 1916, the United States granted the Philippinesautonomy and promised eventual self-government, which came in 1934. In 1946, following World War II, the Philippineswas granted independence.
Emilio Aguinaldo He led the fight for theindependence of thePhilippines.
1899 politicalcartoon by WinsorMcCay. Uncle Sam(representing theUnited States), getsentangled with ropearound a treelabeled"Imperialism" whiletrying to subdue abucking colt or mulelabeled "Philippines"while a figurerepresenting Spainwalks off over thehorizon carrying a
Opposition to the Philippine War Mark Twain famously opposed thewar by using his influence in thepress. He said the war betrayedthe ideals of American democracyby not allowing the Filipino peopleto choose their own destiny. In a diary passage removed byTwains first biographical editorThomas Bigelow Paine, Twainrefers to American troops as “ouruniformed assassins” anddescribes their killing of “sixhundred helpless and weaponlesssavages” in the Philippines as “along and happy picnic withnothing to do but sit in comfortand fire the Golden Rule intothose people down there and
The Panama Canal It was a 13,000 mile trip by sea around thecontinent of South America to reach the Pacific. France had tried to build a canal across Panama,but failed. The U.S. offered Columbia $10 million for theright to build a canal, but Columbia wanted moremoney. The United States encouraged a rebellion inPanama. When Panama became independentfrom Columbia in 1903, the U.S. was able tobegin work on the canal. Canal opens in 1914.
Scientific Advance and the Panama Canal Tropical diseases like malaria andyellow fever were the biggesthindrances to building the canal. At times work stoppages occurredbecause there were so manyworkers sick from these diseases. When it was conclusivelydiscovered that mosquitoes carrythese diseases a massivecampaign occurred to reduce themosquito population to prevent thespread of these diseases. Swamps were drained and oilspread on standing water to killmosquito larvae. As a result the yellow feverepidemic was almost completelywiped out to that work couldcontinue on the canal.William Crawford Gorgas, ChiefSanitary Officer to the IsthmianCommission
The Roosevelt Corollary The Roosevelt Corollary gave the United Statesthe right to be “an international police power” inthe Western Hemisphere. The United States used the Roosevelt Corollarymany times in the following years to justify U.S.intervention in Latin America. U.S. troopsoccupied some countries for decades.