American Imperialism

“American imperialism” is a term that refers to the economic, military, and social influence that the United says internationally.

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Key Takeaways

Key PointsThe late nineteenth century was well-known as the “Age of Imperialism,” a time as soon as the joined States and other major world strength rapidly expanded their ar possessions.American imperialism is partly based upon American exceptionalism, the idea that the United says is various from other countries because of its details world mission to spread out liberty and also democracy.One of the most notable instances that American imperialism was the addition of Hawaii in 1898, which permitted the United claims to get possession and also control of every ports, buildings, harbors, armed forces equipment, and public residential property that had actually belonged to the federal government of the Hawaiian Islands.Some groups, such together the American Anti-Imperialist League, opposed imperialism on the grounds the it conflicted with the American right of Republicans and also the “consent that the governed.”Key TermsSocial Darwinism: An ideological background that seeks to use biological ideas of Darwinism or evolutionary theory to sociology and also politics, frequently under the presumption that conflict between societal groups leads to society progress, together superior teams surpass inferior ones.American Exceptionalism: A belief, main to American political culture since the Revolution, the Americans have a distinct mission among nations to spread out freedom and democracy.The American Anti-Imperialist League: one organization established in the United states on June 15, 1898, to fight the American annexation of the Philippines together an insular area.American Imperialism: A ax that refers to the economic, military, and cultural influence that the United states on other countries.

Expansion and Power

“American imperialism” is a term that describes the economic, military, and cultural influence the the United says on various other countries. Very first popularized during the presidency the James K. Polk, the principle of one “American Empire” was made a reality throughout the latter fifty percent of the 1800s. During this time, industrialization caused American businessmen to seek new international markets in i m sorry to sell their goods. In addition, the raising influence of society Darwinism resulted in the id that the United says was inherently responsible for bringing concepts such together industry, democracy, and also Christianity to less developed “savage” societies. The mix of this attitudes and also other determinants led the United states toward imperialism.

“Ten Thousand miles from tip to Tip”: “Ten Thousand mile from pointer to Tip,” describes the extension of U.S. Supremacy (symbolized by a fully eagle) indigenous Puerto Rico to the Philippines. The cartoon contrasts the 1898 representation with the of the United states in 1798.

American imperialism is partly rooted in American exceptionalism, the idea that the United states is different from other countries due come its details world mission to spread out liberty and democracy. This theory regularly is traced ago to the native of 1800s French observer Alexis de Tocqueville, that concluded that the United states was a distinct nation, “proceeding follow me a route to i m sorry no limit can be perceived.”

Pinpointing the actual start of American imperialism is difficult. Some historians suggest the it began with the composing of the Constitution; historian Donald W. Meinig suggests that the imperial habits of the United states dates back to at least the Louisiana Purchase. He explains this occasion as an, “aggressive encroachment of one people upon the are of another, resulting in the subjugation of that human being to extraterrestrial rule.” Here, he is referring to the U.S. Policies toward aboriginal Americans, i beg your pardon he stated were, “designed come remold them right into a people more appropriately conformed to imperial desires.”

Uncle Sam to teach the world: This caricature mirrors Uncle Sam lecturing four youngsters labelled “Philippines,” “Hawaii,” “Puerto Rico,” and also “Cuba” in prior of kids holding publications labeled with various U.S. States. In the background, one American Indian hold a publication upside down, a Chinese boy stands at the door, and also a black color boy cleans a window. The blackboard reads, “The consent the the governed is a good thing in theory, but an extremely rare in fact… the U.S. Need to govern its brand-new territories v or without their consent till they deserve to govern themselves.”

Whatever that is origins, American imperialism proficient its pinnacle indigenous the late 1800s v the years following world War II. Throughout this “Age the Imperialism,” the United states exerted political, social, and economic manage over countries such together the Philippines, Cuba, Germany, Austria, Korea, and Japan. One of the many notable examples of American imperialism in this age was the annexation of Hawaii in 1898, which allowed the United states to get possession and also control of every ports, buildings, harbors, military equipment, and also public property that had actually formally belonged come the government of the Hawaiian Islands. Top top January 17, 1893, the last monarch that the Kingdom that Hawaii, Queen Liliuokalani, to be deposed in a coup d’état led greatly by American citizens that were opposed to Liliuokalani’s attempt to develop a brand-new Constitution. This activity eventually caused Hawaii’s coming to be America’s 50th state in 1959.

Opposition come Imperialism

The American Anti-Imperialist league was an organization created in the United says on June 15, 1898, to fight the American addition of the Philippines together an insular area. The League additionally argued the the Spanish-American war was a battle of imperialism camouflaged as a battle of liberation. The anti-imperialists protest the expansion because they thought imperialism violated the credo that republicanism, especially the need for “consent that the governed.” castle did no oppose expansion on commercial, constitutional, religious, or humanitarian grounds; rather, they believed that the annexation and management of third-world tropical areas would typical the abandonment the American ideals the self-government and also isolation—ideals to express in the U.S. Declaration of Independence, George Washington ‘s bye Address, and Abraham Lincoln ‘s Gettysburg Address. The Anti-Imperialist organization represented an larger generation and also was rooted in an earlier era; lock were defeated in regards to public opinion, the 1900 election, and also the plot of Congress and the president due to the fact that most younger Progressives that were simply coming come power sustained imperialism.

The Spanish-American War

The Spanish-American battle was a three-month-long conflict in 1898 between Spain and the joined States.

Learning Objectives

Analyze the Spanish-American War

Key Takeaways

Key PointsThe Spanish-American war was the an outcome of American treatment in the recurring Cuban battle of freedom with Spain.The war served to further repair relations between the American North and also South. The war gave both sides a usual enemy because that the an initial time since the finish of the Civil battle in 1865, and also many friendships were formed in between soldiers that Northern and also Southern states throughout their tours of duty.The war marked American entry into world affairs. Because then, the United states has had a far-ranging hand in miscellaneous conflicts about the world, and also has entered into countless treaties and also agreements.The loss of Spain marked the end of the Spanish Empire.Key Termsexpansionism: The plan of broadening a nation’s territory or its economic influence.


The Spanish-American war was a dispute in 1898 between Spain and the united States. It to be the result of American treatment in the recurring Cuban battle of Independence. American assaults on Spain’s Pacific possessions resulted in U.S. Authorized in the Philippine change and eventually to the Philippine-American War.


Revolts against Spanish dominance had been endemic for years in Cuba and also were very closely watched by Americans. With the abolition of enslavement in 1886, former slaves join the ranks of farmers and the city working class, countless wealthy Cubans shed their property, and also the number of sugar mills declined. Just companies and the most powerful plantation owners continued to be in business, and also during this period, U.S. Gaue won capital began flowing into the country. Although it remained Spanish territory politically, Cuba began to depend on the United claims economically. Coincidentally, approximately the same time, Cuba observed the rise of job movements.

Following his 2nd deportation come Spain in 1878, revolutionary José Martí relocated to the United says in 1881. There he mobilized the support of the Cuban exile community, especially in southern Florida. The aimed because that a revolution and independence from Spain, but likewise lobbied versus the U.S. Addition of Cuba, which some American and Cuban political leaders desired.

By 1897–1898, American public opinion thrived angrier in ~ reports the Spanish atrocities in Cuba. After the secret sinking that the American battleship Maine in Havana harbor, political pressures from the autonomous Party thrust the administration of Republican President william McKinley right into a war he had wished to avoid. Compromise confirmed impossible, causing the United says sending one ultimatum come Spain the demanded it immediately surrender regulate of Cuba, i beg your pardon the Spanish rejected. First Madrid, climate Washington, formally claimed war.

The War

Although the main problem was Cuban independence, the 10-week battle was combated in both the Caribbean and the Pacific. American navy power confirmed decisive, enabling U.S. Expeditionary pressures to disembark in Cuba against a Spanish garrison already reeling native nationwide insurgent attacks and also wasted through yellow fever.

The Spanish-American battle was swift and decisive. During the war’s three-month duration, not a solitary American turning back of any type of importance occurred. A week after the statements of war, Commodore George Dewey of the six-warship Asiatic Squadron (then based in ~ Hong Kong) steamed his fleet come the Philippines. Dewey recorded the entire Spanish armada in ~ anchor in Manila Bay and destroyed the without shedding an American life.

Cuban, Philippine, and also American forces derived the surrender of Santiago de Cuba and also Manila as a result of their numerical superiority in many of the battles and also despite the great performance of some Spanish infantry units and spirited defenses in areas such as mountain Juan Hill. Madrid sue for peace after two obsolete Spanish squadrons were sunk in Santiago de Cuba and also Manila Bay. A third more modern fleet to be recalled home to defend the Spanish coasts.

The contract of Paris

The an outcome of the war was the 1898 contract of Paris, negotiated on state favorable to the united States. It enabled temporary American control of Cuba and also indefinite early american authority over Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Philippines adhering to their purchase from Spain. The defeat and collapse the the Spanish empire was a profound shock to Spain’s nationwide psyche, and provoked a activity of thoroughgoing philosophical and artistic reevaluation that Spanish society known together the “Generation of ’98.” The victor acquired several island possessions spanning the globe, which resulted in a rancorous brand-new debate over the wisdom the expansionism.

Legacy of the War

“La Fatlera del Oncle Sam”: A Catalan satirical drawing, published in La Campana de Gràcia (1896), criticizing U.S. Behavior regarding Cuba.

The war marked American entrance into people affairs. Prior to the Spanish-American War, the United claims was defined by isolationism, method to international policy the asserts that a nation’s understand are best served by keeping the to work of other nations at a distance. Due to the fact that the Spanish-American War, the United states has had actually a significant hand in assorted conflicts about the world, and has entered many treaties and agreements. The scare of 1893 to be over by this point, and also the joined States gotten in a long and prosperous duration of financial and population growth and technical innovation the lasted through the 1920s. The war redefined national identity, served as a systems of sorts to the social divisions plaguing the American mind, and noted a model for all future news reporting.

The war also effectively ended the Spanish Empire. Spain had actually been declining as an imperial power because the early on nineteenth century as a result of Napoleon’s invasion. The ns of Cuba caused a nationwide trauma because of the affinity that peninsular Spaniards with Cuba, which was seen as another district of Spain fairly than together a colony. Spain retained just a handful of overseas holdings: Spanish West Africa, Spanish Guinea, Spanish Sahara, Spanish Morocco, and the Canary Islands.

Markets and Missionaries

Progressive Era evangelism included solid political, social, and also economic messages, which urged adherents to improve their society.

Key Takeaways

Key PointsThe society Gospel to be the spiritual wing that the gradual movement, i beg your pardon aimed come combat injustice, suffering, and also poverty in society.The American Missionary Association created schools and colleges for African americans in the post-Civil battle period.The society Gospel activity was no a unified and also well-focused movement, as there were disagreements amongst members.Key TermsSocial Gospel: A protestant Christian pundit movement that was most significant in the at an early stage twentieth-century united States and also Canada that applied Christian values to social problems.American Missionary Association: An company supporting the education of freed blacks that founded hundreds of schools and colleges.Evangelical: that or relating to any type of of numerous Christian churches that think in the single authority the the gospels.

The society Gospel Movement

The society Gospel to be a Protestant motion that to be most influential in the beforehand twentieth-century unified States and Canada. The movement applied Christian ethics to society problems, especially issues of social justice such as economic inequality, poverty, alcoholism, crime, gyeongju tensions, slums, unclean environments, boy labor, insufficient labor unions, negative schools, and the peril of war.

In the unified States, former to human being War I, the social Gospel to be the religious wing the the gradual movement, i beg your pardon aimed to combat injustice, suffering, and also poverty in society. Denver, Colorado, to be a center of social Gospel activism. Cutting board Uzzell led the Methodist People’s Tabernacle from 1885 come 1910. He created a free dispensary for clinical emergencies, one employment bureau for project seekers, a summer camp because that children, night colleges for prolonged learning, and English language classes. Myron Reed the the first Congregational Church came to be a spokesman for labor unions on worries such together worker’s compensation. His middle-class congregation motivated Reed to move on as soon as he came to be a Socialist, and also he organized a nondenominational church. Baptist minister Jim Goodhart set up an employed staff bureau, and provided food and lodging because that tramps and hobos at the mission the ran. He ended up being city chaplain and director of public welfare that Denver in 1918. In addition to this Protestants, revolutionary Jews and Catholics helped develop Denver’s social welfare mechanism in the at an early stage twentieth century.

Walter Rauschenbusch and also Dwight Moody


Pastor Dwight Moody, ca.1900: Portrait of minister Dwight Moody: preacher, evangelist, and also publisher in the social Gospel movement.

One that the defining theologians because that the social Gospel activity was Walter Rauschenbusch, a Baptist minister of a congregation situated in Hell’s Kitchen in new York City. Rauschenbusch railed versus what he pertained to as the selfishness that capitalism and promoted a kind of Christian Socialism that sustained the development of job unions and also cooperative economics.

While pastors such together Rauschenbusch to be combining their field of expertise in Biblical ethics and economic studies and also research to preach theological claims around the require for society reform, others such together Dwight Moody refused to preach around social worries based on an individual experience. Pastor Moody’s experience led him to believe that the negative were too specific in receiving charity. Moody claimed that concentrating on social aid distracted people from the life-saving blog post of the Gospel.

Rauschenbusch search to attend to the difficulties of the city with Socialist ideas that showed to be frightening come the middle classes, the main supporters the the society Gospel. In contrast, Moody attempted come save people from the city and also was very effective in influencing middle-class Americans who were moving right into the city with traditional style revivals.

The American Missionary Association

The American Missionary association (AMA) was a Protestant-based abolitionist group established on September 3, 1846, in Albany, brand-new York. The main purpose that this organization was come abolish slavery, educate african Americans, advocate for gyeongju equality, and promote Christian values. Its members and leaders to be both black and also white and also chiefly affiliated through Congregationalist, Methodist, and Presbyterian churches.

The AMA started The American Missionary magazine, which released from 1846 with 1934. Among its initiatives was the establishing of antislavery churches. Because that instance, the abolitionist Owen Lovejoy was among the Congregational ministers the the AMA who helped plant 115 antislavery churches in Illinois prior to the American polite War, aided by the solid westward migrate of individuals from the East. When the AMA came to be notable in the United states for its job-related in opposition to slavery and in support of education and learning for freed men, it additionally worked in missions in many nations overseas. The nineteenth-century missionary initiative was solid in China and also east Asia.


While the society Gospel to be short-lived historically, it had a lasting impact on the policies of many of the mainline denominations in the unified States. Most began programs because that social reform, which brought about ecumenical teamwork in 1910 throughout the formation of the commonwealth Council of church (although cooperation concerning social worries often brought about charges that Socialism). The is most likely that the society Gospel’s strong sense of leadership by the world led come women’s suffrage, and that the emphasis it placed on morality resulted in prohibition. Biographer Randall Woods suggests that society Gospel themes learned native childhood enabled Lyndon B. Johnson to change social problems into ethical problems. This helps describe his longtime meeting to society justice, as exemplified through the good Society, and his commitment to racial equality. The social Gospel clearly inspired his foreign-policy strategy of a sort of Christian internationalism and nation building.

The open up Door Policy

The open up Door plan aimed to save the Chinese trade market open come all countries on an equal basis.

Key Takeaways

Key PointsThe open up Door plan was created in 1899 and stated that all european nations and also the united States can trade through China v equal standing.The Monroe Doctrine stated that efforts by European countries to colonize or interfere with claims in phibìc or southern America would certainly be perceived as action of aggression toward the unified States and that the United says would neither interfere through existing European nests nor meddle in the internal European affairs.Key TermsOpen Door Policy: A doctrine the governed the relationship in between China and also the royal powers (Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Russia, America, and Japan) throughout the early on 1900s. The plan forbade the imperial powers from taking Chinese territory and also from interfering v one another’s economic activities in China.Monroe Doctrine: A U.S. International policy concerning domination of the Americas, i m sorry aimed to complimentary the recently independent swarms of Latin America from european intervention.

The “Open Door Policy” refers to a U.S. Doctrine established in the late nineteenth century and the at an early stage twentieth century, together expressed in Secretary the State john Hay’s “Open Door Note,” date September 6, 1899, and dispatched to the major European powers. The plan proposed to keep China open up to trade with all nations on an same basis, keeping any type of one power from full control that the country, and calling upon every powers, within their spheres that influence, to refrain from interfering with any kind of treaty port or any vested interest, to permit Chinese authorities to collection tariffs ~ above an same basis, and to present no favors to their very own nationals in the issue of harbor dues or railroad charges.

The open up Door policy was rooted in the desire of U.S. Businesses to trade through Chinese markets, though the policy’s pledging to protect China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity indigenous partition additionally tapped the deep-seated sympathies that those who opposed imperialism. In practice, the policy had small legal standing; it was mostly used to mediate completing interests of the colonial powers without much coherent input from the Chinese, which developed lingering resentment and caused it to be seen later on as a price of nationwide humiliation by numerous Chinese historians.

Formation of the Policy

During the an initial Sino-Japanese battle in 1895, China confronted an impending threat of gift partitioned and also colonized by imperialist powers such as Britain, France, Russia, Japan, and Germany. ~ winning the Spanish-American battle of 1898, and with the newly gained territory of the Philippine Islands, the united States increased its asian presence and was expecting to more its commercial and also political interest in China. The United states felt endangered by various other powers’ much bigger spheres of affect in China and worried the it could lose access to the Chinese market should the nation be partitioned.

As a response, william Woodville Rockhill formulated the open up Door plan to safeguard American business opportunities and also other understand in China. ~ above September 6, 1899, U.S. Secretary of State john Hay sent out notes come the significant powers (France, Germany, Britain, Italy, Japan, and also Russia), asking them to declare formally the they would uphold Chinese territorial and administrative integrity and also would not interfere v the free use that the contract ports within your spheres of influence in China. The open Door Policy proclaimed that all nations, including the unified States, could enjoy equal access to the Chinese market.

In reply, each nation tried to evade Hay’s request, acquisition the position that it might not commit itself till the various other nations had complied. However, by July 1900, Hay announced that each the the powers had actually granted consent in principle. Although treaties made after 1900 describe the open up Door Policy, competition among the miscellaneous powers for unique concessions in ~ China for railroad rights, mining rights, loans, international trade ports, and also so forth, ongoing unabated.

The Monroe Doctrine

The Monroe Doctrine was a U.S. Foreign policy about domination that the ameri in 1823. It proclaimed that further initiatives by European countries to colonize floor or interfere with states in phibìc or south America would be viewed as acts of aggression, requiring U.S. Intervention. In ~ the exact same time, the doctrine detailed that the United claims would no interfere through existing European nests nor meddle in the internal involves of european countries. The Doctrine was issued in 1823 in ~ a time when almost all Latin American swarms of Spain and Portugal had actually achieved, or to be at the suggest of gaining, independence from the Portuguese and also Spanish Empires.

Monroe Doctrine: A 1912 newspaper cartoon around the Monroe Doctrine.

President James Monroe first stated the doctrine throughout his seventh-annual State that the Union deal with to Congress. The ax “Monroe Doctrine” itself was coined in 1850. By the finish of the nineteenth century, Monroe’s statements was seen as a specifying moment in the international policy of the joined States and also one of its longest-standing tenets. It would certainly be invoked by countless U.S. Statesmen and also several U.S. Presidents, consisting of Ulysses S. Grant, Theodore Roosevelt, man F. Kennedy, Ronald Reagan, and many others.

The intent and affect of the Monroe doctrine persisted with only minor sport for more than a century. Its proclaimed objective was to free the freshly independent colonies of Latin America from europe intervention and avoid cases that could make the new World a battleground for the Old human being powers, so that the unified States could exert its own affect undisturbed. The theory asserted that the brand-new World and also the Old world were to remain distinctly different spheres that influence, for they were written of entirely separate and also independent nations.

Inherent in the Monroe Doctrine are the themes that American exceptionalism and also Manifest Destiny, two concepts that describe the appropriate of the United claims to exert its influence over the remainder of the world. Under these conditions, the Monroe theory was offered to justification American intervention abroad multiple time throughout the nineteenth century, most notably in the Spanish-American War and with the annexation of Hawaii.

The Philippine-American War

The Philippine-American battle was an armed conflict that led to American early american rule the the Philippines till 1946.

Key Takeaways

Key PointsThe Philippine-American battle was component of a collection of problems in the Philippine battle for independence, came before by the Philippine revolution (1896) and also the Spanish-American War.The conflict developed from the battle of the first Philippine Republic to acquire independence following annexation by the joined States.The war and also U.S. Occupation adjusted the cultural landscape that the islands. Instances of this encompass the disestablishment of the Catholic Church together the Philippine state religion and also the development of the English language as the primary language of government and also business.The United says officially took regulate of the Philippines in 1902. In 1916, the United claims promised some self-government, a limited type of i m sorry was developed in 1935. In 1946, following world War II, the united States gave the territory independence through the treaty of Manila.Key TermsPhilippine transformation of 1896: An armed conflict in i m sorry Philippine revolutionaries do the efforts to win national self-reliance from Spanish colonial rule. Strength struggles amongst the revolutionaries and also conflict through Spanish forces continued throughout the Spanish-American War.Battle the Manila: The battle that started the Philippine-American battle of 1899.American Anti-Imperialist League: A U.S. Company that opposed American control of the Philippines and also viewed it as a violation the republican principles. The group likewise believed in cost-free trade, the gold standard, and minimal government.

The Philippine-American War, additionally known as the “Philippine war of Independence” or the “Philippine Insurrection” (1899–1902), to be an armed conflict in between the united States and also Filipino revolutionaries. The conflict occurred after the Philippine transformation of 1896, from the first Philippine Republic’s struggle to obtain independence following annexation by the united States.

The conflict occurred when the first Philippine Republic objected to the regards to the treaty of Paris, under i beg your pardon the United states took possession of the Philippines native Spain after ~ the Spanish-American War.


The fight of Manila: The battle of Manila, February 1899.

Fighting erupted in between U.S. And also Filipino revolutionary pressures on February 4, 1899, and quickly escalated into the 1899 fight of Manila. On June 2, 1899, the very first Philippine Republic officially asserted war against the unified States. The battle officially ended on July 2, 1902, v a success for the united States. However, some Philippine teams led through veterans the the Katipunan continued to fight the American forces. Among those leader was general Macario Sakay, a veteran Katipunan member who assumed the presidency that the proclaimed “Tagalog Republic,” developed in 1902 after ~ the catch of chairman Emilio Aguinaldo. Other groups, including the Moro people and Pulahanes people, ongoing hostilities in remote areas and islands until their last defeat a decade later on at the fight of Bud Bagsak top top June 15, 1913.

Filipino soldiers: Filipino soldiers outside Manila in 1899.

The war with and occupation by the United states would adjust the cultural landscape that the islands. The war led to an estimated 34,000 come 220,000 Philippine casualties (with much more civilians dying from an illness and hunger brought about by war); the disestablishment of the roman Catholic Church as the state religion; and the introduction of the English language in the islands as the primary language of government, education, business, and industry, and also increasingly in future decades, that families and educated individuals.

Under the 1902 “Philippine organic Act,” passed by the U.S. Congress, Filipinos at first were provided very minimal self-government, including the ideal to poll for some elected officials such as a Philippine Assembly. But it was not until 14 year later, through the passage of the 1916 Philippine Autonomy action (or “Jones Act”), the the United claims officially promised ultimate independence, along with an ext Philippine control in the meantime over the Philippines. The 1934 Philippine freedom Act produced in the adhering to year the republic of the Philippines, a limited type of independence, and established a procedure ending in Philippine freedom (originally booked for 1944, yet interrupted and also delayed by civilization War II). Lastly in 1946, following people War II and also the Japanese occupation the the Philippines, the United says granted independence through the contract of Manila.

American Opposition

Some Americans, significantly William Jennings Bryan, mark Twain, Andrew Carnegie, Ernest Crosby, and other members of the American Anti-Imperialist League, strong objected to the addition of the Philippines. Anti-imperialist movements asserted that the United claims had come to be a early american power by instead of Spain together the early american power in the Philippines. Various other anti-imperialists opposed annexation on racism grounds. Amongst these was Senator Benjamin Tillman of southern Carolina, that feared that addition of the Philippines would result in an flow of nonwhite immigrants into the joined States. As news of atrocities cursed in subduing the Philippines arrived in the united States, assistance for the battle flagged.

The Banana Wars

The Banana battles were a collection of U.S. Armed forces occupations and also interventions in Latin American and also Caribbean nations during the early 1900s.

Key Takeaways

Key PointsThe Banana wars were a collection of conflicts and military interventions in Latin America and also the Caribbean led to or influenced by the United states to protect its commercial interests. Panama, Honduras, Nicaragua, Mexico, Haiti, and also the Dominican Republic were all venues the conflicts.The joined Fruit agency and the standard Fruit company had far-ranging commercial stakes and also influence in Latin America and also were behind numerous of the conflicts.Key TermsRoosevelt Corollary: An expansion to the Monroe doctrine articulated by chairman Theodore Roosevelt that states that the United states will intervene in conflicts between European nations and also Latin American countries to obtrude legitimate cases of the europe powers, fairly than enabling the europeans to push their claims directly.United Fruit Company: one American agency that sold fruit developed on Latin and also South American plantations to north American and European markets. In addition to the traditional Fruit Company, it dominated the economies and also strongly influenced the governments of Latin American countries.

The Banana Wars, likewise known as the “American-Caribbean Wars,” were a series of occupations, police actions, and also interventions including the United states in main America and also the Caribbean. This period of problem started through the Spanish-American war in 1898 and the succeeding Treaty of Paris, which gave the unified States manage of Cuba and also Puerto Rico. Thereafter, the united States conducted military interventions in Cuba, Panama, Honduras, Nicaragua, Mexico, Haiti, and also the Dominican Republic. The series of disputes ended through the withdrawal of troops from Haiti in 1934 under president Franklin D. Roosevelt. Reasons for these conflicts were varied yet were largely financial in nature. The dispute was referred to as the “Banana Wars” since of the connections between U.S. Interventions and also the preservation of American commercial understand in the region.

United Fruit agency Steamship Service: A 1916 advertising for the united Fruit agency Steamship Service.

Most prominently, the unified Fruit company had far-ranging financial comb in the manufacturing of bananas, tobacco, sugar cane, and various other assets throughout the Caribbean, main America, and northern south America. The united States also was advancing its political interests, maintaining a sphere of influence and controlling the Panama Canal, i m sorry it had recently built and also which was critically vital to global trade and naval power.

Panama and also the Canal

In 1882, Ferdinand de Lesseps started occupational on a canal, but by 1889, the effort had knowledgeable engineering challenges caused by regular landslides, slippage of equipment, and mud, and resulted in bankruptcy. U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt persuaded Congress to take it on the abandoned works in 1902, when Colombia was in the midst of the thousand Days’ War. Throughout the war, Panamanian Liberals do at the very least three attempts come seize manage of Panama and potentially achieve full autonomy. Liberal guerrillas such together Belisario Porras and Victoriano Lorenzo were suppressed by a collaboration between conservative Colombian and also U.S. Pressures under the Mallarino-Bidlack Treaty. The Roosevelt administration proposed to Colombia that the United states should control the canal, but by mid-1903, the Colombian federal government refused. The United claims then readjusted tactics.

Less than three weeks later, ~ above November 18, 1903, the Hay-Bunau-Varilla Treaty was signed in between Frenchman Philippe-Jean Bunau-Varilla, who had actually promptly to be appointed Panamanian ambassador to the United claims (representing Panamanian interests), and also the U.S. Secretary of State john Hay. The treaty permitted for the construction of a canal and also U.S. Sovereignty end a strip of land 10-miles broad and 50-miles lengthy on either next of the Panama Canal Zone. In the zone, the United says would construct a canal, climate administer, fortify, and defend that “in perpetuity.”

Honduras and also American Fruit Companies

Honduras, wherein the joined Fruit firm and standard Fruit company dominated the country’s an essential banana fiddle sector and associated floor holdings and also railways, witnessed the insertion the American troops in 1903, 1907, 1911, 1912, 1919, 1924, and also 1925. The writer O. Henry coined the hatchet “banana republic” in 1904 to describe Honduras.

The very first decades that Honduras’s background were significant by instability in terms of politics and economy. Indeed, the political paper definition gave way to 210 armed conflicts between independence and the rise to strength of the Carias government. This instability was due in part to American involvement in the country.

The first company the concluded an agreement with the Honduras government was the Vaccaro Brothers firm (Standard Fruit Company). The Cuyamel Fruit firm then adhered to that lead. The joined Fruit firm also agreed to a contract through the government, which to be attained with its subsidies (the Tela Rail Road agency and Truxillo Rail roadway Company).

Different methods led to the signature the a contract in between the Honduras government and the American companies. The most popular avenue was to obtain a grab on a item of land in exchange because that the perfect of railroads in Honduras; this defines why a railroad firm conducted the agreement between the united Fruit company and Honduras. The ultimate goal in the salvation of a contract to be to regulate the bananas, from production to distribution. Therefore, the American providers would finance guerrilla fighters, presidential campaigns, and governments.


The U.S. Army involvements v Mexico in this duration are related to the same general commercial and also political causes, but stand as a special case. The Americans conducted the Border War with Mexico from 1910 come 1919 for additional reasons: to regulate the circulation of immigrants and also refugees indigenous revolutionary Mexico (pacificos), and also to respond to rebel raids into U.S. Territory. The 1914 U.S. Occupation that Veracruz, however, to be an exercise of armed influence, not an issue of border integrity; it was aimed in ~ cutting turn off the gives of German munitions come the federal government of mexican leader Victoriano Huerta, who U.S. President Woodrow Wilson refused to recognize. In the year prior to human being War I, the united States also was sensitive to the regional balance the power against Germany. The Germans were actively arming and advising the Mexicans, as demonstrated through the 1914 SS Ypiranga arms-shipping incident, the facility of German saboteur Lothar Witzke’s basic in Mexico City, the 1917 Zimmermann Telegram, and the existence of German advisors during the 1918 battle of Ambos Nogales. Only twice during the Mexican change did the U.S. Armed forces occupy Mexico: during the short-term occupation that Veracruz in 1914 and between the year 1916 and 1917, as soon as U.S. Basic John Pershing and also his military came to Mexico to lead a nationwide find for Pancho Villa.

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Other Countries

Other Latin American countries were influenced or overcame by American economic policies and/or advertisement interests to the suggest of coercion. Theodore Roosevelt declared the Roosevelt Corollary to the Monroe theory in 1904, asserting the best of the United states to interference to stabilize the financial affairs of claims in the Caribbean and main America if they were unable to salary their global debts. From 1909 to 1913, President william Howard Taft and his Secretary the State Philander C. Knox check a an ext “peaceful and also economic” disagreement Diplomacy international policy, back that, too, to be backed by force. The U.S. Maritime Corps most often carried out these armed forces interventions. The Marines were called in so often that they arisen a tiny Wars Manual, The Strategy and Tactics of tiny Wars, in 1921. ~ above occasion, U.S. Naval gunfire and U.S. Army troops were likewise used.