American Imperialism

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

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Key Takeaways

Key PointsThe so late nineteenth century was well-known as the “Age of Imperialism,” a time as soon as the united States and also other major world strength rapidly increased their ar possessions.American imperialism is partly based upon American exceptionalism, the idea that the United states is various from other countries since of its details world mission to spread liberty and also democracy.One the the many notable instances that American imperialism to be the addition of Hawaii in 1898, which allowed the United claims to get possession and control of every ports, buildings, harbors, armed forces equipment, and also public building that had belonged to the government of the Hawaiian Islands.Some groups, such together the American Anti-Imperialist League, opposed imperialism on the grounds the it conflicted v the American ideal of Republicans and the “consent of the governed.”Key TermsSocial Darwinism: An ideology that seeks to use biological concepts of Darwinism or evolutionary concept to sociology and politics, regularly under the assumption that conflict in between societal teams leads to social progress, together superior teams surpass inferior ones.American Exceptionalism: A belief, central to American political culture since the Revolution, that Americans have actually a distinct mission amongst nations to spread out freedom and democracy.The American Anti-Imperialist League: one organization established in the United claims 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 the the United states on other countries.

Expansion and also Power

“American imperialism” is a term that refers to the economic, military, and social influence the the United says on various other countries. First popularized during the presidency of James K. Polk, the ide of an “American Empire” to be made a fact throughout the latter half of the 1800s. During this time, industrialization led to American businessmen to seek new international sectors in which to market their goods. In addition, the increasing influence of social Darwinism brought about the belief that the United says was inherently responsible for bringing principles such together industry, democracy, and also Christianity come less emerged “savage” societies. The combination of this attitudes and also other components led the United states toward imperialism.

“Ten Thousand miles from reminder to Tip”: “Ten Thousand mile from guideline to Tip,” refers to the expansion of U.S. Supremacy (symbolized through a bald eagle) indigenous Puerto Rico come the Philippines. The cartoon contrasts the 1898 depiction with that of the United says in 1798.

American imperialism is partly rooted in American exceptionalism, the idea that the United says is different from other nations due come its particular world mission to spread liberty and democracy. This theory often is traced earlier to the words of 1800s French observer Alexis de Tocqueville, who concluded that the United says was a distinctive nation, “proceeding follow me a course to i m sorry no limit have the right to be perceived.”

Pinpointing the actual beginning of American imperialism is difficult. Some chroniclers suggest that it began with the composing of the Constitution; historian Donald W. Meinig argues that the imperial habits of the United says dates ago to at least the Louisiana Purchase. He defines this occasion as an, “aggressive intervention of one people upon the region of another, leading to the subjugation that that civilization to extraterrestrial rule.” Here, he is referring to the U.S. Policies toward indigenous Americans, i m sorry he claimed were, “designed to remold them right into a people an ext appropriately conformed to imperial desires.”

Uncle Sam teaching the world: This caricature reflects Uncle Sam lecturing four children labelled “Philippines,” “Hawaii,” “Puerto Rico,” and also “Cuba” in front of kids holding publications labeled with miscellaneous U.S. States. In the background, an American Indian hold a book upside down, a Chinese young stands in ~ the door, and a black boy cleans a window. The blackboard reads, “The consent the the administer is a an excellent thing in theory, but very rare in fact… the U.S. Need to govern its brand-new territories with or without your consent until they deserve to govern themselves.”

Whatever the origins, American imperialism proficient its pinnacle native the late 1800s through the year following civilization War II. During this “Age of Imperialism,” the United states exerted political, social, and also economic regulate over nations such as 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 enabled the United claims to acquire possession and control of all ports, buildings, harbors, military equipment, and also public home that had actually formally belonged come the government of the Hawaiian Islands. ~ above January 17, 1893, the last monarch the the Kingdom the Hawaii, Queen Liliuokalani, to be deposed in a coup d’état led mainly by American citizens who were protest to Liliuokalani’s attempt to create a new Constitution. This activity eventually brought about Hawaii’s becoming America’s 50th state in 1959.

Opposition to Imperialism

The American Anti-Imperialist league was one organization created in the United states on June 15, 1898, to fight the American addition of the Philippines as an insular area. The League also argued that the Spanish-American battle was a battle of imperialism camouflaged together a war of liberation. The anti-imperialists protest the expansion due to the fact that they believed imperialism violated the credo the republicanism, particularly the need for “consent the the governed.” lock did not oppose development on commercial, constitutional, religious, or humanitarian grounds; rather, they believed that the annexation and administration of third-world tropical areas would average the abandonment of American ideals of self-government and isolation—ideals expressed in the U.S. Declaration of Independence, George Washington ‘s bye Address, and Abraham Lincoln ‘s Gettysburg Address. The Anti-Imperialist league represented an larger generation and also was rooted in an previously era; they were defeated in terms of public opinion, the 1900 election, and also the actions of Congress and also the president due to the fact that most younger Progressives that were simply coming to power sustained imperialism.

The Spanish-American War

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

Learning Objectives

Analyze the Spanish-American War

Key Takeaways

Key PointsThe Spanish-American battle was the result of American treatment in the recurring Cuban battle of freedom with Spain.The war offered to additional repair relations in between the American North and also South. The war provided both political parties a common enemy because that the first time because the end of the Civil war in 1865, and also many friendships were formed between soldiers of Northern and Southern states during their tours of duty.The war marked American entry into world affairs. Due to the fact that then, the United claims has had actually a far-reaching hand in assorted conflicts roughly the world, and has gone into into plenty of treaties and also agreements.The loss of Spain significant the finish of the Spanish Empire.Key Termsexpansionism: The plan of broadening a nation’s territory or its financial influence.


The Spanish-American war was a conflict in 1898 in between Spain and also the joined States. It to be the an outcome of American treatment in the ongoing Cuban battle of Independence. American assaults on Spain’s Pacific possessions resulted in U.S. Involvement in the Philippine revolution and ultimately to the Philippine-American War.


Revolts versus Spanish ascendancy had been endemic for decades in Cuba and also were closely watched by Americans. Through the abolition of enslavement in 1886, previous slaves joined the ranking of farmers and the urban working class, numerous wealthy Cubans lost their property, and also the variety of sugar mills declined. Only companies and the most powerful plantation owners continued to be in business, and also during this period, U.S. Gaue won capital began flowing right into the country. Although it remained Spanish are politically, Cuba started to count on the United states economically. Coincidentally, approximately the very same time, Cuba experienced the increase of labor movements.

Following his second deportation to Spain in 1878, revolutionary José Martí moved to the United says in 1881. Over there he mobilized the support of the Cuban exile community, especially in southerly Florida. That aimed because that a transformation and self-reliance from Spain, but also lobbied against the U.S. Annexation of Cuba, which some American and also Cuban political leaders desired.

By 1897–1898, American public opinion flourished angrier in ~ reports the Spanish atrocities in Cuba. After the mysterious sinking the the American battleship Maine in Havana harbor, politics pressures indigenous the democratic Party thrust the management of Republican President william McKinley right into a war he had wished come avoid. Compromise confirmed impossible, causing the United claims sending one ultimatum to Spain that demanded it instantly surrender manage of Cuba, which the Spanish rejected. An initial Madrid, climate Washington, formally claimed war.

The War

Although the main issue was Cuban independence, the 10-week war was battled in both the Caribbean and the Pacific. American naval power confirmed decisive, permitting U.S. Expeditionary pressures to disembark in Cuba versus a Spanish garrison already reeling from nationwide insurgent attacks and also wasted through yellow fever.

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

Cuban, Philippine, and American forces obtained the surrender of Santiago de Cuba and Manila together a an outcome of your numerical superiority in many of the battles and also despite the an excellent performance of part Spanish infantry units and also spirited defenses in places such as san Juan Hill. Madrid sued for peace after 2 obsolete Spanish squadrons to be sunk in Santiago de Cuba and also Manila Bay. A 3rd more modern fleet was recalled home to defend the Spanish coasts.

The treaty of Paris

The result of the battle was the 1898 contract of Paris, negotiated on terms favorable come the joined States. It enabled temporary American manage of Cuba and also indefinite colonial authority over Puerto Rico, Guam, and also the Philippines adhering to their acquisition from Spain. The defeat and also collapse the the Spanish realm was a profound shock to Spain’s national psyche, and also provoked a activity of thoroughgoing philosophical and artistic reevaluation that Spanish society known together the “Generation that ’98.” The victor got several island possessions extending the globe, which caused a rancorous new debate end the wisdom that expansionism.

Legacy the the War

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

The war marked American entry into people affairs. Before the Spanish-American War, the United claims was identified by isolationism, technique to foreign policy the asserts the a nation’s understand are finest served by maintaining the work of other countries at a distance. Due to the fact that the Spanish-American War, the United claims has had a far-reaching hand in various conflicts about the world, and also has entered countless treaties and also agreements. The panic of 1893 was over by this point, and also the joined States gone into a long and also prosperous period of financial and population growth and technical innovation that lasted v the 1920s. The battle redefined national identity, served as a equipment of sorts come the social departments plaguing the American mind, and detailed a model for every future news reporting.

The war additionally effectively finished the Spanish Empire. Spain had actually been decreasing as an royal power due to the fact that the early nineteenth century as a an outcome of Napoleon’s invasion. The loss of Cuba led to a nationwide trauma since of the affinity of peninsular Spaniards with Cuba, which was viewed as another province of Spain rather 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 strong political, social, and also economic messages, which urged adherents to enhance their society.

Key Takeaways

Key PointsThe society Gospel to be the religious wing that the steady movement, i m sorry aimed come combat injustice, suffering, and also poverty in society.The American Missionary Association developed schools and also colleges because that African americans in the post-Civil battle period.The society Gospel movement was no a unified and also well-focused movement, together 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 joined States and also Canada that applied Christian ethics to social problems.American Missionary Association: An organization supporting the education of freed blacks that established hundreds the schools and colleges.Evangelical: the or relating to any of numerous Christian churches that believe in the sole authority of the gospels.

The society Gospel Movement

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

In the unified States, former to human being War I, the society Gospel to be the religious wing that the progressive movement, which aimed to combat injustice, suffering, and poverty in society. Denver, Colorado, to be a center of social Gospel activism. Cutting board Uzzell led the Methodist People’s Tabernacle native 1885 come 1910. He developed a free dispensary for medical emergencies, an employment office for task seekers, a summer camp for children, night institutions for prolonged learning, and also English language classes. Myron Reed of the an initial Congregational Church became a spokesman for labor unions on issues such together worker’s compensation. His middle-class congregation motivated Reed to move on when he ended up being a Socialist, and also he organized a nondenominational church. Baptist minister Jim Goodhart collection up an employed staff bureau, and noted food and lodging because that tramps and hobos in ~ the mission that ran. He came to be city chaplain and also director of public welfare the Denver in 1918. In addition to this Protestants, reform Jews and also Catholics helped build Denver’s social welfare device in the early twentieth century.

Walter Rauschenbusch and also Dwight Moody


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

One that the specifying theologians for the social Gospel movement was Walter Rauschenbusch, a Baptist pastor of a congregation situated in Hell’s Kitchen in brand-new York City. Rauschenbusch railed against what he concerned as the selfishness that capitalism and advocated a type of Christian Socialism that sustained the development of labor unions and also cooperative economics.

While pastors such as Rauschenbusch to be combining their specialization in Biblical ethics and also economic studies and research to preach theological claims approximately the require for social reform, others such as Dwight Moody refused to preach about social problems based on personal experience. Minister Moody’s endure led him to think that the negative were too certain in receiving charity. Moody claimed that concentrating ~ above social aid distracted world from the life-saving blog post of the Gospel.

Rauschenbusch seek to address the troubles of the city with Socialist ideas that verified to it is in frightening to the middle classes, the primary supporters that the social Gospel. In contrast, Moody attempted to save human being from the city and was very effective in affecting middle-class Americans that were moving into the city with traditional style revivals.

The American Missionary Association

The American Missionary association (AMA) was a Protestant-based abolitionist group started on September 3, 1846, in Albany, brand-new York. The key purpose that this company was come abolish slavery, educate afri Americans, advocate for racial equality, and promote Christian values. That is members and also leaders were both black and also white and also chiefly affiliated through Congregationalist, Methodist, and Presbyterian churches.

The AMA began The American Missionary magazine, which released from 1846 v 1934. Among its efforts was the establishing of antislavery churches. For instance, the abolitionist Owen Lovejoy was among the Congregational ministers of the AMA who assisted plant 115 antislavery church in Illinois prior to the American polite War, aided through the strong westward hike of people from the East. While the AMA ended up being notable in the United says for its work-related in opposition come slavery and in support of education and learning for freed men, it likewise worked in objectives in many nations overseas. The nineteenth-century missionary initiative was strong in China and east Asia.


While the social Gospel was short-lived historically, it had a lasting affect on the policies of many of the mainline denominations in the unified States. Most began programs because that social reform, which caused ecumenical cooperation in 1910 throughout the development of the commonwealth Council of church (although cooperation regarding social worries often led to charges that Socialism). That is most likely that the social Gospel’s solid sense of leadership by the people led to women’s suffrage, and also that the focus it inserted on morality led to prohibition. Biographer Randall Woods says that society Gospel themes learned native childhood enabled Lyndon B. Johnson to change social problems into moral problems. This helps define his longtime appointment to social justice, as exemplified through the an excellent Society, and his commitment to gyeongju equality. The social Gospel explicitly inspired his foreign-policy strategy of a kind of Christian internationalism and nation building.

The open up Door Policy

The open up Door policy aimed to save the Chinese trade industry open come all nations on an same basis.

Key Takeaways

Key PointsThe open up Door policy was created in 1899 and also stated the all europe nations and also the united States could trade through China through equal standing.The Monroe Doctrine proclaimed that initiatives by European nations to colonize or interfere with states in north or south America would be viewed as acts of aggression towards the joined States and that the United states would neither interfere v existing European swarms nor meddle in the interior European affairs.Key TermsOpen Door Policy: A doctrine that governed the relationship between China and also the imperial powers (Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Russia, America, and Japan) throughout the beforehand 1900s. The policy forbade the imperial powers from acquisition Chinese territory and from interfering with one another’s economic activities in China.Monroe Doctrine: A U.S. International policy regarding domination of the Americas, which aimed to totally free the freshly independent colonies of Latin America from european intervention.

The “Open Door Policy” refers to a U.S. Doctrine created in the late nineteenth century and also the early on twentieth century, as expressed in Secretary that State john Hay’s “Open Door Note,” date September 6, 1899, and dispatched to the major European powers. The plan proposed to save China open to trade v all countries on an equal basis, keeping any type of one strength from complete control of the country, and calling upon all powers, within your spheres the influence, to refrain from interfering with any type of treaty port or any vested interest, to permit Chinese authorities to collect tariffs top top an same basis, and to present no favors to their very own nationals in the issue of harbor fees or rail charges.

The open up Door policy was rooted in the desire that U.S. Businesses come trade with Chinese markets, though the policy’s pledging to safeguard China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity from partition also tapped the deep-seated sympathies the those that opposed imperialism. In practice, the plan had tiny legal standing; the was largely used come mediate completing interests that the early american powers there is no much systematic input from the Chinese, which developed lingering resentment and caused the to it is in seen later as a prize of national humiliation by countless Chinese historians.

Formation that the Policy

During the very first Sino-Japanese war in 1895, China confronted an impending threat of gift partitioned and also colonized by imperialist strength such together Britain, France, Russia, Japan, and Germany. After ~ winning the Spanish-American battle of 1898, and with the newly acquired territory the the Philippine Islands, the unified States boosted its eastern presence and was expecting to more its commercial and political interest in China. The United claims felt threatened by various other powers’ much bigger spheres of influence in China and also worried the it might lose accessibility to the Chinese industry should the nation be partitioned.

As a response, william Woodville Rockhill recipe the open up Door plan to safeguard American business opportunities and other understand in China. Top top September 6, 1899, U.S. Secretary that State john Hay sent out notes to the significant powers (France, Germany, Britain, Italy, Japan, and also Russia), questioning them to declare formally that they would uphold Chinese territorial and also administrative integrity and would not interfere v the complimentary use that the treaty ports within your spheres of affect in China. The open Door Policy stated that all nations, consisting of the unified States, could enjoy equal accessibility to the Chinese market.

In reply, each country tried come evade Hay’s request, taking the position that it might not commit itself until the other nations had actually complied. However, by July 1900, Hay announced the each that the powers had actually granted consent in principle. Although contract made after 1900 refer to the open Door Policy, competition amongst the miscellaneous powers for distinct concessions in ~ China for railroad rights, mining rights, loans, foreign trade ports, and also so forth, ongoing unabated.

The Monroe Doctrine

The Monroe Doctrine was a U.S. International policy about domination that the ameri in 1823. It declared that further efforts by European nations to colonize land or interfere with states in phibìc or southern America would be regarded as plot of aggression, requiring U.S. Intervention. In ~ the very same time, the doctrine provided that the United states would no interfere through existing European swarms nor meddle in the internal pertains to of europe countries. The Doctrine to be issued in 1823 in ~ a time when virtually all Latin American colonies of Spain and Portugal had achieved, or were at the allude of gaining, freedom from the Portuguese and Spanish Empires.

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

President James Monroe an initial stated the doctrine throughout his seventh-annual State the the Union address to Congress. The hatchet “Monroe Doctrine” itself was coined in 1850. By the finish of the nineteenth century, Monroe’s declaration was viewed as a specifying moment in the international policy of the united States and also one that its longest-standing tenets. It would be invoked by many 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 will and influence of the Monroe theory persisted with only minor variations for much more than a century. Its proclaimed objective was to totally free the recently independent swarms of Latin America from europe intervention and avoid cases that could make the brand-new World a battleground for the Old civilization powers, so that the unified States can exert that is own influence undisturbed. The doctrine asserted that the brand-new World and the Old human being were to stay distinctly different spheres that influence, because that they were created of totally separate and also independent nations.

Inherent in the Monroe Doctrine space the themes the American exceptionalism and Manifest Destiny, two concepts that refer to the ideal of the United states to exert its influence over the remainder of the world. Under this conditions, the Monroe doctrine was offered to justify American intervention abroad multiple times 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 colonial rule of the Philippines until 1946.

Key Takeaways

Key PointsThe Philippine-American battle was part of a collection of disputes in the Philippine battle for independence, preceded by the Philippine change (1896) and the Spanish-American War.The conflict arose from the struggle of the first Philippine Republic to obtain independence following addition by the joined States.The war and also U.S. Occupation readjusted the cultural landscape that the islands. Examples of this encompass the disestablishment the the Catholic Church as the Philippine state religion and also the introduction of the English language together the major language the government and also business.The United claims officially took control of the Philippines in 1902. In 1916, the United states promised some self-government, a limited type of i m sorry was developed in 1935. In 1946, following human being War II, the united States gave the territory independence through the treaty of Manila.Key TermsPhilippine change of 1896: An equipped conflict in i beg your pardon Philippine revolutionaries tried to success national freedom from Spanish colonial rule. Power struggles amongst the revolutionaries and conflict through Spanish forces ongoing throughout the Spanish-American War.Battle that Manila: The fight that began the Philippine-American battle of 1899.American Anti-Imperialist League: A U.S. Organization that protest American regulate of the Philippines and viewed it together a violation that republican principles. The group likewise believed in complimentary trade, the gold standard, and limited government.

The Philippine-American War, additionally known as the “Philippine battle of Independence” or the “Philippine Insurrection” (1899–1902), to be an equipped conflict in between the joined States and also Filipino revolutionaries. The conflict occurred after the Philippine revolution of 1896, native the an initial Philippine Republic’s battle to get independence following annexation by the united States.

The conflict emerged when the an initial Philippine Republic objected come the regards to the contract of Paris, under i beg your pardon the United says took possession of the Philippines native Spain after the Spanish-American War.


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

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

Filipino soldiers: Filipino soldiers exterior Manila in 1899.

The battle with and also occupation by the United says would change the cultural landscape the the islands. The war caused an approximated 34,000 come 220,000 Philippine casualties (with much more civilians dying from condition and hunger brought around by war); the disestablishment the the roman inn Catholic Church as the state religion; and also the introduction of the English language in the islands as the major language the government, education, business, and also industry, and increasingly in future decades, of families and educated individuals.

Under the 1902 “Philippine organic Act,” happen by the U.S. Congress, Filipinos originally were provided very limited self-government, consisting of the ideal to poll for some elected officials such as a Philippine Assembly. Yet it to be not till 14 years later, through the passage of the 1916 Philippine Autonomy plot (or “Jones Act”), the the United states officially promised ultimate independence, follow me with an ext Philippine control in the meantime over the Philippines. The 1934 Philippine self-reliance Act produced in the adhering to year the republic of the Philippines, a limited type of independence, and also established a process ending in Philippine freedom (originally scheduled for 1944, yet interrupted and delayed by world War II). Finally in 1946, following human being War II and the Japanese occupation the the Philippines, the United claims granted freedom through the treaty of Manila.

American Opposition

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

The Banana Wars

The Banana battles were a series of U.S. Military occupations and interventions in Latin American and also Caribbean countries during the early on 1900s.

Key Takeaways

Key PointsThe Banana battles were a collection of conflicts and military interventions in Latin America and also the Caribbean caused or affected by the United states to safeguard its commercial interests. Panama, Honduras, Nicaragua, Mexico, Haiti, and also the Dominican Republic were every venues that conflicts.The unified Fruit agency and the traditional Fruit firm had far-ranging commercial stakes and also influence in Latin America and also were behind countless of the conflicts.Key TermsRoosevelt Corollary: An extension to the Monroe doctrine articulated by chairman Theodore Roosevelt that says that the United states will intervene in conflicts in between European nations and Latin American nations to force legitimate claims of the european powers, quite than permitting the europe to press their claims directly.United Fruit Company: an American firm that sold fruit produced on Latin and also South American plantations to north American and European markets. In addition to the standard Fruit Company, it overcame the economies and also strongly influenced the governments of Latin American countries.

The Banana Wars, additionally known as the “American-Caribbean Wars,” were a series of occupations, police actions, and interventions involving the United states in main America and also the Caribbean. This period of problem started with the Spanish-American battle in 1898 and the subsequent Treaty that Paris, which provided the unified States manage of Cuba and also Puerto Rico. Thereafter, the unified States carried out military interventions in Cuba, Panama, Honduras, Nicaragua, Mexico, Haiti, and also the Dominican Republic. The collection of disputes ended with the tap the money of troops native Haiti in 1934 under president Franklin D. Roosevelt. Reasons for these disputes were varied however were largely financial in nature. The conflict was referred to as the “Banana Wars” due to the fact that of the connections between U.S. Interventions and the preservation of American commercial interests in the region.

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

Most prominently, the united Fruit firm had far-ranging financial comb in the production of bananas, tobacco, sugar cane, and also various other assets throughout the Caribbean, main America, and also northern southern America. The joined States additionally was advancing its politics interests, preserving a sphere of influence and also controlling the Panama Canal, i beg your pardon it had recently built and which to be critically important to global trade and also naval power.

Panama and also the Canal

In 1882, Ferdinand de Lesseps started work on a canal, yet by 1889, the initiative had competent engineering obstacles caused by constant landslides, slippage the equipment, and also mud, and resulted in bankruptcy. U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt persuaded Congress to take on the abandoned functions in 1902, while Colombia was in the middle of the thousand Days’ War. Throughout the war, Panamanian Liberals do at least three attempts come seize control of Panama and also potentially achieve full autonomy. For free guerrillas such together Belisario Porras and Victoriano Lorenzo were suppressed by a collaboration between conservative Colombian and U.S. Forces under the Mallarino-Bidlack Treaty. The Roosevelt administration proposed come Colombia that the United says should manage the canal, yet by mid-1903, the Colombian federal government refused. The United states then adjusted tactics.

Less than three weeks later, on November 18, 1903, the Hay-Bunau-Varilla Treaty to be signed between Frenchman Philippe-Jean Bunau-Varilla, who had actually promptly to be appointed Panamanian ambassador come the United claims (representing Panamanian interests), and the U.S. Secretary the State john Hay. The treaty enabled for the construction of a canal and also U.S. Sovereignty over a strip of floor 10-miles vast and 50-miles lengthy on either side of the Panama Canal Zone. In the zone, the United says would develop a canal, then administer, fortify, and also defend it “in perpetuity.”

Honduras and American Fruit Companies

Honduras, where the unified Fruit agency and conventional Fruit company dominated the country’s key banana fiddle sector and also associated floor holdings and railways, experienced the insertion the American troops in 1903, 1907, 1911, 1912, 1919, 1924, and also 1925. The writer O. Henry coined the term “banana republic” in 1904 to explain Honduras.

The very first decades the Honduras’s background were marked by instability in terms of politics and economy. Indeed, the political context gave means to 210 armed conflicts between independence and also the climb to strength of the Carias government. This instability was due in part to American involvement in the country.

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

Different avenues led to the signature the a contract between the Honduras government and the American companies. The most popular avenue to be to obtain a grab on a item of land in exchange for the perfect of railroads in Honduras; this defines why a railroad agency conducted the agreement between the joined Fruit firm and Honduras. The ultimate goal in the acquisition of a contract was to manage the bananas, from production to distribution. Therefore, the American suppliers would finance guerrilla fighters, presidential campaigns, and also governments.


The U.S. Armed forces involvements with Mexico in this duration are pertained to the same basic commercial and political causes, yet stand as a special case. The Americans conducted the Border War through Mexico from 1910 come 1919 for added reasons: to manage the circulation of immigrants and refugees indigenous revolutionary Mexico (pacificos), and to respond to rebel raids into U.S. Territory. The 1914 U.S. Occupation of Veracruz, however, was an practice of equipped influence, not an issue of border integrity; it was aimed at cutting turn off the provides of German munitions come the federal government of mexico leader Victoriano Huerta, who U.S. Chairman Woodrow Wilson refused to recognize. In the years prior to civilization War I, the united States likewise was sensitive to the local balance the power against Germany. The Germans were proactively 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 presence of German advisors during the 1918 battle of Ambos Nogales. Only twice throughout the Mexican transformation did the U.S. Military occupy Mexico: during the momentary occupation of Veracruz in 1914 and also between the years 1916 and also 1917, once U.S. General John Pershing and his military came come Mexico to command a nationwide find for Pancho Villa.

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Other Countries

Other Latin American nations were affected or overcame by American financial policies and/or commercial interests come the point of coercion. Theodore Roosevelt claimed the Roosevelt Corollary come the Monroe theory in 1904, asserting the appropriate of the United says to intervene to stabilize the financial affairs of claims in the Caribbean and main America if they to be unable to salary their international debts. From 1909 come 1913, President wilhelm Howard Taft and his Secretary the State Philander C. Knox asserted a much more “peaceful and also economic” disagreement Diplomacy foreign policy, return that, too, to be backed by force. The U.S. Maritime Corps many often lugged out these military interventions. The Marines were called in so regularly that they arisen a tiny Wars Manual, The Strategy and also Tactics of little Wars, in 1921. Top top occasion, U.S. Naval gunfire and also U.S. Army troops were additionally used.