American Imperialism

“American imperialism” is a ax that describes the economic, military, and social influence the the United claims internationally.

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Key Takeaways

Key PointsThe late nineteenth century was well-known as the “Age the Imperialism,” a time when the united States and other major world powers rapidly broadened their ar possessions.American imperialism is partly based upon American exceptionalism, the idea the the United says is various from various other countries due to the fact that of its certain world mission to spread out liberty and democracy.One the the most notable instances of American imperialism was the annexation of Hawaii in 1898, which enabled the United states to obtain possession and control of every ports, buildings, harbors, armed forces equipment, and public building that had actually belonged to the federal government of the Hawaiian Islands.Some groups, such together the American Anti-Imperialist League, opposed imperialism ~ above the grounds the it conflicted through the American ideal of Republicans and also the “consent the 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 assumption that conflict between societal teams leads to social progress, together superior groups surpass inferior ones.American Exceptionalism: A belief, main to American political society since the Revolution, the Americans have actually a unique mission among nations to spread out freedom and democracy.The American Anti-Imperialist League: one organization created in the United claims on June 15, 1898, to battle the American addition of the Philippines as an insular area.American Imperialism: A hatchet that refers to the economic, military, and social influence of the United claims on various other countries.

Expansion and also Power

“American imperialism” is a term that refers to the economic, military, and cultural influence of the United says on various other countries. First popularized throughout the presidency of James K. Polk, the principle of an “American Empire” to be made a fact throughout the latter half of the 1800s. During this time, industrialization resulted in American businessmen come seek new international industries in i beg your pardon to market their goods. In addition, the boosting influence of society Darwinism led to the id that the United says was naturally responsible for bringing ideas such together industry, democracy, and Christianity come less developed “savage” societies. The combination of these attitudes and other factors led the United states toward imperialism.

“Ten Thousand miles from tip to Tip”: “Ten Thousand miles from tip to Tip,” refers to the expansion of U.S. Supremacy (symbolized by a bald eagle) native Puerto Rico to the Philippines. The cartoon contrasts the 1898 depiction with the of the United says in 1798.

American imperialism is partially rooted in American exceptionalism, the idea the the United states is various from other countries due to its certain world mission to spread out liberty and democracy. This theory often is traced back to the native of 1800s French observer Alexis de Tocqueville, that concluded the the United says was a distinctive nation, “proceeding along a course to i m sorry no limit have the right to be perceived.”

Pinpointing the actual beginning of American imperialism is difficult. Some historians suggest the it began with the writing of the Constitution; chronicler Donald W. Meinig suggests that the imperial behavior of the United says dates earlier to at the very least the Louisiana Purchase. He describes this event as an, “aggressive encroachment of one world upon the region of another, resulting in the subjugation the that human being to alien rule.” Here, he is referring to the U.S. Policies toward native Americans, i beg your pardon he stated were, “designed to remold them into a people more appropriately conformed to imperial desires.”

Uncle Sam teaching the world: This caricature mirrors Uncle Sam lecturing four children labelled “Philippines,” “Hawaii,” “Puerto Rico,” and “Cuba” in prior of children holding books labeled with assorted U.S. States. In the background, an American Indian hold a publication upside down, a Chinese boy stands in ~ the door, and a black boy cleans a window. The blackboard reads, “The consent that the governed is a an excellent thing in theory, but very rare in fact… the U.S. Need to govern its brand-new territories v or without their consent until they deserve to govern themselves.”

Whatever the origins, American imperialism skilled its pinnacle indigenous the so late 1800s with the year following world War II. Throughout this “Age that Imperialism,” the United says exerted political, social, and economic regulate over countries such together the Philippines, Cuba, Germany, Austria, Korea, and also Japan. One of the most notable examples of American imperialism in this age was the annexation of Hawaii in 1898, which permitted the United claims to get possession and also control of every ports, buildings, harbors, military equipment, and also public building that had formally belonged to the government of the Hawaiian Islands. Top top January 17, 1893, the critical monarch the the Kingdom the Hawaii, Queen Liliuokalani, was deposed in a coup d’état led mostly by American citizens that were protest to Liliuokalani’s effort to create a new Constitution. This activity eventually resulted in Hawaii’s ending up being America’s 50th state in 1959.

Opposition to Imperialism

The American Anti-Imperialist league was one organization developed in the United states on June 15, 1898, to fight the American addition of the Philippines together an insular area. The League additionally argued that the Spanish-American battle was a battle of imperialism camouflaged together a war of liberation. The anti-imperialists opposed the expansion because they thought imperialism violated the credo the republicanism, specifically the need for “consent that the governed.” castle did no oppose growth on commercial, constitutional, religious, or humanitarian grounds; rather, they thought that the addition and management of third-world tropical areas would mean the abandonment the American ideals the self-government and also isolation—ideals to express in the U.S. Statements of Independence, George Washington ‘s taking leave Address, and also Abraham Lincoln ‘s Gettysburg Address. The Anti-Imperialist organization represented an older generation and also was rooted in an previously era; castle were defeated in terms of public opinion, the 1900 election, and also the plot of Congress and also the president because most younger Progressives who were just coming to power sustained imperialism.

The Spanish-American War

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

Learning Objectives

Analyze the Spanish-American War

Key Takeaways

Key PointsThe Spanish-American war was the result of American treatment in the ongoing Cuban war of self-reliance with Spain.The war offered to further repair relations in between the American North and South. The war offered both sides a usual enemy for the very first time since the end of the Civil war in 1865, and also many friendships were formed between soldiers of Northern and Southern states throughout their tours of duty.The war significant American entrance into world affairs. Because then, the United states has had a significant hand in miscellaneous conflicts roughly the world, and has entered into plenty of treaties and agreements.The loss of Spain marked the finish of the Spanish Empire.Key Termsexpansionism: The policy of expanding a nation’s are or its economic influence.


The Spanish-American war was a dispute in 1898 between Spain and the joined States. It to be the an outcome of American treatment in the ongoing Cuban battle of Independence. American strikes on Spain’s Pacific possessions caused U.S. Authorized in the Philippine change and ultimately to the Philippine-American War.


Revolts versus Spanish rule had to be endemic for decades in Cuba and also were very closely watched through Americans. Through the abolition of enslavement in 1886, former slaves joined the ranks of farmers and also the urban working class, plenty of wealthy Cubans lost their property, and the number of sugar mills declined. Just companies and the most powerful plantation owners remained in business, and during this period, U.S. Jae won capital started flowing right into the country. Return it remained Spanish are politically, Cuba started to rely on the United says economically. Coincidentally, about the exact same time, Cuba experienced the climb of labor movements.

Following his 2nd deportation to Spain in 1878, revolutionary José Martí moved to the United says in 1881. There he mobilized the assistance of the Cuban exile community, particularly in southern Florida. The aimed for a revolution and freedom from Spain, but also lobbied against the U.S. Addition of Cuba, which part American and also Cuban politicians desired.

By 1897–1898, American windy opinion flourished angrier in ~ reports that Spanish atrocities in Cuba. After ~ the secret sinking that the American battleship Maine in Havana harbor, politics pressures from the autonomous Party moved the administration of Republican President wilhelm McKinley into a war he had wished to avoid. Compromise verified impossible, causing the United states sending one ultimatum come Spain the demanded it immediately surrender regulate of Cuba, which the Spanish rejected. Very first Madrid, then Washington, formally claimed war.

The War

Although the main problem was Cuban independence, the 10-week battle was battled in both the Caribbean and the Pacific. American naval power showed decisive, enabling U.S. Expeditionary forces to disembark in Cuba versus a Spanish garrison already reeling indigenous nationwide insurgent attacks and wasted by yellow fever.

The Spanish-American war was swift and also decisive. Throughout the war’s three-month duration, no a solitary American turning back of any kind of importance occurred. A week after the statements of war, Commodore George Dewey of the six-warship Asiatic Squadron (then based at Hong Kong) steam his fleet to the Philippines. Dewey recorded the entire Spanish armada in ~ anchor in Manila Bay and destroyed it without shedding an American life.

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

The treaty of Paris

The result of the war was the 1898 treaty of Paris, negotiated on state favorable come the united States. It permitted temporary American control of Cuba and also indefinite colonial authority end Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Philippines adhering to their acquisition from Spain. The defeat and also collapse the the Spanish empire was a profound shock come Spain’s national psyche, and also provoked a activity of thoroughgoing philosophical and artistic reevaluation of Spanish culture known together the “Generation the ’98.” The victor gained several island possessions spanning the globe, which led to a rancorous brand-new debate over the wisdom that expansionism.

Legacy that the War

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

The war marked American entry into people affairs. Before the Spanish-American War, the United claims was characterized by isolationism, method to foreign policy the asserts the a nation’s interests are best served by keeping the to work of other countries at a distance. Since the Spanish-American War, the United claims has had actually a significant hand in various conflicts approximately the world, and also has entered countless treaties and also agreements. The scare of 1893 to be over by this point, and the joined States gone into a long and also prosperous duration of economic and populace growth and technical innovation that lasted v the 1920s. The war redefined national identity, offered as a systems of sorts come the social divisions plaguing the American mind, and detailed a design for all future news reporting.

The war additionally effectively finished the Spanish Empire. Spain had been declining as an imperial power since the early nineteenth century as a result of Napoleon’s invasion. The lose of Cuba resulted in a nationwide trauma because of the affinity that peninsular Spaniards through Cuba, i beg your pardon was viewed as another province of Spain fairly than as a colony. Spain retained just a grasp of abroad 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 economic messages, i m sorry urged adherents to enhance their society.

Key Takeaways

Key PointsThe social Gospel to be the spiritual wing the the gradual movement, i beg your pardon aimed come combat injustice, suffering, and also poverty in society.The American Missionary Association created schools and also colleges for African americans in the post-Civil war period.The social Gospel movement was not a unified and also well-focused movement, as there were disagreements amongst members.Key TermsSocial Gospel: A protestant Christian intellectual movement the was most significant in the beforehand twentieth-century joined States and Canada that used Christian values to social problems.American Missionary Association: An company supporting the education and learning of freed blacks that founded hundreds of schools and also colleges.Evangelical: the or relating to any of numerous Christian church that think in the single authority that the gospels.

The society Gospel Movement

The society Gospel to be a Protestant motion that to be most significant in the early twentieth-century unified States and also Canada. The movement used Christian ethics to social problems, especially worries of social justice such as financial inequality, poverty, alcoholism, crime, gyeongju tensions, slums, unclean environments, kid labor, insufficient labor unions, bad schools, and the danger of war.

In the united States, prior to people War I, the social Gospel to be the religious wing that the steady movement, i m sorry aimed come combat injustice, suffering, and poverty in society. Denver, Colorado, was a facility of social Gospel activism. Cutting board Uzzell led the Methodist People’s Tabernacle indigenous 1885 come 1910. He created a free dispensary for medical emergencies, one employment bureau for job seekers, a summer camp for children, night institutions for extended learning, and also English language classes. Myron Reed of the very first Congregational Church ended up being a spokesman for labor unions on worries such as worker’s compensation. His middle-class congregation urged Reed to relocate on as soon as he came to be a Socialist, and he arranged a nondenominational church. Baptist minister Jim Goodhart set up an employed staff bureau, and provided food and lodging because that tramps and also hobos at the mission he ran. He became city chaplain and also director of windy welfare that Denver in 1918. In addition to these Protestants, reform Jews and also Catholics helped construct Denver’s society welfare mechanism in the beforehand 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 the the specifying theologians for the society Gospel motion was Walter Rauschenbusch, a Baptist pastor of a congregation situated in Hell’s Kitchen in brand-new York City. Rauschenbusch railed against what he related to as the selfishness of capitalism and supported a type of Christian Socialism that sustained the development of labor unions and cooperative economics.

While pastors such together Rauschenbusch to be combining their field of expertise in Biblical ethics and economic studies and research to preach theological claims about the need for social reform, rather such together Dwight Moody refused to preach about social problems based on personal experience. Minister Moody’s suffer led him to believe that the poor were too details in receiving charity. Moody claimed that concentrating ~ above social assist distracted civilization from the life-saving post of the Gospel.

Rauschenbusch seek to address the troubles of the city with Socialist principles that confirmed to it is in frightening to the center classes, the primary supporters the the social Gospel. In contrast, Moody attempted to save human being from the city and was very effective in influencing middle-class Americans who were moving right into the city with classic style revivals.

The American Missionary Association

The American Missionary combination (AMA) was a Protestant-based abolitionist group started on September 3, 1846, in Albany, brand-new York. The key purpose of this organization was come abolish slavery, educate afri Americans, advocate for gyeongju equality, and also promote Christian values. That is members and also leaders to be both black and white and chiefly affiliated v 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 that the AMA who helped plant 115 antislavery churches in Illinois before the American civil War, aided by the solid westward hike of people from the East. When the AMA came to be notable in the United claims for its work in opposition to slavery and also in support of education and learning for freed men, it also worked in missions in many nations overseas. The nineteenth-century missionary initiative was solid in China and also east Asia.


While the social Gospel to be short-lived historically, it had actually a lasting influence on the policies of many of the mainline denominations in the united States. Most started programs because that social reform, which resulted in ecumenical cooperation in 1910 during the development of the commonwealth Council of churches (although cooperation concerning social worries often resulted in charges the Socialism). It is most likely that the society Gospel’s strong sense of management by the human being led come women’s suffrage, and that the emphasis it placed on morality brought about prohibition. Biographer Randall Woods argues that social Gospel themes learned indigenous childhood permitted Lyndon B. Johnson to change social problems into moral problems. This helps describe his longtime commitment to social justice, together exemplified through the great Society, and also his meeting to gyeongju equality. The society Gospel explicitly inspired his foreign-policy technique of a type of Christian internationalism and nation building.

The open Door Policy

The open Door plan aimed to save the Chinese trade sector open come all countries on an same basis.

Key Takeaways

Key PointsThe open up Door policy was established in 1899 and also stated that all europe nations and also the united States can trade v China v equal standing.The Monroe Doctrine proclaimed that initiatives by European countries to colonize or interfere with says in north or southern America would be viewed as action of aggression towards the united States and also that the United states would neither interfere with existing European swarms nor meddle in the inner European affairs.Key TermsOpen Door Policy: A doctrine that governed the relationship between China and also the royal powers (Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Russia, America, and also Japan) during the at an early stage 1900s. The plan forbade the royal powers from acquisition Chinese territory and from interfering v one another’s economic tasks in China.Monroe Doctrine: A U.S. Foreign policy about domination of the Americas, which aimed to cost-free the freshly independent colonies of Latin America from europe intervention.

The “Open Door Policy” describes a U.S. Doctrine developed in the late nineteenth century and the early twentieth century, together expressed in Secretary that State man Hay’s “Open Door Note,” dated September 6, 1899, and also dispatched to the major European powers. The plan proposed to store China open to trade through all countries on an same basis, keeping any kind of one power from total control that the country, and also calling upon all powers, within their spheres that influence, to stop from interfering with any kind of treaty harbor or any vested interest, to permit Chinese authorities to collection tariffs on an equal basis, and to display 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 that U.S. Businesses come trade through Chinese markets, though the policy’s pledging to safeguard China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity indigenous partition likewise tapped the deep-seated sympathies of those that opposed imperialism. In practice, the policy had small legal standing; that was greatly used come mediate completing interests of the colonial powers without much systematic input native the Chinese, which created lingering resentment and caused that to be seen later as a prize of national humiliation by numerous Chinese historians.

Formation of the Policy

During the first Sino-Japanese war in 1895, China challenged an imminent threat of gift partitioned and also colonized by imperialist powers such as Britain, France, Russia, Japan, and Germany. After ~ winning the Spanish-American war of 1898, and with the newly got territory of the Philippine Islands, the united States boosted its oriental presence and was expecting to more its commercial and also political interest in China. The United claims felt intimidated by various other powers’ much larger spheres of affect in China and worried the it can lose accessibility to the Chinese sector should the nation be partitioned.

As a response, william Woodville Rockhill formulated the open Door plan to safeguard American business opportunities and also other understand in China. On September 6, 1899, U.S. Secretary the State john Hay sent notes to the significant powers (France, Germany, Britain, Italy, Japan, and Russia), questioning them to explain formally the they would certainly uphold Chinese territorial and also administrative integrity and also would not interfere through the free use of the treaty ports within your spheres of affect in China. The open up Door Policy stated that every nations, including the joined States, can enjoy equal accessibility to the Chinese market.

In reply, each country tried to evade Hay’s request, taking the place that it could not go itself until the other nations had actually complied. However, by July 1900, Hay announced that each of the powers had granted consent in principle. Although contract made ~ 1900 describe the open up Door Policy, competition among the various powers for special concessions within China because that railroad rights, mining rights, loans, international trade ports, and so forth, ongoing unabated.

The Monroe Doctrine

The Monroe Doctrine to be a U.S. Foreign policy concerning domination the the ameri in 1823. It stated that further initiatives by European countries to colonize soil or interfere with says in phibìc or southern America would certainly be perceived as acts of aggression, inquiry U.S. Intervention. In ~ the exact same time, the doctrine listed that the United says would neither interfere with existing European swarms nor meddle in the internal concerns of european countries. The Doctrine to be issued in 1823 at a time when nearly all Latin American swarms of Spain and Portugal had actually achieved, or were at the suggest of gaining, self-reliance 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 of the Union resolve to Congress. The ax “Monroe Doctrine” itself to be coined in 1850. By the end of the nineteenth century, Monroe’s explanation was viewed as a defining moment in the foreign policy of the unified States and one of its longest-standing tenets. It would certainly be invoked by countless U.S. Statesmen and several U.S. Presidents, consisting of Ulysses S. Grant, Theodore Roosevelt, man F. Kennedy, Ronald Reagan, and many others.

The intent and influence of the Monroe doctrine persisted with just minor variations for much more than a century. Its declared objective was to free the freshly independent swarms of Latin America from european intervention and avoid cases that might make the brand-new World a battleground for the Old human being powers, so that the joined States can exert its own influence undisturbed. The doctrine asserted that the new World and also the Old human being were to stay distinctly separate spheres of influence, because that they were written of entirely separate and independent nations.

Inherent in the Monroe Doctrine space the themes the American exceptionalism and also Manifest Destiny, two ideas that refer to the best of the United claims to exert its affect over the remainder of the world. Under this conditions, the Monroe theory was offered to justification American intervention abroad multiple times throughout the nineteenth century, most notably in the Spanish-American War and also with the annexation of Hawaii.

The Philippine-American War

The Philippine-American war was an equipped conflict that resulted in American early american rule of the Philippines until 1946.

Key Takeaways

Key PointsThe Philippine-American war was component of a series of problems in the Philippine struggle for independence, came before by the Philippine revolution (1896) and the Spanish-American War.The conflict developed from the struggle of the very first Philippine Republic to get independence following annexation by the united States.The war and U.S. Occupation changed the social landscape the the islands. Instances of this incorporate the disestablishment that the Catholic Church as the Philippine state religion and the advent of the English language together the major language of government and also business.The United claims officially took regulate of the Philippines in 1902. In 1916, the United states promised part self-government, a limited form of i m sorry was created in 1935. In 1946, following human being War II, the unified States provided the territory self-reliance through the treaty of Manila.Key TermsPhilippine change of 1896: An equipped conflict in which Philippine revolutionaries do the efforts to win national self-reliance from Spanish colonial rule. Strength struggles amongst the revolutionaries and also conflict v Spanish forces ongoing throughout the Spanish-American War.Battle of Manila: The fight that started the Philippine-American battle of 1899.American Anti-Imperialist League: A U.S. Company that protest American manage of the Philippines and also viewed it as a violation that republican principles. The group additionally believed in free trade, the gold standard, and restricted government.

The Philippine-American War, additionally known as the “Philippine war of Independence” or the “Philippine Insurrection” (1899–1902), was an equipped conflict in between the joined States and also Filipino revolutionaries. The conflict developed after the Philippine transformation of 1896, indigenous the first Philippine Republic’s battle to gain independence following annexation by the united States.

The conflict emerged when the first Philippine Republic objected come the regards to the contract of Paris, under i beg your pardon the United claims took possession that the Philippines indigenous Spain after ~ the Spanish-American War.


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

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

Filipino soldiers: Filipino soldiers outside Manila in 1899.

The battle with and also occupation through the United claims would readjust the cultural landscape the the islands. The war caused an approximated 34,000 come 220,000 Philippine casualties (with more civilians dice from disease and hunger brought about by war); the disestablishment the the roman Catholic Church together the state religion; and 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, that families and educated individuals.

Under the 1902 “Philippine essential Act,” happen by the U.S. Congress, Filipinos initially were offered very limited self-government, including the ideal to poll for some elected officials such as a Philippine Assembly. But it was not until 14 years later, v the passage of the 1916 Philippine Autonomy action (or “Jones Act”), that the United claims officially promised ultimate independence, follow me with an ext Philippine regulate in the meantime end the Philippines. The 1934 Philippine independence Act produced in the following year the republic of the Philippines, a limited form of independence, and established a procedure ending in Philippine independence (originally booked for 1944, yet interrupted and also delayed by world War II). Lastly in 1946, following world War II and also the Japanese occupation the the Philippines, the United states granted self-reliance through the contract of Manila.

American Opposition

Some Americans, especially William Jennings Bryan, note Twain, Andrew Carnegie, Ernest Crosby, and also other members that the American Anti-Imperialist League, strong objected come the addition of the Philippines. Anti-imperialist movements claimed that the United states had come to be a colonial power by instead of Spain as the early american power in the Philippines. Other anti-imperialists opposed addition on racism grounds. Amongst these was Senator Benjamin Tillman of south Carolina, who feared that addition of the Philippines would cause an flow of nonwhite immigrants into the unified States. As news that atrocities committed in subduing the Philippines come in the unified States, assistance for the battle flagged.

The Banana Wars

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

Key Takeaways

Key PointsThe Banana battles were a series of conflicts and military interventions in Latin America and the Caribbean caused or influenced by the United states to safeguard its advertising interests. Panama, Honduras, Nicaragua, Mexico, Haiti, and also the Dominican Republic were all venues of conflicts.The unified Fruit agency and the traditional Fruit firm had far-ranging commercial stakes and influence in Latin America and also were behind plenty of of the conflicts.Key TermsRoosevelt Corollary: An extension to the Monroe doctrine articulated by chairman Theodore Roosevelt that says that the United claims will intervene in conflicts in between European nations and also Latin American nations to obtrude legitimate insurance claims of the european powers, fairly than allowing the europeans to press their claims directly.United Fruit Company: one American firm that offered fruit created on Latin and also South American plantations to phibìc American and European markets. In addition to the typical Fruit Company, it conquered the economies and 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 entailing the United states in main America and also the Caribbean. This period of conflict started v the Spanish-American battle in 1898 and the succeeding Treaty of Paris, which provided the united States control of Cuba and Puerto Rico. Thereafter, the joined States conducted military interventions in Cuba, Panama, Honduras, Nicaragua, Mexico, Haiti, and the Dominican Republic. The collection of disputes ended v the tap the money of troops native Haiti in 1934 under president Franklin D. Roosevelt. Factors for these disputes were varied yet were largely financial in nature. The conflict was called the “Banana Wars” because of the connections in between U.S. Interventions and also the preservation of American commercial understanding in the region.

United Fruit company Steamship Service: A 1916 advertisement for the joined Fruit firm Steamship Service.

Most prominently, the united Fruit company had far-reaching financial stakes in the production of bananas, tobacco, sugar cane, and various other assets throughout the Caribbean, main America, and northern south America. The united States likewise was proceeding its political interests, keeping a ball of influence and controlling the Panama Canal, which it had actually recently built and also which was critically crucial to global trade and also naval power.

Panama and also the Canal

In 1882, Ferdinand de Lesseps started job-related on a canal, however by 1889, the effort had competent engineering challenges caused by regular landslides, slippage that equipment, and mud, and resulted in bankruptcy. U.S. Chairman Theodore Roosevelt convinced Congress to take on the abandoned works in 1902, if Colombia remained in the midst of the thousand Days’ War. Throughout the war, Panamanian Liberals make at least three attempts come seize manage of Panama and potentially attain full autonomy. Liberal guerrillas such as Belisario Porras and also 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 the the United says should regulate the canal, but by mid-1903, the Colombian government refused. The United claims then adjusted tactics.

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

Honduras and also American Fruit Companies

Honduras, where the united Fruit agency and standard Fruit firm dominated the country’s an essential banana export sector and also associated floor holdings and railways, saw the insertion that American troops in 1903, 1907, 1911, 1912, 1919, 1924, and 1925. The writer O. Henry coined the ax “banana republic” in 1904 to define Honduras.

The first decades of Honduras’s background were significant by instability in regards to politics and economy. Indeed, the political context gave means to 210 armed conflicts in between independence and also the increase to power of the Carias government. This instability was due in part to American authorized in the country.

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

Different methods led to the signature that a contract between the Honduras government and also the American companies. The most popular avenue was to attain a seize on a piece of land in exchange because that the perfect of railroads in Honduras; this defines why a railroad agency conducted the agreement between the unified Fruit agency and Honduras. The ultimate score in the salvation of a contract to be to regulate the bananas, from production to distribution. Therefore, the American service providers would finance guerrilla fighters, presidential campaigns, and also governments.


The U.S. Armed forces involvements v Mexico in this duration are pertained to the same basic commercial and political causes, however stand as a special case. The Americans conducted the Border War with Mexico from 1910 come 1919 for added reasons: to manage the flow of immigrants and refugees indigenous revolutionary Mexico (pacificos), and also to respond to rebel raids into U.S. Territory. The 1914 U.S. Occupation the Veracruz, however, to be an exercise of armed influence, no an worry of border integrity; it to be aimed in ~ cutting off the offers 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 world War I, the unified States also was sensitive to the local balance of power versus Germany. The Germans were proactively arming and advising the Mexicans, as demonstrated by the 1914 SS Ypiranga arms-shipping incident, the establishment of German saboteur Lothar Witzke’s basic in Mexico City, the 1917 Zimmermann Telegram, and also the presence of German advisors during the 1918 fight of Ambos Nogales. Only twice during the Mexican revolution did the U.S. Armed forces occupy Mexico: throughout the momentary occupation the Veracruz in 1914 and between the year 1916 and 1917, when U.S. General John Pershing and also his military came come Mexico to lead a nationwide find for Pancho Villa.

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Other Countries

Other Latin American nations were influenced or conquered by American economic policies and/or advertising interests come the point of coercion. Theodore Roosevelt claimed the Roosevelt Corollary to the Monroe doctrine in 1904, asserting the appropriate of the United says to intervene to stabilize the financial affairs of says in the Caribbean and main America if they were unable to salary their worldwide debts. Native 1909 come 1913, President wilhelm Howard Taft and his Secretary the State Philander C. Knox asserted a more “peaceful and economic” dollar Diplomacy foreign policy, back that, too, was backed through force. The U.S. Marine Corps many often carried out these armed forces interventions. The Marines were called in so frequently that they emerged a tiny Wars Manual, The Strategy and also Tactics of small Wars, in 1921. Top top occasion, U.S. Marine gunfire and also U.S. Army troops were also used.