Primary Document Analysis

Primary Document Analysis - Obbie Richardson History 115...

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Obbie Richardson History 115 Primary Document Analysis Professor Contreras Statements of U.S. Foreign Policy Doctrine The Monroe Doctrine, Roosevelt Corollary and Truman Doctrine are important documents that help us understand the United States’ involvement in the development of Latin America during the 19 th and 20 th centuries. The Monroe Doctrine states that United States will not tolerate any more European influence in Latin America in order to stabilize the hemisphere. The Roosevelt Corollary is an addendum to the Monroe Doctrine that states that the United States will police the region economically in order to make sure Latin American countries paid back their international loans. If a country was not able to make payments, the policy allowed the president to intervene militarily. The Corollary is important (at least to the United States) because the alternative to U.S. intervention was European involvement. If Latin American countries had outstanding loans to European countries, the U.S. government insisted that American firms by the debts, to keep Europeans out of their Sphere of Influence, and insured them that they would be paid back. The Truman Doctrine is a similar policy that sought to keep Turkey and Greece from Soviet influence. Some of the strengths of these documents are that they helped cement the United States as a super power allowing them to have US companies experience huge economic gains due to
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Diplomacy since the United States since the US government encouraged companies like JP Morgan, Citibank, etc to invest in Latin American countries guaranteeing that they will see returns or the military would intervene. This was in order to keep the Eastern Hemisphere from getting involved in the United States “Sphere of Influence.” The weakness of these documents is that they often lead to the exploitation of the lands by American firms. The United States’ self given right to police the region will often end in civil unrest in Latin American countries due to the implicit and explicit involvement of the United States government. I feel that these documents do conceal a true understanding of the history of the region. The documents perpetuate a simplistic view that the United States had Latin America’s best interests at heart. We see that this is not necessarily true due to the involvement of the military in various conflicts such as the Contras in Nicaragua, the Marines in Mexico, warships in El Salvador, and many more interventions by the US government. Another example of this is the School of the Americas, now called the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation, which helped train Latin American officers, many of which went back to their respective countries only massacre the poor and oppress the voiceless. The United States foreign policy documents state that it is there duty to be good neighbors of the Latin American countries. Since
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This note was uploaded on 08/05/2008 for the course HIST 115 taught by Professor Contreras during the Spring '08 term at San Diego State.

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Primary Document Analysis - Obbie Richardson History 115...

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