alliance for progress

alliance for progress - Alliance for Progress The Alliance...

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Alliance for Progress The Alliance for Progress, as outlined by President John F Kennedy in his 1961 speech to the Diplomatic Corps of Latin America, represented a high-water mark of optimism and common unity in U.S.-Latin American relations. Far-removed from the Gunboat Diplomacy days of the early 20 th Century, the grand design that President Kennedy spoke of was designated to “satisfy the basic needs of the American people for homes, work and land, health and schools” 1 . The program itself was multifaceted, incorporating economic and social planning with the establishment of democratic governments. But for what purpose did President Kennedy put forth such a proposal, and what motivations did Latin American governments have for signing on? The Alliance sought a new way forward in the relationship between the United States and Latin America, one maintained by economic partnership as opposed to military intervention and political oppression. Pledging twenty billion dollars over a ten year period, the United States hoped to create a Western Hemisphere that would be unified economically and politically 2 . In doing so, the U.S. would solidify the hemisphere as being anti-communist, and thus non-aligned with the Soviet Union. To understand the motivations of American policy-makers in proposing the Alliance for Progress, it is imperative to note the Cold War mentality involved. Furthermore, the Alliance was believed to be beneficial by Latin American governments for two reasons. First, the Alliance appealed to Latin leaders because of its insistence on strengthening national authorities. Second, the economies of Latin America faced serious structural issues that needed to be reformed. This paper will discuss both the motivations behind the Alliance for Progress, as well as the factors that led to its inefficiencies and ultimate failure. 1 Kennedy, John F. “Alliance for Progress” White House Reception for Latin American Diplomats. March 13, 1961. 2 Tulio Halperin Donghi et al. The Contemporary History of Latin America . Duke University Press. London. 1993. p. 295
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Before delving further into the Alliance for Progress it is important to understand the context and history of U.S.- Latin American relations up to this point. In the early 1900’s, President Theodore Roosevelt framed his foreign policy as “speak softly and carry a big stick” 3 . What this essentially meant for Latin American nations was that the United States reserved itself the right to intervene in the affairs of their countries whenever instability or some sort of threat was perceived to be gathering. This ideology of military adventurism came to be known as the
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alliance for progress - Alliance for Progress The Alliance...

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