Inter-american relations term paper

Inter-american relations term paper - Lauren Lawson...

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Lauren Lawson Inter-American Relations-Kirkendall November 15, 2010 The Role of Anti- and Pro-Americanism and Anti- and Pro-Americanization in the History of U.S.- Latin American Relations The United States and Latin America have a history long embedded in aggression and fear and camaraderie and cooperation. Beginning with the early rivalry of the British and Spanish imperial powers, once the U.S. and many Latin American countries achieved independence, pre-existing conditions of racism and religious bias seemed to linger. However, fluctuations in the relationship between Latinos and Americans did occur as efforts took place by U.S. federal government to improve foreign relations. While pro- and anti-Americanism along with pro- and anti-Americanization differ throughout history and throughout the world, U.S. foreign policy decisions regarding Latin America support the idea that “countries do not have friends, they have interests”; these interests being economic growth, political stability, and national security. Pre-Existing conditions of the Spanish-English rivalry, first driven by the conquest of land, rooted themselves primarily in racism. A mindset of racial superiority was embedded in the American psyche that explained not only slavery, but also much of the mistreatment of the indigenous peoples of Latin America. In addition, many of the Spanish-European males that settled in Latin countries used their power over women, especially women of color, to have sex with them. As a result the population became
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more “mixed” in race and, therefore, was looked down upon by males of pure, white ethnicity. Along with racial pretentions, a religious rivalry prevailed in the minds of U.S. citizens. Considering religious freedom as one of the foundations of American settlement and strive for Democracy, a resentment towards Catholicism still prevailed. This religious bias strongly influenced negative feelings towards Roman-Catholic Spaniards who tended to value traditionalism and the status quo, while Protestants, on the other hand, valued upward movement and progressive ideals. Brian Loveman states in No Higher Law, “ America’s exceptionalism, its example to all the world, its rightful role as protector of the Western Hemisphere, and its Providential destiny became the stuff of national identity and popular culture, which informed U.S. policy.”(p. 39) These clashing views and superiority felt on behalf of U.S. citizens served as an obstacle in the drive for unity between the two Western Hemispheric nations whom both were striving for self- sufficiency and independence from their mother countries. While these pre-existing conditions of race, religion, and political tendencies served as disconnects within the hemisphere and precursors to many decisions made on behalf of American foreign policy, an initiative was taken by President James Monroe in 1823 to unify the Americas, help stabilize Latin American governments, and prevent further colonization of European powers in that area. Through the implementation of the
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Inter-american relations term paper - Lauren Lawson...

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