US-Latin America Relations-1800 To 1930s Essays Examples

Type of paper: Essay

Topic: Countries, United States, America, Latin American, Europe, Canal, Doctrine, Independence

Pages: 2

Words: 550

Published: 2020/11/16

Latin America has been long known as the backyard of the United States. This is not a new label that has been attached to the US-Latin American relations but something that has been the truth for almost two centuries. Relative proximity and the nature of the economies between the US and the Latin American countries have ensured that the relations have been one of inequality. The early and most of the nineteenth century saw a period or model of ‘comparative advantage’. During this era, the Latin American countries had a lot of natural resources and the US has processing power. While Oil was found in Venezuela and Mexico, there were processing centers in the US, the beef that was exported from Argentina were sent to the slaughter houses in Chicago and the cotton and sugar from Mexico, Brazil and Cuba were sent to textile mills and sugar factories all over the US. Each country had a comparative advantage over the other. This changed when the US was industrialized at a faster rate than the Latin American countries. The comparative model soon paved the way to the center periphery model where these countries were exploited by the US. Although the Latin American countries were European colonies, the US had more influence over them after their independence. Although the US followed the policy of isolationism during WWI, it was a different scenario when it came to the Latin American countries. This is evident with the Monroe Doctrine that came to effect in 1823. According to this doctrine any attempt to colonize the Latin American countries by European powers would be seen as an act of aggression by the US and that such an act would invite a confrontation with the US. This act ensured that European mercantilism would not be imposed or have importance in their former Latin American colonies as these countries now were economically and politically useful to the United States. A modified act in 1904 during the Venezuelan crises ensured that the US now had the right to also militarily intervene in the Latin American affairs. It could now interfere in the national affairs of a Latin American country and play the role of an international policeman. The Big Brother policy before the Monroe doctrine also ensured that the Latin American countries supported the US and not their former colonial masters and that these countries would open up their markets to the US.
The early twentieth century also saw what was called as the banana wars. These wars were basically US military interventions in the Caribbean, Central American and some South American countries to preserve the interests of the United Fruit Company. There were military interventions and also governmental changes as mandated by the US in these countries so the company could have a problem free run in these countries. The banana wars more or less ensured that these countries were under complete US control and their products sent only to the US. These years also saw the Panama Canal crisis. Although Panama was part of Colombia, US made a pact with the rebels from Panama that it would support them in their freedom struggle if they gave the US access to the canal after independence. Panama won independence and the US won access to the canal. This was important to the US economically and politically as goods could be transferred quickly and military ships could also travel quickly in case of a war. The relations between the US and the Latin American countries were disproportional. The US managed to play a role in the politics of almost all the countries in the region, installing puppet regimes that favored them and their interests. Although the US did not have colonies in the region, the situation was more or less similar with the US exercising tremendous power over the political and economic situation in these countries.

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"US-Latin America Relations-1800 To 1930s Essays Examples," Free Essay Examples -, 16-Nov-2020. [Online]. Available: [Accessed: 22-Jul-2024].
US-Latin America Relations-1800 To 1930s Essays Examples. Free Essay Examples - Published Nov 16, 2020. Accessed July 22, 2024.

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