US Foreign Policy During the 20th Century

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Over the course of the history of the United States, specific foreign policies have affected the methods in which the U.S. involves itself around the globe. Specifically, certain policies have affected U.S. involvement in Latin America. It is the intention of this essay to explain the United States foreign policy behind specific doctrines. In order to realize current objectives, this paper will proceed as follows: Part 1 will define the Monroe Doctrine, Sections 2, 3, 4, and 5 will concurrently explicate the Roosevelt Corollary, Good Neighbor Policy, and the Nixon Doctrine, discuss how each policy resulted in U.S. involvement in Latin American countries, describe how it was justified by the U.S. government, respectively, and finally, will bring this paper to a summation and conclusion. Primarily, the United States foreign policy behind the Monroe Doctrine was introduced by President James Monroe in the midst of many Latin American countries gaining their independence from Spain. The doctrine stated that attempts by European countries to colonize or interfere with states in the Western Hemisphere would be viewed as acts of aggression and U.S. intervention would be necessary. The Monroe Doctrine set the precedent for various foreign policies that would result in U.S. involvement in Latin America. Moreover, the Roosevelt Corollary was passed by President Theodore Roosevelt and affirmed that the United States has the right to intervene in Latin America in order to alleviate the economies of Latin American countries that were unable to pay their international debts. The Roosevelt Corollary resulted in U.S. involvement in various countries throughout Latin America, explicitly the Dominican Republic, Cuba, and Nicaragua. In the Do... ... middle of paper ... ...icies from past Presidents. Furthermore, it was strongly detrimental to Latin America, for the reason that it eliminated the possibility of increasing Latin American exports to the United States, thereby destroying the hopes of Latin American countries focused upon President Nixon’s policy of “trade rather than aid.” During this time, the government justified itself by proclaiming that the United States needed to focus on avoiding involvement and learning from the mistakes made in Vietnam. All in all, over the course of the presidencies of Monroe, Roosevelt, FDR, and Nixon, the U.S. intervened in Latin America numerous times. Now, was it the right thing to do? At those specific points in time, the government thought so. Various arguments can be forged over the suitability of the actions of the U.S. during these times; however that is a discussion for another time.

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