Imperialism in Latin America
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Imperialism in Latin America

Imperialism in Latin America

Background :• Latin America = area rich in resources• Latin America = countries with newlygained independence• Latin America = area that needs money tomodernize and industrialize

What happens when a countryneeds money?• Borrows from other countries• Becomes “enslaved” by debt tothese countries

Railroads and the Imperialism of FreeTrade• The natural resources of the LatinAmerican republics made them targets fora form of economic dependence calledfree-trade imperialism.• British and the United States’entrepreneurs financed and constructedrailroads in order to exploit theagricultural and mineral wealth of LatinAmerica.

• Latin American elites encouraged foreigncompanies with generous concessionsbecause this appeared to be the fastestway both to modernize their countries andto enrich the Latin American propertyowning class.

Europe, the U.S. and Latin America• European influence in Latin America was very differentthan in Africa and Asia.• Europe penetrated South America with investment andtrade and immigration.– Argentina, Brazil, Chile, and other countries took inthe Irish, Germans, Italians, eastern Europeans, andSpaniards.• Direct imperialism would only come from the UnitedStates.– U.S. declared war on Spain in 1898 and captured thePhilippines, Puerto Rico, and Cuba.

US Foreign Policy• Monroe Doctrine (1823)—declared WesternHemisphere off limits to Europe• US (& Europe) had invested $$ in Latin Americanbusinesses• Spanish-American War 1898 kicked Spain outof Cuba, Philippines, Guam, and Puerto Rico• 1904—Europeans sent warships to Venezuelademanding repayment of debts RooseveltCorollary—US will intervene in financial disputesbetween Europe and countries in the Americas• Panama Canal—finished in 1914

American Expansionism and the Spanish-American War, 1898• After 1865 the European powers usedtheir financial power to penetrate LatinAmerica, but they avoided territorialconquest.• The Monroe Doctrine prohibited Europeanintervention in the Western Hemisphere,but this did not prevent the United Statesfrom intervening in the affairs of LatinAmerican nations.

• After defeating Spain in the Spanish-American War, the United States tookover Puerto Rico, while Cuba became anindependent republic subject to intenseinterference by the United States.How do you think this influenced the life ofthe Cubans, Puerto Ricans etc.?

American Intervention in the Caribbeanand Central America, 1901–1914• The United States often used militaryintervention to force the small nations ofCentral America and the Caribbean torepay loans owed to banks in Europe orthe United States.• The United States occupied Cuba, theDominican Republic, Nicaragua,Honduras, and Haiti on various occasionsduring the late nineteenth and earlytwentieth centuries.

• The United States was particularlyforceful in Panama, supporting thePanamanian rebellion against Colombia in1903 and then building and controlling thePanama Canal.

Effects of the Panama Canal:• U.S. gained control of importanteconomic holdings in Latin America• Latin Americans not totally independent• U.S. gained interests in other islands foreconomic goals (Hawaii, Philippines)

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