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Examples Of Dollar Diplomacy

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From 1909 to 1913, President William Howard Taft, the successor of the renowned Progressive President Theodore Roosevelt, adopted dollar diplomacy as the nation's foreign policy toward Latin America and East Asia. Having helped Roosevelt with diplomatic issues and foreign policies from 1900 to 1907, Taft aimed to correct his predecessor's policies that relied too heavily on the military force and the political balance of power. With his secretary of state Philander Knox, Taft derived dollar diplomacy, emphasizing the intrinsic correlation between diplomacy and the economy. In his final State of the Union Address in 1912, Taft described dollar diplomacy as "substituting dollars for bullets." Although the diplomacy's focus on money resembles…show more content…
Progressives believed that educated professionals should be in charge of making the decisions as the representatives of the public interest. As a historian Warren Susman described this Progressive method in his book Culture as History, the Progressive movement believed that professionals "could give the people not what they believed they wanted but what they knew, through their training, they really wanted." The diplomacy demonstrated this method through the US government's enforcement onto the Central and South American nations. As the US was the global leader in socio-economic status, Knox considered the nation an expert in that field. The nation would be more capable of deciding what was best for the other underdeveloped countries in the surrounding region. The diplomacy was based upon the American belief that American ideals were the way of the future for the world; what was good for the US must as well be good for the countries of Latin America. The Hispanic newspaper Regeneración of April 13, 1912, quoted Robert M. La Follette's criticism of the diplomacy. He regarded the diplomacy as an outpost, intervening the nations in Central and South America by imposing the US's method and supervision. The diplomacy often resorted to military power as a solution to the internal conflicts within the region. For example, in the revolution of 1912 in Dominican…show more content…
By the start of the twentieth century, most countries in Latin America were still under the rule of dictators. The Taft administration, therefore, attempted to negotiate with the rulers. However, as some countries would not settle a treaty with the US, Taft decided to use the US military force to destroy dictatorship and establish democracy. For instance, in 1909, Taft sent a troop to stir up a revolution against the ruling dictator José Santos Zelaya of Nicaragua, before using the military to go after the fleeing dictator and breaking off relation with the country. This example demonstrated that the diplomacy was not merely concerned about the economy, but also made an effort to establish what the Taft administration deemed as a better form of government than
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