In 1904, the Dominican Republic went bankrupt, destroying the Latin American economy. This was a disaster not only for the countries that it directly effected, but for major european powers including Britain and Germany. These countries had loaned Latin America large sums of money in an effort to gain economic control of nations with unstable economies. These investments were made with the full knowledge of the economic troubles that the countries were facing. When the economy plummeted, Britain and Germany immediately demanded their investment back, and the Latin American countries were unable to pay them. Europe became increasingly aggressive, and finally the U.S. stepped in by passing the Roosevelt Corollary to the Monroe Doctrine. The Monroe Doctrine had been originally intended as a method of keeping Europe out of Latin America. The Corollary stated that the US would act as an ‘International Police Force’ to monitor the countries of Latin America. In this way, the Monroe Doctrine together with the Roosevelt Corollary contained a great irony: The former tried to prevent European Intervention in the Western Hemisphere, while the later allowed American Intervention in the Western Hemisphere. The US should not have approved the Roosevelt Corollary because it caused unnecessary ill will between the United States ad the Nations of Latin America.

      The Roosevelt Corollary inserted the US into the affairs of Latin America and Europe, creating a attitude of distrust and hatred towards the US in the Latin American Countries. This relationship served as the catalyst for many conflicts and ‘armed interventions’. (Jefferies)

     Even Roosevelt’s successors enforced the corollary on more occasions than Roosevelt himself did. President Wilson invaded Haiti and the Dominican Republic on more than one occasion, as well as intervening in Cuba, Mexico, and Nicaragua. (Jefferies). These interventions did not help relations between the US and Latin America improve, but made them more conflicted.

      The Roosevelt Corollary to the Monroe Doctrine not only created a strained and conflict ridden relationship between the US and Latin America, but it absolutely humiliated the countries in Latin America by exercising a national police force over them. Even though the US had little to do with the situation between Europe and Latin America before the Corollary was created, they were still the enforcers of the corollary. When the Venezuelan government defaulted on its debts to european bondholders, British, German, and Italian gunboats blockaded their ports and demanded the money. (Smith) Incidents like this caused the creation of the Corollary, humiliating the people of Latin America and destroying any hope for positive foreign relations.

      By creating the Corollary, the US was attempting to protect their interests in Latin America, and prevent European intervention. Roosevelt was supposedly trying to help the governments in Latin America by keeping the Europeans out. However, by invading so many times the US contradicted the Corollary and damaged foreign relations.

     The US should not have approved the Roosevelt Corollary. It caused unnecessary hate between the United States ad the Nations of Latin America, as well as unnecessary conflict. By keeping to ourselves, and not getting into their affairs, we would have helped Latin America more than by ‘policing them’.


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