U.S. Marines are Sent to Nicaragua to Quell Unrest (Great Events from History II: Human Rights Series)
Article abstract: The presence of U.S. Marines in Nicaragua hindered national self-determination, sustained a government remote from the people, and reinforced conditions leading to social revolution.
Summary of Event
Nicaragua’s history in the nineteenth century was a violent struggle among many political actors, and human rights abuse was the norm. Although never systematically documented by scholars, election fraud, political corruption, intimidation, abuse of civilians, wanton destruction and confiscation of property, exile, execution, and murder were common.
This disorder and violation of human rights diminished toward the end of the century as power began to coalesce around the dictatorship of the liberal José Santos Zelaya. In spite of arbitrary rule, his government did expand education, augment state power, professionalize the armed forces, and stimulate trade and commerce. Disorder returned and human rights violations escalated after Zelaya resigned in 1909. His enemies had launched a revolution on Nicaragua’s Atlantic coast that succeeded because they had United States protection at a critical juncture. The United States had its own complaints against Zelaya. His stout defense of Nicaraguan...
(The entire section is 2424 words.)
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