Roosevelt was an interventionist who used the military to demonstrate American might abroad. He sent the Great White Fleet around the world to signify that the American Navy was a powerful force and to intimidate Japan in case that nation had any designs on the United States's Pacific holdings. Roosevelt...
Roosevelt was an interventionist who used the military to demonstrate American might abroad. He sent the Great White Fleet around the world to signify that the American Navy was a powerful force and to intimidate Japan in case that nation had any designs on the United States's Pacific holdings. Roosevelt sent troops into Central America and the Caribbean, as did Taft and Wilson, in order to ensure that the governments there were pro-American. One of the strongest interventions of the Roosevelt era was his intervention in Panama during its war for independence from Colombia. Roosevelt stationed a warship off the coast of Panama as a deterrent to Colombian forces. After Panama gained its independence, Roosevelt authorized the digging of the Panama Canal and negotiated a treaty that stated the United States had a right to the Canal Zone.
Taft was known for using business interests and bank loans to assert American independence in Central America and the Caribbean. One of Taft's key interventions was to unite bankers to lend aid in the form of loans and grants to banks in Honduras.
Out of the three presidents, Wilson is best known for his foreign policy. Wilson intervened during Mexico's revolutions during his term, even sending in a column of troops under the leadership of Jack Pershing to track down the bandit leader Pancho Villa. Wilson was president when World War I began and was criticized for not joining the war on the side of the Entente by former President Roosevelt. Wilson's response to the sinking of the Lusitania at the cost of 128 American lives was to write an angrily worded letter to the German consul, who quickly convinced the Kaiser to back off submarine warfare. Wilson's solution to bringing the Central Powers and Entente to the negotiating table in early 1917 was to attempt to cut off loans to the belligerents, a move that caused an economic panic in France and Britain. It was only the resumption of unrestricted submarine warfare, combined with the Zimmerman note, that pushed Wilson in favor of going to war as an associated power with the Allies. Wilson issued his Fourteen Points, a road-map to a postwar peace, in early 1919. Wilson wanted to create a League of Nations; while this did come to pass, it was ultimately powerless, as the Republican-led Congress disliked Wilson personally and his desire to make the United States an internationalist power with responsibilities to the world. The League would fail, but it would set the precedent for creating the United Nations in 1945.