To what extent did late-19th and early-20th century US policy in Latin America represent a tendency toward globalization?

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"Globalization" is a term with a specific meaning, referring to late twentieth-century developments. But certainly American policy toward its Latin American neighbors reflected a commitment to expand its involvement in the affairs of other nations. During the period in question, the United States promoted investment in nations throughout Central and South America and the Caribbean. Therefore, the nation sought to promote political stability, especially against leftist and nationalist-oriented regimes that would threaten these investments.

The United States Marines in particular were dispatched to nations around the region many times, to locations ranging from the Dominican Republic to Venezuela. The goal of these interventions was to shore up governments seen as friendly to American business interests and to avert European involvement in the region. President Theodore Roosevelt called this approach "big stick" diplomacy, his successor William Howard Taft styled it "dollar" diplomacy, while Woodrow Wilson chose to stress American support for democracy in these countries. In each case, the result was the same. Later, President Franklin Roosevelt would emphasize that the United States sought to be a "Good Neighbor," and promised to limit American intervention in the affairs of Latin American countries.

Whether the US policy toward Latin American countries amounted to a global outlook is debatable. Even American isolationists generally accepted the premise of the Monroe Doctrine (and the so-called Roosevelt Corollary): Latin America represented an American sphere of influence, one off-limits to European nations. One could support active intervention in Latin American affairs without accepting American involvement elsewhere.

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To what extent did US policy in Latin America around the turn of the twentieth century represent the tendency toward globalization? What kind of globalization did it represent in particular?

The US's foreign policy toward Latin American shifted considerably during the nineteenth century. It initially focused on limiting the military and economic influence of traditional European powers. These objectives were clearly expressed in documents like the No Transfer Principle of 1811 and eventually the Monroe Doctrine of 1823. The US approach during this time was akin to their attempts to contain the spread of communism in the Cold War.

As the nineteenth century moved towards the twentieth, US foreign policy in Latin America became more aggressive. The US was more inclined to exercise its power and intervene in conflicts across the continents. The US based these interventions on the idea of Manifest Destiny—the belief that US expansion throughout the American continents was not only justified but also inevitable. This was a time of naval interventions in multiple Caribbean and Central American countries. The US even extended its reach all the way to Brazil in the 1890s.

This expansion is a type of globalization. More specifically, it is a prime example of both political and economic globalization. The US believed it had the right to push out hostile regimes in Central and South American nations and replace them with government more friendly to US interests. This was done for both political and economic reasons. Friendly government abroad were more likely to trade with the US and to give the US more favorable deals.

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