Chapter 18 Review Joe Puccio
People To Identify
Minor Cooper Keith
Places To Locate
Reviewing the Facts
Latin American countries faced many problems after they became independent. Honduras went through twenty presidents between 1862 and 1872. In the countries, almost all the usable farmland was owned by a few wealthy families and the produce of the land was taxed, not the land itself.
Latin America’s main exports to the United States consisted of bananas and other fruits.
There was interest in building a canal across Central America for a few reasons. One point that was argued was that it would boost the nation’s economy by bringing the resources of the West to the industrial centers of the East. The canal would also shorten the journey from eastern factories to Asian markets by thousands of miles.
Secretary of State Hay and the British ambassador, Sir Julian Pauncefote, reached an agreement in 1909, creating the Hay-Pauncefote Treaty. The treaty granted the United States sole right to construct, control, and defend a Central American canal.
The main reason the building of the Panama Canal was such a difficult project was mainly because of the environment. The swamps were filled with disease-carrying mosquitoes, humidity filled the air making even light work difficult, and at night, the chorus of frogs made more noise than one would hear from passing cars on a city street.
The Panama Canal affected the world in many ways. World trade was made more efficient by using the Panama Canal as a shortcut. It only took 12 hours to travel through the canal, while the journey around Cape Horn took two weeks. Navies could also use the canal to move their ships quickly between the Pacific and the Atlantic. However, the canal also had some bad effects. Some Latin American people thought that canal was proof that the United States felt free to meddle in their affairs. When the United States decided to build military bases in the Canal Zone, Latin Americans saw this as even more proof.
Roosevelt, Taft, and Wilson all agreed on two basic points when it came to Latin American policies. The first was that the United States had important interests in Latin America. The second was that the United States should intervene Latin America when it felt those interests were threatened.
Taft urged American banks and businesses to invest in Latin America through a policy called dollar diplomacy. The investments would both help build the local economics and bring in a hefty profit for the American investors.
The Mexican Revolution began when revolutionaries led by Fransisco Madero overthrew Mexico’s dictator, Porfirio Díaz. Other rebel leaders then challenged and arrested Madero, followed by executing him. Victoriano Huerta then became the self-proclaimed ruler of Mexico. President Wilson was having trouble deciding what to do about the dilemma. He finally decided that he wouldn’t recognize an undemocratic government and wanted to take down Huerta. However, Venustiano Carranza condemned American action. Huerta was overthrown and fled to Spain, allowing Carranza to take over the government. Pancho Villa then became his new opponent. Villa’s troops killed over a dozen Americans by taking them off a train in northern Mexico and executing them. After some more killings, Congress wanted an invasion of Mexico, but the Mexicans all sided with Villa.
The United States and Mexico both decided to back off. After not being able to find Villa, Pershing withdrew his troops. The two countries decided to work out their differences peacefully.
An orderly democratic government does not just drop out of the sky. As with any form of government, if it is to be effective it must be developed over time, not all at once.
I don’t believe that using the word policeman was misleading at all. America’s intent was to keep the peace, just like that of any policeman (at least that’s how it should be).
An advantage of Wilson’s policy toward undemocratic policies is that it incentivizes democratic government. A disadvantage of it is that if a country is under the rule of a dictator there is not much that the people can do to help themselves, and if they are not being recognized by foreign countries what are they to do?