The period after the Spanish-American War marked a time when United States continued to seek growth on the world stage. New global markets for U.S. products began to appear and international commerce and trade continued to expand. European countries even felt threatened by U.S. technology and its mass production capabilities. President Woodrow Wilson held the belief that economics and politics were directly related and promoted this as foreign policy.
The United States began using military power to make interventions in other countries to enact its policies. The first areas targeted were in Latin America using the Monroe Doctrine as a basis of their actions. From 1901 – 1920, U.S. Marines landed in Caribbean countries more than twenty times. The main reason for these interventions was economics, with the U.S. feeling that military force was necessary to create safe and stable environments for U.S. businesses to operate. Theodore Roosevelt views had played a large part in these interventions. His world-view divided countries into “civilized” and “uncivilized” nations. He believed the civilized nations had an obligation to establish order in these other countries and he pursued that in Central America. He stated that he did not have a desire to expand U.S. territory by these actions. However, as a result of his first action in Panama, the United States did gain territory, a fifty-one mile long and ten mile wide strip of land know as the Canal Zone. This property would be used for the greatest engineering marvel up to that time – the building of the Panama Canal. Roosevelt’s actions reflected the Roosevelt Corollary to the Monroe Doctrine, the idea that the U.S. had the right to exercise “an international police power” in the Western Hemisphere.
The United States was not eager to become involved in the World War for a variety of reasons. Not the least of these was the division in sentiments in the country due to the feelings and...
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