APUSH essay foreign policy Theodore Roosevelt Woodrow Wilson

Topics: United States, Theodore Roosevelt, Americas Pages: 2 (569 words) Published: February 22, 2014
The presidencies of both Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson featured significant foreign policies. Roosevelt favored imperialism and increasing American influence and prestige, willing to use force when other means failed; many of his projects, such as the Panama Canal, succeeded. Wilson was an idealist, eager to promote democracy and world peace, and unwilling to use force; many of his attempts to encourage democracy and peace, such as the League of Nations, backfired. While the primary aim of both was to increase American influence as a world power, Roosevelt’s foreign policy initiatives succeeded more than did Wilson’s. Roosevelt’s imperialist tendencies manifested themselves most strongly when he attempted to gain the right to build a canal in Central America which would help to connect sea routes between the East and West coasts. When the Colombian government balked at granting permission for the United States to build a canal, Roosevelt used money and a naval blockade to support a revolution in Panama, which would later be the site of the canal; the new country of Panama readily allowed the construction of the canal, also giving the United States perpetual control over the canal for $10 million and relatively small annual payments in the Hay-Bunau-Varilla Treaty of 1903. Another example of Roosevelt’s imperialism was the Roosevelt Corollary to the Monroe Doctrine, which stated that the United States was allowed to intervene in any Latin American country which had serious economic issues to “preserve their stability.” With the Platt Amendment, Roosevelt also limited the newly independent Cuba’s autonomy and self-government. These policies were designed to increase America’s direct influence in Latin America. Wilson’s idealism led to his direct interference in revolutions in Latin American countries, including Nicaragua and Haiti. Although he was eager to encourage democracy and self-determination, he ended up occupying several countries by force in order...
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