Roosevelts Big Stick Policy
- Pages: 7
- Word count: 1566
- Category: Foreign Policy
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Roosevelt wanted to use the military as a threat instead of military force to achieve his foreign policy, and this is what the Big Stick foreign policy was about. Roosevelt’s first challenge was the Western Hemisphere, He believed that the interests of the Western Hemisphere should be with the U.S. and that the challenges overseas could refill the men with the strength that they needed at that time. Roosevelt then wanted to complete the Panama Cannel. Roosevelt wanted the Panama Cannel complete for military advantage and for trade reasons as well, and later Roosevelt then faced his first challenge. The fifty-mile Isthmus of Panama belonged to Colombia at that time, and this is where Roosevelt put his Big Stick policy into play. He threatened the Colombian government that he would remove the project and build through Nicaragua until they agreed on a treaty for the U.S. to lease the land in payment to their country. The Colombian Senate rejected this treaty which halted the building process of the Cannel. Instead of fighting against Colombia, Roosevelt suggested that the U.S. would support the Panamanian people if they revolted and created their own nation. Roosevelt used the threat of the military with battle ships that blocked Colombian forces that wanted to fight against the revolt. With the help of Roosevelts Big Stick policy, the Panamanian people had won and Roosevelt offered the same treaty to the people as he did to Colombia but this time they accepted payments and the people were now under the protection of the U.S. and the Panama Cannel could continue. Roosevelt added additions with the construction of the Panama Cannel, like adequate housing, cafeterias, warehouses, machine shops, and the new addition of fumigation systems and with mosquito nets to help protect against the diseases carried by mosquitos. The decision to create a lock-system canal still meant that the clearing of 170 million cubic yards of land had to be done with steam shovels, with Roosevelt pitching in to help the effort.
Next, was the Roosevelt Corollary. Roosevelt sent a clear message to the world that the colonization of the Western Hemisphere was over and that interference would not be tolerated. Roosevelt also sent a message to the people of Central and South American, that if there were problems, the U.S. would get involved to maintain their nation. Roosevelts Corollary was similar to the Monroe Doctrine which states that European nations that would interfere with the Caribbean would see consequences, and Roosevelt added that he would use military force to correct wrongdoings by Latin American that could threaten the stability of the region. By doing this, Roosevelt threated the nation’s neighbors that military force and the involvement of the U.S. will be used, upholding the Big Stick policy and proving that Roosevelts Corollary was the opposite of the Monroe Doctrine. Roosevelt continued his corollary and established protectorates over some nations of the Western Hemisphere, mainly Cuba and Panama, also with management of the Dominican Republic’s custom service revenues. With the Western Hemisphere fearful of American reprisal, Roosevelt eventually softened with the creation of a new policy known as the “Good neighbor Policy,” which stated that there would be no U.S. intervention of nation’s affairs.
During the Russo-Japanese War, Roosevelt confessed the American military had no strong presence, therefor the Big Stick threat was no more and Roosevelt turned to policy’s to maintain the balance of power when conflicts arose. The Russo-Japanese War arose and they attacked Russian troops at Manchurian claiming a victory with Roosevelts support, but Japan continued to win many victories and Roosevelt became concerned about the quick growth of Japans fleet and the threat on the markets. Roosevelt arranged diplomats to secure peace and they achieved to secure peace, despite Japans control over other nations and their bases. Next, Japan would force American businesses out of Manchuria and Roosevelt had enough and later decided to revive his Big Stick policy and used the U.S. Great White Fleet to perform maneuvers to show the American force. The message was clear and later negotiations backed the Open Door policy throughout China and Asia and Roosevelt successfully used the Big Stick policy to maintain power and protection of nations.
Taft’s Dollar Diplomacy
Taft adapted Roosevelt’s policy to mold it to the economic power of the time. Taft wanted to secure markets and opportunities for the American businessmen by using threats of American economic clout to create agreements where countries would benefit the U.S. At that time, Central American countries still owed debt to other countries in Europe. Taft payed off the depts. in fear of those nations invading the Western Hemisphere. Not all nations wanted this solution with Taft and they resisted, but Taft fought back with military force. Next, when Nicaragua didn’t accept the American loan to pay off Great Britain, Taft sent warships with Marians to pressure their government to accept. Taft also created an addition of Roosevelts Corollary, which said no foreign corporation could obtain lands in the Western Hemisphere. Next, Taft also helped China to withstand the Japanese and create a balance of power. Taft also wanted to expand the Open Door policy deeper, but met resistance with Russia and Japan, which met the limits of the U.S. government. Taft later created geographical divisions to allow greater foreign policy, which Taft did not back his policies with military aggression which created difficulties. With Taft not backing his policy’s, in Asia it only created more tension between Japan and the U.S. only allowing Japan to future its power in the region. Later, when Taft’s presidency was near an end, the U.S. was at the height of its power over the Western Hemisphere and marked its interest in Asia with still no approach to protect them. In the end, between Taft and Roosevelt there were two major ways to inforce foreign policy with the threat of the military and the use of economic coercion as a threat. Both succeeded in different ways.
I think that Roosevelts Big Stick foreign policy was more successful, because he used more of military threats to get what he wanted done without major conflict. Roosevelt finished the Panama Cannel, Established the U.S. as the major power over all nations, he maintained peace and protection throughout the nations and all this despite knowing that the U.S. had no strong military force. Taft wanted to secure markets and opportunities for the U.S. by using economic clout as a major threat. Taft seemed to take revisions of Roosevelt policy’s Corollary’s and also add to them to establish U.S. power. Taft paid off loans for nations with using military force and wanted to expand the Open Door policy, but did not use as much as Roosevelt and this created problems. This is why I think that Roosevelt’s policy was more successful.
The Great War
Before the WW1 began, Americans had mixed feelings on the war and some even didn’t believe that there should be any American intervention in the war despite the circumstances. The Americans and President Wilson stayed out of the war for a long time, sending no American troops or aid in that time. Later, conflict had arose between nations in Europe and Germany and the threating of the U.S. caused the U.S. to be involved. After the war had ended, life was hard and the rapid return of U.S. troops was too much and caused a new strain of influenza. After two months, a large number of Americans were diagnosed and as many as 675,000 died do to this strain of flu until the flu ran its course until spring of 1919. Americans took every precaution to avoid the flu by avoiding public gatherings, wearing surgical masks, and instead of welcoming the troops they tried to avoid them. Next, during the war the production of products caused steady inflation and rose the cost of living with many Americans unable to live off their wages. People were wanting goods, but the businesses were unable to readjust quickly to make these goods after the war so the people were short of goods. Inflation increased dramatically, living costs had doubled, and with low wages the people went on strike.
Later, race riots had begun with blacks fighting for their working rights and neighborhoods as the white Americans came home. White mobs arose mistreating African Americans by burning them at the stake. The race riots continued with people both blacks and whites killed. Another hardship the Americans faced was the Red Scare, people had fear of Communist infiltration with letters containing bombs were sent by the Communists to officials to kill them. Eight letter bombs exploded killing different officials and this threat needed to be stopped. Later, private citizens that were upstanding and loyal Americans with the help of soldiers and sailors raided radical meeting houses and nationwide raids where there were headquarters. The radicals were arrested and 250 were deported. The Red scare lasted for a short time and seemed to be taken care of with the radicals arrested and some deported ending the threat on Americans and officials. In the end, Republicans wanted to return and the people were tired of the interference of their lives and wanted something different, President Harding won the election giving the people what they wanted by having a real president and leaving them alone.