The Historical Developments and International Security Within Latin-America

Topics: Americas, United States, Latin America Pages: 8 (2176 words) Published: June 3, 2013
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Introduction to National Security

“The historical developments and international security within Latin-america”

Term PaPER
MH 411

Table of Contents



3Latin America and the U.S. (Ahead of the 20th Century)2

4Latin America and the U.S. (During the 20th Century)3

5Latin America and the U.S. (In the 21st Century)5



Appendix A: NotesA


This document shall focus on the historical and current developments as it relates to the international security of Latin America.

There is an incredible amount of history between the United States (U.S.) and Latin America. Nowhere were U.S. interests more sizeable and interventions more frequent than in Latin America. This was especially true in and around the Caribbean Sea, where the U.S. had several reasons for its interests and interventions.

U.S. relationship with Latin America has been a roller coaster since the Civil War. Many issues that are currently affecting Latin America today are closely related, in one way or another, to our National Security and Foreign Policies of the past and present.


The United States is closely allied with Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) through shared values, culture, trade and proximity. Each economic downturn experienced by our neighbors, each setback to peace and democracy, each disaster or epidemic can have an immediate impact on the region’s stability and can also affect the U.S.

[i]The bases of U.S.—Latin America relations are changing rapidly. The U.S. dominance of the western hemisphere was a fallacy. Since the early nineteenth century, the primary interest of the U.S. in Latin America has been to have peaceful southern partner.

The lack of military threat in and from Latin America has allowed the deployment of U.S. power in other regions of the world. This was a key concept to the U.S. during the Cold War period.

Latin America and the U.S. (Ahead of the 20th Century)

[ii]Spanish and Portuguese colonists settling in Central and South America during the 16th century are soon followed by the French, Dutch and English staking a claim to North America. A clear pattern becomes established. The two Atlantic seaboard countries of southern Europe concentrate on the southern part, while their three European neighbors to the north struggle between themselves to dominate North America. The story of the continent becomes divided into two distinct parts - Latin America and North America

Territorial expansion was a main activity of post–Civil War U.S. foreign policy. The U.S. acquired Alaska and Midway Island in 1867 and part of Samoa in 1875. It tried but failed to acquire the Danish West Indies and the Dominican Republic in the late 1860s. U.S. interest in building a canal across Central America also grew. The U.S. often used gunboat diplomacy and military interventions to defend its interests and to project power into Latin America.

[iii]Between 1895 and 1890, the United States initiated a confrontation with Great Britain over Venezuela, defeated Spain in a conflict over Cuba and acquired an overseas empire.

[iv]Between the end of the Spanish-American War and the dawn of the Great Depression, the United States sent troops to Latin American countries thirty-two times. It used the Roosevelt Corollary and the Monroe Doctrine to justify intervention.

William Howard Taft followed Roosevelt into the White House. Taft also employed Roosevelt's corollary in Nicaragua and other Latin American countries to protect American investments.

[v]In 1895, after 15 years of exile in the U.S., Cuban nationalist Jose Marti led a force of revolutionaries back into the island...
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