The United States in Latin America: A Historical Dictionary

The United States in Latin America: A Historical Dictionary

The United States in Latin America: A Historical Dictionary

The United States in Latin America: A Historical Dictionary

Synopsis

Covering the period from the 17th century to the present, this historical dictionary provides information on the people, organizations, institutions, and events associated with the United States' presence in Latin America. Entries on people include those who visited and lived in Latin America; entries on organizations include business firms, missions, colleges, and military bases. A chronology, an appendix listing of chiefs of United States diplomatic missions, listings of subjects by occupation, a bibliographical essay, and a full subject index complete the work.

Excerpt

Contacts between the British colonies of North America and the Latin American colonies of the several European powers were established in the eighteenth century mainly through trade with Latin American ports carried out by American merchants, in spite of various regulations barring such activities. Trade increased greatly after the establishment of the United States, which soon began sending consuls to these ports to aid and protect U.S. traders, ships, and sailors. When the Latin American colonies began their struggle for independence from Spain, the United States looked favorably on the establishment of independent nations in Latin America, and Americans joined the struggle and fought in the revolutionary armies. Between 1822 and 1825, the United States recognized the independence of Colombia; United Provinces of La Plata; Mexico; Chile; Brazil; the Central American Federation; and Peru. The Monroe Doctrine of 1823 was a significant milestone in U.S. relations with Latin America which stated that the United States would oppose any attempts by European powers to help Spain regain its lost colonies and restore colonial rule in Latin America. U.S. expansionist policies and its attempts to establish economic and military hegemony in the Caribbean led to several conflicts with Latin American countries, particularly the War with Mexico in 1846-1848, to various filibustering expeditions to Cuba and Central America, and to unsuccessful attempts to annex Cuba and the Dominican Republic. The 1850s also began a long period of U.S. involvement in exploring and developing land and water routes across the isthmuses of Central America. The period began in 1846, when the United States secured from New Granada the right to transit across the Isthmus of Panama, followed by the building of the Panama Railroad, and culminated in the construction of the Panama Canal, which was completed in 1914.

During the period following the Civil War, U.S. entrepreneurs began to function in Latin America and to invest in various enterprises. They built railroads and developed silver and copper mines, utilities, and sugar and banana plantations, initially in Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean (particularly in Cuba), and later in other parts of Latin America. They worked to secure markets . . .

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