The Diplomacy of the Dollar

The Diplomacy of the Dollar

The Diplomacy of the Dollar

The Diplomacy of the Dollar

Excerpt

During the decade of the twenties, the dollar figured large in our relations with other nations. We acted as banker to the whole needy world. Private capital provided the funds. But the American Government concerned itself with the lending operations. In this essay (originally written as a series of lectures) I have tried to tell how it did, why, and to what effect.

The main words in the title I have chosen, "The Diplomacy of the Dollar," have been, I know, long coupled in the term "dollar diplomacy." So linked, they were used to denote a diplomacy unduly influenced by particular private interests -- and given to aid them with too much zeal and favor. Our diplomacy in Central and South America during the years, 1908-12, was warped in this way; and it was then that the name came into vogue. Ever since it has been a term of odium.

But the association between the American dollar and American diplomacy is now of another nature. It is time, therefore, to dissolve the old verbal liaison in favor of a new one -- "the diplomacy of the dollar." I offer the name as meaning the way in which we use our power to make gifts or loans to serve our ends in our dealings with other peoples. May the ways be so just and peace-bringing that the name gains in honor fast.

For the assignment assumed the time was short. I sought to convey, interpret, and reflect upon the whole of a large experience -- rather than give an exhaustive account of . . .

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