Week Nine

I believe that this weeks readings was easy to make a connection to, as even more so we can see the American Empire has been spread globally. I remember when I first heard about the extreme American intervention in Latin American affairs and being absolutely shocked. How were they allowed to do that and how did the C.I.A get involved? Table 6.1 gives us the number of U.S. military interventions in Latin America between the dates of 1898 to 1959, it is hard to imagine the costs and time put in by the Americans to intervene in almost every Latin American country. To add to this there was 2 world wars that the Americans were both involved in.

“The U.S. government also hoped with the aid would thwart American enemies in Latin America by revealing the ways that capitalism could alleviate hunger and end poverty” (Dawson, 197). This quote summarizes the American notion towards intervention quite well, with the priority being the resources in Latin America.  America refused to be called an empire but I believe it has been a large power and quite honestly an empire since WWII. Through ideological domination (capitalism and democracy), physical domination and economic control over various territories. The results of the American imperialism in Latin America had very similar as the European colonists.

The intervention created political figures who were backed by the Americans to rule their nation and was ultimately very corrupt. After military and political puppets there is the agricultural market in Latin America. The banana creating the craze to sugar, coffee and potential for the canal. Looking to control this, the UFCO was created in 1899. This North American company gained somewhat of market control, with a result of eliminating smaller local producers.

The working conditions created a “banana zone” (Dawson, 188) where alcohol abuse, prostitution and violence were common. All results of low or no wages, living in company housing and moving around in the Caribbean in labor circuits.

The Americanization well known for its consumption hit Latin America just as much as it did the rest of the world. The appeal to American products grew larger and it changed local products. This is where we see the negative impacts of globalization, the American culture began to intertwine itself into Latin America and I feel that that is very scary. That makes me concerned about our future.

Latin America has obviously gained back control of its politics, social and economics but what is missing because of the intervention? If the intervention didn’t control as much as it did how different would Latin America be now?

Looking forward to hearing your thoughts.


3 thoughts on “Week Nine

  1. Diane

    I think you chose the best examples from this weeks chapter to illustrate all the ways the USA was intervening in Latin America!
    What I found particularly concerning was the way the USA publicly proclaimed that capitalism was a way to eliminate poverty when, in reality, it was the capitalism in the United States that created the UFCO which CAUSED more poverty in the Latin American countries!

  2. jack willis

    Great posting. I enjoy the way you tie the early attempts of US action in the region and how later on you mention the Americanization and how it has effected Latin America as a whole. I wish you could of gotten a little more detail on Cultural Imperialism and relate to what you were talking about with the Americanization of the region, but you did bring up and got into detail about the power of American businesses within Latin America with your mentioning of UFCO and I would argue UFCO caused more poverty because it created a political climate that would later blow up during the 80’s. Overall, awesome post and keep it up.

  3. CennediMills

    I like the last question you raised about how Latin America would be now if there was not so much intervention from outside forces. I feel there really is no way to know at this point because it would be difficult to determine what direction Latin America would have gone in if it had more control.


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