Under the Monroe Doctrine of 1823 the United States had policed the hemisphere, in theory to preserve the independence of its nations from European covetousness, in reality to protect America??s own interests.
This often involved military intervention, especially in Central America and the Caribbean. The Monroe Doctrine was based on the reasoning that the Caribbean was America??s ?®inland sea?? and part of the economic structure. In Cuba, which America had liberated Spain, the US right of intervention was actually written into the Cuban constitution, through the so-called ?®Platt Amendment??. The reason behind the American imperial upsurge is mainly an economic issue: coincided with recovery from the Civil War, the U.S. started to expand in late 19th century. However, the American expansion into Latin America can also be attributed to nationalistic causes that go beyond the economic spectrum. Thus, U.
S. expansion into Latin America was a result of U.S. economic expansion and rising nationalism.
American policy toward Latin America has changed over time to accommodate burgeoning American economic activities in the region.(1) During the early years of the nineteenth century, U.S. commerce with its southern neighbors demanded little more than policing the Caribbean for marauding pirates. As the United States grew into a commercial, industrial, and, eventually, financial power, its foreign policy broadened in scope.(2) The hunt for new markets brought it into competition with European nations, especially Great Britain.
As a result, it became one of the major aims of American policy to check the further penetration of European commerce and capital into Latin America. By the turn of the century, Latin America had become not only a substantial market for American products but an important source of raw materials and a major area for capital investment as well. Having recently built a powerful navy, the United Sta..