Printer Friendly

The Roosevelt Corollary.

As Mark Gilderhus shows in an article in this issue, the nineteenth-century history of the Monroe Doctrine featured decades of dormancy broken by sporadic reassertions and elaborations of the policy crafted by John Quincy Adams and James Monroe in 1823. Only in the 1890s did U.S. officials adopt a consistently forceful line based on the principle of nonintervention by European powers in the affairs of the Western Hemisphere. Secretary of State Richard Olney's 1895 claim of U.S. supremacy in the Americas marked the new attitude most clearly; the Spanish-American War of 1898 indicated that the U.S. claim would be backed by arms.

The new U.S. approach received a fresh formulation early in the twentieth century with the proclamation of what historians would label the Roosevelt Corollary to the Monroe Doctrine. In his December 1904 annual message, Theodore Roosevelt professed to make the Caribbean into the United States' backyard:
 Chronic wrongdoing, or an impotence which results in a general
 loosening of the ties of civilized society, may in America, as
 elsewhere, ultimately require intervention by some civilized
 nation, and in the Western Hemisphere the adherence of the
 United States to the Monroe Doctrine may force the United
 States, however reluctantly, in flagrant cases of such
 wrongdoing or impotence, to the exercise of an international
 police power. (1)

With this statement, Roosevelt enunciated not merely a corollary to the Monroe Doctrine but an entirely new diplomatic tenet which epitomized his "big stick" approach to foreign policy. The United States was to act as policeman of the Western Hemisphere; it was to put to use the right of interference it continued to deny the European powers. Or as historian Thomas Bailey puts it, "The Monroe Doctrine, which was originally designed to prevent intervention by the European powers, would be used to justify intervention by the United States." (2) An initially defensive dictum had been turned into an aggressive policy. (3) Strictly speaking, it was a "perversion" of Monroe's original intent, though not exactly "a cover for imperial designs on Latin America." (4) H. W. Brands has captured its century-old flavor of modernity by linking it to George W. Bush's post-9/11 doctrine: "In his 1904 annual message to Congress, Theodore Roosevelt issued a statement claiming for the United States the right to act unilaterally and, if necessary, preemptively, to maintain order in the Western Hemisphere." (5)

Of course, U.S. interventionism had been at work in Latin America long before the 1904 pronouncement that was to legitimize it. (6) But the great North American republic for the first time, as the twenty-sixth president was well aware, was then strong enough to monopolize interference in the New World; not only did it evince industrial and agricultural might but it had acceded to world power status in 1898 at the close of a splendidly profitable little war. "We cannot avoid facing the fact that we occupy a new place among the peoples of the world, and have entered upon a new career," Roosevelt said. "We must dare to be great." (7) In an age of empires this new condition called for a new diplomacy, especially in that part of the globe where the United States was predestined by geography to play a leading role. Yet Monroe's "doctrine" showed a glaring inadequacy: nowhere was U.S. preeminence among the American republics clearly stated. An addendum was therefore needed to remedy that unfortunate omission and express unequivocally Washington's claim to hemispheric supremacy. As Roosevelt had pointed out eight years before he formulated his "corollary," did not Britain have her own Monroe Doctrine in South Africa? Why not forbid European encroachments on American soil, such as the British attempt to seize the mouth of the Orinoco? (8) Given its author's growing belief in the Great Powers' civilizing duty in the world at large within clearly defined zones of influence, the Roosevelt Corollary was in a sense the Americanized version of the "white man's burden" for the Western Hemisphere. (9) The world would soon become an increasingly powerful United States' rightful arena. Roosevelt's mediation of the Russo-Japanese War and Moroccan Crisis could be regarded as an early extension of the corollary to the Far East and North Africa, as "the exercise of an international police power" by the United States outside the Western Hemisphere.

The catalysts of this drastic mutation were Germany's aggressiveness in the Venezuela affair of 1902-03 (10) and the projected isthmian canal, which by 1904 was becoming a reality thanks to the controversial acquisition of the Canal Zone the year before. (11) Roosevelt would forever claim, not altogether unconvincingly, that given the Panamanians' unanimity in favor of the canal and the generosity of the American offer, the Colombian government, far from being despoiled, had only its mendacity, greed, and stupidity to blame for American intervention on behalf of Panama's independence from Colombia. The construction of the canal without Colombia's consent was in the interest of "civilized mankind," Roosevelt said. (12) The impatient and determined president had been served by the conjunction of three factors that rendered secession inevitable: an intense isthmian nationalism, a historic occasion, and governmental incompetence. Yet, little regard had been shown for Colombia's sovereignty and pride throughout the negotiations. (13)

From then on it was out of the question to tolerate more European interventions in the Caribbean. (14) The protection of the approaches of the future canal--the defense, in other words, of the Panamanian lifeline--demanded that the Caribbean be turned into an American lake. (15) The strategic concerns that had motivated the acquisition of the Canal Zone now called for its protection. Despite its toning down in 1923 and 1928 and notwithstanding its official repudiation at the 1933 and 1936 Pan-American Conferences, the Roosevelt Corollary to the Monroe Doctrine would remain in force unofficially and continue to guide hemispheric diplomacy throughout World War II and during the Cold War. As noted by Walter LaFeber, "It is the Roosevelt Doctrine, not Monroe's, that Dulles, Acheson, Johnson, Reagan, and Weinberger had in mind when they justified unilateral US intervention in the internal affairs of Latin American States." (16)

The Roosevelt Corollary was a departure from previous hemispheric policy in that it proceeded from a global vision of U.S. security. Until the 1890s, Americans generally considered a coastal defense of U.S. shores sufficient protection from foreign attack. The army and militia would come to the rescue if needed. The navalist lobby of the 1890s, the oft-called "Mahan-Lodge-Roosevelt group" and their supporters, was the first to conceive of American safety within a global framework, the first to posit that the United States would no longer be invulnerable in the age of big navies and that its security could be imperiled by conflicts occurring far from its shores in remote parts of the world--an imperialist world in which power was measured in terms of overseas possessions and military might. Alfred Thayer Mahan was no doubt "the high priest of American navalists," (17) and some of his theorizing on sea power would eventually be implemented by his young fellow navalist, Theodore Roosevelt, from 1901 to 1909. Indeed, "Mahan's philosophy of sea power [would enter] the White House," as Harold and Margaret Sprout put it, but it so happened that the two men saw practically eye to eye on most issues. It should not be forgotten, however, that Roosevelt had developed his own thinking independently. (18)

The naval buildup of the German Reich and the rise to power of the Japanese Empire became new parameters for war planners but not for Roosevelt, who had long reflected on "the world movement" and identified long ago these two nations as potential threats for the future. Both countries were felt to be likely to come into a collision course with the United States at some point on account of their imperial designs in the Caribbean and East Asia, respectively. Yet both sought American friendship and neither was in a position to inflict any serious harm on American soil. The personal correspondence of Roosevelt early revealed a lifelong interest in geopolitics and concern for the security of the United States. Japan and Germany were the two powers that worried him most, as he would repeatedly confide to trustworthy friends and associates while assistant secretary of the navy and later vice president. The alleged "yellow peril"--a life-long obsession of Roosevelt's--required the annexation of the Hawaiian Islands or the establishment of "a protectorate over them," the construction of the isthmian canal, and a naval increase aimed at better protecting the Pacific Coast. In like manner, acquiring "the Danish Islands," turning Spain out of the West Indies, and building up the navy should serve notice to Germany, "the power with whom I look forward to serious difficulty," "the only power with which there is any likelihood or possibility of our clashing within the future." (19) Curiously, the Danish Virgin Islands were on the assistant navy secretary's mind in mid March 1898, but not Puerto Rico. "I agree with you," he wrote Mahan, "that we should not try to do anything much with Porto Rico at present." (20) As for his apparently obsessive fear of Japan, it led him on several occasions to warn President McKinley that in the event of war with Spain, "we would have the Japs on our backs." (21) After the Spanish-American War, the Second Reich would remain the only power with imperial ambitions in the Western Hemisphere, hence its grudging acceptance of the Monroe Doctrine when Britain and France acknowledged U.S. preeminence there. (22)

Although the concept of national security did not come into its own in the United States until after World War I, it should be noted that the General Board of the Navy in the previous two decades was legitimately concerned with foreign threats. With the British-U.S. rapprochement of the turn of the nineteenth century, Great Britain ceased to be considered even as a possible enemy, and that view was paralleled by a similar perception of the United States in London. After 1900, and especially under Roosevelt, who as president strove indefatigably to maintain an international balance of power, Anglo-American solidarity and cooperation became the new catchwords--a division, so to speak, of Anglo-Saxon supremacy by members of the "English-speaking race." British and American interests in the Western Hemisphere, notably, were felt to be identical. Yet, the General Board's impression was anything but sentimental, for Canada was "a hostage to British good behavior," a realistic assessment that strikingly echoed, word for word, Roosevelt's early opinion on the future of Anglo-American relations. (23) Whatever his touchiness on the question of America's preeminence in the Western Hemisphere, he valued the new Anglo-American entente as a most valuable asset in world politics.

Germany's case was an entirely different matter. U.S. naval officers were always wary of Berlin's intentions in the Caribbean. (24) Latin American instability, they believed (and so did Roosevelt), afforded an ideal pretext for frequent European interventions. Admiral George Dewey apparently never recovered from the Diederichs incident after his memorable victory at Manila Bay (25); as president of the General Board he would persistently focus on the German danger. In the fall of 1902, one year after Roosevelt entered the White House and shortly before the Anglo-German blockade of Venezuela, the Navy Department created a permanent Caribbean squadron with a policeman's mission. In the summer of 1903, when the crisis was over, the Joint Board was created with a view to bringing about some cooperation between admirals and generals. In 1904 the Navy devised the "Haiti-Santo Domingo plan" with the supposition that the Reich would be the enemy. The same year, the Army and Navy began their first formal efforts to draft joint war plans. In 1906 the General Board voiced the gravest suspicions about Berlin's ambitions. The risk of German aggression in the Caribbean would be deemed real enough to justify such scenarios as the "Black Plan" of 1914. Of course, especially after 1898, there had been an awareness of the logistical difficulties that any outside enemy would have to surmount in order to attack the United States, especially if lacking a Caribbean foothold. Naval planners did not really anticipate direct action by Germany, though a limited attack on portions of the East Coast was not ruled out, at least until 1913. Nevertheless, war as a possibility was never totally discarded. In addition, the construction of the isthmian canal and its protection before and after its completion in 1914 made the Caribbean zone vital for American interests. After 1898 the interoceanic waterway became a high priority for the Navy, which for years had presented it as a crucial naval need; officers would come to regard the defense of the Panamanian lifeline as a fixed national policy, like the Monroe Doctrine or the Open Door. (26)

As already noted, Roosevelt's thinking on the Monroe Doctrine and the U.S. status and duty in the hemisphere went back a long way and fed on his reading and research as a young historian. Following the Venezuela Crisis of 1895, during which he enthusiastically supported Olney's vigorous reassertion of the 1823 warning, with its defiant reminder of U.S. invulnerability in the Americas, he penned in the March 1896 issue of The Bachelor of Arts an article that set forth his own interpretation of the celebrated pronouncement. According to Roosevelt, the doctrine existed even before its actual formulation, as evidenced by American opposition to Napoleon's purchase of Louisiana from Spain in 1802. No territorial transfer, grant, or aggrandizement was to be permitted in favor of any European power. Although he accepted the status quo, he looked forward "to the day when not a single European power [would] hold a foot of American soil." (27) His defense of the Monroe Doctrine then was unmistakably nationalistic; it was "not a question of law at all" but "a question of policy." (28) It was also subtly imperialistic, as the corollary would later show; Roosevelt claimed rather disingenuously that it was "distinctly in the interest of civilization that the present states of the two Americas should develop along their own lines," (29) while implicitly postulating U.S. superiority and trusteeship over "Spanish America." The future president's vision was essentially strategic. In 1896 he advocated the instant annexation of Hawaii, the construction of an isthmian waterway, and the revival of the Monroe Doctrine, backed by a "first-class fighting navy" without which it would stand as "an empty boast." (30) During the next five years many of his hopes would materialize: Spain would be driven from "the Western world" and Britain would acknowledge America's dominant role in the Caribbean by reducing her fleet in the New World; the Clayton-Bulwer Treaty would be abrogated and the non-fortification clause struck out of the first Hay-Pauncefote Treaty, which would clear the way for the construction and control by the United States of the isthmian canal. (31)

Shortly after his accession to the presidency, in view of the upcoming International Conference of the American States to be held in Mexico City, Roosevelt instructed Secretary of State John Hay to remind the "sister republics" that their stability and prosperity were vital for the United States, to offer them generous commercial cooperation, and to invite them to jointly champion the Monroe Doctrine so as to better defend their sovereign rights and territorial integrity against possible encroachments by a European power. (32) As vice president he had similarly urged its recognition as "a great international Pan-American policy, vital to the interests of all of us." (33) Interestingly, at about the same time, he reiterated his personal conception of the doctrine for the benefit of his German friend and future ambassador of the Reich to the United States, Hermann Speck von Sternburg, making it clear that neither the United States nor any European power should try to acquire territorial possessions in Latin America while cryptically, and no doubt unilaterally, "regard[ing] the Monroe Doctrine as being equivalent to the open door in South America." (34) His first annual message to Congress, on December 3, 1901, characteristically underlined the fact that "the Hague Peace Conference did not object to the doctrine" and hoped that the latter would become "the cardinal feature of the foreign policy of all the nations of the two Americas," endorsed by both the Old and New worlds. (35)

The Roosevelt Corollary stands as an ideal illustration of the United States' righteous, paternalistic attitude toward Latin America. Only Frank Chapman's blind devotion to the Rough Rider's interpretation can equate it with "a policy of fraternalism." (36) The most pressing problem at the time was the forcible collection of debts from defaulting Caribbean or Central American republics by one or several European powers, as happened (for the last time) in 1902-03 with the Anglo-German-Italian intervention against Venezuela. The corollary aimed at doing away with the causes of foreign interference by forestalling them and enforcing sound economics. Santo Domingo would be the first testing ground of the new policy in 1905 when the foreign creditors were about to lose their patience. (37) Three years later Haiti came close to being next; in a private letter that was not meant for publication, Roosevelt confided to William B. Hale in December 1908:
 Now, in Haiti, what we need is something that will show our people
 that this Government, in the name of humanity, morality and
 civilization, ought to exercise some kind of supervision over the
 island; but this should be done as part of our general scheme of
 dealing with the countries around the Caribbean. (38)

America's "right to exercise some kind of protectorate over the countries to whose territory that doctrine applies" predicated a superiority that Roosevelt did his best to deny, somewhat unconvincingly. (39) The United States' interventionist posture and practice logically resulted from this assumption of superiority and the police duties it implied. Roosevelt's paramount preoccupation, however, was safeguarding the Panamanian lifeline, and this to the very end of his life. (40) Dexter Perkins has quite rightly demonstrated that Monroe's declaration came to embody a Caribbean doctrine. (41) Roosevelt believed that the so-called ABC powers, Argentina, Brazil, and Chile, and even Uruguay and Paraguay, would in time become capable of assuming for themselves "the guardianship of the doctrine." (42)

Subsequently, in the 1920s and after, U.S. diplomacy became characterized by a number of constants and by the repetition of the same deplorable mistakes; the enforcement of law and order, like the attending economic imperialism, was antagonistic to the principle of self-determination, so dear to American hearts, inasmuch as Washington's "protectorates" saw their legitimate aspirations thwarted by the United States' power and self-interest. As noted by Norman A. Graebner apropos of Manifest Destiny,
 Manifest destiny left a heritage that continued into the twentieth
 century in the form of American Exceptionalism--a belief that the
 country had a superior virtue and obligation to correct the world's
 ills. Like the earlier idea ... Exceptionalism was not accepted by
 other nations, and it lacked a precise definition of goals and a
 realistic consideration of how such objectives could be achieved
 abroad. It is not surprising, then, that American Exceptionalism,
 despite its perennial appeal, has brought no measurable success to
 U.S. efforts abroad. (43)

Rebellion and revolution were logical consequences; American supremacy sooner or later bred revolt and inevitably paved the way for revolutionary movements. (44) U.S. policy was proof that international morality cannot be equated with individual morality, as postulated by Edmund Burke and the natural law school; whereas international morality inevitably legitimizes self-aggrandizement, individual morality emphasizes self-restraint and self-sacrifice. (45) In the realm of ideals, as William A. Williams perceptively pointed out long ago, American foreign policy has always been guided by three conceptions: the generous impulse to help other people solve their problems and the principle of self-determination, both being subverted by a third tenet, the conviction that other people cannot really improve their lot unless they copy America. (46)

(1.) Theodore Roosevelt, Presidential Addresses and State Papers, Homeward Bound ed., 8 vols. (New York: Review of Reviews Company, 1910), III, 176-77.

(2.) Thomas A. Bailey, A Diplomatic History of the American People, 9th ed. (1940; Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice, 1974), 505.

(3.) Chronologically, and technically, Roosevelt's first draft of the corollary is to be found in a letter to War Secretary Elihu Root, May 20, 1904, in Elting E. Morison and John M. Blum, eds., The Letters of Theodore Roosevelt, 8 vols. (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1951-1954), IV, 801, a statement which the recipient was instructed to read at a New York dinner celebrating the second anniversary of the Republic of Cuba: "Brutal wrongdoing, or an impotence which results in a general loosening of the ties of civilized society, may finally require intervention by some civilized nation, and in the Western Hemisphere the United States cannot ignore this duty." A more elaborate statement would appear in his annual message of December 6, 1904 (above), and the next message (December 5, 1905) would complete the formulation of the corollary.

(4.) Frederick W. Marks III, Velvet on Iron: The Diplomacy of Theodore Roosevelt (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1979), 146. Marks is loath to see it as "a perversion of the Monroe doctrine." Yet, its imperialist underpinnings are hardly questionable.

(5.) H. W. Brands, "The Rooseveltian Roots of the Bush Doctrine," in La montee en puissance des Etats-Unis: de la guerre hispano-americaine a la guerre de Coree (1898-1953), edited by Pierre Melandri and Serge Ricard (Paris: L'Harmattan, 2004), 74.

(6.) See, for example, William A. Williams, Empire as a Way of Life: An Essay on the Causes and Character of America's Present Predicament along with a Few Thoughts about an Alternative (New York: Oxford University Press, 1980), 102-10.

(7.) Theodore Roosevelt, "The Duties of a Great Nation," in The Works of Theodore Roosevelt, edited by Hermann Hagedorn, 20 vols. (New York: National Edition, 1926), XIV, 290, 291.

(8.) Roosevelt, "The Monroe Doctrine," in Works, XIII, 238.

(9.) In his eyes, Britain in Egypt, South Africa, or the Far East, France in North Africa, or even Russia in Siberia and the Caucasus were performing a useful civilizing role similar to the U.S. maintenance of law, order, and justice in the Western Hemisphere.

(10.) Marks, Velvet on Iron, 38-54, has settled the "question of [Roosevelt's] credibility" in this episode. The twenty-sixth president evidently used pretty stiff language with the Germans at some point during the crisis. What has been at issue among historians in the past decade, however, has been the date, nature, and circumstances of the "ultimatum." Richard H. Collin, Theodore Roosevelt's Caribbean: The Panama Canal, the Monroe Doctrine, and the Latin American Context (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1990), 88123, offers a remarkably thorough account of the second Venezuela crisis but does not do full justice to Roosevelt's role. Subsequent works merely take up the traditional description of the episode: Lewis Gould, The Presidency of Theodore Roosevelt (Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 1991); Nathan Miller, Theodore Roosevelt: A Life (New York: William Morrow, 1992); H. W. Brands, T.R.: The Last Romantic (New York: Basic Books, 1997); Nancy Mitchell, The Danger of Dreams: German and American Imperialism in Latin America (Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 1999), like her earlier piece, "The Height of the German Challenge: The Venezuela Blockade, 1902-3," Diplomatic History 20.2 (spring 1996): 185-209; Edmund Morris, Theodore Rex (New York: Random House, 2001). For diverging analyses, see Serge Ricard, "The Anglo-German Intervention in Venezuela and Theodore Roosevelt's Ultimatum to the Kaiser: Taking a Fresh Look at an Old Enigma," in Anglo-Saxonism in U.S. Foreign Policy: The Diplomacy of Imperialism, 1899-1919, edited by Serge Ricard and Helene Christol (Aix-en-Provence: Publications de l'Universite de Provence, 1991), 65-77; Theodore Roosevelt: principes et pratique d'une politique etrangere (Aix-en-Provence: Publications de l'Universite de Provence, 1991), 279-94; William N. Tilchin, Theodore Roosevelt and the British Empire: A Study in Presidential Statecraft (New York: St. Martin's Press, 1997), 28-34, 252n68; Kathleen Dalton, Theodore Roosevelt: A Strenuous Life (New York: Knopf, 2002), 237-39, 581n113, 581-82n116.

(11.) Dwight C. Miner, The Fight for the Panama Route: The Story of the Spooner Act and the Hay-Herran Treaty (1940; New York: Octagon Books, 1966), and Gerstle Mack, The Land Divided: A History of the Panama Canal and Other Isthmian Canal Projects (1944; New York: Octagon Books, 1974), are great classics, like David McCullough, The Path between the Seas: The Creation of the Panama Canal, 1870-1914 (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1977). Collin, Roosevelt's Caribbean, is exceptionally detailed and rich in Colombian sources, but biased. In fact, the author's defense of the United States' Caribbean diplomacy at the turn of the nineteenth century closely parallels, if not espouses, the twenty-sixth president's own self-righteous justifications and rests on the same ethnocentric cultural assumptions.

(12.) The Rough Rider's legal and moral arguments are best set forth in Roosevelt, Presidential Addresses and State Papers, II, 692-757, and Theodore Roosevelt, An Autobiography (1913; New York: Da Capo Press Paperbacks, 1985).

(13.) The Panamanian revolution and the signing of the Hay-Bunau-Varilla Treaty caused a political earthquake in Colombia. The secession of Panama represented for Colombia what the loss of Cuba had meant for Spain in 1898, a great national humiliation.

(14.) Dexter Perkins, A History of the Monroe Doctrine, rev. ed. (1941; Boston: Little, 1963), 168-70, notes the annoyance those frequent resorts to coercion caused in the State Department during the last quarter of the nineteenth century.

(15.) See, for example, the twenty-sixth president's annual message of December 5, 1905: "That our rights and interests are deeply concerned in the maintenance of the Doctrine is so clear as hardly to need argument. This is especially true in view of the construction of the Panama Canal. As a mere matter of self-defense we must exercise a close watch over the approaches to this canal; and this means that we must be thoroughly alive to our interests in the Caribbean Sea." Roosevelt, Presidential Addresses and State Papers, IV, 603.

(16.) Walter LaFeber, "The Evolution of the Monroe Doctrine from Monroe to Reagan," in Redefining the Past: Essays in Diplomatic History in Honor of William Appleman Williams, edited by Lloyd C. Gardner (Corvallis: Oregon State University Press, 1986), 139-40.

(17.) Richard D. Challener, Admirals, Generals, and American Foreign Policy, 1898-1914 (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1973), 13.

(18.) Harold and Margaret Sprout, The Rise of American Naval Power, 1776-1918, Introduction by Kenneth J. Hagan and Charles Conrad Campbell (1939; reprint of 1966 ed.; Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 1990), 288; Richard W. Turk, The Ambiguous Relationship: Theodore Roosevelt and Alfred Thayer Mahan (Westport, CT: Greenwood, 1987).

(19.) Roosevelt to Alfred T. Mahan, May 3, 1897, in Letters, I, 607; to William W. Kimball, December 17, 1897, in Letters, I, 743; to George Von Lengerke Meyer, April 12, 1901, in Letters, III, 52.

(20.) Roosevelt to Mahan, March 14, 1898, in Letters, I, 793.

(21.) Roosevelt to Henry Cabot Lodge, September 21, 1897, in Letters, I, 685-86.

(22.) On Theodore Roosevelt's threat perceptions and security concerns, see Serge Ricard, "Monroe Revisited: The Roosevelt Doctrine, 1901-1909," in Impressions of a Gilded Age: The American Fin de Siecle, edited by Marc Chenetier and Rob Kroes (Amsterdam: Amerika Instituut, Universiteit van Amsterdam, 1983), 228-41. The French had obviously abandoned all colonial hopes in Latin America since their ill-fated Mexican venture of 1864-1867 and Suez hero Ferdinand de Lesseps's resounding Panama failure of 1889.

(23.) Cf. Roosevelt to Mahan, May 3, 1897, in Letters, I, 607.

(24.) Nancy Mitchell, The Danger of Dreams, challenges "the idea of a German threat" despite the wealth of circumstantial data but given what she sees as the lack of archival evidence. Yet, Frederick Marks III's compelling investigations of primary sources in Velvet on Iron, 5-6, 9, throw new light on German-American relations in the 1900s and on the background of the Roosevelt Corollary. Mitchell further asserts, unconvincingly, that the German threat served America's expansionist purposes in the Western Hemisphere by highlighting--by contrast--the protective, hence exceptionalist, nature of U.S. imperialism.

(25.) The Imperial Government briefly fantasized about a German protectorate over the archipelago. Admiral Otto von Diederichs who had been ordered to the Philippines repeatedly made himself a nuisance by ignoring naval customs and etiquette, interfering aggressively with Dewey's operations, and violating the U.S. blockade. At the height of the crisis in July 1898 an outraged Dewey threatened war with Germany, causing the German fleet to retreat.

(26.) Challener, 22, 28-29, 32, 34-35, 43, 47-48.

(27.) Roosevelt, "The Monroe Doctrine," in Works, XIII, 231-34.

(28.) Ibid., 230.

(29.) Ibid., 237.

(30.) Roosevelt, "The Issues of 1896," in Works, XIV, 247; Roosevelt, "Why the Nation Needs an Effective Navy," in Works, XVI, 253.

(31.) On the Anglo-American rapprochement, see, in particular, Howard K. Beale, Theodore Roosevelt and the Rise of America to World Power (1956; Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press Paperbacks, 1984), and especially William N. Tilchin, Theodore Roosevelt and the British Empire.

(32.) Roosevelt to John Hay, October 8, 1901, in Letters, III, 164.

(33.) Roosevelt, "National Duties," in Works, XIII, 289; Roosevelt, "The Two Americas," in Works, XIII, 234.

(34.) Roosevelt to Hermann Speck von Sternburg, October 11, 1901, in Letters, III, 172.

(35.) Roosevelt, "First Annual Message" (1901), in Works, XV, 81.

(36.) Frank M. Chapman, Introduction, Through the Brazilian Wilderness by Theodore Roosevelt, in Works, V, xv.

(37.) Roosevelt, "Fifth Annual Message" (1905), in Works, XV, 300 ff.

(38.) Roosevelt to William B. Hale, December 3, 1908, in Letters, VI, 1408.

(39.) Roosevelt, "Sixth Annual Message" (1906), in Works, XV, 392.

(40.) Roosevelt, "Uncle Sam's Only Friend Is Uncle Sam," in Works, XVIII, 332; Roosevelt, "The League of Nations," in Works, XIX, 406-08.

(41.) Perkins, The United States and Latin America (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1961), 18, 3-44.

(42.) Roosevelt, "The United States and the South American Republics," in Works, XVI, 298; Wayne Andrews, ed., The Autobiography of Theodore Roosevelt (1913; New York: Octagon Books, 1975), 271; Roosevelt, "Our Peacemaker, the Navy," in Works, XVIII, 109.

(43.) Norman A. Graebner, "Manifest Destiny," in Encyclopedia of U.S. Foreign Relations, prepared under the auspices of the Council on Foreign Relations, edited by Bruce W. Jentleson and Thomas G. Paterson, vol. 3 (New York: Oxford University Press, 1997), 106.

(44.) See, in particular, Lester D. Langley, The Banana Wars: An Inner History of American Empire, 1900-1934 (Lexington: The University Press of Kentucky, 1983) and The United States and the Caribbean in the Twentieth Century (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1989); Walter LaFeber, Inevitable Revolutions: The United States in Central America (New York: W. W. Norton, 1993).

(45.) Albert K. Weinberg, Manifest Destiny: A Study of Nationalist Expansionism in American History (1935; Chicago: Quadrangle-Encounter Paperbacks, 1963), 4-8.

(46.) William A. Williams, The Tragedy of American Diplomacy, 2d rev. and enlarged ed. (1959; New York: Dell-Delta, 1972), 13.


Sorbonne Nouvelle (University of Paris III France)

Serge Ricard is professor of American studies and U.S. history at the Sorbonne Nouvelle, Paris. He has published extensively on Theodore Roosevelt, American expansionism, foreign policy in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, and Mexican-American culture. He is the editor or coeditor of numerous books and the author, notably, of Theodore Roosevelt: principes et pratique d'une politique etrangere (1991), The Mass Media in America: An Overview (1998), and The "Manifest Destiny" of the United States in the 19th Century (1999). He was educated at Davidson College, NC, and at the Sorbonne, Paris, and was twice a Fulbright research scholar at Harvard University.
COPYRIGHT 2006 Center for the Study of the Presidency
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2006 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

 Reader Opinion




Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Title Annotation:Theodore Roosevelt
Author:Ricard, Serge
Publication:Presidential Studies Quarterly
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Mar 1, 2006
Previous Article:The Monroe doctrine: meanings and implications.
Next Article:The Truman Doctrine: containing communism and modernity.

Related Articles
Artists of Power: Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, and Their Enduring Impact on U.S. Foreign Policy.
Theodore Roosevelt and World Order: Police Power in International Relations.
Presidential doctrines: an introduction.
Theodore Roosevelt Rides Again.
AM3 Bradley Lawson VAW-124.
Theodore Roosevelt and world order; police power in international relations. (reprint, 2006).
Theodore Roosevelt's diplomacy and the quest for great power equilibrium in Asia.

Terms of use | Copyright © 2014 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters