During the second half of the 19th century several forces in the United States, Latin America, and Europe converged to set the stage for the establishment of a more permanent relationship between the United States and Latin America. The key factors--security, economics, and modernization--created both commonalities and conflicts between and among regions. In this volume, scholars examine not only the domestic but also the geopolitical forces that encouraged and guided development of diplomatic relations in this rapidly changing period.
As the contributors note, by the end of the century, economic interests dominated the relationship that eventually developed. This period saw the building of a string of U.S. naval bases in Latin America and the Caribbean, the rapid industrialization of the United States and the development of a substantial export market, the entrance of many U.S. entrepreneurs into Latin American countries, and the first two inter-American conferences. By the century’s end, the United States appeared as the dominant partner in the relationship, a perception that earned it the “imperialist” label.
This volume untangles this complex relationship by examining U.S. relations with Mexico, Cuba, Colombia, Central America, Peru, Argentina, Chile, Brazil, Uruguay, and Paraguay from the perspective of both the United States and the individual Latin American countries.
A companion volume to United States-Latin American Relations, 1800-1850: The Formative Generations, edited by T. Ray Shurbutt, this book establishes a historical perspective crucial to understanding contemporary diplomatic relations.