Thesis:”Dollar stability in many foreign countries.The three Progressive

Thesis:”Dollar Diplomacy” is a term used to describe President William Howard Taft’s foreign policy, which utilized American economic power and investment to seek both stability in foreign countries and ?advantageous foreign policies. Although the U.S. benefited financially, Taft’s policy failed to create lasting stability in many foreign countries.The three Progressive Presidents are Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and Woodrow Wilson. They were in office during the Progressive Era (1890s-1920s), a time full of social and political reforms that sprung up to work against the negative effects of industrialization.?Roosevelt and Wilson are important to look at when studying Taft’s Dollar Diplomacy because Roosevelt came before Taft and contributed the Roosevelt Corollary which was a basis for some of Taft’s policy, while Wilson was in office after Taft and undid some of Taft’s foreign policy, replacing it with his own.(“The Progressive Era”).Theodore Roosevelt was the U.S. president from 1901 to 1909. Roosevelt’s foreign policy is known as “Big Stick Diplomacy,” because Roosevelt said “speak softly and carry a big stick,” meaning that he favored peaceful foreign negotiations, backed by a visibly powerful military (?”Big Stick policy”).One of the most influential policies Roosevelt left behind for Taft was the Roosevelt Corollary. The Roosevelt Corollary, created in 1904, was meant to add to the Monroe Doctrine of 1823. It said that the U.S. would act to defend the unstable nations of the western hemisphere that the Monroe Doctrine proclaimed off-limits to European colonization.The cartoon to the left, calls to mind one of Roosevelt’s most famous displays of Big Stick Diplomacy – the Great White Fleet.Roosevelt sailed 16 battleships over 43,000 miles in order to show the world the U.S. naval power, which came second to only the British navy’s (“Great White Fleet”).?While Big Stick Diplomacy left some basis for Taft, in the Roosevelt Corollary, which Taft used in Nicaragua, Taft’s foreign policy was fundamentally different in the fact that it intended to use financial investment rather than the threat of military force.President Woodrow Wilson took the office of president in 1912, and removed support for the businesses investing in foreign countries. He began to replace Taft’s diplomacy with his own, which is commonly referred to as “moral diplomacy” or “missionary diplomacy.”Once Wilson took office, he was approached by bankers about whether or not the government would continue to encourage investments in China and he responded with his Repudiation of Dollar Diplomacy saying:?Nicaragua was a candidate for Dollar Diplomacy because of its proximity to the Panama Canal. U.S. control of the area would mean greater power over the Panama Canal and would prevent other countries from making their own canal through Nicaragua. At the time, Nicaragua was also very divided. Liberals and Conservatives had been feuding since the 1840s. The Liberal party seized power in 1893, placing José Santos Zelaya in the presidency. Over time, he lost Liberal support and became a more corrupt dictator, imprisoning or even executing Conservative political opponents. Taft’s Secretary of State, Philander Knox, saw the opportunity to use American investments to create stability and control.In 1909, a group of Liberals began a revolt, which gained support from the U.S. when Knox learned that two Americans were executed by Zelaya. The revolt successfully exiled Zelaya and placed Liberal Juan José Estrada in the presidency for over a year. Under Estrada, “the Nicaraguan government agreed to a U.S. loan, a new constitution, the abolishment of monopolies, and conceded to the previous demands that the United States had placed on the new government in exchange for recognition” (“U.S. Intervention”).In less than two years, Estrada was replaced by Aldolfo Díaz, a Conservative who accepted the U.S. goal in Nicaragua. In 1911, the U.S. intervened in Nicaraguan financial affairs, negotiating control of customs and a loan. Many Nicaraguans did not like the control Díaz gave to the U.S and began small rebellions.In 1912, Luis Mena was elected to be Nicaraguan President in 1913. Former Nicaraguan Minister and future Nicaraguan President, José M. Moncada, told the U.S. that Mena had established a bank with an English official, and became fearful when he learned that the U.S. capital planned to establish another bank.Mena began a revolt to seize the presidency. In response, the U.S. sent about 2,700 marines to put down the revolt and Mena left the country. A small force of marines were kept in Nicaragua until 1925. Taft and Knox had failed to provide lasting stability in Nicaragua through American investments alone.Some Americans considered the Nicaraguan policy to be a failure, because of many Nicaraguan citizens’ dislike of the intervention.Taft and his cabinet considered the Nicaraguan affairs to be a success and proceeded to encourage investing and seeking loans in other countries in Latin America such as Honduras and Haiti. Taft cites increases in foreign trade to prove financial success of his diplomacy:?At the time of Taft’s administration, the strongest nations in the Far East were Japan and Russia. The U.S. sought to use the Open Door Policy to begin trading and investing in China, but feared these two powers.?In 1911, the British, German, and French, formed a consortium that would lend China money to build the Hukuang Railway. The U.S. forced their way into this consortium, frustrating the other nations. The Railway ultimately fell through and the U.S. failed to establish stability and significant investments in China before Taft’s administration ended (Trani).Taft and his Secretary of State, Philander C. Knox, tried to extend American foreign policy by using the American economic power and encouraging investments abroad, which was characterized as “substituting dollars for bullets.” Theodore Roosevelt’s Roosevelt Corollary laid the foundation for Taft. Although unique, this type of foreign policy was not successful since, while one of their goals was to create foreign stability, many of the countries they intervened experienced revolts or a failure to complete policies. Later, Woodrow Wilson brought his own “Moral Diplomacy” which repudiated Taft’s policy.