U. S. A. Foreign Policy and the Caribbean:

Explanatory Historical Perspective

Four fundamental & influential realities:

Geopolitical | Ideological | Economic necessity | Pragmatic

1 . Geopolitical reality of “free security”

Three protective oceans until 1945

militia dependent until 1917
small defense costs until 1940

naive diplomacy of isolationism, withdrawal, fear.

2. Ideological: National greatness coupled to the promotion of liberty

Thomas Paine, Common Sense, (1776)
Renaissance -- humane reason & utopianism
Protestant Reformation -- moral mission
Enlightenment -- republican virtue & romantic sensibility
Essential tension between domestic liberty & strong central govt.

3. Economically inevitable: Ideas & ideals

humanitarian problem solving
self-determination for subject peoples
aid & intervention: economic, social, and political expansion

Open Door Policy (Asia, 1899-1900)

“the firm conviction, even dogmatic belief, that America’s domestic well-being depends upon such sustained, ever-increasing overseas economic expansion.”

“The control of policy making by the industrialists and financiers”

4. Pragmatic expansionism: revolutionary & counter-revolutionary power

Manifest Destiny ( John L. O’Sullivan, 1839)

natural right of occupation

geographical determinism

population growth
political stability (necessity)

Imperialism for the sake of national security; elimination of rivals
inequality of power based on culture & technology

Geopolitical | Ideological | Economic necessity | Pragmatic