Theodore Roosevelt inherited an empire-in-the-making when he assumed office in 1901. After the Spanish-American War in 1898. Spain ceded the Philippines. Puerto Rico. and Guam to the United States. In add-on. the United States established a associated state over Cuba and annexed Hawaii. For the first clip in its history. the United States had acquired an abroad imperium. As President. Roosevelt wanted to increase the influence and prestigiousness of the United States on the universe phase and do the state a planetary power. He besides believed that the exportation of American values and ideals would hold an dignifying consequence on the universe. TR’s diplomatic axiom was to “speak quietly and transport a large stick. ” and he maintained that a main executive must be willing to utilize force when necessary while practising the art of persuasion. He hence sought to piece a powerful and dependable defence for the United States to avoid struggles with enemies who might feed on failing. Roosevelt followed McKinley in stoping the comparative isolationism that had dominated the state since the mid-1800s. moving sharply in foreign personal businesss. frequently without the support or consent of Congress.
One of the state of affairss that Roosevelt inherited upon taking office was administration of the Philippines. an island state in Asia. During the Spanish-American War. the United States had taken control of the archipelago from Spain. When Roosevelt appointed William Howard Taft as the first civilian governor of the islands in 1901. Taft recommended the creative activity of a civil authorities with an elective legislative assembly. The Taft disposal was able to negociate with Congress for a measure that included a governor general. an independent bench. and the legislative assembly. The most dramatic of Roosevelt’s foreign policy enterprises was the constitution of the Panama Canal. For old ages. U. S. naval leaders had dreamed of constructing a transition between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans through Central America. During the war with Spain. American ships in the Pacific had to steam around the tip of South America in two-month ocean trips to fall in the U. S. fleet off the seashore of Cuba. In 1901. the United States negotiated with Britain for the support of an American-controlled canal that would be constructed either in Nicaragua or through a strip of land—Panama—owned by Colombia.
In a flourish of closed-door manoeuvres. the Senate approved a path through Panama. contingent upon Colombian blessing. When Colombia balked at the footings of the understanding. the United States supported a Panamanian revolution with money and a naval encirclement. the latter of which prevented Colombian military personnels from set downing in Panama. In 1903. the Hay-Bunau-Varilla Treaty with Panama gave the United States ageless control of the canal for a monetary value of $ 10 million and an one-year payment of $ 250. 000. When he visited Panama in 1906 to detect the edifice of the canal. Roosevelt became the first U. S. President to go forth the state during his term of office. He wanted to see the spectacle. which became known as one of the world’s greatest technology efforts. About 30. 000 workers labored ten-hour yearss for 10 old ages to construct the $ 400-million canal. during which clip American functionaries were able to antagonize the flagellum of Yellow Fever that had ravaged big Numberss of canal workers.
The Panama Canal was eventually completed in 1914 ; by 1925. more than 5. 000 merchandiser ships had traversed the 40 stat mis of locks each twelvemonth. Once operational. it shortened the ocean trip from San Francisco to New York by more than 8. 000 stat mis. The procedure of constructing the canal generated progresss in U. S. engineering and technology accomplishments. This undertaking besides converted the Panama Canal Zone into a major presenting country for American military forces. doing the United States the dominant military power in Central America. Latin America consumed a just sum of Roosevelt’s clip and energy during his first term as President. Venezuela became a focal point of his attending in 1902 when Germany and Britain sent ships to obstruct that country’s coastline. The European states had given loans to Venezuela that the Venezuelan dictator refused to refund. Although both Germany and Britain assured the Americans that they did non hold any territorial designs on Venezuela. Roosevelt felt aggrieved by their actions and demanded that they agree to arbitration to decide the difference.
Santo Domingo ( now the Dominican Republic ) besides encountered jobs with European states. Again. European investors had appealed to their authoritiess to roll up money from a debt-ridden state Latin American state. After the Dominican authorities appealed to the United States. Roosevelt ordered an American aggregator to presume control of the imposts houses and cod responsibilities to avoid possible European military action. During the Santo Domingo crisis. Roosevelt formulated what became known as the Roosevelt Corollary to the Monroe Doctrine.
The Monroe Doctrine. issued in 1823. stated that the United States would non accept European intercession in the Americas. Roosevelt realized that if states in the Western Hemisphere continued to hold chronic jobs. such as the inability to refund foreign debt. they would go marks of European innovation. To preempt such action and to keep regional stableness. the President drafted his corollary: the United States would step in in any Latin American state that manifested serious economic jobs. The corollary announced that the United States would function as the “policeman” of the Western Hemisphere. a policy which finally created much bitterness in Latin America.