US failed to step up in 20s?

In Introduction to International Relations: Theory and Practice, Gilpin lauds the British acceptance of the role as economic hegemon and faults the US for its “unwillingness … to take over this task of ‘lender of last resort’ in the face of pyramiding bank failures” (Kaufman, 484). Milner also refers to the same fault of the US on Page 2 of her piece.

While they are no doubt correct with the facts, the authors do the US wrong in ascribing motivations for this inaction. In doing so, the authors ignore lesser actions that do show the American attempt to become a world hegemon. While it wasn’t really tested except for Maximillian’s Mexican farce and the British Belizean experiment, the US has long put a value on the Monroe Doctrine. In following its own doctrine, the US, of course, resisted the idea of economically bailing out Europe (even if it was a spin-off of an American problem). However, the US did act in its own sphere of influence with the military and economic take-overs of Western Hemisphere nations:

  • 1907-1941 Dominican Republic: US military occupations 1905 to 1907; 1912; 1914; and 1916 to 1924; The US controlled government finances 1905 to 1941
  • 1906-1922 Cuba: US military ran the government from 1906 to 1909; occupied by US troops in 1912, and 1917 to 1922
  • 1912-1925 Nicaragua: US military occupation 1909 to 1933, and controlled government finances from 1910 to 1924
  • 1915-1934 Haiti: US Marine occupation and US control of government finances

(source: http://www.easternct.edu/personal/faculty/pocock/milact.htm )

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