Persuasive arguments: Dollar Diplomacy William Howard Taft U.S., Department of State, Papers Relating to Foreign Affairs, 1912 Whether we have a farseeing and wise diplomacy and are not recklessly plunged into unnecessary wars, whether our foreign policies are based upon an intelligent grasp of present-day world conditions and a clear view of the potentialities of the future, or are governed by a temporary and timid expediency or by narrow views.
The diplomacy of the present administration has sought to respond to modern ideas of commercial intercourse. This policy has been characterized as substituting dollars for bullets. It is one that appeals alike to idealistic humanitarian sentiments, to the dictates of sound policy and strategy, and to legitimate commercial aims. It is an effort frankly directed to the increase of American trade upon the axiomatic principle that the government of the United States shall extend all proper support to every legitimate and beneficial American enterprise abroad.
In Central America the aim has been to help such countries as Nicaragua and Honduras to help themselves. They are the immediate beneficiaries. The national benefit to the United States is twofold. First, it is obvious that the Monroe Doctrine is more vital in the neighborhood of the Panama Canal and the zone of the Caribbean than anywhere else.
There, too, the maintenance of that doctrine falls most heavily upon the United States. It is therefore essential that the countries within that sphere shall be removed from the jeopardy involved by heavy foreign debt and chaotic national finances and from the ever present danger of international complications due to disorder at home.
I wish to call your especial attention to the recent occurrences in Nicaragua, for I believe the terrible events recorded there during the revolution of the past summer — the useless loss of life, the devastation of property, the bombardment of defenseless cities, the killing and wounding of women and children, the torturing of noncombatants, to exact contributions, and the suffering of thousands of human beings — might have been averted had the Department of State, through approval of the loan convention by the Senate, been permitted to carry out its now well-developed policy of encouraging the extending of financial aid to weak Central American states, with the primary objects of avoiding just such revolutions by assisting those republics to rehabilitate their finances, to establish their currency on a stable basis, to remove the customhouses from the danger of revolutions by arranging for their secure administration, and to establish reliable banks.
A. State the name of your document. Imagine that I am the president of a Latin American country. My country has been experiencing social and political unrest. You have to convince me why I should submit to the Roosevelt Corollary to the Monroe Doctrine or Dollar Diplomacy (you will need to focus on the foreign policy that you were assigned).
In order to effectively convince me, you will need to provide at least two persuasive arguments based on the document assigned to you. You will also need to provide two analyzed quotes from the document that support your arguments. B. If you were the president of a Latin American country and your country was experiencing social and political unrest, would you submit to the Roosevelt Corollary to the Monroe Doctrine, Dollar Diplomacy, or neither foreign policy? Why?
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