Speak softly and carry a big stick. How might you characterize Roosevelt’s foreign policy? Students might suggest that it seems forceful or that it uses imperialist ideals. What does “speak softly” mean in the context of the quote? Avoid aggressive foreign policy statements. Taft’s Dollar Diplomacy Economic Aid Under William Howard Taft, U.S. power was still evident in Latin America, but it tended to take the form of helping Latin America economically rather than protecting the region militarily. Taft’s policy came to be called “dollar diplomacy.” Military Support U.S. banks steadily took over the business of loaning Latin American countries money. This helped ensure that Europe would have no cause to intervene in the region. In Nicaragua, loans made to help stabilize the government were not enough. Unable to quell social unrest, the government called on the United States, which sent in the marines to keep the peace. How was dollar diplomacy intended to help the United States as well as Latin America? Both would gain financially from U.S. trade and investment, and Latin American countries would also become more stable and orderly. How could the economic power of the United States be seen as a “big stick”? The United States was by far the largest economic power in the Western Hemisphere. American industrialists used that power to their advantage throughout Latin America. Background The goal of the Roosevelt Corollary was to prevent European powers from using the debt problems of Latin America to justify intervening in the region. The United States first applied the Roosevelt Corollary in the Dominican Republic, which had fallen behind on its debt payments to European nations. In 1905 the United States assumed the responsibility of collecting customs tariffs in the Dominican Republic, using the U.S. Marine Corps as its agent. Wilson’s Diplomacy Moral Diplomacy Woodrow Wilson opposed imperialism and also believed in encouraging democracy. Wilson hoped to base his foreign policy on moral principles, fashioning a kind of “moral diplomacy.” Mexican Revolution In 1913 General Victoriano Huerta seized power in Mexico from, and murdered, a reformer who seemed to favor democratic rule. Wilson refused to recognize the new government. Military Forays into Mexico In April 1914, an incident in Mexico involving U.S. sailors offered Wilson a chance to overthrow Huerta. After Congress voted to allow him to use force, Wilson found out about an arms shipment to Veracruz, Mexico. He sent marines to shell the city and take it by force. Two years later, violent incursions into the United States by the Mexican revolutionary Pancho Villa drew another military response. Wilson sent 6,000 soldiers into Mexico to capture Villa, but they failed to find him. “Moral Imperialism” To critics, Wilson’s Mexican policy seemed little different from Roosevelt’s “big stick” diplomacy—more like “moral imperialism” than “moral diplomacy.” Wilson sent marines into Haiti in 1915 to put down a rebellion. The next year, he sent troops into the Dominican Republic to preserve order and ended up taking charge of the whole government. How were moral diplomacy and dollar diplomacy the same? How were they different? Both were intended to help Latin American countries as well as the United States. The difference was that “moral diplomacy” would help only democratic countries that were friendly with the United States.