An Affair Of Honor Analysis

Decent Essays
Robert E. Quirk’s book An Affair of Honor: Woodrow Wilson and the Occupation of Veracruz, published in 1967 is a vivid account of President Woodrow Wilson’s implementation of a strategy to pressure the Mexican President to resign from office through the occupation of Veracruz, Mexico. The succeeding government’s inadequacy contributed to the mission’s failure. Consequently, the relationship between the US and Mexico was strained.
Woodrow Wilson’s opposition to the regime and practices of Mexican President Victoriano Huerta was the main motive behind the United States’ occupation of Veracruz. The President used three minor occurrences to elevate the situation in Mexico to critical importance because he wanted Huerta’s removal from office
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In the end, the occupation of Veracruz engendered no large effect on Huerta’s leaving office. It actually made him more resilient to not capitulate to American demands. Instead, it was the Constitutionalists who overthrew him. The new government crushed Wilson’s hope that there would be an election after Huerta’s deposition. A true representative government was the ultimate goal of the occupation, but the lack of accomplishing this goal made the mission a washout. Veracruz’s governmental efficiency peaked when the Americans ran it. When the Constitutionalists took over governing the changes faded because the government was inadequate to effectively take over from the American military, marking another catastrophe of the occupation. One contributing factor to the impotence was the lack of Mexican officials’ presence during the habitation. Fearful of a punishment for the illegal act of serving an invading force, many officials lost the experience of handling business efficiently by refusing to work. After Carranza gained control of the government, the Americans could no longer credibly occupy Veracruz while still claiming they were there because of Huerta and his policies. During their preparations to leave General Funston, leader of the military, invited Carranza to send the officials who would gain responsibilities so they could learn in tandem with the Americans to make the transfer of the city fluid. Carranza arrived shortly before the military departed giving them no time to learn. These two reasons, along with a continual resistance to the American habitation by the Constitutionalists pioneered the destruction of the progress the military government made; further compounding the failure, in respects to motives, of the occupation as a whole. This book would make a good recommendation for people interested in Woodrow Wilson’s foreign policy trends or foreign
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