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Progressivism : A Great Number Of Urban Middle Class

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Thananun Prasertsup (Nine)
History Research 420
Word Count: Progressivism in the Roosevelt Corollary From 1900 to about 1920, a great number of urban middle class people began to consider problems created by urbanization, class conflict, immigration, corruption, etc. This broad movement had large effects on American politics and the name of this time, known as the Progressive Era. Not only did the progressive movement happen in the era, Latin American economic crises also occurred. Venezuela was one of those countries having a recession. Since it could not pay debts to European nations, it experienced a naval blockade for months. Scared of the threat of European intervention in the Western Hemisphere, President Theodore Roosevelt
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The United States finally intervened and pressured the European countries to compromise and submit the dispute to international arbitration. As a consequence, Venezuela had to give thirty percent of its customs duties to those European nations.
This incident, along with the progressive method of using Christian ethics and the progressive belief of pragmatism, changed Roosevelt’s idea about the Monroe Doctrine. Roosevelt believed that Christian citizens had “the duty of bearing one another’s burdens.” This belief influenced him to interpret the purpose of the Monroe Doctrine as “to safeguard like independence and secure like permanence for the lesser among the New World nations” as well as to prevent European colonization in the Western Hemisphere. However, after the Venezuela crisis, Roosevelt saw that the original doctrine was not enough to safeguard peace in the Western Hemisphere. He realized that wrongdoing from Latin American nations, for example, that Venezuela did not pay debts to European countries, could lead to European aggression in the Western Hemisphere. Roosevelt was afraid that the aggression stayed permanently and contravened the Monroe Doctrine. Using pragmatism to make the Monroe Doctrine not the “the emptiest of the empty phrases,” he stated that the United States had a duty to supervise ineffective Latin American governments, whose instability and economic problems could
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