The Progressive Era And The End Of The First World War

884 Words Aug 5th, 2015 4 Pages
Part I: The United States in Latin America since the Spanish-American War of 1898
American historians commonly refer to the period between the 1890s and the end of the First World War as the Progressive Era (Cocks, Holloran, & Lessoff, 2009, vii). The Progressive Era is mostly associated with the presidencies of Republican heads of state Theodore Roosevelt (1901-09) and William Howard Taft (1909-1913) but also, with Democrat Woodrow Wilson (1913-21). It is generally remembered as a time of political reforms and of governmental desire to tackle social evils and inequality.
The Progressive Era also embraced an important foreign policy agenda. Following the U.S. crushing victory in the Spanish-American War of 1898 under William McKinley, the United States began a new chapter in its relationship with Latin America. While some would see an inherent contradiction between Progressive values and the U.S. expansionism that arisen in Latin America (and in the Pacific), such paradox was not necessarily apparent to Washington. As argued by historian Lester D. Langley (2002), “despite their profound political differences, Roosevelt, Taft and Wilson agreed that the government played a powerful role in advancing hemispheric trade and in safeguarding U.S. investment” (p. xvii). Scientific racism, pre-conceived notions about Latin American and non-whites countries inferiority and the need to expand American financial enterprises made it easy for U.S. officials to reconcile ideals about…
Open Document