The American Occupation of Haiti



As the United States was gradually completing its territorial expansion to the Pacific Ocean in the 1890s its search for new economic opportunities focused upon the Caribbean area. Because of its regional diversity, shaped by different ambiences, cultures, and reactions to imperialistic impositions, attempts at unification in the Caribbean were highly unrealistic and made the involvement of the United States there much easier. Ideological notions, such as those of “mission,” “the survival of the fittest,” and especially the so-called “God-given right of the United States to spread civilization to supposedly backward peoples,” provided the rationale for an imperialistic enterprise. Other influential policymakers quickly spread Captain Alfred T. Mahan’s doctrine of greatness through “sea power” as a realistic policy, which would lead to eminence rather than to stagnation and decay.1


Foreign Relation American Occupation Black Nation Saturday Evening Caribbean Area 
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© Magdaline W. Shannon 1996

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