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Nicaragua

The expansionist policy of the United States in Latin America turned its most reliable ally, Nicaragua, into one of its most confirmed enemies because Latin American peoples loved the virtues declared in the American Constitution (liberty, individualism, and private property) and considered them as the major conditions for gaining happiness. However, at the same time, they hated the American Dream, when any foreigner could deceive, exploit, and even enslave them for the sake of his own wealth. The whole history of Nicaragua is a dramatic history of struggle, disappointments, armed conflicts, bloodshed wars, disasters, famines, and hopes of the Latin American nation. These people, who wanted to be free and prosperous,  have believed in the good faith of the most successful country, the United States of America, as well as in its intention to protect, support, and help the Nicaraguan nation in its creation of a new democratic society. As a matter of fact, the American help turned into the twenty-four-year occupation and a series of bloodshed wars and armed conflicts. As evident from the history, if a political party of any country asks for help the other country to seize the power, it can lead to a civil war, political instability, or corruption, as it had happened in Nicaragua.

In 1821, the First Mexican Empire emerged on the world’s maps, as a result of a revolution, which brought independence from Spain. As a matter of fact, it was a monarchy. Nicaragua was one of its provinces. In two years, in 1823, “the five republics – Guatemala, El-Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica – were provinces of the captaincy general of Guatemala, with its capital at Guatemala City.” Hence, Nicaragua became a part of a federal republic called the United Provinces of Central America. Each republic of the United Provinces formed its own government, which did not depend on any federal authority. At that time, the president of the United States was James Monroe, and his secretary of state was John Quincy Adams, who was “devoted to consolidating the power of the national government at home and abroad.” Adams considered Spain to regain its former territories in Latin America. It was a major reason for him to compose and present a document in the annual presidential message to the Congress. This document was called the Monroe Doctrine. It was based on three principles. Firstly, the United States declared to protect the new, independent countries in the Western Hemisphere from any colonization. Therefore, Spain, France, and Russia turned into potential aggressors of the United States because of their last intentions to conquer Cuba and the Pacific coastline. Secondly, the United States promised not to get involved in wars in Europe. Thirdly, the United States “warned European powers not to interfere with the newly independent states of Latin America. The Monroe Doctrine is sometimes called America’s diplomatic declaration of independence.” Thus, the United States turned itself into a guarantor of the further safety and prosperity of new independent countries in the Western Hemisphere.

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Compared to other republics formed from the United Provinces of Central America, Honduras and Nicaragua were the most backward. At that time, growing coffee was becoming the most profitable business in the world. Unfortunately, neither Honduras nor Nicaragua had conditions for the development of coffee plantations. Furthermore, they both developed cattle farming, but cattle barons had continuous conflicts with each other, which often turned into wars because of the absence of the strong centralized government in the United Provinces. In 1838, Nicaragua achieved independence from Guatemala, but, unfortunately, two its largest political forces, the Liberal Party from Leon and the Conservative Party from Granada were struggling to seize the absolute power in the country. At the same time, the United States and Great Britain started rivalry to gain the political influence over the countries of the Western Hemisphere. The United States started its intervention in Nicaragua in 1849, “when the California gold rush turned the Central American isthmus into a major transit for westbound fortune hunters and a key target for U.S. expansionists.” At the same time, the people of Nicaragua still believed the United States to be its ally. Its attitude to the United States based on the Monroe Doctrine and the promise to start digging a canal through the territory of Nicaragua, which would link the Atlantic and the Pacific Oceans. The Nicaraguans considered the future canal to bring them great profit. Of course, the Nicaraguans did not know that, in 1788, Thomas Jefferson had considered an opportunity to make the abovementioned canal, but nobody had mentioned Nicaragua and its interests at that time.

The Liberal and the Conservative Parties were waging bloodshed wars in the 1840s and 1850s. The conflict ended when the Liberals asked William Walker in 1855 to assist them with the withdrawal of the Conservatives and seizing power. A famous American adventurer Walker agreed to help the Liberals, and, after his victory over the Conservatives, he proclaimed himself a president in 1856. After that, Walker began to make the so-called reforms by establishing slavery and declaring English language to be the official one in Nicaragua. It caused uniting all Central American countries for the war with William Walker, which finished after his withdrawal in 1857. As a result, the Conservative Party held power in Nicaragua for thirty years. In the 1870s, the Nicaraguans started to plant coffee. They made it their major crop. It caused a coffee boom, which developed the agrarian export and formed a new model of market economy. In 1893, the Liberal Party seized power in Nicaragua by means of a revolt. They wrote a new constitution, which limited some privileges of the church. In addition, Zelaya began to sell community lands through auctions for very low prices, establishing new forms of private properties for the modernization of the economy. At the same time, the American business developed in Central America, and by 1899, “the United Fruit Company secured contracts with most of the banana planters in the region.” The United States supported the Conservatives, as well. In 1902, the United States made a decision to dig a canal in Panama. It was a real shock for Nicaragua. In Addition, in 1904, Theodor Roosevelt designed his famous the Roosevelt Corollary, which declared that “chronic wrongdoing or an impotence which results in a general loosening of the ties of civilized society, may in America as elsewhere, ultimately require intervention by some civilized nation.” This document became the most important condition to excuse their further interventions all over the world. Therefore, the United States assisted the Conservative Party seize power in Nicaragua. It happened after Zelaya’s execution of two Americans for their attempt of blowing up on the San Juan River. In 1912, the American marines occupied Nicaragua. This intervention was justified by the Roosevelt Corollary because President Adolfo Diaz did not protect American citizens when the insurrection took place in the country. The occupation lasted till 1933.

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After considering the dramatic history of Nicaragua, it is necessary to conclude that the expansionist policy of the United States in Latin America turned its most reliable ally into one of its most confirmed enemies. It had happened because Latin American peoples loved all virtues declared in the Constitution of the United States (liberty, individualism, and private property) and considered them as the major conditions for gaining happiness, but, at the same time, they hated the American Dream, when any foreigner could deceive, exploit, and even enslave them for the sake of his own wealth. As a rule, each attempt to invite foreign armed forces by any political party or opposition force for seizing power ends with an intervention, which leads to the loss of sovereignty, wars, and disasters. Having adopted the Monroe Doctrine and the Roosevelt Corollary, the United States of America turned into a police state, which reserved the right to conduct wars all over the world for one reason – to protect the rights and freedoms of American citizens. In the result of this policy, the United States threw Nicaragua to wars, life of poverty, and disasters.