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Roosevelt Corollary

ROOSEVELT COROLLARY

ROOSEVELT COROLLARY to the Monroe Doctrine, a unilateral declaration claiming a U.S. prerogative of exercising "international police power" in the Western Hemisphere, was first set forth by President Theodore Roosevelt on 20 May 1904 in a public letter to Secretary of War Elihu Root. Roosevelt was particularly alarmed in 1902 by the blockade and bombardment of Venezuela by Germany and Great Britain, writing Root, "Brutal wrongdoing, or an impotence which results in a general loosening of the ties of civilizing society, may finally require intervention by some civilized nation; and in the Western Hemisphere the United States cannot ignore this duty." In his annual messages of 6 December 1904 and 5 December 1905, he invoked the Monroe Doctrine in this regard. In March 1905, in order to forestall forced debt collection in Santo Domingo by Italy, France, and Belgium, he appointed a collector of customs in that indebted nation and established a de facto protectorate. Never before had the Monroe Doctrine, itself a unilateral pronouncement, been used to forbid temporary European intervention in order to collect debts or honor international obligations. During the presidencies of William Howard Taft and Woodrow Wilson, intervention in Honduras, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, and Nicaragua was defended on the basis of the Roosevelt Corollary.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Collin, Richard H. Theodore Roosevelt's Caribbean: The Panama Canal, the Monroe Doctrine, and the Latin American Context. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1990.

Munro, Dana G. Intervention and Dollar Diplomacy in the Caribbean, 1900–1921. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1964.

Justus D.Doenecke

See alsoCaribbean Policy ; Dollar Diplomacy ; Intervention ; Latin America, Relations with ; Monroe Doctrine .

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