Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)



First Advisor

G. A. Werner


The twentieth century is revealing a steady increase in the influence of the United States in the Caribbean region, both in politics and economic development. The arm of America has been gradually forcing out the European nations. Counting colonies and protectorates, the United States has under its supervision a greater Caribbean population than the population of the thirteen colonies at the time of the Declaration of Independence. In trade the United States is the best customer of Central America and the West Indies. The region is one of the chief sources of our raw-materials imports.

The majority of the citizens of the United Statesdo not recognize the importance of the Caribbean to us. They are unaware of the manner in which the United States is increasing its power and influence. It is a distinct shock to many to learn of our imperialistic policy.

The purpose of this paper is to trade one specific example of the intervention of the United States in the Caribbean. Nicaragua has been chosen largely because of recent troubles there and because it affords an excellent example of a virtual though unrecognized American protectorate.

The difficulties in the way of a careful study of the country are very great. Historical works are especially unsatisfactory. The colonial period is much more ably treated than the recent period. The most satisfactory book on the subject is "The Five Republics of Central America" by Dana G. Munro. The thread of this paper is largely taken from the material of this one book supplemented by other shorter accounts. A large part of the material is taken from government documents, magazine articles and pamphlets of the Pan-American Union. Much of the magazine material is difficult to use because of ignorance of the ulterior motives of the writers, but there is enough of value to reveal the broad tendencies of political development. The economic development is more obscure. Data concerning the condition of the country at the present time is almost totally lacking due to the unreliability of newspaper accounts. Diplomacy prevents the giving out of material by members of the Consular service.





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