Roosevelt Corollary

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As a result of the 1902 Venezuelan Conflict, Theodore Roosevelt made changes to US doctrine in the Caribbean. The traditional policy had been the Monroe Doctrine. These changes are often called the Roosevelt Corollary to the Monroe Doctrine.

The problem was that, as the Venezuelan Conflict showed and as intended by the Monroe Doctrine, the US could not tolerate European navies coming into the Western Hemisphere to make war. However, just as this situation was intolerable, so was the situation of Latin American states defaulting on loans backed by European and American banks and states. In order to preserve American hegemony in the Western Hemisphere as well as observance of Latin American financial obligations, Roosevelt proposed that European nations, in the future, bring their claims against Latin American nations to the US. The US would then take what action was necessary in order to see that states met their obligations.

This new arrangement was first practiced in the Dominican Republic in 1903. The Dominican Republic had defaulted on $20 millions of European loans. The US marines invaded and established a customs zone for the repayment of the loans.

The implication of this policy was that Europe recognized this US role for Central and South America.