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American Lake, A Study of American Policy in the Caribbean. Edit

Dr. Steven Poitt, 2007. New York, Goldyn Publishing.

Economic DominanceEdit

By 1900, it seemed that America's dominance in the Western Hemisphere would not be questioned, let alone challenged. The rapid pace of industrialization had transformed America. The combination of relative stability (with the notable exception of the Civil War), a large growing population, massive geographic size, and abundant resources, had produced a economic giant of no equal. The United States held 23.5% of the world's manufacturing output, compared to England's 18%. Even these numbers hide the true performance of America industry. The United States produced more steel then the next three powers (England, Germany, France) combined. This growth was driven by massive American companies. In one famous example the Andrew Carnegie steel company was producing more steel that all of England. Huge companies, like Singer, Rockefeller Oil, Colt, and International Harvester dominated the world market and often pushed European firms to the limit. These massive conglomerates also produced vast sums of money for America. With a national income three times higher then England, the United States produced more money then the next 4 powers combined. This cash was also produced by a large and rich population. With a urban population 14 million, American cities were booming. Despite the squalor that many urban dwellers lived in, per captia, Americans lived far better then any other nation.

Military WeaknessEdit

Despite this economic superiority, America's power was diffused. While being led by a increasingly vigorous government, its military power remained tiny. The long history of isolationism (while slowly being shaken off) retarded any creation of a large standing army. Indeed, its army was a minuscule 39,000, in a world where large conscript armies were the measuring stick of power. Even small states like Italy or Japan fielded army's many times the size of the United States. While this lack of force can be understood by many factors. Distance from other large nations, tradition of lazzie-faire, and isolationism all combined to create a dislike of large armies. But even more puzzling is the size of the American navy. For a nation that depended on naval trade, the USA still had a second class navy. Despite its build-up under the McKinley administration (which would be substantially increased during the Roosevelt), the US navy was still only a fraction of the Royal Navy, and smaller the French of German forces.

An Unchallenged Power?Edit

Still, despite these numbers, in the Caribbean at least, it seems that America was unchallenged. Indeed, American troops intervened in Latin America on a regular basis, mostly in response to calls from American companies. The idea of a Central American canal was being pushed through, without consideration of Caribbean nations. American warships flitted back and forth across the water, a impressive sign of growing American strength. The America occupation of Cuba and Belize contukned apace, with no signs of ending.

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