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Seminar: US interventions

In this seminar, we will examine the increasing influence and presence of the USA in the Caribbean in the first few decades after the 1898 Spanish-American War by focusing on specific societies - Cuba, Dominican Republic and Haiti.

Seminar questions

  • Why was the Caribbean region of concern to the USA?
  • What methods did the USA employ to maintain its hegemony in the Caribbean between 1898 and 1945?
  • What were the immediate and longer-term consequences of US intervention in the Caribbean? Discuss with reference to at least two different Caribbean societies?

Required reading

Everyone should read the following:

Plummer, Brenda Gayle, ‘Building US Hegemony in the Caribbean’ in Stephan Palmié and Francisco A. Scarano (eds), The Caribbean: A History of the Region and its Peoples (Chicago, 2011), pp. 417-432.

In addition, everyone should read one of the following (about the Dominican Republic, Cuba and Haiti respectively):

Calder, Bruce J., The Impact of Intervention: The Dominican Republic during the U.S. Occupation of 1916-1924 (Austin, 1984), introduction and chapter 1.

Gott, Richard, Cuba: A New History (New Haven, 2004), chapter 4.

Schmidt, Hans, The United States Occupation of Haiti, 1915-1934 (New Brunswick, NJ, 1995; originally published 1971), esp. chapters 1 and 7.

Further reading

See lecture on 'America's backyard'.

Relevant web-site

Almanac of Theodore Roosevelt, http://www.theodore-roosevelt.com/. See especially the cartoons relating to Caribbean policy.