Term Paper Title: United States Influence In Latin America
Word Count: 989
Page Count: 3.96 (250 words per page double spaced)
United States Influence in Latin America
The influence of the United States on Latin America has not been largely degrading, but instead, largely beneficial to Latin America. It has helped to produce an advanced, cultured, and self-sufficient society opposed to an alien culture of materialism and selfishness. Arguments to support these statements can be made on an economic, political, social, and cultural level. The United States for a long time has held a "hegemony by default" and chosen to apply it in various ways. This has benefited Latin America greatly, although there are always costs to go along with the benefits,.
First to be examined is the United States economic influence in Latin America. There are many instances and examples of United States influence in the economic theater. We see the beginning of large scale economic influence in Latin America after the First Pan-American Conference in 1889. We see Pan-Americanism replacing the Monroe Doctrine and Latin America becoming the grounds on which the commercially powerful and equally anxious United States can spread it's wings. Two excellent examples of U.S. economic influence and it's positive effects were Nelson Rockefeller's International Basic Economy Corporation and Henry Kaiser's automobile industries.
The most important lesson gleaned from Rockefeller and Kaiser would be that of their introduction of "corporate social responsibility" to Latin America. They helped ignite small-investor participation in stocks, as well as facilitated local ownership. Although it is true that not all United States economic presence was beneficial, we see that when handled responsibly with the goal of gradually incorporating a sense of locality, the benefits far outweigh the costs. Rockefeller felt that Latin America needed a middle class resembling that of the United States, and both he and Kaiser saw that economic development was the cornerstone to stability and freedom in a fledgling society.
Many of the economic benefits to Latin America came in the form of simple, cold, hard cash. Dollar signs being put up. Taxing large American businesses produced large amounts of many Latin American nations' incomes. At times they represented one-fifth or more of the total collected taxes in Latin America. Aside from the money, U.S. economic influence brought over much more. Technology, communications, and transportation, all key elements in the growth of any civilization, Rome, Greece, Egypt, all were brought over by foreign business, namely the United States. President Truman had attempted to send technical and economic help under a far fetch of the Marshall Plan, but to little avail. So much of this work was done by American businesses.
Latin America was undergoing a dramatic transition from a largely colonial, and in some aspects, primitive society and existence to becoming a major player in the new globally integrated world of homogenous markets. Although large portions of locality and other elements of uniqueness would be lost, the incredible speed at which Latin America became modernized is uncanny. Even with obvious wrongdoing on the part of such companies as the U...
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