The Danger of Dreams: German and American Imperialism in Latin America

University of North Carolina Press, 1999 - 312 páginas
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American imperialism in Latin America at the beginning of the twentieth century has been explained, in part, as a response to the threat posed by Germany in the region. But, as Nancy Mitchell demonstrates, the German actions that raised American hackles then--and have been held up ever since as evidence that Germany aimed to challenge the Monroe Doctrine--prove to be, on close inspection of German, U.S., and British archives, a potent mix of German bombast and American paranoia. Simply put, says Mitchell, there was no German threat in Latin America.

Mitchell's case hinges on the careful investigation of four important matters: the development of German and U.S. war plans, Roosevelt's response to the Anglo-German blockade of Venezuela, the German presence in southern Brazil, and the evolution of Wilson's Mexican policy. Her close analysis of German actions exposes the persistent U.S. tendency to exaggerate the threat that Wilhelmine Germany posed to Latin America. Germany's ambitions, recklessly proclaimed but never translated into policy, allowed the United States to disguise its interventions in Latin America as the protection of the region from rapacious Europeans, rather than the imperialism of a rising power.

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The Rise of GermanAmerican Antagonism
The Utility of Misperception
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Nancy Mitchell is associate professor of history at North Carolina State University.

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