Banana Wars

Banana Wars

:"For the 1974-1975 Banana war against U.S. monopolies and Central American countries see Union of Banana Exporting Countries.

The Banana Wars is an unofficial term that refers to the United States military interventions into Central and South America.

Often, these interventions were carried out by the United States Marine Corps. On occasion, U.S. Naval gunfire and U.S. Army troops were also used.

The source of the term "Banana Wars" is from the alleged connections between the interventions in the regions and the preservation of various United States commercial interests in the region. Most prominently, the United Fruit Company had significant financial stakes in production of bananas, tobacco, sugar cane, and various other agricultural products throughout the Caribbean, Central America and the northern portions of South America.

Americans advocating imperialism in the pre-World War I era often argued that these conflicts helped Central and South Americans by aiding in stability. Some imperialists argued that these limited interventions did not serve U.S. interests sufficiently and argued for expanded actions in the region.

American observers opposed to imperialist theories argued that these actions were a first step down a slippery slope towards American colonialism in the region.

Some modern observerswho have argued that if World War I had not lessened American enthusiasm for international activity these interventions might have led to the formation of an expanded U.S. colonial empire, with Central American states either annexed into Statehood like Hawaii or becoming American territories, like the Philippines, Puerto Rico and Guam. This view is, however, heavily disputed, especially as, after a decrease in activity during and after World War I, the U.S. government intervened again in the 1920s while again stating that it was without colonial ambitions.

The Banana Wars ended with the 1934 Good Neighbor Policy of President Franklin D. Roosevelt; no American colonies had been created.

Countries involved

Countries involved in The Banana Wars:

*Cuba (Sometimes not counted among the Banana Wars)
*Dominican Republic
*Mexico (part of the Mexican Revolution)

Though many other countries in the region may have been influenced or dominated by American banana or other companies, there is no history of U.S. military intervention in those countries.

United States veterans of Banana Wars

*U.S. Army:
**Robert L. Eichelberger
**James M. Gavin
**Walter Krueger
**Douglas MacArthur
**George S. Patton
**Matthew Ridgway

*U.S. Marine Corps:
**Smedley Butler {MOH}
**Evans F. Carlson
**Merritt A. Edson
**Logan Feland
**Roy Geiger
**Herman H. Hanneken
**John A. Lejeune
**Chesty Puller
**William H. Rupertus
**Alexander Vandegrift
**Roswell Winans {MOH}

ee also

* Banana republic
* Colonialism
*United States and South and Central America
* Golden Circle

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