- 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 Statesmilitary interventions into Central and South America.
Often, these interventions were carried out by the
United States Marine Corps. On occasion, U.S. Naval gunfireand 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 Companyhad significant financial stakes in production of bananas, tobacco, sugar cane, and various other agricultural products throughout the Caribbean, Central Americaand the northern portions of South America.
imperialismin the pre- World War Iera 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
colonialismin the region.
Some modern observerswho have argued that if
World War Ihad 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 Hawaiior becoming American territories, like the Philippines, Puerto Ricoand 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 Policyof President Franklin D. Roosevelt; no American colonies had been created.
Countries involved in The Banana Wars:
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
Robert L. Eichelberger
James M. Gavin
George S. Patton
*U.S. Marine Corps:
Evans F. Carlson
Merritt A. Edson
Herman H. Hanneken
John A. Lejeune
William H. Rupertus
United States and South and Central America
* Golden Circle
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
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