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How Did The Good Neighbor Policy Affect Relations Between The United States And Panama In The Context Of The Panama Canal?

1579 words - 6 pages

The good Neighbor Policy, which reflected a major shift in Latin American Policy for the United States, has been seen in modern years as one of the most pivotal policies in maintaining constructive relationships in the hemisphere. While it affected every country in Central and South America, Panama is an interesting case because it represented intense American financial investment, and consequently influence in the Canal Zone. The aim of my internal assessment is to determine how the Good Neighbor Policy affected American and Panamanian policy in relation to the Panama Canal. I will research my investigation through various sources ranging in subject from the good neighbor policy itself to the history of US influence over the Panama Canal. In B I will discuss the origins and significance of the Good Neighbor Policy, US relations with Panama involving the Panama Canal before the good Neighbor Policy was adopted, and review the changes in relations that the Good Neighbor Policy inspired. I will analyze my findings in D and reach a conclusion about them in E.B. Summary of the EvidenceBrief History of US Influence in Panama before the Good Neighbor PolicyUS influence in Panama began even before canal construction when President Theodore Roosevelt assisted Panama in its quest for independence from Colombia in 1903 by strategically positioning US naval fleets along the Panamanian coastline in an effort to deter violence in the rebellion. In that same year, Panama granted the United States enormous amounts of control (not to mention land) in the "canal zone" via the Hay-Bunau-Varilla treaty. The US continued to practice wide spread authoritative power in the region, concerning themselves with maintaining the stability needed for construction and maintenance of the canal to run smoothly without much regard for the Panamanians as a people.Origin of the Good Neighbor PolicyThe Good Neighbor Policy essentially describes the United States hands-off policy in regards to Latin America. While Hoover coined the phrase in a speech made in Honduras in 1928, the policy is often attributed to President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who in his inaugural address asserted, "In the field of world policy, I dedicate this nation to the policy of the good neighbor -- the neighbor who resolutely respects himself and, because he does so, respects the rights of others (Roosevelt, 1933)." This paved the way for the United States to transition from a policy of exerting financial and political Hegemony on Latin American countries, to utilizing a more hands off approach to diplomacy in the region. This was in stark contrast to the previous Latin American policy in which the United States exerted enormous control over commercial markets and political systems using direct military force if necessary.Outcome of the New RelationsThe good neighbor policy led the US to take a much more removed stance on Panama. It led to economic discussions, including one about the sale of cheap American...

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