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America's MissionThe United States and the Worldwide Struggle for Democracy$
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Tony Smith

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780691154923

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691154923.001.0001

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Wilson and Democracy in Latin America

Wilson and Democracy in Latin America

(p.60) Chapter Three Wilson and Democracy in Latin America
America's Mission

Tony Smith

Princeton University Press

This chapter examines Woodrow Wilson's attempts to foster constitutionalism in Latin America through imperialist interventions that commenced shortly after he was elected president in 1913. It begins with a discussion of three policy instruments that Wilson found at his disposal after he assumed the presidency and that he could use to promote constitutional democracy in Latin America: limited military occupation and control of customs houses, economic influence, and international agreements. The chapter then assesses Wilson's interventionist policy in Mexico and the Dominican Republic, along with the failure of Wilsonianism in the Philippines and the Dominican Republic. It also considers the limits of Wilson's democratic initiatives abroad before concluding with an analysis of four distinct U.S. policies aimed at fostering political stability in Latin America and ensuring that American security interests would not be threatened.

Keywords:   constitutional democracy, Woodrow Wilson, constitutionalism, Latin America, Mexico, Dominican Republic, Wilsonianism, Philippines, political stability, American security

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