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US Intervention in Latin America

            The United States has always prided itself as the "Great Bastion of Democracy". However, the history of the US in Latin America is much more ambiguous than the vision of a great nation freeing Latin Americans from dictatorship and sowing the seeds of liberty and democracy; instead, the US has all too often acted in its own interests and has allied itself with some very unsavory characters to promote such interests.
             The 1800s.
             Even in 1820, when America was a fledgling nation still insignificant in the eyes of world-class powers such as Britain and France, it still dreamed of an overseas empire rivaling that of Great Britain's. America's imperialist tendencies already were manifested in the subjugation of various Native American tribes and a key piece of legislation that would help determine US foreign policy for years to come and have repercussions to this day. That piece of legislation was called the Monroe Doctrine, which established the United States as the sole police power for the Western Hemisphere and called for an end to European interference in American affairs. At the time, the United States was too weak to enforce the Monroe Doctrine. However, this document would set an important precedent for future US interventions into Central and South America, as future presidents such as Theodore Roosevelt invoked the Monroe Doctrine over and over again to "justify" constant marine invasions of countries such as Guatemala, Nicaragua, Panama, and Cuba.
             The Mexican War.
             The first in a long line of US intervention in Latin American affairs began rather peacefully in 1821, when American Moses Austin obtained a land grant to establish a colony in sparsely populated Texas, then Mexican territory. When Moses died, his son Steven Austin took over the project, and brought over 2000 new immigrants, called empresarios, to settle in the colony. Many such empresarios also brought along their slaves and intended to grow cotton.

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