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Anglistics Study Programme Anglophone Studies II USA Week 9 Notes Anglistics Study Programme www. singidunum. ac. rs/admission
Anglistics Study Programme Anglophone Studies II Week 9 Notes • Material covered from “An Illustrated History of the USA” • Chapter 31 America’s Back Yard-p 128
Anglistics Study Programme America’s Back Yard • The term “America’s Back Yard” is in reference to the U. S. ’s realm of interest (I highly recommend looking up the terms Monroe Doctrine and Manifest Destiny if you haven’t yet), specifically the geographical territory nearby. This means Latin America and the Caribbean
Anglistics Study Programme America’s Back Yard, contd. • Example of Nixon getting booed in Caracas, Venezuela in 1958. Made Americans realize that some Latin Americans hated and resented their country. U. S> takes a special interest in that area and felt it was important to its safety to ensure no foreign enemies gain influence in them.
Anglistics Study Programme America’s Back Yard, contd. • Material beyond the book: • -John Perkins “How the World Really Works” (he of “Confessions of an Economic Hitman” fame • https: //www. youtube. com/watch? v=c. Sdx 4 NS 2 Xq 4 • We also looked at this short clip from the podcast “Stuff They Don’t Want You To Know, ” about the School of the Americas-not mentioned in your book, but important for you to know: • https: //www. youtube. com/watch? v=vc 9 J 3 p. Gu. EIA
Anglistics Study Programme America’s Back Yard, contd. • Nixon’s goodwill tour to of Latin America took him to Caracas, Venezuela in 1958 ended up with him getting booed rather than cheered, and proved how some (many) Latin Americans, in fact, resented the U. S. -ever since early 19 th century, U. S. had taken a special interest in its closest neighbors, wanting to ensure its safety and that no foreign enemies gain influence in and over them
Anglistics Study Programme America’s Back Yard, contd. • The consequence is that many Latin American countries had rulers in the past who were basically American puppets. This also meant that many of these countries’ agriculture and industry were American-owned, as well as railroads, banks, electricity, and their biggest farms.
Anglistics Study Programme America’s Back Yard, contd. • 1933 -FDR promised the U. S. would respect the rights of Latin American countries to control their own affairs in what was termed the ‘good neighbor’ policy. Ordered home many of the American soldiers and officials running affairs in those countries-also promised not to interfere in Panama and Cuba, where it had done previously
Anglistics Study Programme America’s Back Yard, contd. • A lot of LA countries not convinced by FDR’s talks-even though the soldiers and officials had left, the rulers who took over generally did what was expected of them by the U. S. (ex. : Nicaragua, Somoza family). • WWII brought more money and jobs for LA, but also took away a lot of their raw materials, like copper, tin, and oil. This included a lot more U. S. control, too.
Anglistics Study Programme America’s Back Yard, contd. • Reagan and the Sandinistas-Nicaragua was ruled by the right-wing dictator Somoza in the 70’s, closely aligned with the U. S. Left-wing rebels organized a guerilla army to fight the system-named themselves the Sandinistas, after a guerilla leader Cesar Augusto Sandino, who had fought against American occupation of the country in the 20’s and 30’s. The Sandinistas were supported by peasants, workers, priests, and others-drove Somoza from Nicaragua in 1979 promsied the people land reform, social justice, democratic govts. At first, U. S. welcomed Sandinistas-Prez Carter offered economic aid. Then Reagan became prez in 1981.
Anglistics Study Programme America’s Back Yard, contd. • Reagan believed Sandinistas were under the influence of the USSR and Cuba-started describing the govt as a communist dictatorship, whose goal was to spread revolution to the rest of Central America-gave money and weapons to rebels who were trying to overthrow it-these people were called the ‘contras’-as in, counter-revolutionaries. Reagan called them ‘freedom-fighters. ’ • Many criticized Reagan’s policies-others supported him-in 1990 the Sandinistas lost in the election, the new leaders more acceptable to the U. S.
Anglistics Study Programme America’s Back Yard, contd. • OAS-Organization of American States-U. S. took the lead in setting this up in 1945, its goal was to encourage the LA countries to cooperate with each other, as well as with the U. S. , as partners, and aiming to improve living standards. But hardship and hunger continued to be prevalent in LA. Wealth gaps, oppressive govts. Reformers accused the States of keeping wealthy tyrants in power-some truth to this-ex. CIA encouraged overthrow of reforming govt. in Guatemala in 1954 then when UN was asked to look into it, U. S. used their Security Council veto power to prevent investigation.
Anglistics Study Programme America’s Back Yard, contd. • Later years saw American govts. continuing to interfere in LA affairs, sometimes openly, sometimes secretly. Ex. Prez Johnson sending 22 K American marines to Dom. Rep. in 1965 to stop a leader he distrusted from gaining power. In 1973, CIA agents helped overthrow Prez Allende (who was sympathetic towards communism and had nationalized some U. S. -owned mining companies) in Chile. • Some of U. S. dealings did have a more positive and humanitarian side-building hospitals, supplying towns with pure water, wiping out malaria, yellow fever.
Anglistics Study Programme America’s Back Yard, contd. • JFK, 1961, Alliance for Progress, organization. U. S. gave millions to improve lives of LA poorbuilt roads, homes, schools, improved watersupply, sanitation, advanced money to peasants to buy more land. JFK hoped helping LA would enable govts. to make enough improvements to stop folks from turning to communism. • Yet generals running LA countries continued to rely more on guns than reforms to keep power.
Anglistics Study Programme America’s Back Yard, contd. • Kennedy’s Peace Corps • U. S. knew that communism was most attractive to folks in countries where food was scarce and life hard. Spent millions on modernizing farms, constructing power stations, building roads in Turkey, Colombia, Pakistan, Chile and beyond-idea was that ‘foreign aid’ would give poor folks better lives, both to truly help them but also to spread U. S. influence. Sometimes this was done in the form of human skills-teachers, technical experts, this org. set up for young Americans to volunteer 2 years in Asia, Africa, Lamerica, generally underdeveloped nations-to help themselves eventually. Some saw this as naïve, arrogant, some worthwhile.
Anglistics Study Programme America’s Back Yard, contd. • American Hispanics • 1950’s population of the U. S. consisted of less than 4 million Hispanics-people from Spanish-speaking countries (of Latin America and the Caribbean). By mid 80’s increased to 17. 6 million. , especially in the South and West-about 60% originating from Mexico, the rest from places like Cuba and Colombia-usually coming to escape political persecution or poverty. • Change came from a new law in 1965 that allowed future immigrants to be accepted on a basis of who applied first. By 80’s, U. S. accepting 270 K newcomers per year-about 40% from Asia, 40% LA, approx. Some entered without permissionorigin of the term ‘wetbacks’ –absolutely pejorative term.
Anglistics Study Programme Recommended Audiovisual Resources for Week 9 • Walkout • Stand Deliver • Romero