Latin American Revolutionary Augusto Calderón Sandino. An Analysis of His Credibility as a Revolutionary


Essay, 2016

27 Pages, Grade: 93.0


Excerpt

Thesis Proposal

In the late 1920s and early 1930s, Nicaragua, like many Latin American countries, was subject to corruption from within, and outside interference from foreign powers. President Adolfo Diaz of Nicaragua was corrupt and power hungry. Before coming to power, he worked as a secretary for the American owned and operated La Luz y Los Angeles Mining Company.

This company was chartered in Delaware and owned the large gold mines around Siuna in eastern Nicaragua. Through his employment, he helped channel funds to the revolt against the previous, liberal, President José Santos Zelaya, who had angered the United States by negotiating and proposing the construction of a Nicaragua Canal. Díaz with with Germany and Japan, instead of them. After becoming president, Díaz was forced to rely on the United States Marines to put down a Liberal revolt, which resulted in a deployment of Marines remaining in Nicaragua for over a decade. Later, in 1914, Diaz signed the Bryan-Chamorro Treaty, which granted the United States exclusive rights to build an inter-oceanic canal across Nicaragua.[1],[2] After leaving the presidency, he later returned in 1926, after a coup by General Emiliano Chamorro. His corruption and bid to remain in office triggered further revolts, causing him to call on the United States for support, and thus inciting further unrest and leading to the rise of Augusto Calderón Sandino, who waged a guerrilla war against Diaz and the United States Marines.[3]

The United States, under the guise of upholding the Monroe Doctrine, which provided the United States with the “right to protect and defend” countries within the American continents, engaged in a series of conflicts called the Banana Wars from about 1898-1934.[4] The United States’ interventions in, and occupation of, Nicaragua, from 1912-1933, were part of these Banana Wars.[5] Despite the “official” intention being for the United States to maintain order and protect those who could not defend themselves, at this time, the United States military intervention in Nicaragua was designed to protect American business interests in the region, and stop any other nation except the United States from building a Nicaraguan Canal.[6],[7] This eventually caused Nicaragua to assume a quasi-protectorate status under the 1916 Bryan–Chamorro Treaty.[8]

Nicaragua was in a state of chaos and uncertainty: the politicians and businessmen, both foreign and domestic, were profiting, and the Nicaraguan people were suffering the consequences. The United States was imposing its might over their resources, and Nicaragua was reduced to a “Banana Republic:” a politically unstable country whose economy is largely dependent on exporting limited-resource products.[9] After several decades of internal political struggle, injustice at the hands of corrupt officials, and bending to the will of outside forces, the Nicaraguan people had finally had enough. In 1927, under the leadership of Augusto Calderón Sandino, the Liberal Revolution of Nicaragua had begun.

The purpose of this research paper is to study Augusto Calderón Sandino’s status as a revolutionary, during Nicaragua’s periods of occupation. This will be done by analyzing Sandino as a man and a revolutionary—what motivated him, what his goals were, and how he achieved his goals—to determine which of the primary types of revolutions; liberal, political, nationalist, military, professional, or agitator—Sandino was, and what influence, impact, and legacy he has had in Nicaragua and neighboring Central American countries.

This will be done through a variety of methods, including the use of academic and journalistic sources, such as Bernard Nalty’s “Marine Corps Historical Reference Pamphlet: The United States Marines in Nicaragua” and Harry Vanden’s “Democracy and Socialism in Sandinista Nicaragua.” Sources contributing to this study will include secondary sources from both the United States and Latin America. An array of primary sources will also be used to supplement the research. In terms of primary sources, contemporary articles from Time Magazine, words by Calvin Coolidge, and letter written by Sandino, as well as his manifesto, will also be analyzed. There were a few other outstanding sources that were intended to be used, unfortunately, some of these sources, while valuable, did not have sufficient information to draw from, or information fell outside the purview of my inquiries. All sources previously mentioned, and many more, will be used to answer the questions regarding Augusto Sandino as a revolutionary and his impact on Latin America.

Contextual Essay

During the early years of the 20th century, socio-political revolutions were igniting around the world, this was particularly true in Central America—a region that had seen instability in the previous several decades. The United States saw itself as the defender of these tumultuous Latin American nations, and, under the declarations in the Monroe Doctrine, sought to occupy them to maintain order and suppress anarchy and chaos. Later, the same Monroe Doctrine would also be used to protect American business interests in the region, and keep United States-friendly Latin American leaders in power.

The Monroe Doctrine was a principle of the United States’ foreign policy, regarding dominion of North and South American nations, introduced in 1823.[10] Although the term "Monroe Doctrine" itself was not coined until about1850, President James Monroe first stated the doctrine during his seventh annual State of the Union Address to Congress. In it, Monroe stated that further efforts by European nations to colonize land in the Americas, or to interfere with their politics, would be viewed as acts of aggression, and that the United States would intervene on their behalf.[11] While declaring their intention to defend free American nations, the doctrine noted that the United States would neither interfere with existing European colonies nor Europe itself. At the time when the Monroe Doctrine was issued, nearly all Latin American colonies of Spain and Portugal had achieved, or were on the verge of achieving, independence.[12]

By the end of the 19th century, the Monroe Doctrine was considered a defining moment in American foreign policy, and one of its defining tenets. Many United States politicians, and several United States presidents, including Ulysses S. Grant, Theodore Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, Ronald Reagan have invoked it.[13]

Excepts from the doctrine itself state:

“The occasion has been judged proper for asserting, as a principle in which the rights and interests of the United States are involved, that the American continents, by the free and independent condition which they have assumed and maintain, are henceforth not to be considered as subjects for future colonization by any European powers.—We owe it, therefore, to candor and to the amicable relations existing between the United States and those powers to declare that we should consider any attempt on their part to extend their system to any portion of this hemisphere as dangerous to our peace and safety. With the existing colonies or dependencies of any European power we have not interfered and shall not interfere. But with the Governments who have declared their independence and maintained it, and whose independence we have, on great consideration and on just principles, acknowledged, we could not view any interposition for the purpose of oppressing them, or controlling in any other manner their destiny, by any European power in any other light than as the manifestation of an unfriendly disposition toward the United States.”[14]

The terms and impact of the Monroe Doctrine remained relatively consistent, with only minor variations, for more than a century. Its objective to guard the freedom of the newly independent nation of Latin America from European intervention, and avoid situations which could make the New World a metaphoric pie to be carved up by the Old World powers, was upheld. In later decades, it became more so that the United States could exert its own influence in the region undisturbed, but its original intentions may have been true enough. The doctrine asserted that the New World and the Old World were to remain distinctly separate spheres of influence, regardless of the reasons why. After 1898, with America’s victory over Spain in the Spanish-American War, Latin American lawyers and intellectuals re-interpreted the Monroe Doctrine to be more about multilateralism and non-interventionism. Under President Franklin Roosevelt, in 1933, the United States went along with the new interpretations.[15]

When you think of the United States in modern times, you think of it as a world power—the last remaining, and currently only real Superpower. Whether or not this changes in the near future is up for debate, but for the moment, and as has been the case for the last 100 years, the United States is a top power in the world. At the time of the Monroe Doctrine’s inception, it was really a case of “his bark is worse than his bite.” In the early-mid 19th century, the United States was a new nation. It was confident because it had just won its independence from one of the top powers in Europe, but it was by no means anywhere near a world power. It was a regional power at best. The United States government feared the emerging European powers that spawned from the Congress of Vienna around 1815: France had already agreed to restore the Spanish Monarchy in exchange for Cuba,[16] with the end of the revolutionary Napoleonic Wars, Prussia, Austria, and Russia formed the Holy Alliance to defend monarchism and restore Bourbon rule to Spain and its colonies.[17] The United States felt threatened, and it had to act big to prevent any potential or hypothetical invasions and re-conquests. This is, in part, where the Monroe Doctrine came from. The United States had to let Europe think that it could defend itself and its newly emerging, neighboring, nations.

Despite the proclamation, the United States could likely do nothing if the forces of Europe truly wished to re-conquer them and their neighbors. They had played a bluff and hoped that Europe would not call it. In a surprising turn of events, however, it was not the United States who first defended and invoked the Monroe Doctrine, but rather Britain.[18]

Great Britain shared the general objective of the Monroe Doctrine. Although their position was different, Britain wanted to declare a joint statement to keep other European powers from further colonizing the New World—with Spain and Portugal on the cusp of losing their colonies, and France already seeing the majority of theirs taken from them, Britain could remain the sole colonial power in the Americas and further their potential as the top power in Europe. British Foreign Secretary George Canning wanted to keep the other European powers out of the New World, for fear that its trade with the New World would be harmed if the other European powers colonized it further. For many years after the Monroe Doctrine was declared, Britain, through the Royal Navy, was the nation actually enforcing it, for the United States lacked sufficient naval capabilities at the time. The United States of America resisted a joint statement because of the recent War of 1812, with Britain; leading to the Monroe administration's unilateral statement. Despite this, both nations invoked and enforced the doctrine.[19]

Despite the United States taking up the position as an isolationist nation at the time, the idea of the Monroe Doctrine was already in the minds of the American government during George Washington's presidency. Alexander Hamilton expressed his desire for the United States to control the sphere of influence in the western hemisphere, particularly in North America, despite dying some decades before the Monroe Doctrine’s inception. Hamilton already wanted to establish the United States as a world power, as mentioned in the Federalist Papers.[20] This desire may have stemmed from the fact that the European countries controlled far more of the continents than the United States of America itself did.

Due the United States’ apparent lack of any military power, particularly naval power, the doctrine was largely disregarded internationally. That is, of course, until the British Royal Navy enforced it as part of the Pax Britannica. Reactions in Latin America were initially generally favorable, but with some suspicious. According to author, John Crow:

"Simón Bolívar himself, still in the midst of his last campaign against the Spaniards, Santander in Colombia, Rivadavia in Argentina, Victoria in Mexico—leaders of the emancipation movement everywhere—received Monroe's words with sincerest gratitude."[21]

The leaders and revolutionaries of Latin America, at the time, knew that the United States wielded very little power, especially before the British expressed their support of it. They appreciated the gesture, but figured it was unenforceable and unrealistic to even consider. These sentiments soon changed and gradually grew to concern. With the United States’ intervention in the Spanish colony of Cuba in 1898, and Theodore Roosevelt’s Roosevelt Corollary being added to the Monroe Doctrine in 1904 (which proclaimed the right of the United States to intervene in Latin America in cases of "flagrant and chronic wrongdoing by a Latin American Nation"),[22] the leaders of Latin America knew that they had to be wary, or fall victim to Roosevelt’s “Big Stick” ideology. Some leaders, seeking to retain and extend their leadership roles beyond traditional terms, sought to use the Monroe Doctrine in alliance with the United States. One Chilean minister, Diego Portales, wrote in a letter: "—but we have to be very careful: for the Americans of the north [the United States], the only Americans are themselves."[23] The United States’ emergence as "hemispheric policemen" had begun, and it was apparent that the Monroe Doctrine would devolve to protect only their interests.

[...]


[1] Lau Gutiérrez, William. Proceso de la intervención norteamericana en Nicaragua (1909 – 1913). Encuentro: Revista Académica de la Universidad Centroamericana, 1989.

[2] Bailey, Thomas, A. “Interest in a Nicaragua Canal, 1903-1931.” The Hispanic American Historical Review. Vol. 16, No. 1 (Feb., 1936), pg. 2-28.

[3] Wünderich, Volker. Sandino: Una biografía política, Nicaragua: Editorial Nueva Nicaragua,1995.

[4] Langley, Lester D. The Banana Wars: United States Intervention in the Caribbean, 1898–1934.Kentucky: University Press of Kentucky, 1983.

[5] Langley, Lester D. The Banana Wars: United States Intervention in the Caribbean, 1898–1934.Kentucky: University Press of Kentucky, 1983.

[6] Bailey, Thomas, A. “Interest in a Nicaragua Canal, 1903-1931.” The Hispanic American Historical Review. Vol. 16, No. 1 (Feb., 1936), pg. 2-28.

[7] Langley, Lester D. The Banana Wars: United States Intervention in the Caribbean, 1898–1934.Kentucky: University Press of Kentucky, 1983.

[8] “Bryan-Chamorro Treaty.” 14 August, 1914. Treaties and Other International Agreements. The United States and Nicaragua.

[9] White, Richard Alan. The Morass: United States Intervention in Central America. New York: Harper & Row, 1984.

[10] Murphy,Gretchen. Hemispheric Imaginings:The Monroe Doctrine and Narratives of U.S. Empire. North Carolina: Duke University Press, 2005.

[11] “Monroe Doctrine.” December, 1823. State of the Union Address. The United States.

[12] Graham, Richard. Independence in Latin America: A Comparative Approach (2nd edition). United States: McGraw-Hill, 1994.

[13] Murphy,Gretchen. Hemispheric Imaginings:The Monroe Doctrine and Narratives of U.S. Empire. North Carolina: Duke University Press, 2005.

[14] “Monroe Doctrine.” December, 1823. State of the Union Address. The United States.

[15] Scarfi, Juan Pablo, "In the Name of the Americas: The Pan-American Redefinition of the Monroe Doctrine and the Emerging Language of American International Law in the Western Hemisphere, 1898-1933."Diplomatic History. Vol. 40 No. 2 (2014) United States pg. 189-218.

[16] Cressen, William Penn. The Holy alliance: the European background of the Monroe Doctrine. United Kingdom: Oxford University Press, 1922.

[17] Cressen, William Penn. The Holy alliance: the European background of the Monroe Doctrine. United Kingdom: Oxford University Press, 1922.

[18] Lawson, Leonard Axel. The Relation of British Policy to the Declaration of the Monroe Doctrine. United Kingdom: Columbia University, 1922.

[19] Lawson, Leonard Axel. The Relation of British Policy to the Declaration of the Monroe Doctrine. United Kingdom: Columbia University, 1922.

[20] Hamilton, Alexander, James Madison, & John Jay. The Federalist Papers. United States: Courier Corporation, 2014.

[21] Crow, John A. "Areil and Caliban". The Epic of Latin America (4th ed.). Berkeley: University of California Press, 1992.

[22] Roosevelt Corollary. 1904. State of the Union Address. The United States.

[23] Uribe, Armando , El Libro Negro de la Intervención Norteamericana en Chile. México: Siglo XXI Editores, 1974.

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Details

Title
Latin American Revolutionary Augusto Calderón Sandino. An Analysis of His Credibility as a Revolutionary
College
Westminster College
Course
Latin American History
Grade
93.0
Author
Year
2016
Pages
27
Catalog Number
V335860
ISBN (eBook)
9783656988526
ISBN (Book)
9783656988533
File size
983 KB
Language
English
Tags
Sandino, Nicaragua, Monroe Doctrine, United States, Imperialism, Colonialism, History, Central America, Latin America, Augusto Sandino, Revolution
Quote paper
Michael Gorman (Author), 2016, Latin American Revolutionary Augusto Calderón Sandino. An Analysis of His Credibility as a Revolutionary, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/335860

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