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Theodore Roosevelt and the Politics of the Roosevelt Corollary

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There is a broad consensus about the ways in which public opinion and domestic politics influenced American foreign policy during Theodore Roosevelt’s presidency. Historians generally concur that the American public was ignorant about and uninterested in international politics. They also agree that the president’s perception of public sentiment and his reading of the political landscape played essentially negative roles; that is, they were constraints at the point of implementation, rather than factors that shaped the substance of his policy, and were unquestionably a hindrance. Taking a fresh look at the origins of the Roosevelt Corollary to the Monroe Doctrine raises questions about this interpretation. Roosevelt believed that Americans were passionately opposed to the blockade of Venezuela by European Powers in late 1902 and early 1903 and viewed it as a threat to the Monroe Doctrine. This perception and Roosevelt’s 1904 presidential campaign therefore significantly affected the timing and content of the Roosevelt Corollary.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: October 2, 2015

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