Confronting the American Dream Nicaragua under U. S. Imperial Rule

ISBN-10: 0822336472
ISBN-13: 9780822336471
Edition: 2005
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Description: Michel Gobat deftly interweaves political, economic, cultural, and diplomatic history to analyze the reactions of Nicaraguans to U.S. intervention in their country from the heyday of Manifest Destiny in the mid-nineteenth century through the U.S.  More...

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Book details

List price: $26.95
Copyright year: 2005
Publisher: Duke University Press
Publication date: 12/27/2005
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 392
Size: 6.00" wide x 9.00" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 1.232
Language: English

Michel Gobat deftly interweaves political, economic, cultural, and diplomatic history to analyze the reactions of Nicaraguans to U.S. intervention in their country from the heyday of Manifest Destiny in the mid-nineteenth century through the U.S. occupation of 1912-33. Drawing on extensive research in Nicaraguan and U.S. archives, Gobat accounts for two seeming paradoxes that have long eluded historians of Latin America: that Nicaraguans so strongly embraced U.S. political, economic, and cultural forms to defend their own nationality against U.S. imposition and that the country's wealthiest and most Americanized elites were transformed from leading supporters of U.S. imperial rule into some of its greatest opponents. Gobat focuses primarily on the reactions of the elites to Americanization, because the power and identity of these Nicaraguans were the most significantly affected by U.S. imperial rule. He describes their adoption of aspects of "the American way of life" in the mid-nineteenth century as strategic rather than wholesale. Chronicling the U.S. occupation of 1912-33, he argues that the anti-American turn of Nicaragua's most Americanized oligarchs stemmed largely from the efforts of U.S. bankers, marines, and missionaries to spread their own version of the American dream. In part, the oligarchs' reversal reflected their anguish over the 1920s rise of Protestantism, the "modern woman," and other "vices of modernity" emanating from the United States. But it also responded to the unintended ways that U.S. modernization efforts enabled peasants to weaken landlord power. Gobat demonstrates that the U.S. occupation so profoundly affected Nicaragua that it helped engender theSandino Rebellion of 1927-33, the Somoza dictatorship of 1936-79, and the Sandinista Revolution of 1979-90.

Emily Rosenberg specializes in U.S. foreign relations in the twentieth century and is the author of SPREADING THE AMERICAN DREAM: AMERICAN ECONOMIC AND CULTURAL EXPANSION, 1890-1945 (1982); FINANCIAL MISSIONARIES TO THE WORLD: THE POLITICS AND CULTURE OF DOLLAR DIPLOMACY (1999), which won the Ferrell Book Award; A DATE WHICH WILL LIVE: PEARL HARBOR IN AMERICAN MEMORY (2004); and TRANSNATIONAL CURRENTS IN A SHRINKING WORLD, 1870-1945 (2014). Her other publications include (with Norman L. Rosenberg) IN OUR TIMES: AMERICA SINCE 1945, Seventh Edition (2003), and numerous articles dealing with foreign relations in the context of international finance, American culture, and gender ideology. She has served on the board of the Organization of American Historians, on the board of editors of the American Historical Review, and as president of the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations.

Illustrations
Tables
Acknowledgments
Introduction
Manifest Destinies, 1849-1910
Americanization through Violence: Nicaragua under Walker
Americanization from Within: Forging a Cosmopolitan Nationality
Restoration, 1910-1912
Challenging Imperial Exclusions: Nicaragua under the Dawson Pact
Bourgeois Revolution Denied: U.S. Military Intervention in the Civil War of 1912
Dollar Diplomacy, 1912-1927
Economic Nationalism: Resisting Wall Street's "Feudal" Regime
Anxious Landlords, Resilient Peasants: Dollar Diplomacy's Socioeconomic Impact
Cultural Anti-Americanism: The Caballeros Catolicos' Crusade against U.S. Missionaries, the "Modern Woman," and the "Bourgeois Spirit"
Revolution, 1927-1933
Militarization via Democratization: The U.S. Attack on Caudillismo and the Rise of Authoritarian Corporatism
Revolutionary Nationalism: Elite Conservatives, Sandino, and the Struggle for a De-Americanized Nicaragua
Epilogue: Imperial Legacies: Dictatorship and Revolution
Notes
Selected Bibliography
Index

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