The development and success of this industry has resulted in the complete alteration of tropical lowland environments from Mexico south to Panama. Hundreds of thousands of hectares of rich and diverse tropical ecosystems have been transformed into the monotonous and chemical drenched landscapes of banana plantations.
Nicaragua's declaration of independence from the United Provinces of Central America was originally of little interest to U. Yet by the late s, growing interest in building a transoceanic canal across Central America caused American diplomats to devote closer scrutiny to Nicaragua. American officials quickly identified rising British influence in Nicaragua as a major obstacle to U.
Yet since both Washington and London concluded that achieving supremacy in Central America was not worth an armed conflict, both nations agreed to joint control of a future canal by signing the Clayton-Bulwer Treaty in As the debate over slavery expansion in the United States became more contentious during the s, individual American adventurers, called filibusters, attempted to conquer parts of Central America and turn them into new slaveholding states.
In Nicaragua, the site of sporadic warfare since independence, one political faction recruited the filibuster William Walker to Nicaragua inonly to see Walker push it aside, declare himself president, and legalize slavery.
Walker, who enjoyed the unofficial support of the American President Franklin Piercequickly alienated neighboring Central American leaders, the powerful financier Cornelius Vanderbiltand most Nicaraguans, who together forced Walker to flee Nicaragua in The birth of the Nicaraguan coffee industry in the s fueled an economic boom that financed many improvements in transportation, communication, and education.
Although the rise of the coffee economy also exacerbated poverty and widened the gap between rich and poor, Nicaraguan elites viewed the future with optimism, expecting that an American-financed isthmian canal would further accelerate Nicaragua's economic progress.
But the new government, lacking both political clout and popularity, soon turned to its American patron for support. At the request of the Nicaraguan government, the United States invaded Nicaragua incrushed the antigovernment insurgency, assumed control of Nicaraguan customs, and began a military occupation that would last intermittently until In response to renewed violence in Nicaragua inthe American diplomat Henry Stimson negotiated a peace settlement acceptable to all, save for the highly nationalistic Augusto Sandino, who recruited a peasant army and spent the next five years fighting a guerilla insurgency against the American marines.
Inthe marines withdrew in favor of the National Guarda native police force trained by American officials to provide internal security and political stability to Nicaragua.
Somoza proceeded to use the National Guard to create a political dictatorship and amass considerable personal wealth. Although many American officials frowned upon Somoza's corrupt and authoritarian regime, they nevertheless supported him because he created a stable environment for U.
After Somoza was assassinated inthe United States continued to support his sons Luis and Anastasio, who continued both the family dynasty and the low living standards and political repression that characterized it.
Opponents of the regime founded the National Sandinista Liberation Front FSLN or Sandinistas inbut the Sandinistas remained isolated and ineffective until the s, when rampant government corruption and the increasingly violent suppression of opposition leaders turned many urban, middle-class Nicaraguans against the government.
President Jimmy Carter spent the late s searching desperately for an alternative to Somoza, yet determined to prevent a Sandinista victory.
After the FSLN took power on 17 Julythe Carter administration shifted tactics and attempted to steer the new revolutionary junta toward moderate policies. But the defection of prominent moderates from the revolutionary junta, the postponement of national elections, and the FSLN's support of leftist rebels in El Salvador ensured the hostility of Ronald Reagan, the winner of the presidential election.
Shortly after assuming office, Reagan approved plans to sponsor an opposition army, known as the Contras, to overthrow the Sandinista government. Congress, fearing that these policies would invite a replay of the Vietnam Warresponded in June by prohibiting all lethal aid to the Contras. The debate over Contra aid, a hotly contested and controversial issue during the mids, culminated in a major political scandal after revelations in late that Lieutenant Colonel Oliver North and a small cadre of officials had secretly and illegally diverted funds from Iranian arms sales to the Contras.Find helpful customer reviews and review ratings for The Banana Men: American Mercenaries and Entrepreneurs in Central America, at feelthefish.com Read honest and unbiased product reviews from our users.
The banana industry in Latin America peaked in ; thereafter, the transnational corporations slowly lost much of their political influence in the banana republics, due to a number of factors such as plant disease, the great depression, and labor issues .
The United Fruit Company was an American corporation that traded in tropical fruit (primarily bananas), grown on Central and South American plantations, and sold in the United States and Europe.
The company was formed in , from the merger of Minor C. Keith 's banana-trading concerns with Andrew W. Preston 's Boston Fruit Company.
The Banana Men: American Mercenaries and Entrepreneurs in Central America, - Kindle edition by Lester D. Langley, Thomas D. Schoonover. Download it once and read it on your Kindle device, PC, phones or tablets. Use features like bookmarks, note taking and highlighting while reading The Banana Men: American Mercenaries and Entrepreneurs in Central America /5(10). NICARAGUA, RELATIONS WITH. Nicaragua's declaration of independence from the United Provinces of Central America was originally of little interest to U.S. officials. Yet by the late s, growing interest in building a transoceanic canal across Central America caused American diplomats to. The political and social turmoil of the modern Central America cannot be understood without reference to the fifty-year epoch in which the United States imposed its political and economic influence on vulnerable Central American societies.
The phrase banana republic was coined in by the American writer O. Henry (William Sydney Porter, –).
In political science, the term banana republic describes a politically unstable country with an economy dependent upon the exportation of a limited-resource product, such as bananas or minerals. NICARAGUA, RELATIONS WITH.
Nicaragua's declaration of independence from the United Provinces of Central America was originally of little interest to U.S.
officials. Yet by the late s, growing interest in building a transoceanic canal across Central America caused American diplomats to.
The supporting cast includes Minor Keith, a railroad builder and banana baron; Manuel Bonilla, the Honduran mulatto whose cause Zemurray subsidized; and Jose Santos Zelaya, who ruled Nicaragua from to The political and social turmoil of the modern Central America cannot be understood without reference to the fifty-year .