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Good Neighbor Policy

Franklin D Roosevelt

Good Neighbor Policy: Franklin D Roosevelt was the 32nd American President who served in office from March 4, 1933 to April 12, 1945. One of the important events during his presidency was the Good Neighbor Policy.

Definition and Summary of the Good Neighbor Policy
Summary and definition:
The Good Neighbor Policy was a successful US foreign policy during the 1930's in FDR's presidency in which the president promised to improve US ties and relations with Latin America to ensure non-hostile neighbors south of its borders.

FDR assigned Cordell Hull the Secretary of State to carry out his vision of the Good Neighbor Policy by terminating U.S. Marines occupation of Nicaragua in 1933 and the occupation of Haiti in 1934 and moving to free international trade.

The Good Neighbor Policy later sought to secure Latin American cooperation in the world war effort by maintaining the flow of oil, petroleum and other raw materials. The Good Neighbor policy ensured the security of the United States through gaining support and defense in Latin America with a united front against possible Axis aggression against American nations during World War 2.

Facts about Good Neighbor Policy
The following fact sheet contains interesting facts and information on Good Neighbor Policy.

The phrase "Good Neighbor Policy" was not coined by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. The  phrase was coined by President Herbert Hoover in 1928 during a goodwill trip to Latin America.

Tensions between the United States and Latin American countries were strained because the US had periodically intervened militarily in Latin American countries to protect its interests.

FDR did much to improve relations in Latin America by assigning Secretary of State, Cordell Hull, to carry out his vision of this strategy

US military intervention in Latin America countries relaxed as the U.S. Marines occupation of Nicaragua in 1933 and the occupation of Haiti in 1934 was terminated.

In 1933 Cordell Hull convened the Seventh Montevideo-Pan-American Conference in Uruguay, where he committed to a policy of non-intervention in the affairs of Latin American countries.

Policies of low tariffs introduced by Cordell Hull improved the economies of the Latin American countries that had been damaged by the 1930 Hawley-Smoot Tariff. FDR signed the 1934 Reciprocal Trade Agreements Act reducing the tariff levels set by Hoover and promoting trade liberalization and cooperation with foreign governments moving to free international trade.

The effect of the Reciprocal Trade Agreements Act was especially important to Cuba where low prices on sugar had previously made it impossible to sell to the United States.

The Panama Canal Treaty was re-negotiated in 1936 that granted economic concessions to Panama and secured American access to the Canal Zone

The United States government restrained from intervening when Mexico expropriated foreign oil companies in 1938. The U.S. Government responded with a good neighbor policy that supported Mexico’s right to expropriate foreign assets as long as prompt and effective compensation was provided to American companies

Congress signed the 1934 Treaty of Relations with Cuba nullifying the 1903 Platt Amendment which had enabled U.S. dominance over Cuba and had authorized United States occupation of that country.

The 1934 Treaty of Relations removed Cuba from the direct sphere of American influence with one exception. The Treaty of Relations with Cuba allowed for the continued control of Guantanamo Bay by the U.S. Military.

The Inter-American Conference for the Maintenance of Peace was held in 1936 at the request of FDR in Buenos Aires in which the Governments of the American Republics agreed to mutual consultation if there was a security threat to any of the nations within the hemisphere.

On December 9–27, 1938 the Eighth Pan-American Conference was held in Lima, Peru. Cordell Hull managed to ensure its security through gaining support and defense in Latin America reasserting a united front against possible Axis aggression against American nations during WW2, even though most Latin American countries at the time were ruled by generals who admired European fascism.

US American History
1929-1945: Depression & WW2

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