By Michel Gobat

ISBN-10: 0822336472

ISBN-13: 9780822336471

Michel Gobat deftly interweaves political, fiscal, cultural, and diplomatic heritage to research the reactions of Nicaraguans to U.S. intervention of their kingdom from the heyday of appear future within the mid–nineteenth century in the course of the U.S. career of 1912–33. Drawing on vast learn in Nicaraguan and U.S. records, Gobat debts for 2 seeming paradoxes that experience lengthy eluded historians of Latin the United States: that Nicaraguans so strongly embraced U.S. political, fiscal, and cultural types to guard their very own nationality opposed to U.S. imposition and that the country’s wealthiest and such a lot Americanized elites have been reworked from top supporters of U.S. imperial rule into a few of its maximum opponents.

Gobat focuses totally on the reactions of the elites to Americanization, as the strength and identification of those Nicaraguans have been the main considerably tormented by U.S. imperial rule. He describes their adoption of points of “the American lifestyle” within the mid–nineteenth century as strategic instead of wholesale. Chronicling the U.S. career of 1912–33, he argues that the anti-American flip of Nicaragua’s such a lot Americanized oligarchs stemmed mostly from the efforts of U.S. bankers, marines, and missionaries to unfold their very own model of the yank dream. partly, the oligarchs’ reversal mirrored their suffering over the Twenties upward push of Protestantism, the “modern woman,” and different “vices of modernity” emanating from the us. however it additionally replied to the accidental ways in which U.S. modernization efforts enabled peasants to weaken landlord strength. Gobat demonstrates that the U.S. profession so profoundly affected Nicaragua that it helped engender the Sandino uprising of 1927–33, the Somoza dictatorship of 1936–79, and the Sandinista Revolution of 1979–90.


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Not only had the Allies su√ered much higher casualties from combat and cholera alike, their leaders also began to quarrel bitterly over military strategy, political control, and personal prestige. More important to Walker was the Allies’ apparent inability to enlist the Nicaraguan masses in their struggle. ’’∫Ω Indeed, the filibusters continued to be supported by Valle and other influential caudillos. As Walker later admitted, these popular leaders ‘‘aided to keep the people . . ’ ’’Ω≠ Yet Walker’s popular support eroded as the National War progressed.

Walker’s Revolution from Above Walker waited until he had usurped the presidency in July 1856 to launch his attack against native elites. In his own mind, Walker’s e√orts to reshape Nicaragua constituted a full-fledged revolution. ’’∏≥ Yet however loudly Walker proclaimed himself a revolutionary, elite Nicaraguans came to view him as a reactionary. To them, no act better symbolized Walker’s regressive bent than his promotion of slavery. ∏∂ Walker maintained that this colonial institution would solve Nicaragua’s perennial labor shortage and thus promote its capitalist development.

Walker left Granada ordering his men to burn the city down. ∫π The fire lasted for about ten days and razed one of the continent’s oldest cities. ’’ Walker’s men made sure to leave it behind. The loss of Granada was a great blow to the filibusters. Yet Walker still believed that his army would prevail over the Allied forces. Walker’s optimism stemmed largely from his racist belief that Anglo-Saxons were inher- 39 . a m e r i c a n i z at i o n t h r o u g h v i o l e n c e ently superior to Central Americans.

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Confronting the American Dream: Nicaragua under U.S. Imperial Rule by Michel Gobat


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