In the early twentieth century, the United States set out to
guarantee economic and political stability in the Caribbean without
intrusive and controversial military interventions—and ended
up achieving exactly the opposite. Using military and government
records from the United States and the Dominican Republic, this
work investigates the extent to which early twentieth-century U.S.
involvement in the Dominican Republic fundamentally changed both
Dominican history and the conduct of U.S. foreign policy.
Successive U.S. interventions based on a policy of "dollar
diplomacy" led to military occupation and contributed to a drastic
shifting of the Dominican social order, as well as centralized
state military power, which Rafael Trujillo leveraged in his 1920s
rise to dictatorship. Ultimately, this book demonstrates that the
overthrow of the social order resulted not from military planning
but from the interplay between uncoordinated interventions in
Dominican society and Dominican responses.
Telling a neglected story of occupation and resistance, Ellen D.
Tillman documents the troubled efforts of the U.S. government to
break down the Dominican Republic and remake it from the ground up,
providing fresh insight into the motivations and limitations of