What did Theodore Roosevelt mean when he said the US should be the policemen of the Caribbean? Roosevelt’s mentwas meant to respond to the interference into the affairs of the Caribbean by the Europeans. Roosevelt aimed to control the economy of the Caribbean. He wanted to have power over the region, especially economically. The Europeans were meddling and interfering with the affairs of the Caribbean because many islands in the Caribbean owed Europeans countries like Germany a lot of money. For this reason, Roosevelt did not want Germany anywhere near the US. This was especially because he was an imperialist. He therefore wanted to gain control and manage the affairs of the Caribbean islands (DiNunzio 145). He told Germany that the United States would act as the ‘debt collectors’ on their behalf. This meant that the US would collect all the money owed to Germany by the Caribbean islands and give it to them.
When Roosevelt said that the US should be the policemen of the Caribbean, he was of the opinion that the United States should do everything in its power to assist the Caribbean in all ways possible. This was inspired by the fact that the Caribbean islands were very close neighbors of the United States (DiNunzio 143). Roosevelt, therefore, felt that it would be easy for the United States to gain full control of the Caribbean. It is clear that Roosevelt wanted to end the political unrest experienced in the Caribbean so as to gain control over its economy. He, therefore, felt that it was necessary for the US to be policemen of the Caribbean so as to eliminate the interference caused by the Europeans in the Caribbean. He felt that the Europeans interfered with the affairs of the Caribbean under the guise of collecting their debts but with the intention of ensuring their presence is felt in the area so that they would eventually take over the region (DiNunzio 148).
.DiNunzio, Mario. Theodore Roosevelt: An American Mind. New York: Penguin Books USA, 1994.