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What was the "Big Stick" policy, and whose presidency is it associated with?

The "Big Stick" policy is associated with the presidency of Theodore Roosevelt and refers to his approach to foreign policy.

The "Big Stick" policy, also known as Big Stick Diplomacy, was a significant aspect of US foreign policy during the early 20th century, under the presidency of Theodore Roosevelt. The term originates from a West African proverb, "Speak softly and carry a big stick; you will go far," which Roosevelt quoted in a letter in 1900. This phrase encapsulates Roosevelt's approach to international relations - negotiating peacefully but simultaneously threatening with the "big stick", or the use of military force.

Roosevelt's presidency (1901-1909) was a time of rapid expansion for the United States, both economically and territorially. The "Big Stick" policy was a reflection of this expansionist attitude. It was a strategy designed to ensure the United States' position as a global power, particularly in the Western Hemisphere. The policy was based on the principle of maintaining peace through strength and readiness to use force if necessary.

One of the most notable applications of the "Big Stick" policy was the construction of the Panama Canal. Roosevelt believed that having a shortcut between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans was vital for American commercial and military interests. When negotiations with Colombia (who owned the land at the time) failed, Roosevelt supported a revolution that led to the creation of an independent Panama. The new government granted the US control over the Canal Zone, and the construction of the canal began.

The "Big Stick" policy marked a significant shift in American foreign policy, moving away from isolationism towards a more interventionist approach. It laid the groundwork for future American foreign policies and established the United States as a global power. The policy has been both praised for its effectiveness in advancing American interests and criticised for its imperialistic undertones.

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