Roosevelt`s “speak softly and carry a big stick” strategy worked well in Latin America, where the United States had a strong military presence and could respond quickly and easily to any threat of military action. Roosevelt`s threat of violence was therefore credible in this region, and he was able to use it effectively. In Asia, however, the United States had less military presence. Instead, Roosevelt tried to maintain a balance of power in which the various Asian countries kept each other at bay and no player became too powerful. When the balance of power shifted, Roosevelt acted to negotiate a peace agreement between Russia and Japan to restore the balance. A caricature depicting Roosevelt`s big stick and naval muscles in Latin America. A map showing the places affected by Roosevelt`s big stick diplomacy. On September 2, 1901, in a speech at the Minnesota State Fair in Falcon Heights, Minnesota, U.S. Vice President Theodore Roosevelt described his ideal foreign policy: “Speak quietly and carry a big stick.” Two weeks later, Roosevelt became president and “big stick diplomacy” defined his leadership. Big Stick diplomacy is the policy of carefully publicized negotiations (“speak softly”), supported by the tacit threat of a powerful army (“Big Stick”).
The Great White Fleet, a group of U.S. warships that roamed the world in a peaceful show of force, is the leading example of big-stick diplomacy during Roosevelt`s presidency. President Roosevelt used big stick diplomacy in many foreign policy situations. He negotiated a deal for an American-led canal through Panama, expanded U.S. influence in Cuba, and negotiated a peace treaty between Russia and Japan. For this, Roosevelt won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1906. Roosevelt also swung his “big stick” after the U.S. government`s dubious diplomatic moves to sponsor and pursue a canal project throughout Central America. Nicaragua and Panama both experienced Roosevelt`s characteristic diplomacy in the canal incidents. After his presidency, Roosevelt wrote in 1914 in Outlook magazine about Belgium`s lack of preparedness for World War I and returned to the metaphor of the big stick: While President McKinley ushered in the era of American empire through military force and economic coercion, his successor, Theodore Roosevelt, has established a new approach to foreign policy, supposedly based on a favorite African proverb.
“Speak softly and carry a big stick, and you`ll go far.” The heart of his foreign policy was a thinly veiled threat. Roosevelt believed that given the country`s recent military successes, it was useless to use force to achieve foreign policy objectives as long as the military could threaten violence. This logic was also based on the young president`s philosophy, which he called the “exhausting life” and saw challenges abroad as opportunities to instill in American men the determination and strength they had supposedly gained in the Trans-Mississippi West. On September 2, 1901, Teddy Roosevelt used the phrase “speak softly and carry a big stick” to describe his foreign policy. The diplomacy of the big stick determined his presidency. Describe Roosevelt`s foreign policy and the meaning of the saying, “Speak quietly and carry a big stick” Roosevelt was often depicted in cartoons swinging his “big stick” and advancing U.S. foreign policy, often through the power of the U.S. Navy. Later, when Japan exercised its authority over its profits by forcing American business interests to leave Manchuria in 1906-1907, Roosevelt felt he had to invoke his foreign policy with the “big stick,” even if the distance was great. He did it by sending the United States. Great White Fleet during maneuvers in the Western Pacific as a show of force from December 1907 to February 1909. Publicly described as a goodwill tour, the message to the Japanese government regarding U.S.
interests was equally clear. The ensuing negotiations reinforced the open-door policy throughout China and the rest of Asia. Roosevelt had well protected American interests in Asia, both through the rational use of the “big stick” and through his strategy of maintaining a balance of power. When Roosevelt succeeded McKinley as president, he implemented a key strategy to build an American empire: the threat of military force, not direct deployment. McKinley had implicated the U.S. military in several successful skirmishes and then used the country`s superior industrial power to negotiate advantageous foreign trade agreements. Roosevelt, with his “big stick” policy, was able to keep the United States out of military conflict by using the legitimate threat of force. Nevertheless, as the negotiations with Japan have shown, maintaining an empire was fraught with complexity. Changing alliances, changing economic needs, and power policies meant that the United States had to proceed with caution to maintain its status as a world power. Many of you probably know the old adage: “Speak softly and carry a big stick – you`ll go far.” Undeterred, Roosevelt decided to throw the “big stick” now. In comments to reporters, he made it clear that the United States would firmly support the Panamanian people if they decided to revolt against Colombia and found their own nation.
In November 1903, he even sent American battleships to the Colombian coast, supposedly for training maneuvers while the Panamanian Revolution was unfolding. Warships effectively prevented Colombia from moving additional troops into the region to quell the growing Panamanian insurgency. Within a week, Roosevelt immediately recognized the new country of Panama, welcomed them into the global community, and offered them the same terms — $10 million plus the $250,000 in annual rent — that he had previously offered to Colombia. After the successful revolution, Panama became an American protectorate and remained so until 1939. Roosevelt believed that while the coercive power wielded by the United States in the wrong hands could be harmful, the best interests of the Western Hemisphere were also the best interests of the United States. In short, the United States would have the right and the duty to be the policeman of the hemisphere. This belief and his strategy of “speaking softly and carrying a big stick” shaped much of Roosevelt`s foreign policy. The U.S.
used the “big stick” during “canal diplomacy,” U.S. diplomatic actions while pursuing a canal through Central America. In Nicaragua and Panama, there have been incidents related to the big stick diplomacy chain.  Roosevelt`s first known public use of the term came when he advocated before the U.S. Congress for increased navy readiness in support of the nation`s diplomatic objectives. Earlier, in a letter to a friend while still governor of New York, Roosevelt cited his preference for a West African proverb: “Speak softly and carry a big stick; You will go far. The term was later also used by Roosevelt to explain his dealings with national political leaders and his approach to issues such as the regulation of monopolies and the demands of the unions. The term was automatically associated with Roosevelt and was often used by the press, especially in cartoons, to refer in particular to his foreign policy; in Latin America and the Caribbean, he conducted the Big Stick policy (also known in foreign policy as the Roosevelt involvement of the Monroe Doctrine) to monitor small debtor nations that had unstable governments.