Financial Missionaries to the World

The Politics and Culture of Dollar Diplomacy, 1900–1930

Financial Missionaries to the World

American Encounters/Global Interactions

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Book Pages: 352 Illustrations: Published: January 2004

Economics, History > U.S. History, Politics > International Relations

Winner of the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations Robert H. Ferrell Book Prize

Financial Missionaries to the World establishes the broad scope and significance of "dollar diplomacy"—the use of international lending and advising—to early-twentieth-century U.S. foreign policy. Combining diplomatic, economic, and cultural history, the distinguished historian Emily S. Rosenberg shows how private bank loans were extended to leverage the acceptance of American financial advisers by foreign governments. In an analysis striking in its relevance to contemporary debates over international loans, she reveals how a practice initially justified as a progressive means to extend “civilization” by promoting economic stability and progress became embroiled in controversy. Vocal critics at home and abroad charged that American loans and financial oversight constituted a new imperialism that fostered exploitation of less powerful nations. By the mid-1920s, Rosenberg explains, even early supporters of dollar diplomacy worried that by facilitating excessive borrowing, the practice might induce the very instability and default that it supposedly worked against.

"[A] major and superb contribution to the history of U.S. foreign relations. . . . [Emily S. Rosenberg] has opened up a whole new research field in international history."—Anders Stephanson, Journal of American History

"[A] landmark in the historiography of American foreign relations."—Melvyn P. Leffler, author of A Preponderence of Power: National Security, the Truman Administration, and the Cold War

"Fascinating."—Christopher Clark, Times Literary Supplement



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Author/Editor Bios Back to Top

Emily S. Rosenberg is DeWitt Wallace Professor of History at Macalester College. She is the author of A Date Which Will Live: Pearl Harbor in American Memory (also published by Duke University Press) and Spreading the American Dream: American Economic and Cultural Expansion, 1890–1945. She is coauthor of In Our Times: America since World War II and Liberty, Equality, Power: A History of the American People.

Table of Contents Back to Top
Introduction 1

1 Gold-Standard Visions: International Currency Reformers, 1898-1905 4

The Meanings of Money and Markets 5

Turning Silver Standards into Gold 12

The Commission on International Exchange 18

The New Specialists in International Financial Advising 23

2 The Roosevelt Corollary and the Dominican Model of 1905 31

Gender, Race, National Interest, and Civilization 31

The Dominican Model 41

Development of Investment Banking 47

International Precedents for Fiscal Control 52

Fiscal Control through Public-Private Partnership 56

3 The Changing Forms of Controlled Loans under Taft and Wilson 61

Extending the Dominican Model 62

Control by Private Contract 71

Opposition to Taft's Dollar Diplomacy 77

Tightening Dollar Diplomacy under Wilson 79

Public-Private Interactions and Consenting Parties 93

4 Private Money, Public Policy, 1921-1923 97

The Postwar Political Economy and Loan Policy 97

Postwar Controlled Loans in the Western Hemisphere 108

5 Opposition to Financial Imperialism, 1919-1926 122

The Postwar Anti-imperialist Impulse 124

"Is America Imperialistic?" Conflicting Cultural Narratives 131

Anti-imperialist insurgency after 1924 137

The U.S. Government Backs Away 147

6 Stabilization Programs and Financial Missions in New Guises, 1924-1928 151

Approaches to Stabilization 151

The Kemmerer Missions in South America 155

European Stabilization and the Dawes Plan 166

Poland: A Kemmerer Mission in Europe 176

Persia: The Millspaugh Mission 183

7 Faith in Professionalism, Fascination with Primitivism 187

Professionalization and Financial Markets 187

Mass Culture and Primitivism 198

8 Dollar Diplomacy in Decline, 1927-1930 219

The Questionable Impact of Supervisory Missions 220

Opposition to U.S. Supervision 230

Deterioration of the Bond Market and the End of Foreign Lending 240

Public Policy and the End of an Era 247

Looking Backward and Forward 253

Abbreviations 263

Notes 265

Index 327

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Paper ISBN: 978-0-8223-3219-0
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