chapter  9
12 Pages

Franklin D. Roosevelt, the Caribbean, and the Postcolonial World

ByThomas C. Howard 157

The long and often unhappy history of U.S . involvement in the Caribbean region is well known. Far less familiar is the frequency with which the Caribbean has served as a model for the formulation of American foreign policy elsewhere around the globe. This occurred during the Second World War when the United States engaged in postwar planning for the colonial world-those regions of the globe that later came imprecisely to be included in the "Third World." During these years the U.S . President, Franklin Roosevelt, believed that European colonialism represented one of the greatest threats to the creation of a democratic, prosperous, and peaceful global order. His administration moved forcefully to put into place plans aimed at political independence and economic development for the colonial worlds . That the United States did not act on these plans and promises after the war led to disappointment and disillusionment. This analysis attempts to illustrate, through a case study of the influence of the Caribbean on the postwar planning of the Roosevelt administration, how American leadership in the emerging postcolonial world began to be sacrificed even before the end of the war.