What he said versus what they did

This is relevant to the IB History 20th century topic 5: Cold War and the HL: Americas, Topic 10: Cold War and the Americas, 1945-1981.



In August 1961, US President John F. Kennedy introduced the ambitious Alliance for Progress program, a ten year plan to help promote economic development and social advancement in Latin America.  The reasons for this were simple: to contain communism and promote democracy (aka nation-building).

After Kennedy’s assassination in November 1953, new Preisdent Lydon B. Johnson addressed  tththe representatives of the countries that subscribed to the Alliance for Progress.  The text of his address is available at the American Presidency Project site, developed and maintained by the University of California in Santa Barbara (USA).  The address in its entirety is available: http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/index.php?pid=26785

The main idea of the address can be summarized by Johnson himself: “to reaffirm th[e] Alliance, and pledge all the energies of my Government to our common goals.”

However, what did that really mean? Shortly after assuming the Presidency, Johnson fired the head of the Alliance for Progress and appointed Thomas C. Mann as Assistant Secretary of State for Inter-American Affairs, U.S. Coordinator for the Alliance for Progress, and Special Assistant to the President. In an internal memorandum later entitled the Mann Doctrine, he stated the new goals that the US had in its relations with Latin America.  The main ideas expressed in the doctrine were:

  1. Protection of US private investments in Latin America;
  2. No preference for democratically-elected governments;
  3. Opposition to communism;
  4. Economic growth was important and the US should be neutral with regard to countries’ pursuit of social reform

QUESTION: How consistent is the Mann Doctrine with Johnson’s address to Alliance for Progress representatives?

QUESTION: What are the values and limitations of Johnson’s address?

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