Date of Award

Summer 6-1-1986

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




William Walker's expedition should be a fertile source of examples of such incipient dependency. This is because that expedition was grounded in the political desires of Manifest Destiny and the pragmatic economics of a cross-isthmus connection between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans during the crucial years just before the U.S. Civil war. Walker's actions caused a war in Central America, brought the United States and England to the brink of war, effected a significant economic relationship, and influenced diplomatic relations between Nicaragua and the U.S. for years afterward. Because of these various actions and reactions, this episode in inter-American relations provides instances of many of the basic elements of the putative dependency relationships alluded to above. There were governments seeking economic advantage, businessmen seeking profitable investments, trade treaties negotiated, and military force used. It was a brief and intense period when economic interests were ultimately controlled by policy decisions.