Big Stick diplomacy
Big Stick Diplomacy is a foreign policy approach famously associated with the 26th President of the USA, Theodore Roosevelt, who served from 1901 to 1909. The term is derived from his famous quote, ‘Speak softly and carry a big stick; you will go far’. This essentially refers to the practice of conducting diplomatic negotiations peacefully and diplomatically while maintaining a strong military presence or capability to back up the nation’s interests and enforce its policies.
This approach to diplomacy emphasises the importance of military strength or the threat of force as a means of achieving a nation’s goals and ensuring its security. It is a form of realpolitik, which relies on practical and pragmatic considerations rather than ideological or ethical concerns.
During Roosevelt’s presidency, big stick diplomacy was most prominently employed in Latin America and the Caribbean, where the USA sought to establish itself as a regional power and protect its interests. The construction of the Panama Canal and the enforcement of the Roosevelt Corollary to the Monroe Doctrine are prime examples of big stick diplomacy in action.
In summary, big stick diplomacy is a foreign policy approach that emphasises the importance of military power and the willingness to use it as a means to achieve diplomatic goals while maintaining peaceful and diplomatic negotiations.