Why did the United States occupy the Dominican Republic in 1916?
#97931. Asked by author. (Jul 25 08 7:19 AM)
The primary reason was because of political instability in the country.|
The United States government, this time under President Woodrow Wilson, again intervened. Where Taft had cajoled the combatants with a clear intimation of military action, Wilson delivered an ultimatum: elect a president or the United States will impose one.
The Dominicans accordingly selected Ramón Báez Machado as provisional president on August 27, 1914. Comparatively fair presidential elections held on October 25 returned Jiménez to the presidency. Despite his victory, however, Jiménez felt impelled to appoint leaders and prominent members of the various political factions to positions in his government in an effort to broaden its support. The internecine conflicts that resulted had quite the opposite effect, weakening the government and the president and emboldening Secretary of War Desiderio Arias to take control of both the armed forces and the Congress, which he compelled to impeach Jiménez for violation of the constitution and the laws.
Although the United States ambassador offered military support to his government, Jiménez opted to step down on May 7, 1916.
Arias never formally assumed the presidency. The United States government had apparently tired of its recurring role as mediator and had decided to take more direct action.
United States forces had already occupied Haiti by this time. The initial military administrator of Haiti, Rear Admiral William Caperton, had actually forced Arias to retreat from Santo Domingo by threatening the city with naval bombardment on May 13.
The first Marines landed three days later. Although they established effective control of the country within two months, the United States forces did not proclaim a military government until November.
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