John R. Paton

Date of Award


Level of Access Assigned by Author

Campus-Only Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)




Elizabeth McKillen

Second Committee Member

David Carey

Third Committee Member

Nathan Godfried


In 1916, the United States intervened militarily in the Dominican Republic, established a military government in that nation, and continued to occupy it until 1924. This dissertation explores the intervention, occupation and pressure to withdraw using a cultural framework. It examines how the United States government used culturally influenced ideologies of racism, paternalism, and others to initiate and justify the U.S. intervention. Dominican intellectual and political leaders, with the assistance of other people and nations, contested the occupation leading to the removal of U.S. troops, using their own cultural resources. This dissertation elucidates the ways in which the resistance of Dominican political and intellectual leaders was instrumental in creating a significant opposition to the intervention in the United States and in the Spanish-speaking world. Led by Francisco Henriquez y Carvajal, the Dominicans utilized the institutions and public will of the United States, as well as pressure from friendly nations and groups to effect the removal of United States Marines by 1924. In effect, the employment of such resources was the primary means by which the Dominicans could exert agency within the U.S.-Dominican relationship. It is clear the efforts of the Dominicans were sufficient to make United States government officials, including Presidents Wilson and Harding, realize that the continued occupation of the Dominican Republic marred the reputation of the United States among Latin American nations, and was a potential stumbling block in U.S.-Latin American relations.