The Americas





The Americas

The quote “social, political, and/or economic interest lie at the heart of all collaboration or conflict” provide an explanation as to the various conflicts witnessed in the Americas since the arrival of the Europeans into the united states. Native communities thrived in the Americas with their existence marked by conflicts as result of decline in available resources. The arrival of Europeans in the united states, which as inhabited by native Americans gave rise to conflicts as they fought for land that can be assumed to the be the primary reason for conflict. Thus, it can be understood that scarcity of resources is a primary factors towards occurrence of conflicts amongst small or large groups of people. Because of conflicts, governments and peoples may opt for collaboration as a means of enhancing trade, optimizing economic opportunities and sharing of important resources such as minerals, transport corridors amongst others.

Conflicts are usually brought about by the presence of individualized interests amongst differing ethnic, racial, and cultural groups. In addition, conflicts in the Americas are also attributed to the presence of vast social inequalities that have plagued the region. For instance, conflicts in the United States after the arrival of the Europeans were brought about by the attempts to take the land away from the Native Americans. This resulted in massive unrest and conflict that saw the death of a significant number of Native Americans. Collaboration between countries is evident in movements such as the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) that was established in the year 1994 as part of an agreement between United States, Canada, and Mexico. This was informed by the need to enhance trade given the presence of a common border and coastline. This has been effective in creation of employment and business opportunities for multinational entities originating from these member countries. Social movements such as fascism or right-winged political ideologies became common phenomena in both North and South America. Fascism was marked by extensive military activity and acts of populism as governments and political leaders sought to gain and maintaining their strongholds in political positions.  Freedom of speech was limited and restricted in countries such as Guatemala, El Salvador, and Nicaragua as political leadership sought to retain power through fascist ideologies.

Economic interests also provided a basis for the involvement of the United States, the United Kingdom and other European countries such as France to engage the Panama government in construction of the Panama Canal. The Panama Canal would provide these players with ready access to the resource rich Central America. The United States was a primary player as it engaged panama and Nicaragua in the development of the canal. This was purely informed by its economic interests, which would last for years. Theodore Roosevelt’s involvement was informed by the belief that the united state’s control of the canal would be strategic interest to the country. This was catalyzed by the destruction of USS Maine, an American battleship off the coast of Cuba.

The acquisition of the French Panama Canal at the time was marked by conflict between guerilla movements against the Colombian government to result in independence for Panama. The collaboration between Panama and the United States was informed by the Panamanian desperation to gain independence from Colombia. The Panamanians accepted the offer by the United States, which would see the U.S control the Panama Canal for years. It is evident that economic, political, and social needs inform decision-making in terms of conflicts, wars, and collaborative efforts between states, communities, and political parties. Interests are central to developing a common approach in social interactions and they inform decisions to engage or refrain from war or conflicts.



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