Elihu Root

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Person.png Elihu Root   Sourcewatch SpartacusRdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
(Lawyer, Deep Politician)
Elihu Root.jpg
Born1845-02-15
Clinton, New York
Died1937-02-07 (Age 91)
New York
Alma materHamilton College, New York University School of Law
Relatives • Oren Root I
• father
• Oren Root II
• brother
SpouseClara Frances Wales
Member ofCorsair Club, Council on Foreign Relations/Historical Members, Phi Beta Kappa, The Pilgrims Society
PartyRepublican

Employment.png US/Secretary of State Wikipedia-icon.png

In office
July 19, 1905 - January 27, 1909

Employment.png United States Secretary of War

In office
August 1, 1899 - January 31, 1904
Succeeded byWilliam Howard Taft

Employment.png United States Senator from New York

In office
March 4, 1909 - March 3, 1915

Elihu Root was a senior figure in the development of US law, a Nobel Peace Prize winner, and politician.

Activities

Root was an important figure in the introduction of the global prohibition of drugs.

The Root Doctrine

The overarching rationale for accepting and sustaining rightwing dictatorships was written by Root in 1922. Root justified support for right-wing dictatorships in Latin America with the argument that the populace in the victim country was incapable of democratic rule. They hadn't learned the knack of it. But no matter: the Italians had undertaken to govern themselves without having learned the knack of it, Root averred, singling Mussolini out for praise as the man of the hour, under whose dictatorship Italy had experienced a revival of prosperity, contentment, and happiness.[1]

He described the "right of selfprotection" in a presidential address to an audience at the American Society of International Law. The former U.S. secretary of state proclaimed the sovereign right of a state to take early action to "prevent a condition of affairs in which it will be too late to protect itself."

Washington's support for rightwing dictators during the Cold War was a continuation, an elongation and an intensification of this policy, which placed the fear of communism, socialism, and the spread of disorder as the centerpiece of its formulation. The Cold War demanded new and expanded tactics, approaches, and procedures, but the ideological basis and fundamental assumptions remained remarkably consistent.

It seems reasonable to presume that the Root Doctrine has been operational throughout United States history, both long before its articulation and to this very day. Prior to the Spanish American War, the United States carried out 103 interventions; between the end of that war and the Great Depression, it sent troops to Latin America 32 times. In any case, the Root Doctrine would soon become bipartisan, and it was touted as being more cost-effective than invasions.



References