What Was Woodrow Wilson’s Moral Diplomacy?

President Woodrow Wilson’s Moral Diplomacy was a diplomatic approach in which support was given to countries whose moral beliefs aligned with that of the United States. Wilson’s theory was that by only supporting those countries, U.S. ideals would spread to other countries that held different ideologies.

Wilson first proposed his policy during the 1912 election. He firmly believed in the idea of a democratic government, and hoped that his policy would help encourage the spread of democracy. Although he wanted to encourage growth around the world, his primary focus was on Latin America. His diplomatic approach differed from his predecessor, President William Howard Taft. Taft’s focus was on building economic ties with other countries.

As a result of his policy, Wilson’s government often intervened in other countries’ affairs. Notably, he intervened in Haiti, Nicaragua and Mexico. Wilson even kept troops stationed in Nicaragua, and used those troops to choose the president of the country. In Haiti, Wilson used military force to choose the president. In Mexico, Wilson played a major role in the Mexican Revolution. Wilson occupied a major port in Mexico and effectively weakened the Mexican leader, Victoriano Huerta. Huerta was forced to give up power in favor of Venustiano Carranza.