Jacob A. Ross '15, Gettysburg College
Student Research Paper
Date of Creation
This paper explores the anti-communist Cold War tactics of public diplomacy as undertaken by the Eisenhower Administration. The focus of this paper is the Inter-American Highway: a program which the U.S. government funded and constructed to develop Central America economically, politically, and beyond. Funding for this program was increased and supported by the president because it fit the axiom of spending as little money as possible in the Cold War, but spending it in a way to be effective in the battle against Soviet communism. The stance of the U.S. government was to provide Central America with increased infrastructure development in an effort to make the region attractive to foreign investors, whose capital investments in the region would spur on economic growth and create political stability. The tactic was relatively successful, and eventually led to economic unification through the Central American Common Market (similar to the European Coal and Steel Community). It was believed that the CACM would eventually lead to political unification and collective security in a similar way that the ECSC led to the EU, but nationalism and regional jealousies fragmented the CACM before political unification could be realized. Nevertheless, the Inter-American Highway and resulting CACM did economically benefit all nations involved, and instituted a rare era of regional peace.
This is the author's version of the work. This publication appears in Gettysburg College's institutional repository by permission of the copyright owner for personal use, not for redistribution.
Ross, Jacob A., "The Long Road: Eisenhower’s Inter-American Highway: The Path to Economic Investment, Political Stability, and Collective Security in Central America" (2015). Student Publications. Paper 315.
Chicana/o Studies Commons, Diplomatic History Commons, European History Commons, Infrastructure Commons, Latin American History Commons, Latina/o Studies Commons, Political History Commons, Social History Commons, United States History Commons