Covering the 1790's to the 1930's, this was a period in world history which witnessed the rise of multinational empires; a period in which a handful of nations had exerted their economic, political and military dominance over lesser developed nations and subsumed them within their empires. The United States' policy towards Latin America was, most evidently, influenced by the international norm and, accordingly, it established its imperial domination over countries within this continent. The United States, as Smith explains, was primarily motivated by economic imperatives and, within the context of the stated, effectively created a commercial empire. It did not, however, present it as such and, instead, sought to legitimise its "hegemonic pretensions" (p. 39) by arguing that it was spreading democracy. This argument, however, did very little to conceal its true intent as it engaged in the Spanish-American War, imposed its near-total influence upon Venezuela or seized Panama.
The second major period is the Cold War period.