Negotiating under the Monroe Doctrine: Weetman Pearson and the origins of U.S. control of Colombian oil

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Abstract

Before World War I, most foreign investment in Latin America came from Britain. By World War II, however, the United States had become the main and unchallenged foreign investor in the region. This analysis of the negotiations that took place between the British firm (Pearson and Son) and the Colombian government over oil contracts reveals the reasons for the shift in influence. The company's lack of awareness that Britain had been overtaken by the United States as the hegemonic power in the hemisphere eventually caused the negotiations to collapse. While talks were proceeding, the company failed to consider how much influence the United States had on Colombian internal politics, and it overlooked the history of U.S.-Colombia relations. As a result, Pearson never received oil concessions in Colombia; instead, they were granted to American companies, consolidating U.S. power in the region.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)529-553
Number of pages25
JournalBusiness History Review
Volume82
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Business, Management and Accounting (miscellaneous)
  • History

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