gunboat diplomacy

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Diplomacy supported by the threatened use of force by one country in order to impose its will on another. The term is used specifically with reference to the 19th century when, in furtherance of their own interests, the great maritime nations, notably Britain, employed their naval power to coerce the rulers of small or weak countries. It was used by the British Foreign Secretary, Lord Palmerston, during the Opium Wars with China. In Egypt in 1882 a British fleet bombarded Alexandria in order to crush a nationalist movement. During the Boxer Rising in China in 1900 the European powers combined their forces in order to protect their interests and punish the rebels. Gunboat diplomacy was also employed by the USA in the Philippines in 1898 and has been used to enforce US policies in Latin America.

Subjects: Law — World History.

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