Foreign Affairs


As president, Theodore Roosevelt won the Nobel Peace Prize for his role in settling the Russo-Japanese War, but his interest in foreign policy began long before his presidency. Learn more about the diplomatic initiatives of Roosevelt’s administration.

Article List

Gummeré, Samuel Réne

Samuel Réne Gummeré (1849-1920) served as the American consul general in Morocco from 1898 until 1905 when he was appointed the first United States minister to Morocco by President Theodore Roosevelt.

Hay-Herran Treaty

The United States Senate ratified the Hay-Herrán Treaty on March 17, 1903.

Hay-Pauncefote Treaty

President William McKinley instructed Secretary of State John Hay to renegotiate the Clayton-Bulwer Treaty (1850) with the British ambassador, Lord Julian Pauncefote. These discussions eventually resulted in the Hay-Pauncefote Treaty, which allowed the United States to build, fortify, and control an isthmian canal as long as British vessels were granted access to the canal on equal terms.

Platt Amendment

The Platt Amendment established the framework for U.S.-Cuban relations between 1901 and 1934. It was devised by a congressional subcommittee chaired by Senator Orville Platt of Connecticut. The amendment limited Cuba’s treaty-making powers, restricted Cuba’s foreign debts, gave the U.S. the right to intervene to preserve Cuban independence, allowed a U.S. naval base at Guantánamo Bay, and initiated sanitation and health care efforts designed to lure U.S. investors to the island.

Roosevelt Corollary

In his annual message to Congress on December 6, 1904, President Theodore Roosevelt made a significant addition to the Monroe Doctrine affecting America’s foreign policy.

Root-Takahira Agreement

President Theodore Roosevelt worked to improve diplomatic relations between the United States and the Empire of Japan. Two important steps in this direction were made by his helping to end the Russo-Japanese War (1904-1905) and his arranging to have the Great White Fleet visit Tokyo (October 1908). The Root-Takahira Agreement (November 1908) was a third.

The Perdicaris Incident

The Perdicaris Incident remains well-known for the wording of Hay’s telegram. It is also a clear example of Roosevelt’s “big stick” diplomacy. In 1906, the French and the Germans would seek Roosevelt’s assistance to bring about the Algeciras Conference, where the fate of Morocco would be decided.


The Treaty of Portsmouth

The Treaty of Portsmouth, signed on September 5, 1905, officially concluded the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-1905. President Theodore Roosevelt won the Nobel Peace Prize for the role he played in the negotiations that ended the conflict. 


Venezuela Debt Crisis

The Venezuela debt crisis began in 1901 when Cipriano Castro, Venezuela’s president, defaulted on millions of dollars in bonds owed to European nations.