Year of Publication

2013

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Document Type

Master's Thesis

College

Arts and Sciences

Department

History

First Advisor

Dr. Paul T. Chamberlin

Second Advisor

Dr. Stephen R. Davis

Abstract

The Congo Crisis of the early 1960s served as a satellite conflict between the United States and the Soviet Union during the Cold War. Scholars have argued about U.S. motivations and interests involved in the Congo Crisis. The major division between scholars is between those who contend the United States acted for national security reasons and those scholars who argue the United States desired to establish a neocolonial regime to protect economic interests pertaining to vast Congolese mineral wealth. The argument of this thesis is that the United States policy in the Congo between 1960 and 1965 focused on installing a friendly regime in the Congo in order to protect its national security interests. This argument lends to the introduction of a new term to classify U.S. actions: pseudocolonialism. The previous term, neocolonialism, denotes a negative connotation based on economic greed and does not satisfactorily explain the motivations of the United States. By examining the value to the United States of Congolese uranium and cobalt as well as Congolese geographic location, the singular explanation of economic greed is weakened.

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