Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department

Government and International Affairs

Major Professor

Harry E. Vanden


Communist Containment, Guatemala, Intervention, Land Tenure, Sovereignty


International Relations theory includes realist concepts of sovereign nation-states interacting in an anarchic world as they rationally determine their own national interests based upon ever-changing competition for power. In this interplay for power, nation-states may affect each other politically, economically, ideologically or militarily. This thesis focuses on effects of U.S. foreign policy and U.S. intervention in Guatemala in the time period surrounding the Guatemalan Revolution (1944-1954), with its "liberation" in 1954, and then into the early 1960s as the Guatemalan state began to be militarized. In this thesis I will answer the following question:

How did the United States affect the sovereign nation of Guatemala,

through economic policy, Cold War rationale, and military operations

and thereby contribute to and facilitate the establishment of the nature of the Guatemalan counterinsurgency state?

Through historically documented and officially acknowledged events an assessment will be made as to how these three elements singularly and also collectively influenced the internal workings of the Guatemalan state.